|Designer Christopher Bates|
Christopher Bates: Absolutely, it was a great experience. The show was well received, there have been lots of great reviews and some new customers.
VW: When your new collection is going to be available in stores?
CB: First delivery will be in late August, in the same stores as before – both locations of Gotstyle in Toronto (Bathurst and Distillery District) and Channer’s in Waterloo.
VW: What does it take to a Canadian fashion designer to show at Toronto Fashion Week, what are the steps to be taken, from the registration till the actual show on the runway?
CB: If you haven’t shown before, then you have to apply. It’s a fairly detailed application process, you have to submit everything – lookbooks, line sheets, detailed information on your past, your plans, your stores. Then you have to send samples, which will be reviewed. I have already shown before, so for me it was just a matter of expressing my interest in doing a show and paying the fees.
VW: How do you acquire your models for the shows?
CB: I have worked with a lot of guys here over the years. I contact agencies and book models. Also, a lot of the guys are my friends and I ask them if they want to do it – they don’t do it for free necessarily, but it’s great, it really helps me.
VW: Have you started working on your next spring collection yet?
CB: Yes, absolutely. I haven’t started making the prototypes yet, but I’ve started with the design process, and I’m going to start making the prototypes very soon.
VW: Besides your spring collection, do you work on any other projects right now?
CB: I work on many-many other projects. I’m doing some consulting design for another large fashion brand right now, I can’t say what it is, but it’s taking all my time at the moment. I’m also doing a couple of homeware projects – pillows, carpets, things like that. I’m also doing a lot of custom work – custom suits, raincoats, dress shirts, this business is really booming right now. I also dress a lot of celebrities for Juno Awards. So yes, my schedule is pretty full right now.
VW: Can we expect to see you at Toronto Fashion Week again?
CB: Yes, for sure. Next season I’ll be showing either in Toronto, or in Montreal, or both – this would be the plan.
VW: Do you read fashion magazines?
CB: Yes, I do. There is a number of magazines for men or for both men and women, and I read both – men’s, women’s, unisex.
VW: What are your favorites?
CB: I like Fashion, the men’s and the women’s version; Dress to Kill; Product; Flare, which is a classic; Sharp. There is also Women’s Wear Daily that I like, which is more of a newspaper type of publication, but overall this is really my favorite source for fashion news.
VW: How do you like to spend your free time?
CB: I go to the gym or play soccer, I do sports 7 days a week, that’s really important to me, I love being healthy. It’s a stress reliever as well, I feel so much better after exercising. I listen to music, I read books, I cook, I host a lot of dinner parties, I like spending time with friends and family, I love to travel, I love movies.
Follow Christopher Bates on ChristopherBates.com, Facebook, Twitter.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Christopher Bates