I learned of Canadian fashion designer Audrey Cantwell completely by mistake. I was simply surfing the very popular website, Etsy.com when I stumbled upon her Etsy store “blackmarketbaby” and as many designers before her, I absolutely had to contact Ms. Cantwell regarding her designs. Below I have featured my favorite Audrey Cantwell designs as well as ten questions regarding them and her process of designing fashion. Take a look:

1. Your collections seem to have a dark themes. For example, your Howl collection includes a great amount of leather and studs and your most recent collection Salem features a lot of black colors and drapes. Why is that and how did you come up with the names for your collections?

I`ve always had a bit of a dark sensibility and it comes out in the garments I make, I can’t really explain why, it just appeals to me. The titles come from a mood or inspiration I have for the collection,when making my HOWL collection I was reading a lot of Ginsberg, X was the title I gave to a collection inspired by pirates and the sea, Salem was inspired by witches and the northern wilderness.

2. Can you tell me about your design process? How do you design and what components are key to your successfully doing so. Do you find inspiration in music, nature or anything particular?

I have ideas for specific garments and I have a general idea of the mood or feel. I never draw anything and just drape most first samples. I’m inspired by fabrics and textures very much. I also am very inspired by music, and sometimes by nature, fantasy, mysticism, people I know, people I don’t know…

3. You are from Canada. Do you find that there is any difference in Canadian designs versus American and European designs?

I don’t really know if there is and wouldn’t know how to describe it, but there is so much creative energy in Canada that’s just starting to be discovered and acknowledged by people all over the world.

4. Your website states that, “I cut and I sew and I save the more fortunate results.” is it really that simple for you to design?

Down to the core, I think it is. I like to experiment when I design. I explore every idea I have. Some turn out the way I envisioned, some don’t. I go forward with the ones that I believe in most.

5. Who do you design your collection for? Who is the ideal woman that would wear your clothes?

There is no ideal woman, really. I have no one in mind when I design. I know this aesthetic doesn’t appeal to everyone, but I think the ones who do like it, really love it and breathe it.

6. What do you hope to accomplish with your designs?

As long as I can continue to do what I love everyday and people continue to want to wear my designs, I couldn’t ask for more.

7. What is your favorite part of the design process?

Getting inspired by colours, fabrics, materials, textures.

8. I would describe you as a designer. However, how would you describe yourself?

I design, cut, drape, sew,.. I think I am a designer.

9. Are you currently working on another collection. If so, when will it be available?

I’m wrapping up my spring collection entitled Mysterium, it should be online and for sale in 2 to 3 weeks. It’s quite different than anything I’ve done before it.

10. What is your advice to individuals who want to become designers? What worked for you?

I’m not sure if I have much advice as I’ve only been doing this a few months and still figuring everything out for myself, but I would say, very simply; explore.

Special thanks to Audrey Cantwell.

To purchase or view more of her designs, visit her Etsy store by clicking the photo below:

Sources: Audrey Cantwell, AudreyCantwell.com

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