Interview with fashion designer, Stacey Zhang

Stacey Zhang
Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us your story? How did you become a designer?
Is this something you always wanted to do? If not, what did you think you wanted to do?
Stacey Zhang: I was born in China, grew up in Jamaica, studied fashion design in Montreal.  I developed a great interest in fashion when I was little- I remember when I was six, my neighbour- who was a seamstress-  taught me how to make tiny clothes for my dolls.  Later on in Jamaica I helped make costumes for Carnivale- I loved the colours and the crazy patterns and had to be a part of it.
Sarah Velasco:  What is your thought process when you design? How do you find your inspiration?
Stacey Zhang: I’ve always expressed myself through clothing… it’s what comes most naturally to me.  I think I can better express how I feel on a given day through what I wear than through what I say!  Dressing for work can feel like a mini theatrical production sometimes… So when I design, I have to first decide who’s lead actress in this production and what is her personality... then everything just follows.
I find inspiration here and there-  the other night I saw a woman was biking down the street at night wearing a glowing hula ring around her waist… now I’m thinking if I can do something with that image.  
Sarah Velasco: Can you tell about your latest collection? What was your inspiration behind it?
Stacey Zhang: My fall 2011 collection is a mix of city and rustic, luxurious angora sweaters in bright colours mix with garment washed waxed cotton/lamb nappa coats… prepping you for outdoor adventures in the city.  
Sarah Velasco: How would you describe your personal style? Do you wear anything that isn't your label?
Stacey Zhang: I would say my personal style is feminine, free spirited, classic with a bit of modern flare.  I generally wear my own clothes, that’s one of the perks of being a fashion designer!
Sarah Velasco: Who were your role models growing up? Who are they today?
Stacey Zhang: While I take inspiration from all over … I can’t say I’ve ever had a role model.  I’m focused on what I’m doing, and on constantly improving that.
Sarah Velasco: Trends we will see in your next collection?
Stacey Zhang: A few general themes for next Spring- preppy, tropical… hint of menswear influence.
Sarah Velasco: What is one must-have item at the moment?
Stacey Zhang: Here are two from the current collection:
-sleek, form-fitting down coat
-cozy angora sweater