Interview with Yve Isabel - Tristan's VP Creation & Image

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about the company?
Yve Isabel: Tristan founders Gilles Fortin and Denise Deslauriers opened their first store Tristan & Iseut (named after the legendary couple) in the ’70s, offering fashions for both men and women. In 2007, the name was simplified to Tristan for both the women’s and men’s collections, with a new branding slogan Unum Sumus, WE ARE ONE. With a dedicated design team in Montreal Tristan is well-known for our high quality fabrics and production, producing up to 30% of ours collection in Canada in our own factories located in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. This commitment to preserving Canadian design and fabrication skills while creating Canadian jobs has become a part of the Tristan brand.

Sarah Velasco: Where can readers find Tristan Stores?
Yve Isabel: There are 50 Tristan stores located in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Colombia.
Store locations are available on our website : www.tristanstyle.com.

Sarah Velasco: What is your role in the company?
Yve Isabel: My name is Yve Isabel, Vice President Creation & Image. My role is to identify developing trends, to find the latest looks of the moment and to assist the design team in their development of a consistent and coherent look for the Tristan customer. To insure continuity, I am also involved in the development of new store environments, visual presentation direction and in the look of advertising and promotions materials.

Sarah Velasco: Has the company undergone major change since you started?
Yve Isabel: Yes, the new branding in 2007 (Unum Sumus) and the development of new store concepts. Our first new prototype opened this summer in Quebec City and will be rolled out elsewhere as we renovate existing stores or open new ones. The new concept focuses on the use of more environmentally sensitive materials and energy usage which is still modern in spirit and enjoyable to shop. In addition we recently added footwear for both men and woman which coordinates perfectly with our clothing line. Now you can quite literally dress from head to toe at Tristan.

Sarah Velasco:What type of clientele does Tristan target?
Yve Isabel: Tristan targets a modern and sophisticated customer (both men and woman) for whom quality and an attention to detail is important. For the career customer Tristan has everything to take you from the office to evening. Always in tune with the latest trends, but in a way which avoids the obvious look of the fashion victim.

Sarah Velasco: What is the latest collection like? Inspiration behind it?
Yve Isabel: There are several important trends for the season. For women, the inspiration of the 50’s and 60’s signals a return to a more “ladylike” silhouette with both pencil skirts and with skirts featuring greater volume. The belted waist, a return of the hat and sophisticated accessories also stem from this trend. There is also greater visibility of color, seen in color blocking, prints and vibrant accents in cobalt blue, red, orange and mauve. Tweeds make an important return in fabrics as do easy care knits in jackets, dresses and tops.
For men as well, we see a slightly dressier and more sophisticated approach to fashion with touches of color like orange, red and purple accenting grey and neutral suitings including shorter military inspired jackets and slim suits. Ties and pocket squares are now fashionable again worn in a sporty and less serious way. When teemed with mini checks, and stripes in an array of shirts in new colors they look totally fresh and young.

Sarah Velasco: Can you give our readers a list of 3 must-have items currently in stores?
Yve Isabel:
For Women:
The military inspired jacket with epaulettes in tweed, knits or wool
The cardigan twin-set in merino wool
The wool dress featuring color blocking or leather inserts.
For Men:
A Shirt or a pullover featuring a splash of color (look for orange, red, cobalt blue or purple) to brighten neutrals
A slightly shorter military inspired jacket (or a cardigan with epaulettes) to wear to the office or with jeans
A tie! Combine a larger plaid or stripe with a small check for a young, contemporary look.