If you come from a city like Montreal, fashion capital of the world and cold as hell, Flavie Lechat, a 19-year-old up and coming designer, is a hero. Lechat began sewing clothes at the age of eight, “my mom used to sew and she taught me.” By middle school, she was experimenting with any material she could get her hands on – sometimes resulting in bizarre, abstract t-shirts or funky high heels.
Enrolled in Fashion Studies at CEGEP Marie-Victorin CEGEP, Flavie has been taught quality to back her stylish, practical and comfortable designs suited for two extremes: hot, humid days and hair freezing cold. Once graduated from her program, Lechat hopes to open a line of clothing inspired by Louis Grenier, the maker of Kanuk – but with style and sex. “I want to start a snowboard trend – but hot. I want clothes to be warm and suitable for our winters, but also attractive, fun, and practical. A little bit of Volcom and a little bit of Miss Sixty.” Lechat’s focus is casual and sportswear: though, she’s never afraid to think out of the box.
Lechat, who has fallen in love with Montreal, wants to design clothes tailor made for Montrealers, “fall lasts a second; clothes need to be warm and practical.” Lechat’s clothing are designed for Montreal’s connoisseurs with flair and originality, “people can tell I’ve made it [a particular piece of clothing], there’s always my print and my way of making it that’s not like any other brand or designer.”
Lechat makes two to three pieces of clothing a week, “if I have to go out and I don’t have anything to wear I’ll make it.” The rest, she sells to admirers and friends – an efficient way to pay the rent. Designs come out of anywhere and anything to Lechat, who is constantly sketching, drawing, designing and creating. “Ideas just pop up, or I’ll see something or anything and think it would look nice in a certain way with a certain piece, and I’ll just draw it anywhere, in my notebooks, on scraps of paper, even if it’s just a pocket.”
Discouraged by many designers’ use of child labor and law wage labor, Lechat wants to make an ‘in’ into the industry in a different way, “the textile industry is the most polluting industry in the world and produces 25% of all the pesticides and herbicides in the world.” With this in mind, Lechat’s goal is not only to produce versatile, practical and warm clothing, but also to use organic cotton and support the fair-trade cotton movement, “it only costs designers one percent more to buy organic cotton, and I’m going to do my part to help this change happen.”