What is White Walls?
Samir: It’s the new fashion house system we wish to implant in North America. In other words, designers come to us with their sketches and we take care of the rest. It’s a 360-degree approach missing in Montreal, Canada and the United States.
It’s also an alternative for students once they finish school. First thing they do after graduating is looking for work. However, in the current fashion environment, a designer’s job is dictated by the current trends. With our new model, we believe it should be the opposite. The designer shouldn’t have to adapt to the market; the market should adapt to his creations.
Do you have a say in the creative process of the designers you represent in order to ensure a cohesive and unified vision?
Mathieu: There’s a selection comity, but we give total freedom to the designers. We’re like a community, consequently, there’s certain uniformity amongst the creators, but they’re fully encouraged to embrace their creative flow. That’s another reason why we founded White Walls. For designers, it’s rare to have the opportunity to express themselves freely in this business.
By launching the company here, we’re also trying to restore the luster of Montreal fashion; bring back the hype by generating opportunities for everyone, from photographers to models.
Étienne, you participate to the production by helping with the sewing part. Where did you learn to sew?
Étienne: I started when I was 14 because I couldn’t find oversized garments. I would dismantle sweaters and put them back together in a different way. I would do everything with my mom’s little sewing machine.
Since then, there’s been a lot of back and forth. Fashion hasn’t always been my focus, but I’ve always loved buying clothes.
How did the collaboration with Dulcedo happen?
Samir: Dulcedo wanted to launch a clothing line and, on our end, we had a full manufacturing system to offer, meaning we were able to produce everything here. We showed them the work of our designers and they picked Étienne [who’s also a model at Dulcedo].
Tell me about the collection’s influences.
Étienne: It’s sportswear chic and cozy at the same time. The ambiance is really futuristic, which you can see with the use of the 3M reflective fabric. Oppositely, I was also inspired by the Canadian heritage – Dulcedo is from here and I arrived not so long ago [he was born in Paris]. The influence is obvious in certain pieces, like the totem. Its silhouette is inspired by the First Nations.
Samir: It’s important to know that although Dulcedo is a relatively young agency, it’s extremely eager to go forward. We went for an avant-garde signature to reflect that image.
Stay tuned! White Walls will be launching their online store in the upcoming weeks featuring all of its designers’ creations.