Tell us about you! Where are you from, what was life like growing up (if you aren’t from Victoria, what brought you here)?
I was born in Jamaica and moved to Toronto when I was 7. My family moved to Canada for a better life although growing up was difficult as a kid only because the other kids couldn’t understand my accent so I Iearned to talk without it. I lived most of my life in Toronto until I met my partner and she convinced me to move out west to BC in 2015 with our son.
Define what “fashion” means to you.
Fashion is knowing what it is you like, what looks good on you, and owning your style. You don’t have to have a ton of wacky clothes, just a few nice pieces that can be similar with small variations of styles, shades, or cuts. I consider my look to be a uniform that I wear everyday in slightly different ways. It also makes it a lot easier to choose an outfit in the morning.
What made you decide to pursue a career in fashion?
To be honest, it’s not a career (yet) since I have only been designing since last year. I still work a full-time job and have a toddler at home so I don’t have a lot of spare time. I would love if I could make designing a full-time career since I have been working as a Chef for the last 15+ years.
Tell us what it’s like preparing for a runway show like Victoria Fashion Week?
Preparing for the Victoria Fashion Week Launch was hectic and busy and a lot of late nights while still working full-time. When the pieces started coming together and you see it on the models it’s really satisfying and almost hard to believe. I didn’t have a lot of notice in advance of this show and had about one month to create my entire collection but pulling it together taught me a lot in a short time. With Victoria Fashion Week several months away, I have a lot more time to come up with ideas and select fabric so I’m hoping to have a more polished, thoughtful, and creative collection.
What fashion genres inspire you most and why?
I’m inspired by street fashion that looks simple yet polished. Footwear, jackets, and/or hats can make or break a look.
What are your favorite pieces to design and create?
I really like making bomber style jackets because they almost always look good on whoever wears it.
Describe for us how a design goes from an idea in your head to being available for purchase?
Unlike most designers, I don’t draw my designs beforehand. I have an idea in my head, make my patterns, and then naturally let it do it’s own thing and sometimes that involves taking apart the sample and putting it back together until it looks exactly how I want it to. It’s a fluid process from idea to creation for me.
How do you select what materials to use on your designs?
For t-shirts, natural fibres are essential. For jackets, I use a lot of water-resistant nylon for the outer shell because I want them to be the kind of jackets you can wear daily in BC. I usually choose the lining when I see a cool fabric that would look good, but other jackets I like to leave unlined for warmer weather.
Are there any designers or celebrity fashionistas that you love the most and what is it about them that you love?
I really like Rick Owens‘ creative use of dark colours. Other than that I don’t really pay attention to celebrities.
What are your plans for the future?
At the moment I’m working on getting my website up and running which will have my items featured on the runway available for purchase. I’ve been buying some really nice fabrics and getting ideas for my next line in the fall.
Check out more of Dellis Made here.
Lesley is the founder and editor of What’s Up NW. Prior to creating WhatsUpNW.com, she was the Seattle city editor for AskMissA.com. For both publications, Lesley has covered fashion shows, openings, and local charity events. She has written numerous articles shining the light on local businesses, encouraging readers to always shop local.