Interview with Halifax designer, the Fabulous Amy Negus!
I had the chance to interview local Halifax designer, Amy Negus. Amy’s clothing has been showcased at numerous events throughout Halifax such as Atlantic Fashion Week to name one among others. I had the pleasure of crossing paths with her a little over a year ago when she put out a casting call. Unfortunately, I couldn’t model for her since her clothes ended up being too big—another instance where I curse being petite!
What was it that made you want to be a designer?
When I was in junior high and high school I always had my own style, very different than my friends or other classmates. At the time I was looked at differently for it but I don’t regret sticking out because it is who I am. I would look for clothing that no one else had because I wanted to wear unique clothing. I have always liked various styles and would end up mixing and matching without even realizing it. I soon began to realize that my passion was fashion and to have the opportunity to create one-of-a-kind clothing for others to enjoy was exciting to me. If I could learn to make every step of the garment, I would have complete freedom to make something new.
What do you think the industry lacks and what did/do you hope to bring to the table?
Often in fashion today, one thing that seems to be important is trends. I like to almost stray away from that because I don’t think someone should dress accordingly to what others say they should wear. Also, it is more important to have multiples so you can sell lots and become known. I’m hoping to be able to get noticed through my one-of-a-kind garments, while keeping to the hands on process. I create the garment from scratch; every step I focus my energy on from the pattern and draping, to the sewing and even printing and dyeing the fabrics. It is a long process but I believe more and more people still want to find a way to be unique while appreciating the energy that has gone into it.
What makes your clothes unique?
I’m told each designer ends up having a signature or look. I didn’t see it in my work for a long time, but I think I’m at least starting to see how I work. I start with a rough idea for a garment and then gradually build on it as I go. I also try to have one element in each garment that relates to one another especially when it comes to a collection. One example is I like using certain lines in clothing, or shapes such as circles. Because I know my own comfort level of my body, I tend to make the lengths of dresses at a more practical length; I try to make sure that certain details such as straps are comfortable and practical. I design clothing for women of all shapes, sizes, races, ages, personalities etc. I feel anyone deserves to feel beautiful, which is why I hope to begin creating custom work.
Where do you get your inspiration?
In school they often tried to get you inspired by fashion magazines, which can work, but I found it took away from creativity. I think differently when it comes to clothing. Sometimes I almost just picture a dress in my head, ill roughly sketch it out, and then many hours later I can actually produce a garment that I envisioned in my mind! This can be a very hard task, so I knew I was ready to create collections once this was possible. A big inspiration for me is nature; it is all around us and should be more a part of our lives. I also often mimic certain shapes or lines of a women’s body and play off of it.
How long have you been designing? When did you start?
Five years ago I began attending NSCAD University. Before I even arrived I knew I would study fashion. And textiles came hand in hand with it. Since I also took so many textile courses, I feel it changed the outcome of what I produce, but I feel this is a good thing. The last 2 years of my program is when I began the process of designing; because I was in school I gave myself some room for failure as this is the only way I can learn and get stronger. This past year is the first year being away from the University and after all my hard work at getting the details down, I now feel ready to move forward.
Who’s your role model? Why?
I would say I have 2 role models; my parents. Each parent has made me look up to them in their own ways. My mom also sews as does my grandmother. They use to make Halloween costumes and of course my mom has sewn many things over the years that were useful. She isn’t as into making clothes (other than for herself) but she taught me so many things about sewing before I was even thinking of taking up fashion. Not only did she teach me how to sew but vie watched the patience she has for it, the passion and even learning her own little tricks. Anything is possible with sewing if you work at it enough. My dad doesn’t sew but he is creative in other ways. I spent allot of time with my dad learning about many everyday things. He has taught me to be a hard worker, to finish things, to be handy, and even not to be afraid to get my hands dirty. Between my two parents, they’ve shown me not to be afraid to try new things. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for their help, support and love. In ten years from now, where ever I may be, I will be able to say the same thing about the impact they’ve had on my life!
For more info on Amy and her stellar designs, check her out on Facebook!