As we often hear, “this is a man's world” but here, it's more of a woman's story. Indeed, you surely know it, behind MARIGOLD hides a designer passionate about fashion and her team made up of 2 other women sharing the same passion. And today, we take you to meet these 3 different but complementary profiles that make up the team.
Where/How did your interest in fashion originate?
Very very young (about 3/4 years old), my grandmother taught me to sew to make dresses for my dolls. She was once a milliner and she produced wedding dresses. Moreover, it is surely from there that I get my ambitious side which pushed me to want to produce my own line of dresses and among other wedding dresses. Then there is my father, who always sewed fur mittens because he was a hunter and trapper. So I learned to sew by hand with him while watching movies on TV. A father/daughter ritual haha. What pushed me, from the age of 7, to take lessons in a sewing school. I always wanted to be like Canada's next Chanel haha.
I believe that fashion is a story of grandmothers. One left me her needles, yarn and fabric and the other taught me how to knit. I wanted to become a stylist, my parents gave me a book of silhouettes with templates to make clothes, I think every fashion fan received this gift once in their life haha. And I loved DIY, I collected a "do it yourself" magazine with glitter glues...! Naturally I headed for applied arts and design studies, I had a blast, creative studies are great. At the end of my master's I was lucky enough to have a job at MARIGOLD.
From my adolescence, in Thailand, I became familiar with the craft of sewing. After having chained jobs in several fields, I arrived in Canada in 2006 where I ended up working for Annie 50 for almost 8 years before joining the MARIGOLD team.
I would say that my interest in fashion was born with the need to stand out. Indeed, since childhood, I found myself having to wear a uniform most of my time. Not great to stand out from the crowd, right? But by small details, I tended to stand out from the others where some did not even pay attention. Little by little, it became a bit like a trademark for me. People knew me as someone who is into fashion and streetwear and it may seem surprising but when you grow up on a small island like mine where the main industry is anything but fashion, it was almost unique to wear something different from others at this level, not to “look like everyone else” in some way.
What is your role within the team/during the creative process?
I am at the same time designer, owner and founder of the MARIGOLD brand, finally I am the artistic director. I have a global vision of the company, and I know where I'm headed. My years of experience and the numerous exchanges with clients (they are MARIGOLD), allow me to align my brand towards what it is.
Generally, during the creative process, it's me who is the last word and who gives the direction from where we are going. Also, I have always loved patronage; Going from 2D (paper or fabrics) to a three-dimensional garment to cover the human body is the step that has always fascinated me the most. It is crucial when constructing a garment and that has always piqued my interest. It is therefore particularly close to my heart to personally make all the patterns in the collection. I also think that this whole structure is what makes the quality of a garment; ensure that a garment fits as many body types as possible. It's a big challenge in fashion, in addition to ensuring that the materials are well chosen. I make it my personal mission by fully supervising this step, which is patronage.
I imagine the collections with Marilyne, I help her with the selection of materials, with trend and stylistic research and technical drawings. I also design the patterns and create visual content for the brand's various media. I welcome customers in the shop during the week and advise them. I handle online orders and wholesale orders. I have several caps finally haha.
My job mainly consists of working with Marilyne and Fanny to ensure the development of the collection. This consists in particular in the production of samples but also the realization of small internal production or the realization of "repeat". I also sometimes take care of making semi-custom pieces according to customer requests.
On weekends I assist the team in the various tasks relating to communication, marketing or even merchandising. And I hold the position of sales consultant.
I was looking for an internship to complete my 2nd year of Bac when I came across the internship bank on MARIGOLD's announcement. Very quickly, I took a closer interest in the brand and I found the way in which it approached the field of fashion interesting because when you are young, most of the time, you are often "encouraged" to consume fast-fashion for various reasons but I would say mainly in relation to our budget which is limited and also because we are not always aware of the negative impact it can have in this industry and more broadly the consequences for the planet. What's more, from my first interview with Marilyne, I immediately got on well with her and I found it admirable to see how her passion drove her to pursue her dream and make it a reality. Choosing MARIGOLD was therefore an opportunity for me to live an experience that was both human and professional in an atmosphere filled with benevolence, motivation and creativity.
Of course, I've always wanted to have my line of women's clothing, so the question didn't really arise. I just wanted to do it because I've always been quite determined to want to build my brand but obviously before all that, I wanted to do my classes so I started working in other companies. Unfortunately, they did not always correspond to my principles and this pushed me even more to want to create a brand in accordance with my values (eco/socio-responsible). I've always said “there are too many clothes on planet Earth so you just have to make/just create new ones, I want it done the right way”. So that's why I think it was essential to launch MARIGOLD.
And a little anecdote about precisely why MARIGOLD is that at its beginnings, more precisely the first 2 seasons, the line was simply called Marilyne Baril and it was only coats (fall/winter 2013). And as soon as 2014 arrived, I noticed that it might be interesting to also offer a few things for the summer. So I launched a line of dresses called MARIGOLD. It was in the summer of 2015 that I decided to unify everything to only keep MARIGOLD, a name given by my friends which refers to my first car which was gold (gold color) combined with my nickname (husband). I thought it was a beautiful name and then it echoed the flower, yellow, sparkling...and I like this somewhat round and very graphic aesthetic.
I did my 3rd year internship here! I loved my experience in Montreal, both the work with Marilyne and the city (I spent the summer there, the best part of the year). My goal was to finish my studies and return to Montreal at MARIGOLD. It worked and I've been here for 2 and a half years now! I like working for a responsible and local company, I share Marilyne's values, there are too many clothes on earth, so it's important to do it the right way. Having control over the creation and production process is also a great privilege; our manufacturing steps are transparent and we personally know each actor involved. It's a stimulating environment.
One day my husband was walking down the street and came across the shop. He immediately told me about it and accompanied me to submit my application. I very quickly got hooked on the style of the brand and I found the pieces magnificent. So I knew that by joining this team, I would inevitably find myself there.
What are your goals for MARIGOLD?
We have made good progress with the opening of the store over a year ago, the brand has had a great boost thanks to that, so I hope it will be profitable for us in the long term. I want us to continue to highlight local and Quebec fashion, that we continue to raise awareness about this industry and that we all choose eco-responsible clothing together. I hope MARIGOLD will become a go-to place for local fashion for as many of us as possible.
How do you see the sequel?
My vision for the coming years is to grow MARIGOLD. But how to do that? It is, among other things, to allow the community to grow and retain our customers who share our values, but above all to grow the team because it is with the members who make up the team that we can really build something. I think it's really important this aspect of complementarity and teamwork that you don't necessarily find when you move forward alone. So in my opinion, for MARIGOLD to grow, I think it's important for the team to grow with her and to manage to structure everything. With our arrival in the new store, I think I can say that everything is in place for the team to grow and to encourage the growth of MARIGOLD. And then we are all the more motivated because we have a really invested clientele that we adore and that inspires us to always create more new pieces that correspond to them and pushes us to move the brand forward.
How was your arrival in the team?
I very quickly felt like I belonged there. The work entrusted to me is interesting. The tasks are diverse. The working atmosphere within the company is more relaxing and less stressful than in other companies. Marilyne and her team welcomed me with great kindness and friendliness (and especially Oscar haha).
As soon as I arrived, I was immediately welcomed with open arms into the full team. This may seem trivial, but personally I don't think that such a welcome would have been reserved for me in all companies. I learned a lot from these women, each with a different background, but above all, I was able to explore areas that I didn't even think I would touch one day because it was always a question of not confining oneself to one's skills and to show initiative. And even if this experience remains above all professional, the relationships between the different members of the team are human.
Written by Fiona RELIMIEN for MARIGOLD