In 2011 the Mercedes-Benz Start Up (MBSU) program was launched to provide a national platform that discovers and supports the next generation of emerging Canadian fashion designers. Since its inception, MBSU has helped designers develop their business and, in turn, become one of the hottest tickets at World MasterCard Fashion Week (aka: Toronto Fashion Week); where a select group of designers are thrust into the spotlight and present their collections in front of a packed crowd of who’s who, with the hope of winning the program’s grand prize.
Submissions for the program’s next season is taking place this coming August and we want to shed light on how an initiative like MSBU as given support, hope and recognition to upcoming Canadian fashion designers. Malorie Urbanovitch is a 2013 MSBU winner who hails from Edmonton, Alberta, who’s been featured in FASHION magazine and was named by the Globe and Mail as “Top Newcomer.” Urbanovitch is definitely one to watch and this rising fashion star shares her secrets to happiness, life, success and style.
Guilty Pleasure: bad TV
Song: too many to choose
Kimberly Lyn: For many people it takes a lifetime for them to find their own path/purpose, when did you know that you wanted to be a fashion designer?
I wasn't one of those kids who grew up sketching dresses. I didn't figure out that being a designer was even an option until university. I thought anyone who did well in school went into science and became a doctor. Then I realized the smartest people pursue careers that excite and challenge them. I quickly realized that for me that career had to be in fashion.
Can you recall the first piece of clothing you ever designed? What did it look like?
I started out making clothes that were much more experimental than the pieces I make now. The first dress I ever made was in this crazy hairy fabric. I've always been drawn to texture and I still get a lot of inspiration
What made you decide to apply for the Mercedes Benz Start Up competition? It seems like it can be pretty intimidating for upcoming designers.
A friend of mine, Caroline Gault, who is the Alberta correspondent for FASHION told me about the competition and suggested I enter. It was a no brainer. There aren't many opportunities as a Canadian designer to get the mentorship Mercedes Benz Start Up offers and I knew I needed help to move in the right direction.
One of the perks of being a winner of 2013 Mercedes-Benz Start Up is that you have access to work with business experts in the fashion industry and the opportunity to show at World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto. How has this changed the trajectory of your career?
It's changed everything for me. Being able to present a collection in front of everyone who matters in Canadian fashion is every young designer's dream. There is no better way to get noticed. Some of the mentors have also been extremely helpful and continue to go out of their way to do so.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to new designers, what would it be?
Be consistent. Make a collection every season and make each one better than the last.
What are your favourite go-to pieces in your wardrobe?
Jeans and cashmere sweaters.
If you could create a recipe for happiness, what would it contain and why?
Being able to do what you love and make a living doing it. And having friends and family close and making them proud.
If you could spend Sunday brunch with a famous person (celebrity or historical figure), who would it be and why?
Miuccia Prada. She has so much experience. I would love to hear what she has to say about fashion and about life.