This year marks TÉLIO’s 10th annual Canada’s Breakthrough Designers Competition and with Rebecca (our amazing Design Competition Coordinator) being away this summer, Valerie, her intern from last year, stepped in to take over until she gets back! I took the time to sit down with Valérie Duval to ask her a few questions about being in Rebecca’s shoes for the preparations of this year’s competition; LUX(e).
Q: Your internship at TÉLIO turned into so much more, how exciting is that! We were all so happy to hear that you would be taking over while Rebecca was away, I couldn’t think of anyone better to do the job! What is your favourite part about working on the competition?
To be honest I can’t pick just one! First and foremost I love working at TÉLIO, it’s one big family and everyone is so kind and generous here! Since I am designer, I love fabrics, so another favourite is being around so many amazing fabrics in different styles, textures, colors etc… I am really happy to now know how this whole part of the fashion industry works and I am very lucky that this summer, I had the chance to put some of my ideas into creating the 2015 edition!
Another favorite part of the job is how much creativity I get to use for the competition, when i’m doing research to find ideas for the theme, writing the theme Description, helping Jeanne choose all the fabrics, helping Katelyn with the photography of the fabrics, working on a video etc… but most of all one of my favourite memories of all time was last february, during my time here as an intern, when I got to see all the sparkling eyes of the students that were so proud of their work. It was incredible, and I am looking forward to experiencing that again this year.
Q: Many people don’t realize how much work goes into this event, what does a “normal” day look like for you?
A: I can’t really say that I have a routine since everything that goes into the competition happens throughout a full year, so it always depends on what I am working on at that moment. In general I start my day by checking my emails and then I meet with the project director; Sonia Serfaty where we plan tasks for the next few days. My daily tasks usually include contacting our partners or school representatives as well as preparing documents and communications.
Lately I have been working hard on finding the jury for our 2015 panel, cutting fabrics samples to send to the schools and updating the 2015 Intro Manual. I have also been working with Bianca Charneau, the graphic designer and the merchandising assistant to create all the visual aspects for the competition. I am also in charge of the competitions Facebook page which is fun!
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of this job?
A:I find the most challenging part is being in charge of all the communications for the competition. Having to write official documents is not an easy task. I end up reading them over and over a thousand times until they are perfect!
Q: What are some of the things you are going to take away with you from this experience?
I have always been an organized person, but now I have to say that I am ten times more organized due to this job. I have also learned that taking your time to do things perfectly is the way to go. I was always the kind of person who worked pretty fast and forgot to pay attention to the smaller details as I went.
Q: What advice could you give students wishing to compete in this competition?
A:The most important thing to keep in mind is to put passion into every step, and take your time so you can put your best effort into every part of the project.
The drawing has to be very attractive, artistic and the details have to be absolutely clear. It would help a lot if you do a quick sample garment of your design before the official sketch. This will help you see the whole picture and after that you can give it more details in the sketch. Showing the judges a picture of this mock up with the sketch will really help them understand the design better.
Once you are chosen to be part of the 25 finalists and realize your design, I suggest that you work very hard on the pattern, the finishing details, the quality and the fitting of the garment.
The most important part is to believe in your design and put all of your soul and love into it.
Q: What are your plans once Rebecca comes back?
A:I am going back to school, to complete the final year of my bachelor’s degree. I wish I could stay with TÉLIO, they are an amazing team and will be missed…
Thank you Val!