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The Man Behind Alfred-Marcel

Born in Northern Ontario, in the small town of Kapuskasing, Pascal Gagnon came to Ottawa to study International Business at the University of Ottawa. Little did he know, that he would have such an impact on the Ottawa fashion scene. Through the years, he was able to develop his own fashion brand: Alfred-Marcel. I sat down for an interview with Pascal to learn how he got his start in the fashion industry and his plans for the future.

Pascal never studied fashion or design. "I was hopeless at sewing’’ he says laughing.  However, he's always had natural sense of creativity.  When Pascal was young, he took art class in school,  but he got started in fashion design thanks to his mother: ‘’She’d always sew Halloween costumes for me and it intrigued me why she wouldn’t make real clothes - ones that you wear every day.’’  ‘’I don’t know what clothes to make’’ she replied when Pascal asked.  He simply answered: ‘’I can tell you!’’.   So that’s how his story as a designer began, he would design and his mother would sew. 

However, the brand Alfred-Marcel was not launched until 2010, when Pascal realized what he could bring to the market. He didn’t hesitate much about creating his own clothing line, he wanted to so he went for it. Alfred-Marcel was born with Pascal as creative director and his team of 4 couturiers.

Until now, he has only designed spring and summer collections, never fall and winter, for lack of time and inspiration.‘’I find winter sad and uninspiring, but summer is more colourful and interesting.’’   

He wanted to bring elegance, quality, confidence and sensuality to women through his designs.  He defines his clothes as prêt-à-porter with a good balance between wearable and innovative.  ‘’Not the type of extravagant clothes in haute couture or the plain clothes that you can buy everywhere, but an in-between. […] I make sure the clothes are of quality; a product made in Canada, Italy and other parts of Europe.‘’

I remember seeing Alfred-Marcel's collection back in September 2013, at Ottawa Fashion Week, where I was amazed by the designs, the colours and the sensuality of the clothes.  I remember thinking to myself that the models, all dressed up in the designer’s creations, looked like sexy executive assistants - not too vulgar though!

I asked him what he had to say about the style of U Ottawa’s collegiettes and what tips he could give them:

"I’ve seen many girls on campus not trying to dress up!  It doesn’t give a positive image of yourself; if you don’t care, it’ll reflect on your personality.  So, just the effort of trying is good.  Layers and accessories will give you the style that you look for in an outfit."

When I asked him where he saw Alfred-Marcel in 10 years, Pascal told me that he’ll work hard on getting his company well-known, maybe to a level of affordable luxury, like Micheal Kors or Coach. He wishes to open stores, be featured in magazines and continue to participate in Fashion Weeks.

Keep an eye out for future events featuring Alfred-Marcel:  "We will be at Angie’s Models and Talent International Annual Showcase and we want to do Ottawa Fashion Week in Fall 2014."

Alfred-Marcel will also be featured in Her Campus Annual Fashion Show – Catwalk for Cure on January 25th. If you would like to see his designs on the runway at the NAC next weekend, make sure to purchase your tickets on www.catwalkforthecure.com

You can check out or purchase Alfred-Marcel's clothes on their website: www.alfredmarcel.com

Be sure to visit the Alfred-Marcel Facebook page, if you want to keep up to date with their upcoming shows and latest collections!

Living and breathing Fashion! I'm making a mission of my life to find the new trends and styles à la mode by working with the most fascinating people I know... Twitter : JulienGBois
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