Maker Series: Interview with Anneke Forbes

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Two Button Overcoat:  Anneke Forbes   Yellow and Black Check Dress:  Ten Thousand Villages   Wire Fringe Pendant Set Necklace & Skyscrapers Earrings:  Kari Woo   Photography:  Ally C Tran  | Model:  Sade Babatunde

Two Button Overcoat: Anneke Forbes
Yellow and Black Check Dress: Ten Thousand Villages
Wire Fringe Pendant Set Necklace & Skyscrapers Earrings: Kari Woo

Photography: Ally C Tran | Model: Sade Babatunde

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.

When I was a teenager, my mother gave me a coat she had made when she was in college. The ivory wool was soft with wear, and the meticulous bound buttonholes and a hand-embroidered red satin lining relayed my mother's craftsmanship and care. The beauty of this garment and the sentimentality attached inspired me to create this collection.

The idea of clothing as an heirloom is missing from our current fashion mindset. To inspire a return to a time when it was treasured, I use luxurious natural fabrics, bespoke tailoring techniques, and classic design. I strive to create garments that will survive both daily wear and passing trends so your children can cherish your jackets as much as you do. To add an extra layer of love, customization options like personalized fit and fabric choices can be requested to take my ready-to-wear pieces from made beautifully to made just for you.

2. Why is consciously made important to you? And how do you integrate it into your business?

I have two reasons for my clothing to be consciously made. Firstly, I want the craft of sewing to be respected once again. It is an art form that takes talent and time, but it will never receive the reverence it deserves so long as its products are undervalued. Secondly, I want to create clothing that is treasured and lasts more than a lifetime, and I don’t believe you can do this using unethical production practices.

To support my mission of increasing the value of garments, I produce just two jacket styles per year. This is a number that I feel is currently sustainable for me and my Calgary-based team under happy, healthy conditions. We create one size run, so people can try them on, but mainly work off of pre-order so materials aren’t wasted on unspoken-for jackets. I also design using mostly natural fabrics, often from rescued dead stock. My branding collateral is all printed on paper created from 100% cotton linters, which are fibres recovered from the manufacture of other cotton products, like clothing. Transparency and education are at the heart of my business. Anyone can visit my studio to watch the production process and sourcing and production information is always listed in product descriptions. I talk through design decisions on social media and explain my direct-to-consumer pricing model to curious inquirers because what’s the point in making sustainable clothing if no one knows why it’s important?

3. What creative fodder is on your radar lately?

-I am currently working with fibre artist Natalie Gerber on a custom print for my Spring 2020 jacket. I find collaboration super inspiring, and her beautiful work and open mind make it even more so.

The Fall 2019 Menswear shows, particularly Hermes, Isabel Marant, and Berluti. I don’t really follow womenswear, but am constantly referencing menswear themes in my work.

The Instagram stories of Coco Rocha. I love her husband’s cinematic captures, and she’s always fabulous even with a kid on each hip. As a mom of 3 boys under 3, women like this inspire me to make time for the things I love, including my business.

You can see more of Anneke’s work and exciting projects on her website: .annekeforbes.com

Fashion Revolution YYC