Montreal’s best head to London Fashion Week: 7 designers who are going international for Fall 2014

Melissa Nepton London Fashion Week Fall 2014
Mélissa Nepton photography by Neil Mota

Melissa Nepton London Fashion Week Fall 2014
Mélissa Nepton photography by Neil Mota

The absence of Montreal Fashion Week this season has not diminished the energy of our local designers. Au contraire. Within the framework and sartorial hoopla of London Fashion Week, seven of our city’s finest talents have jetted to the U.K. to present their Fall 2014 wares. A stream of press and buyers at the British Fashion Council’s International Fashion Showcase awaits…

Montreal represent! The designers in question are:

1. Anastasia Radevich is known for crafting cutting-edge shoes for women that blur the line between footwear and art. Less intimidating, she also has a line of “everyday shoes.”

2. Les tricots Breed, founded by Frédérique Sarrazin and Ariane Michaud, specializes in urban knits and other casual separates for men.

3. LYN by Jocelyn Picard offers crocheted garments for the modern woman. Currently living in Whitechapel (East London), he made his name by working with Montreal icon Denis Gagnon.

4. Mélissa Nepton delivers edgy sportswear for urban-minded women. She was the grand-prize winner last year in the Target competition.

5. THERE ARE MANY OF US is a line of high-end leather goods by Karl Latraverse that successfully balances form and function with good taste.  

6. Unttld by duo Simon Bélanger and José Manuel St-Jacques has garnered a cult following for their artistic yet accessible (read: highly coveted) collection for ladies.

7. Pedram Karimi was a finalist in the Mercedes-Benz Start Up competition last year. His solid unisex collection impresses with strong, clean-lined silhouettes.

Artistic producer Hans Koechling was key in mentoring this select group. He was also responsible for orchestrating the “Montreal White Winter Fashion City” theme where, as he notes, “individual styles have been curated and edited for maximum impact.” Regarding this unique opportunity, Koechling adds, “Internationally, you get this one chance to make an impression. Image and brand message are more important than ever. Price, quality and craftsmanship must be apparent throughout to compete on the global market.”

Our designers, tellingly, have their eyes on the prize indeed. Mélissa Nepton, who’s been on a steady ascent since her Target win, says of her eponymous label, “As we are growing rapidly we are always looking towards exportation as the future of the company. This event fits perfectly with these objectives.”

Similarly, Karl Latraverse admits this is his third time presenting on this side of the pond, which has been his focus since he debuted his line “There Are Many Of Us” less than a year ago. Ever grateful to his homeland, Latraverse understands that in today’s marketplace one’s goal must be to think globally: “I think that what the CCMQ (Conseil des créateurs de mode du Québec) is doing is what designers in Montreal need. They’re opening doors like nobody did before.”

Last night, Montrealer-turned-Londoner Thomas Tait attended London Fashion Week’s anticipated Champagne opening. (You might already know that Tait studied at Lasalle College then went on to do his MA at Central Saint Martins. He is presently based in London where he officially launched his self-named label.) Here’s raising a glass to Montreal’s next generation of talent.