First off, y'all know that I've linked up with The SWAP Team to host Calgary's first ever "Take Your Clothes Off" clothing swap event this Spring. Well I just may have secured a venue and I've got a local radio station interested in assisting with some promotion. I'll keep you guys posted with the details in a couple of days.
But secondly, I am super excited about the interview that I'm about to post for y'all tonight. Now if you're from Canada and love fashion then you should be well aware of the "Project Runway Canada" series, (to my American peeps, we've got our own version too!) As far as I know, Season 3 hasn't started as yet, but Season 2 was "off the hook".
Hands down, the contestants on the show were extremely talented, however I connected with one designer in particular (even though it was via the tv screen lol).
That my friends, was with Ms. Jessica Biffi, cause she's got swagger & style and seems so down to earth. I absolutely love the "urban" vibe that I get when I see her designs, so I had to holla at her for an interview. I am pleased to introduce (or re-introduce) you to the ever-so-fabulous Jessica Biffi!
What city do you currently live in?
I live in Toronto, just moved to the west end!
What made you decide to become a designer? And can you let us know how you got started?
I just always loved to draw, and for the most part it was always clothing. I made Barbie clothing with my grandma when I was really little. My mom is a seamstress, so its been around me my whole life, and one day I just decided that I wanted to make clothing. As I started getting more and more into it in high school, I realized that I had a natural talent for it. From there I went to Ryerson, for fashion design, and then got on Project Runway, and have been going ever since.
Now, most of us do recognize you from Season Two's Project Runway Canada. So, I'm dying to know. What was it like being on the show?
It was amazing, scary and crazy all at the same time. I mean, I'm not shy, so the cameras didn't phase me, but there was a lot of drama, as we all got to see on the show, and that was all real. It was just hard to have to deal with the competition and with the egos and drama on top of it. But that being said, it was one of the most incredible things that I have ever been a part of. To be a well known Canadian designer is amazing! The show launched my career, let me get my foot into the door, and showed Canada what I can do. And I met some amazing people on the show, and made some great friends .
What gets you inspired?
Everything! I look at a feather, a person, listen to a song, come up with stories for "characters", mix opposites together. I'm all over the place, and no, one thing inspires me. I look everywhere for inspiration.
Do you ever feel uninspired? If so, how do you get over the slump?
I do, I think every creative person does. When I get like that I just take some time way from everything, just do the opposite of what I was trying to do, so it isn't forced and let it come back to me naturally.
Are there upcoming shows or collaborations in the works for this year?
I am working on an accessory line, and maybe you might see it sported on some runways soon. I'm always working with a Canadian retail to launch two capsule collections under my name. More about that to come, though.
Other than through your site (http://www.jessicabiffi.com/), where else can one find your designs?
Right now the online store is coming along. And retail locations will be posted on my website soon as well.
I know that this is a bit off topic, but what is the one fashion piece that you just can't live without?
I'm an accessory and shoe fiend! I have a pair of gold leather Supra Skytops that I love, and can't live without, and my 3 finger knuckle rings from Delphic is always on me, unless I'm at the airport - then I check those bad boys.
Any advice for newbies starting out?
Do what you love. Have a strong voice and stay true to yourself and what you want to say. This is a hard industry and you need to keep that in mind, but not let that hold you back. Take risks, and make connections, and listen to people that have been around - especially if they are still around, means they are doing something right!
Where do you see yourself in 5yrs.?
I see myself this doing what I love - designing! In five years, I hope to have the brand a little more established. In stores across Canada, and breaking the US market.
Now it's time to reveal my fave "Jessica Biffi" pieces. I'll start off with images from the Project Runway Canada Final Collection~
If you'd like to follow Jessica Biffi - Check her out on twitter:
Or join her Facebook Fan page:
Just letting you know - The photographer for Jessica Biffi's collection is George Pimentel/Wireimage and the portrait photo of Jessica is by Caitlin Cronenberg.