Former FLARE intern and up-and-coming Canadian designer Miss Ashley Rowe

Former FLARE intern turned fashion designer Ashley Rowe

Ashley Rowe

Ashley Rowe

When was the “aha” moment for you—when you realized you wanted to start a clothing label?
The “aha” moment for me happened when I was preparing for an interview at Holt Renfrew in Toronto and could not find anything to wear. My mother had been having her clothes made for years and I decided to have a few pieces made for myself. I realized that there was a niche market for pieces that are luxurious (all my pieces are lined in 100% silk) and focus on fit, quality and fabric. I began developing the miss rowe Spring 2008 collection immediately (and also landed the assistant position to Micheline Burg at Holt Renfrew!)

How did you decide that designing clothes was your calling?
I have always wanted to design but chose to take a different route in Fashion School (graduating from the Fashion Management program at Ryerson). I absolutely love clothing and was always on the search for the “perfect” pieces for my wardrobe. After realizing that such a demand existed, I ended my search and began designing my first collection.

You started out at FLARE as an intern. How was that?
I absolutely loved my experience at FLARE—it was a dream for me. The moment I received the call informing me that I had landed the internship, I was over the moon. Tammy Palmer, Liz Cabral, Derick Chetty (former FLARE editor) and Lisa Tant were all such great mentors and supporters during my internship and continue to be throughout my design career today—it was amazing to see them at my Fall ‘08 launch at Toronto Fashion Week.

Ashley Rowe

Ashley Rowe

miss rowe Fall/Winter 2008

What can we expect for fall?
You can expect lots of black—texturized black pieces, using leather, loop wool, silks, and black cotton poplins. Oversized jackets and vests, high-waisted baggy men’s trousers, decadent hand knit loop wool bustiers and bombers.

How do you feel about the whole eco-conscious movement in design?
My line’s emphasis on quality means that I use luxurious fabrics and I do espouse the use of all-natural materials, whether it’s Egyptian cotton or Lamb’s wool. The eco-movement has not really influenced the way I approach design, however I think that may change.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not designing?
I really enjoy fabric shopping and going to textile museums to get inspired. In Toronto, I love fabric shopping on Queen West.

Ashley Rowe

Ashley Rowe

Todd Lynn Fall/Winter 2008

What inspires you?
My mother Judith Rowe—from the 70’s pieces I find in her closet to the pieces she’s currently having custom made—as well as the people and places I see in everyday life.

Who is your favourite Canadian designer?
Todd Lynn. I love that his pieces are androgynous and only a few of each are produced each season (which makes his pieces even more desirable!). His opening all-white look from his fall/winter 2008 collection was to die for.

Zdenka Turecek