Lingerie does wonders for making women feel their absolute sexiest. It can really be that missing piece of the I’m-Not-Feeling-Myself puzzle. Guaranteed you won’t be the only one feeling yourself in With Love Lingerie – a Toronto-based company designed by Carrie Russell-Bakker. This is sexy at its finest.
I interviewed Carrie about her brand, what she loves about fashion in Toronto and how she prepares for a fashion show. Enjoy being the sexiest you ever!
7 Questions with Designer Carrie Russell-Bakker of With Love Lingerie
The Lady-like Leopard: Tell me a little about yourself.
Carrie Russel-Bakker: I’ve always liked to draw and create whether it be writing, painting or sewing. After I completed my bachelor of arts at UWO, I knew I needed to do something that involved hands-on creating. That’s when I went to college for fashion! I really enjoyed the hands on a creating as well as the technical side.
I was hired by a lingerie brand as a designer after graduation and learned valuable lessons about trade shows, production and sourcing. A few seasons later I decided to transition to ready-to-wear to change things up and ran a designer’s studio as well as worked as a production consultant for other Canadian designers.
The work was really exciting and demanding! I decided that if I was going to be pouring blood, sweat and tears into a collection it should be truly my own. That is when I decided to strike out and launch my indie lingerie line With Love Lingerie.
What does fashion mean to you?
CRB: Fashion is a way to express creativity, emotion and project a persona. For me it is a way to show exactly how you feel at that moment in time.
How would you define fashion in Toronto?
CRB: I think Toronto is an interesting mix when it comes to fashion. There are many trend setters here in the city and I’m seeing more and more people taking fashion risks which is very exciting. I am particularly impressed with how dapper Toronto men have become over the last few years. They’re stepping up their fashion game and we ladies better keep up!
What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?
CRB: I started like many kids – sewing doll clothes and doll home furnishings by hand and then graduated to a sewing machine and making/altering garments when I was about 14.
But there are many cringe worthy memories of garments gone wrong but being worn with a ton of pride! I made the most ridiculous gigantic leg pants ever and thought I was the best thing since sliced bread walking down the hall in high school. I made a ton of mistakes design wise and sewing wise but they’ve all brought me to where I am today and I’m sure I’ll make a fumble here or there in the future but C’est La Vie.
What are some of your biggest accomplishments as a designer?
CRB: When I started on a company’s design team I felt so excited when my first design was hanging in a store for sale. I was also flattered when my design skills, pattern drafting, draping and sewing knowledge caught the attention of the Canadian fashion community! In the Fall 2012 issue of Flare magazine and I was also named one of 25 up-and-coming designers.
What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
CRB: Hustle, hustle, hustle and don’t listen to the saying “gotta spend money to make money”. People are always trying to put their hands in your pockets so be careful and research anything before partnering with any event, company or agency. Strike a balance of confidence and humility and always play nice with others.
What are some of your fashion goals?
CRB: First and foremost I’d like to keep designing for the rest of my life. Even as my company grows I always want to be in the centre of the design studio drawing and sample making. I’d like to own my own atelier with a small show room in the front with a few sewers and a pattern maker. I’d like to prove the Canadian’s are sexy too.
Like many folks in the fashion industry I’ve worked in several different creative positions from retail to photo shoot styling, graphic design, marketing, and showroom sales, fashion writing – you name it. Today being in the fashion industry means being a fashion hustler big time!
For more about With Love Lingerie or to shop some sexy pieces, visit the website here. All photos courtesy of With Love Lingerie.