The designer Michelle Maynard from Ontario, Canada kicks off a new series of Paloni’s designer interviews.
Left: Michelle wearing a Simone’s Rose Joan wrap dress – one series of these delights are on their way from Michelle’s studio to Paloni.
Right: Michelle working at her studio, taking care of every detail of each Simone’s Rose piece.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
I’m an independent girl who likes to look at things from a different perspective and believes that dreams come true if you work at it hard enough!
How would you describe your label Simone’s Rose in five words?
Chic, sustainable, romantic, unique and wearable.
Why handmade / locally produced?
I worked for a ‘made in China’ label for several years which opened my eyes to how most of the products in the world are manufactured. When I left to start my own label I decided that I would do things differently and produce garments locally – and/or with some thought about who is making the products (or supplies), how the makers of these products are treated and how the environment is affected as well.
How is Simone’s Rose ethical / ecological and what does this mean to you?
I choose to use organic, vintage, fair trade or factory end fabrics for my label… although I do sometimes have to purchase new – I will make sure these purchases support local, small businesses. Being ethical and having a positive impact ecologically means making choices with some thought! Every decision we make in our day to day lives affects the people and the world around us.
What are your most important sources of influence / inspiration?
Much of my inspiration comes from researching different places or people of the world but when it comes down to designing a specific piece it is usually the fabric / textiles that will determine the final outcome of the design. The unique structure, weight, color and drape of a textile (whether it be beautiful or full of flaws) can throw me into deep thought and inspire so many ideas – I don’t have the words to explain where this inspiration comes from!
How has your experience as a Paloni designer been?
In one word: Wonderful! Paloni is such a unique home for creative works by so many talented designers – I am blessed and so happy to work with Minna to provide her customers with pieces that will work with their style. It has been a pleasure and I hope to continue building a clientele at Paloni for a long time!
Left: Here’s some foretaste of the Simone’s Rose Spring/Summer 2012 collection – soon available at Paloni, too. The Sevigny crop blazer is made with an eco-friendly fabric containing 55% organic cotton and 45% hemp. The Sandra tunic has been detailed with hand dyed silk bands, but the main material is a soft bamboo viscose.
Right:These Simone’s Rose Katie wide leg pants are currently available at Paloni.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
I hate to say this because it came from someone who’s views and values I disagree with but this person told me many times to “Pick my battles” which has stuck with me ever since. Sometimes you have to let things go and look at the big picture – choose your battles wisely!
Your words of advice for aspiring designers / artists?
- Be ready to work hard and pull yourself back up when you get knocked down. Its not easy to succeed in this business!
- Don’t be afraid to accept or ask for help when you don’t know the answer.
- Listen and learn as much as you can from everyone around you.
- Create a unique voice for yourself and your works – everything you put out into the world should have meaning, thought and passion behind it.
What is the most memorable highlight of your career as a designer so far?
I am truly blessed that I have been able to do what I do and have travelled all over the world as a designer but as simple as it may seem – the highlight has been to start my own label and build something I am proud of! I hope to have many more memorable experiences and successes in my future but I will never forget these years of building the foundation of something with meaning.
Please continue the following sentence: My passion is…
Simone’s Rose. This question is so great because it relates back to the name of my business which represents ‘my passion’. Simone was my grandmother and I always felt like her passion / what made her happy was to work in her garden and with her roses. I chose this name because it represents what I am passionate about – my label is much more than a ‘clothing line’ to me. It carries with it my beliefs and the hope for change.