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A true Vancouver citizen knows how to handle the drizzle, but sometimes you just need a little something extra in the wardrobe department when a downpour hits. Luckily, Trout Rainwear offers up an alternative that looks stylish and works to keep you dry. Check out this Q&A with the ladies behind the label, Jenn Lancefield, Ashley McDonald and Sarah Hopgood to learn more.
Valerie Tiu: You all come from diverse backgrounds in the music and fashion industries. Can you tell us a little bit about your experiences?
Trout Rainwear: Jenn has a background in finance and years of experience working in the music industry in NYC. She’s our marketing guru! Ashley has a background in retail. She’s worked on the buying teams for Selfridges (UK) as well as Holt Renfrew in Canada. She runs the daily operations of Trout Rainwear and oversees all on-goings of the business. Sarah is a Parsons graduate who has experience designing for major brands like Theory in NYC, Ports 1961 in Hong Kong, and The Hudson’s Bay Company. She has a complex understanding of the garment industry. We’re a strong team as we all bring something unique to the table!
VT: How did it all get started?
TR: We’ve always dreamed about starting our own line. We noticed a gap in the market for stylish yet functional rainwear and jumped on it!
VT: How do you describe your aesthetic?
TR: Classic and minimalist.
VT: Who wears Trout Rainwear?
TR: Women who are confident, busy, style-conscious, upwardly mobile, classic and adventurous. A strong woman who knows that looking good is about how you feel – and staying dry!
VT: Function clearly plays a significant role in your designs. Tell us about the science behind your pieces.
TR: Each seam is sealed with tape that is applied with heat and bonded to the fabric to prevent leakage and peeling. This along with our Italian double-faced cotton and polyurethane blend fabric creates a waterproof jacket and adds visual appeal without sacrificing comfort.
VT: Having your pieces designed in Toronto and made in Vancouver, you must have a specific development process. Can you talk a bit about this?
TR: Sketches are done and patterns are created in Toronto, then we ship everything to Vancouver to be assembled. Samples are sent back to us in Toronto for revision. Tweaks are made and either another sample is created or the design goes into production. There’s a lot of back and forth between the two cities, but it works and we love the fact that it’s all done in Canada!
VT: You made your debut last spring – what was the biggest challenge that you have had so far?
TR: Having enough stock to fill every women’s colour and size choice.
VT: How do you envision the future of Trout Rainwear?
TR: We want to stick with the core pieces playing with new colours and introduce a new style each season.