I met Katherine Soucie of Sans Soucie almost ten year ago through my daughter who was doing a little freelance modeling at the time. The designer’s eco line created from reclaimed hosiery was a true eye opener – the most unique garments I had seen to date. When I answered a Craigslist ad from a New York magazine looking for submissions in 2006, Soucie was one of those first few interviews I conducted. Thankfully she was patient with my total inexperience. I was at least enthusiastic.

Soucie has been there through my journey from to become a writer, editor, magazine co-owner and published author – encouraging my efforts and offering great advice to let go of limitations and think big. I have interviewed her at least four times over the last decade for articles and was privileged to accompany her to New York a few years ago to help assist her backstage at a show. It was a honour to be allowed to include her story in my book Life Outside the Box: The Extraordinary Journeys of 10 Unique Individuals (February 2015).

Fashion Designer is only one facet of Soucie’s very full resume. She is also a highly respected teacher, an environmentalist, an artist, a writer, a social activist and a life-long student. Never one to let herself get stagnate she is always exploring new directions and techniques . Discarded industry machines experience a rebirth in her studio and are lovingly given dinosaur names.

What most drew me to her story was how Sans Soucie came to be. It all started with a student project.


WWW.METROLIVINGZINE.COM NEWS IMAGE CREDIT: PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROB MATHARU


WWW.METROLIVINGZINE.COM NEWS IMAGE CREDIT: PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROB MATHARU


WWW.METROLIVINGZINE.COM NEWS IMAGE CREDIT: PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROB MATHARU


What is your current career(s) – paid and unpaid?

I am an Artist, Craftsperson, Designer, Entrepreneur, Writer and Animal Rescuer/Activist.

Can you share an interesting thing (or two) about your journey to reach this moment?

Well, I have chosen a path that is often less travelled. My recipe involves a great deal of determination, focus, passion, energy and well…. faith. I have many amazing stories that I can pool from and am eternally grateful for all the experiences and people I have met who have contributed to my journey.

I think the most compelling aspect to my journey would be to reveal the special relationship I have with my materials and tools. I have to acknowledge this because without it I would not be where I am today. I started working with hosiery in 2002 and I would never have imagined that this material would be responsible for my career but it clearly has a purpose beyond its intended use. This isn’t to say that its intended use isn’t valid, in fact it is. I personally love wearing hosiery and tights. It’s just that I have been fortunate to specialize in something ( which isn’t encouraged in today’s industry….) that has led me to acquire a strong, intimate knowledge of this cloth structure and the creative possibilities is has to offer as a material resource in the field of art and design.

What 3 things would you like people to know about you to give them a sense of who you really are?

  1. I like my creative privacy/anonymity (Vancouver allows me to maintain this)
  2. I am a yogi and Buddhist.
  3. I am a fashion and textile archeologist.

Highest moment so far?

Representing BC and Canada in London at Canada House (Trafalgar Square) during the London Design Festival in 2015. The Design in Canada exhibition held there hosted 50 designers from BC who were former recipients of the BC Creative Achievement Awards (me, 2006). I was fortunate to be asked to represent on behalf of the exhibition and award.

What are you working on right now? In the next 6 months?

( Next 6 months) Working on co-curating a retrospective travelling exhibition of my archive over the past 13 years alongside localartists/artisans who are currently producing rugs, embroideries and jewelry from the waste I produce. My studio practice and making is always in flux. I am balancing between making my accessory lines for the holiday season and interior/home pieces for 2016.

Who and/or what inspires you?

Music, nature and travel always fuel my creative process, but I would have to say that history is an underlying current that mends it all together. I am currently fascinated by the history of theatre and performance and am inspired by the story of Arlechino + Pierrot. I feel a constant connection and inspiration from the artists and designers from the turn of the last century. Between the Belle Epoque/Art Nouveau to Art Deco artists in textiles, painting, fashion, photography and sculpture such as Sonia Delaunay, Elsa Schiaparelli, Mariano Fortuny, Georgia O’Keefe, Alfred Steiglitz, Salvador Dali, etc, etc. Plus this era connected to a time where jazz, blues came to be…the forefathers of Rock n Roll and Hip Hop. All my fav genres of music!

How do you personally define success?

When you are able to break free from any and all insecurities around who you are and what you do. It’s about creating a space for your voice and identity to be heard and to cultivate and support the community that surrounds it. Ultimately though, success is about mastering something we are passionate about, capturing it, valuing it and sharing it — leading the way for others to be inspired and interpret it in their own way.

Favourite quote?

Confucius: He who depends on himself will attain his greatest happiness. ( it is actually tattooed on my leg)

Links

  1. www.sanssoucie.ca
  2. www.katherinesoucie.com
  3. www.circlecraft.net