Interview with Christopher Bates: One of Canada’s Top Menswear Designers

1) How and when did you get your start in fashion?

I started in 2006 when I moved to Milan to study fashion design at Istituto Marangoni.

2) Do you have muse?

I have several muses, but my primary muse is Sean Connery’s James Bond. It wasn’t just about the beautiful clothes he wore, it was more about the way he wore them. He had so much confidence and swagger.

3) What type of music are you listening to right now?

I listen to Depeche Mode the most. I just saw them live in Rome and then again in Bologna in June. I’m also going to their show in Toronto onSeptember 3rd.

4) What part of the job as a designer do you LOVE. What part of being a designer do you DETEST (be honest now).

My favourite moment is seeing my designs come to life as prototypes.

My least favourite part of being a designer is the lack of time I get to spend actually designing. The majority of my time is spent managing all of the other aspects of running a business: logistics, administration, finance etc…

5) What three designers inspire you and why?

-Ralph Lauren: he’s built an international lifestyle empire which is my goal.

-Dean & Dan Caten of Dsquared2: for starting from Canada and achieving international success.

-Yves Saint Laurent (the founder): for creating beautiful and tasteful clothing.

6) What do you love about Vancouver and what do you DETEST about Vancouver (be honest now). 

-Vancouver is my hometown so my family and friends foremost. Also, when it’s sunny it’s the most beautiful city in the world.

-My least favourite aspects of Vancouver is the weather from October to June. It is too rainy and cloudy. Also, the price of housing is extreme.

7) What words of advice would you give to someone starting off in the business that you wish you had been given when you were starting out.

I would advise starting small. Find a niche and focus on a very limited product range. Producing an entire collection is expensive and difficult to sell to retailers.

8) If your house was burning down what three things would you make sure you took out with you?

Laptop, cell phone, back-up disk drive.

9) Do your parents approve of you being a designer.

Absolutely, my mom has been my biggest supporter since day 1.

10) If you were not a fashion designer what other job would you like to be doing?

I’d like to be chef. Cooking is my favourite hobby.

11) What is the one fashion trend you wish had never happened



Gallery of Christopher’s Fashion for Fall 2017