Although Angelica Timas has two Master’s degrees in Professional Studies in Informatics, and Computer Science, it was her love for fashion that brought her designs onto the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week this season. “Her culture, her history, nature, her love for architecture and the simple things that life has to offer” are what keep her hands busy with software developing, fashion design, and spending time with her family.

The inspiration behind her eponymous label is a strong, confident woman named Chikke. Like Timas, “she has a versatile yet unique taste which makes her have a style all her own.” Her designs are wearable, and simple while remaining luxurious, using asymmetry, and minimalism to give each collection an exclusive look.

How and When did you get your start in fashion?

After high school, life circumstances didn’t allow me to pursue a fashion degree as I needed to make an income to sustain myself. I pursued Computer Science instead in order to make a decent salary after graduating. At age 39 into 40, I was going through a very difficult time in my life, and found myself questioning my reason for being. When I turned 40, I felt an immediate void. While clearing out my basement, I came across a couple of boxes of sketches I had piled along the years, and I contemplated if this is what was missing, and asked myself, “Why not?”. My decision to launch Angelica Timas came from my love for fashion, and a desire to express myself. It was also my scapegoat; it kept me from thinking about life’s hardships, and personal battles. Today, I believe that it is what kept me from sinking into depression. Subsequently, I submerged into it fully, and fashion designing became my “me” time.

I have no formal training in fashion; everything I know, all skills acquired, and mastered was self-taught, and a true passion for what I envisioned in my work. When I decided to learn about the craft, I purchased a sewing machine, a pattern, and fabric. Today, I make my own patterns, and the learning continues to be an evolving process.

Do you have a muse?

Yes, her name is Chikke. The name Chikke is derived from the word Chic, and the alter-ego Sheik from the Princess Zelda cartoons. The combination of both resulted in the alter-ego Chikke. My muse is a woman who is high spirited. She is confident, and versatile. She has a unique taste in fashion. She is a fun, funky diamond in the rough with a style all her own.

What type of music are you listening to right now?

The likes of Sade, John Legend, and Adele. I like soulful music as they tell stories.

What part of the job as a designer do you love? Which part do you dislike?

I love the creative process from the conceptualization of a garment to the finished product. I dislike sewing.

What other designers inspire you, and why?

My biggest inspiration is not a designer. It is my daughter! She keeps me grounded, and inspires me to achieve more, and do my best every time. But if I was to choose inspirational designers it would be Dior, and Vera Wang. Their personal stories, and determination resonate with my personal story, my obstacles, and my struggles.

What do you love about Vancouver, and what do you dislike about Vancouver?

What a beautiful city Vancouver is. The backdrop of the mountains, and nature is just stunning! I didn’t stay long enough to enjoy the city, and honestly, I didn’t have time to detest anything. Maybe when I come back for a longer stay I’ll be able to answer this question.

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?

You are your biggest obstacle. It took me more than 15 years to realize that the only thing standing between me and my dream was my fear of failing, fear that people would not like my clothing, and fear that I would not succeed. It’s okay to have those fears; we all do. What you need is determination, and the willingness to work hard to achieve that dream.

The fashion industry is a very competitive industry; the competition is ever more intense, and it challenges new, and emerging designer faces to become recognized. I wish I was told it is extremely hard to break a brand. It requires a lot of effort, and time for marketing, advertising, and promoting. I wish I was advised on business strategies, and the how to’s of marketing, and promotion.

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

My shoes (I have shoes that have been in, and out of style at least twice, and they are in mint condition), my collection patterns, and my passport.

Do your parents approve of you being a designer?

At first my dad wasn’t as supportive as he thought I was spending too much time, and money on something that wasn’t coming to fruition. He sees the fruit of my hard work now. My mom, brothers, and sisters were very supportive from day one.

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

I hold degrees in Professional Studies in Informatics, and Computer Science. My pursuit of a PH.D in the same field was placed on hold in order to pursue my dream of fashion design. I work full time as a Software Developer, and Angelica Timas is in fact a hobby. I’d say I would be doing what I do for a living today.

What is the one fashion trend you wish had never happened?

Oh my! The sagging pants takes the win. The wear-your-pants-beneath-your-bum-to-show-your-underwear; spare me the view, really! It’s very distasteful to see sagging pants showcasing your underwear!