Cassie Dee is the designer behind Aniimiism, “a fashion focused expression of [the] philosophy that all things carry spirit, and stories”. Dee graduated from Helen Lefeaux School of Fashion in Vancouver, where she started designing under her name. Since then, her designs have appeared in Vogue, and one season of America’s Next Top Model. Her most recent collection came out in Fall-Winter, featuring “80s inspired chiffon with a hint of transparency, a punk inspired multi coloured boucle and an accordion pleated pleather”. It was inspired by grunge, and seduction, and it showed on the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week.

Keep reading for Metro Living Zine’s exclusive interview with Aniimiism.

How and when did you get your start in fashion?

I think I have always been interested in fashion, or expression through clothing in some way or another. I have always been inspired by the way clothing can change an experience, or set a mood.

Do you have a muse?

I would say I am more inspired by an experience than by a person. Cultivating a persona through fashion [icons] like Lady Gaga is very interesting to me. Creating, or enhancing an experience through fashion is also very interesting. My most current collection is definitely David Bowie inspired.

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

I love making the actual clothes, working with the fabrics, and patterns, and sewing. I don’t like cutting much. I like working with my hands, but cutting, not so much!

What type of music are you listening to right now?

I change music constantly. Right now I am listening to this track I heard on the last episode of Girls : Curse – Vickto Taiwo.

Which three designers inspire you, and why?

– Massimo Osti: Innovation. I love streetwear. I love innovation in the everyday garments.

– Rei Kawakubo: Unapologetic, constant evolution, mystery.

– Miuccia Prada: I really admire, and aspire to her process. Her seemingly constant state of inspiration, and her humour about it all.

What do you love, and dislike about Vancouver?

I have travelled a lot in the past couple of years, and the best thing about Vancouver is the outdoors. The lack of pollution, the majesty of the mountains, the oceans, forests, and the plains. Vancouver has more than most. The beauty puts me at ease, changes my mood, and makes me happy. [But] Canada can make me feel guilty, and unappreciative, especially if I am in my studio too much.

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?

There is probably a lot I wish I had known, but I pretty much subscribe to the 10,000 hours theory. The more you do, or practice, the more you will improve. Keep going, even if just for yourself. You will start to design faster, sew faster, the styles will get better, and better, and the shows will improve. From the vantage point of looking back over a lot of work, the improvement is what stands out for me.

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

I would take my boyfriend, probably the collection I was currently working on, my laptop, and cell phone. That’s four, but I would need them.

Do your parents approve of you being a designer?

Yes, of course. Or at least I think so!

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

I actually work full time at Lululemon as the product developer for outerwear. So maybe I would just do that full time, but maybe something completely different.

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

I am all for people wearing whatever they want! But I don’t love the ripped, and tied knots on tee shirt, or dress trend. I don’t really appreciate the craft, or the look, but I feel bad because some people love it! Maybe I should just take that as a concept, and I would appreciate it more!

Aniimiism VFW Interview with Metro Living Zine

Aniimiism SS16 Runway Video