Rozemerie Cuevas is a veteran in the Canadian fashion scene who remains relevant with her stylish, sexy, yet wearable collections that have been embraced by women of every age. The very chic Miss Cuevas is the designer behind Vancouver based labels Jacqueline Conoir and Jac. Like two opposites that work together seamlessly, JC features classic silhouettes with a modern twist, while Jac is a collection that embraces street-inspired looks.
Fresh off her Spring 2012 presentation at her new flagship boutique in Vancouver, Rozemerie chats candidly about her designs and gives fashion lovers insight into working in the industry.
Valerie Tiu: Did you always want to pursue a career in the fashion industry?
Rozemerie Cuevas: Actually, I fell into it by accident. I was studying commerce and economics and I had always sewn my own clothes. When I was 18, someone suggested that I do a mini fashion show at Richards on Richards in Vancouver and it went very well. After that, I decided that I would become a fashion designer.
VT: You recently presented your Spring/Summer 2012 collections for Jacqueline Conoir and Jac. What were your key inspirations behind these lines?
RC: For Jacqueline Conoir, it was really about making women feel amazing and bringing the looks of the international runways to Vancouver. It was also very French Rivera–inspired, a lot of colour and flowy dresses. It’s a very free-spirited collection. Jac is really just everything that’s urban, streetwear, hip and cool. It’s very edgy.
VT: You have been designing for Jacqueline Conoir since 1985. How has your approach to design evolved over the years?
RC: Jacqueline Conoir has always remained true to its clients in that we’ve always designed for a sophisticated, modern, urban woman who is confident and isn’t afraid to be seen in a crowd. After many years of designing that collection I thought that I wanted to do something different. That’s where Jac came into play. We added this second collection and so that gives me a lot of creative input and it tests my design ability in a totally different realm. So it progressed from JC into Jac, and now we do both.
VT: What is the best piece of advice that you have received in your career?
RC: Never give up and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Fashion is a very tough industry, so keep at it, be persistent, stay focused and just remember that you can’t please everyone.
VT: Style Nine to Five is all about fashion careers. What items from your latest collection would you recommend to wear for an interview or workplace?
RC: It really depends on the industry that you’re from. Let’s say that if you are in the corporate industry, we have a gorgeous brown summer boucle suit (from the JC line), where the dress has a silk inset around the bust area. I would recommend that – it’s just a great unique suit that portrays power, strength and individuality at the same time.
If you’re in the creative industry, we have this amazing blazer with a raised shoulder in the Jac line, worn with one of our edgy pants and a great t-shirt underneath.
VT: What has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
RC: Just surviving the fashion industry for 25 years is a huge accomplishment. Just to make a living out of it, enjoy it and be successful. Having a flagship store, and everything that has to do with being successful in the fashion industry.
VT: What is next for JC and Jac?
RC: The think the addition of Jac and the new flagship store has been a two-year long project. We’ve just completed that, so I am gathering my thoughts and figuring out the next step. The next step that we have slotted is to do online sales and to add to our flagship store.
VT: Do you have any words of wisdom for people aspiring to work in fashion?
RC: Think out of the box. Be creative and don’t do what everyone else is doing.
1. Rozemerie Cuevas. Image courtesy of Patrick Parenteau.
2. Rozemerie’s pick for corporate work attire – a chic and professional boucle suit from Jacqueline Conoir.
3. Rozemerie recommends a sleek blazer with a raised shoulder and wide leg trousers from the Jac line for the trendy and creative types.
4 – 7. Our favourite looks from Jacqueline Conoir Spring 2012.
8 – 11. These ensembles are on our wishlist from the Spring 2012 Jac Collection.
Runway images courtesy of Peter Jensen.
By: Valerie Tiu, Blog Editor, Vancouver
You should follow me on Twitter @valerietiu
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