Mari Davis (forefront), Lauren Scruggs (left) interviewing Marie Saint Pierre (center)

MONTREAL, Sep 29, 2010 / FW/ — Catching up with Marie Saint Pierre on her way to Paris to participate at Tranoi to unveil her Spring 2011 collection in Europe, the Montreal-based designer talked about her new eponymous perfume, the new Marie Saint Pierre home accessory line, her famed fabric bonding technique and her Spring 2011 collection

FashionWindows: Congratulations on your new perfume! That’s my pleasant surprise for today.

Marie Saint Pierre: Thank you. The perfume is an old dream. It’s an extension of the senses.

The one you can rarely do in fabric is the nose. Having a Marie Saint Pierre perfume has always been part of my vision. It’s part of the whole.

: And congratulations also for your new home accessory line. Your fans have been expecting it for a long time. I guess the question is what took you so long?

Marie Saint Pierre


MSP: I’m a control freak. (laughs) I want everything to be done here, in house. No product or design is made elsewhere; it all must be in house. If I produce elsewhere, I don’t have that control.

Here, we control the quality. I like to control and put my name of things that I actually design. That’s the reason why it took some time before we launched a home accessory line. For me, it is not about the business, it is about the creation.

FW: Just a sidebar, I noticed that most of your trash bins have the Recycle logo on it. Can you expound on that?

MSP: The 100% of the company is green. We do not have any waste except for what people eat for lunch. Every bit of material that is not used in clothing or accessories are all recycled and transformed into energy.

We control all of the perimeters. As a company, you have to be respectful and responsible for everything, not just what you design and make good clothes and fashion. Do something that is making sense for the future as well.

FW: The zigzag stitching as finishing on the coat you’re wearing is very distinctive. And the coat lining does not even look like a lining. It’s as if it is one of the faces of the fabric.

MSP: It’s actually two fabrics that we bonded using a special technique that I developed. The zigzag stitching is part and parcel of the process. Like what I said, I’m a control freak. The bonding gave us our very own fabrics – the right texture, the right weight, the right stretch.

It’s represented very well in our Spring 2011 collection which is a little more minimalist. It is more sober. We don’t need to expose everything. If it’s the right proportion, the right combination, the right stitch, it’s more valuable than just the embellishment, all these things that you can camouflage.

I am getting more interested in the sobriety, what it does for you. My customer travels a lot and sees a lot. They want something that is a message for them.”

FW: So is this a direct response to your costumer?

MSP: No, my costumer follows what I do, who I am. It is very personal. Discretion, sobriety, values that have been pushed away by the fashion world for a long time, they need to come back, and I think it will be very powerful.

It is not about the aesthetic, it is about something else. It’s not necessarily about business, it is about designing, and having a great environment to design, and having a great team, and to keep doing it at a level where you can expand because it is important to research, and it takes money to research.

But it is not about growing a business for the sake of growing the business, it is more about the perfect business. I can also have a life and well-being.

FW: Is this part of your design philosophy?

MSP: Yes. Designing and fashion have to mean something more is more than consumerism. It has to make you feel exceptionally good.

I’ve noticed that for a lot of people, the more they have, the less they feel content. So that means what they buy does not give them happiness.

I like to design clothes that when you buy a piece from my collection, it is not just buying new clothes. It has to have some meaning. And I believe I am making a difference. So many of my customers come to be and they say “you start my day.”

They feel my philosophy, it transcends my clothes. They feel the weight and the comfort; everything is making you feel good, not just beautiful.”

Photos by Jimmy Hamelin and Mari Davis

Montreal Fashion Week Spring 2011