Designer Files: Danielle Canfield

If there was a list of fashion designers titled “Ones to Watch” model turned designer, Danielle Canfield would definitely be featured. She is making her mark in the fashion industry by presenting her collections at Midwest Fashion Week, DC Fashion Week and most recently Tiffany’s Paris Fashion Week.
She is super talented so you know I was excited that she made the time to answer my “Take 5” questions.

How did you begin your career in the fashion industry?
I began sewing when I was 12 years old. I would go to a studio after school and learned all about patternmaking, stitching, fitting, the works. My first big feat, and I remember it well, was making a colonial dress and hat for a Halloween costume. When I graduated high school, I attended Virginia Commonwealth University’s art program and was accepted into the fashion design major. During that time, I also began to model which gave me a whole new perspective on the fashion industry. In my junior year, I chose to study abroad in Italy and two months turned into three years. I finished my bachelor’s degree in Italy; then held an internship at a luxury lingerie brand, Ikonostas. Finally, I moved on to get my Master’s degree at Polimoda Fashion Institute in Florence.

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What inspires you?
My largest inspiration is people and movement. Everyone has unique qualities that can be observed and translated into fashion. Human nature carries an energy that is captivating and capturing that energy in the shapes, textures, and flow of my clothing is very important to me.

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What are the differences between the fashion markets overseas vs. in the USA? If any.
From my perspective, European markets tend to be more classic, taking care to include unique pieces that are largely fashion forward. The United States tends to have a much faster market. We look for the trend of the day and tend to be more commercial. However, everyone’s take on this is different and people may not necessarily agree with me on this one ☺.

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Do you follow trends or do you set them?
Well as a designer, I think of myself as a trendsetter. Today people are very independent and dress in a way that represents individuality. There are no longer the large directed trends like there have been in decades past. I create clothing that represents my aesthetic as an artist while also looking at the customer that I am designing for in order to create something unique and appealing.

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What advice would you provide to up and coming designers?
My biggest advice would be to keep moving forward. This industry is not an easy one. There will be many major obstacles. This may sound cliché but it is very true that if you want this badly enough make it happen. Don’t take no for an answer and believe in yourself.

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Danielle Canfield A/W ’14 collection

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