Anneke Forbes is a Calgary based designer who creates made to measure and ready to wear outwear staples for women. The use of classic, thoughtful design, bespoke tailoring techniques, and luxurious natural fabrics translates to jackets that last a lifetime. Forbes personally designs, cuts and sews all of her designs at her Calgary studio which will soon be relocated to cSPACE King Edward. A talented designer deeply committed to minimal consumption, responsible production and quality over quality, Anneke’s classic, thoughtful design, bespoke tailoring techniques, and luxurious natural fabrics translate to the creation of jackets that last a lifetime.
“By creating beautiful outerwear in this way I hope to connect style with consciousness and contribute to a shift away from current industry standards.”
– Anneke Forbes
We caught up with Anneke for a Q&A to get to know her, what people can expect from her studio at cSPACE and the values and inspirations that drive her creative enterprise.
Q: Why do you do what you do?
A: I aim to create jackets and coats that allow women to turn against conspicuous expenditure because the garments they do own allow them to dress with ease and look their best.
Q: How does Calgary nurture and support your work? And at the same time, are there obstacles to overcome working in Calgary, what are they?
A: I find the smaller size of Calgary’s fashion community to be of benefit to me and my business. It is more difficult to source fabrics, and the talent pool for hiring is smaller, but in terms of support and publicity Calgary is amazing! Organizations such as PARK have made it their mission to offer a platform for new designers to gain exposure, and local magazines such as Avenue are quick to stand behind this city’s designers. I can travel or order materials over the phone, but support like what I receive here is unparalleled and hard to replicate from afar.
Q: What will you bring to cSPACE and why do you feel it’s the right fit for you?
A: cSPACE King Edward’s ability to marry historic beauty with an environmentally sensitive mandate immediately inspired me. The organization understands what a creative community needs to flourish. My open-door studio will offer the public an intriguing and rare opportunity to witness the craft of quality garment manufacturing and understand exactly who made their clothes.
Q: How do you combine your business/entrepreneurial savvy with that of your artistic and creative approach?
A: The business and creative aspects of my work are inextricable. The concepts generally come from an understanding of popular shapes and themes, which inherently lend themselves to salability. My design aesthetic is classic and feminine, two themes that are commercially viable.
Fortunately, I don’t often feel I have to rein my ideas in to appeal to my target audience, as some more avant-garde designer may.
Q: Why is fashion important to culture, community, and the human experience?
A: Fashion allows people to express themselves and what they stand for. Like-minded individuals can easily identify each other based on how they present themselves through fashion, beauty, and style. As a result, a community is created. A great example of this is the British Punk scene of the 1960s; a movement visually defined by designer Vivienne Westwood.