I'm always in awe of the talent in Saskatchewan. The thing I love about the Saskatoon Fashion & Design Festival is the platform it creates for designers and the new business opportunities it opens for them.  As a writer for SFDF, I love having the opportunity to learn about these amazing local designers and what inspires them to create these incredible pieces. Today we shine the spotlight on Amaranth Designs, and get the inside scoop on the woman behind the brand, Rea Harbus.

Rea, who lives and works out of Regina, SK is no stranger to SFDF.  In fact, this is her third year at the festival and I always fall for her summery prints and feminine silhouettes.  Rea has been actively involved in fashion for many years, and it all began in 2000 when she received her fashion design certificate from Yvonne Yuen in Saskatoon. But that wasn't it for Rea, she later pursued her education and completed her Fashion Design Diploma from one of the best fashion colleges, Blanche MacDonald in Vancouver.

Rea's line, Amaranth Designs offers modern, timeless pieces that fit the needs of every lifestyle. Collections are designed with the busy woman in mind that are elegant and sophisticated transitioning from work to evening effortlessly. Amaranth only sources the highest quality fabrics and pays attention to the details to create a spectacular outfit. 

SFDF is very proud to show the designs of Amaranth Designs this year. Continue reading below to learn more about Rea and her line, Amaranth Designs.

Why did you decide to become a fashion designer?  My grandmother and my mother did a lot of sewing.  I began showing an interest at an early age, so I tried my hand at it.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks to my mentors.

What is your favourite part about being a fashion designer?  I enjoy every aspect: the designing, the pattern making, the construction and the satisfaction of seeing the finished product on the client.

What was the first item you ever sewed?  I recall designing and sewing a bright blue short ruffled skirt that one could wear with the tie in the front or the back.  At the time, I thought it was awesome!

Who is your favourite designer, why?  Valentino is definitely my favourite designer.  His designs are timeless and classic.  Anyone of any size looks fabulous in his designs.  He is also a very humble person.  I admire that.  He does great work and lets his designs speak for themselves. 

What are your inspirations around your designs?  Every collection I design, which is either fall/winter or spring/summer, I give a lot of thought to.  For example, my 2015/16 fall/winter collection features the ‘60s, which is my favourite era.  Who knows what next year’s collection will bring?  As well, my clients inspire me with their personal requests for a garment.  My mind never stops ‘designing’.  I never tire of doing alterations because the client satisfaction is immediate and rewarding.

Where do you source your materials and fabrics?  I source everything in Canada.  It is very important to me to be truly ‘Made in Canada’.

What are you most excited about during the Saskatoon Fashion & Design Festival?  I have taken part, with my collections, at the Festival, in the past.  I am always well received and I truly enjoy the experience.  It’s nice to ‘get out of my surroundings and experience a new venue’.

What are your plans for the future?  My plans are not definite.  What I know is that I have found my niche and I hope to continue doing what I love.

What are 3 words you would use to describe your designs?  STYLISH, TIMELESS and AFFORDABLE.

SFDF is very excited to be showing Amaranth Designs during the 2015 Festival! To view more garments by Amaranth Designs make sure to join us at the Deconstructed Runway on Friday June 5th! Also visit www.amaranthdesigns.ca to view more collections.

Written by: Nicole Romanoff