I usually don't throw the word visionary around lightly, but when you're talking with a man who is one of Regina’s pioneering fashion designers, among the first in Saskatchewan to launch his own collection, and a wardrobe consultant to thousands - the word just works.
Ever since Dean Renwick was young, he's had aspirations to play in the fashion big leagues. At the tender age of 17 he headed to Los Angeles, CA to study at the prestigious Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM). Upon graduating, he stayed in the big city and worked on projects that varied from freelance design to custom work for Keifer Sutherland and Guns and Roses. In 97’ armed with a wealth of knowledge and experience, Dean returned to Regina, Saskatchewan not only to re-connect with his roots, but also to build his own unique brand.
With Dean setting up his roots and beginning to work on many high profile projects (including designing wardrobe for Corner Gas!), he was satisfied, but always had a much bigger vision in mind. Dean clearly recalls walking down Scarth Street in Regina, looking up at the big bay window of one of his favorite buildings and would say to himself, “I am going to have a studio there one day”. Being the determined man that he is, Dean did indeed make his way into a studio directly across from his inspirational big window!
I was very fortunate to ask Dean a few questions for our Designer Profile today. Enjoy the Q&A below as Dean dishes on his personal inspirations, goals, and his thoughts on the 2016 fashion trends.
Describe your creative process upon starting a new design and from where you draw your inspiration.
I find some of my greatest inspiration comes from reading a wide range of books as well as watching and re-watching old films. Middle Aged woman are also one of my main sources of inspiration for the substance in their eyes and their wisdom is simply astounding. I feel that today, fashion is based around youth and sex and sometimes can be quite empty. The middle aged woman understands that classic goods are always in style, and ultimately, confidence is the sexiest thing that a woman can wear (along with a string of pearls ;) )
What motivates you?
Sometimes I ask myself what is it that I’m doing that makes a difference in the world? I then hand over a newly designed outfit to a woman or help her learn how to dress and they begin to cry with happiness. Knowing that I can help to continuously empower women and give them confidence, provides me with my ultimate motivation.
How would you describe your own personal style?
Second hand, vintage clothing. While living in L.A. I would always source the original trend of a style, revamp it and bring the design to the modern era. I have a very good eye for second hand clothing for it is not about labels, it is about personal creativity and true style.
What are you seeing in the industry for 2016 Fashion trends?
The biggest trend that I am seeing is that old trends are becoming recycled. Classic pieces from the 60’s, 70’s, etc. are coming back in new and creative ways.
It excited me to know that individuals no longer have barriers around what they can/can’t wear and fashion no longer dictates much- it is the person behind the fashion that makes it style! No matter what outfit one chooses to put together, if it is right for their body and they back it with confidence-that is a lasting trend.
Closet Rehab- Tell me a bit about this!
What I will do is go into a woman or man’s home, go through their closet, and essentially we will play what not to wear. I will go through and show them what does/does not work for them and which of their pieces can be worn in multiple ways. I also will help individuals shop for a few new pieces and coach them on how to shop for their specific body type.
What is your one motto?
Invest in yourself, whether that be in fashion, time, or energy. Oh... and there’s always a reason to wear a Renwick ;).
What advice do you give to aspiring fashion designers?
Once you graduate, go to where the business is and work directly in the industry for several years - there is so much to learn from others. Find knowledge in every experience and use it. What makes me truly good at my craft is the fact that I have a great deal of diversity and experience under my belt.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Well, I am expanding and am moving to a storefront location!! It has been a long time coming and I simply could not have done it without the undying support from my friends and family.
At my boutique I am going for an 'industrial glamour' feel focusing on the 25-55 year old professional woman. I am going to focus on carrying a few Canadian Designers along with my own collections.
Anything else that the world should know about Dean Renwick?
There are people in the world that are better than me and there are people that are worse, but I am damn good at what I do.
I had an amazing time speaking with Dean about his past, and the future of Dean Renwick designs. SFDF is beyond excited and incredibly fortunate to be showcasing Dean’s collection at POSE on Sunday June 5th at the River Landing Amphitheatre! Make sure to come and view Dean’s collection in person and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter (below) to stay updated on the latest Saskatoon fashion has to offer!
- Trianna Palidwor