By Flannery Bloom
In this series, The Georgia Straight goes behind the scenes with fashion professionals to explore the workings of the local fashion industry.
Sofia Fiorentino is a graduate from the Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and conceptual designer for Kit & Ace. She works out of her studio at Kit & Ace’s flagship store in Gastown.
1. How did you get to where you are today?
“It was really not planned. I was graduating from Kwantlen’s fashion design [program]. We had this showcase where industry people came to check [out] our work. I had my graduating collection, and presented it to a lot of people, [some of whom] were a group from Kit & Ace. They saw it and they were really interested, so we started a conversation. [When] I graduated half a year later, I got in touch again and said I was interested in a design position. I’ve been there for nine months now.”
2. What is a typical workday like for you?
“It’s never the same, just because my position is a combination of a lot of responsibilities that don’t just depend on me. I also do alterations for the shop, so when I come in I have to check the alteration cabinet and see if there’s any work for me to do there. We also offer monogramming, so I have to check if there are any orders for that and then once I get that done, it’s honestly just making things! It’s a very cool job because I don’t really have limitations.”
3. What is your favourite thing about your job?
Well, definitely the freedom - the freedom is something that I wasn’t really expecting for a first industry job. The fact that they trust me with my taste, judgment and management, that’s really cool.”
4. What is the most challenging thing about your work?
“It’s just balancing [everything], because as I mentioned I am at the store so if it gets really busy it can be distracting at times. But I like people, and I like talking to people so I use it to my advantage a lot of the time.”
5. Who or what is your biggest inspiration, fashion or otherwise?
“To me, personally, I draw inspiration from fashion separately than design. I always see design as this huge monster that sort of touches a lot of different areas. I never just draw inspiration from the fashion. If I had to pick… I love threeASFOUR; they design based on organic shapes, or systems or forms, and that to me is superinteresting.”