I was recently fortunate enough to pop by my friend Lara Presber’s new studio in Calgary to check out this fabulous new space being used both for architectural work as well as housing and creating the designer’s latest collections.
Lucky to have enough time for a glass of Prosecco and to see Lara off before embarking on a solo six-week El Camino de Santiago adventure through Spain, I was also able to sneak in a few questions about her latest work and inspiration.
KC: As a young professional working in an artistic field, why choose to live and work in Calgary?
LP: The choice to live and work in Calgary happened quite coincidentally. I had never intended to stay after moving back from Europe, but I met so many inspiring people and realized that the city has so much potential for design. We have a completely untapped and unsaturated design market partnered with a robust economy. The designers that are here now (in all disciplines) are laying the foundation for and shaping the future of our city. That’s pretty rare for an urban centre that’s already reached a critical mass of 1 million people.
KC: What about Calgary inspires you the most as a fashion designer and architect?
LP: I’m inspired by the openness in both fields of clients who are willing to try something different. People are starting to recognize the value of having something that has been designed by a professional where detail is paramount. That makes me really excited and is so different from where we were when I first came back.
KC: You feature one piece from your collection each month on shop.larapresber.com, stating ‘Building your wardrobe one piece at time’. How did this concept formulate?
LP: ‘Building your wardrobe one piece at a time’ of course is a play on architecture, but also the tendency that I saw in my retail store of women who really coveted one beautiful and unique piece every few months combined with the service of being fitted personally by the designer. It creates a nice memory around the piece and an anticipation that we don’t experience much any more in our instant world. The price break component was inspired by the premise behind Kickstarter; it’s a great way to encourage buyers to share the piece with a friend, which in turn benefits everyone.
KC: Your architectural background tends to inspire your collections. Can you give us a hint of what might be inspiring the next season’s collection?
LP: My Spain trip is going to play a huge part in the inspiration behind the next collection. I have no idea what it will be yet, but feel optimistic that after spending six weeks on an open road wandering from town to town, I’ll discover something spectacular!
KC: Where can people check out your collection?
The current collection can be found (one piece at a time) on larapresber.com, as well as some pieces from previous seasons at fabulous savings.
Photo by Curtis Dez Photography