Spotlight on Our Graduates

Michael Eardley 

Fashion Design | DEC

Owner and Artistic Director, Live. Now

Describe your position and key responsibilities?
I control the entire creative process of the line, from collection design and direction, color selection, fabric selection, all the way to photo shoot planning, website planning as well as social media content.

What is a typical workday in your professional life?
My days start by going through emails and setting up a schedule for my day for work to get done and review any meetings I have in the day. Depending on the time of year I may have a meeting with a sample maker, or a production contractor or if it is in the development season I may have fabric suppliers or mills to meet with.

On a typical day I will touch on many different aspects of the company from designing (during development season) to some pattern making or sewing. Most days require me to work on two different collections as well as deal with anything that may come up with the collection already in stores.

Outline your career path?
After finishing at LaSalle College in Fashion Design, I was hired the day after the Signature alumni fashion show. I was offered a job at my first interview. While working at this company I opened my atelier downtown and began to work on my line. I received a lot of local media attention when I launched my line in 2011.

The first collection was sold at retailers based in Montréal, Toronto, New York and London. In December 2011, I was promoted to head designer of a segment of the company I am working for, responsible for the design and development of 100+ styles per season. I still maintain this job today along with managing and developing my own business.

What is your best memory of the time spent at LaSalle College?
It is hard to pick one, but I would say my two best would be the entire Collection project where we started as a group with nothing, all the way to seeing our garments come to life; the late nights in the workshops all together were great. Signature 2010 was also an unbelievable experience, and an experience I will never forget.

What was your favorite subject, while in the program?
Pattern making and sewing once I got into my final year, this was something I struggled with during my first few semesters, but when I finished, I had received one of the highest marks on the exit exam.

Describe your general feeling during your first day, week or month of school?
I remember my first day like it was yesterday, I remember what I wore, and I remember a feeling of huge excitement mixed with complete fear as I did not know what to expect. The first months were tough but I pulled through and eventually developed a passion that grows every day.

What advice would you give a student presently enrolled in the fashion program?
Take every opportunity you have to expand your skills and techniques: this is where your creativity will grow and develop and, most important thing is to love what you’re doing and believe in it! A huge tool is going to be your network, from the first day you should be building your network, this is something that Helene Cohen taught me and it is the reason I have done so much in so little time since graduating.

What surprised you most when you entered the job market?
The immense competition there is for every position. You must stand out from the pack to get the right now.

What are the essential qualities required to succeed in the fashion world?
Passion and incredible work ethics, if the passion is there then the rest will follow.

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