Over the next several weeks, sleep will become something of a luxury for Sally Omeme.
The Sylvan Lake fashion designer is busy preparing for her inaugural appearance as a designer at Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week next month, and is pulling out all the stops to make sure it’s a success.
“To date, it will be my biggest accomplishment so far,” she said. “You really couldn’t ask for better coverage if you want to get your name out there.”
Eco Fashion Week, now in its sixth season, was created several years ago as a way of raising awareness of environmentally-friendly clothing design practices in the fashion industry. Omeme recently volunteered as a dresser backstage at the event, and through conversations with one of its lead designers secured her own spot as a designer for the spring show.
“I had approached one of the leaders of the designer team thinking that if I had a chance to design for Eco Fashion Week, it would be more in October,” she said.
Several phone conversations later, it was confirmed that Omeme would showcase a 15-look collection during the Eco Fashion Week not in October, but in April.
And although her involvement in the show is arriving much sooner than she expected, she’s determined to make the most of the opportunity to showcase her work to an audience that will include some of the most prolific figures in Canadian fashion.
“This opportunity for me just came up and it came up so fast. I’ve been given this chance and I know I just need to get the work done.”
Omeme specializes in designing knitwear, and, for the purpose of Eco Fashion Week, she’ll be designing it with used clothing.
“I’ll be making yarn out of (used clothing) and knitting with it, so we’ll be designing with different textures of leather, suede, t-shirts, denim and a lot more.
“I will be working hand-in-hand with Eco Fashion Week and with my stylists. Just going together with a team of people who I work well with and who believe in me and encourage me makes all the difference in the world.”
Omeme attended the John Casablancas Institute in Vancouver, where she was able to enhance her knowledge of the Canadian fashion industry. Being situated in Vancouver also gave her the opportunity to grow and maintain a solid contact base.
Now, having recently returned to Sylvan Lake, she designs clothing in her free time when she’s not working at her job with Bethany Care Society.
Working and preparing for her fashion show, she said, means her sleeping hours will be cut back significantly until the show has passed, but she assured that it would be well worth it when she sees her clothing being modelled on the runway.
“I love it, it’s really crazy up until the last minute,” she said. “It’s a lot of pressure, but once everything’s done and gone down the runway, it’s a very cool experience.”
Omeme’s fashion line has yet to be officially named, but a website for it is expected to be running in the weeks leading up to Eco Fashion Week. A link will be available on Eco Fashion Week’s official website, http://ecofashion-week.com
Omeme is still seeking used clothing to be incorporated into her designs. She’s asking those interested in contributing to contact her at email@example.com
“We’ve scoured Central Alberta for different clothing, and Bethany Care was really supportive,” she said, adding that she’s still on the lookout for used t-shirts, jeans, leather, suede, hand-knit sweaters, and “anything with a yarn that I could take apart”. Old jewellery including necklaces, she said, would also come in handy.
“I’m still just trying to make a name for myself and it’s a huge learning experience for me,” she said. “Once this show is over then I’ll take a step back and see how I can further myself along in the fashion industry.”