When it was announced in 2010 that Vancouver would be hosting yet another fashion week, the general public shared mixed feelings. However, it was nothing to be compared to what Vancouver has tried in the past. With it’s seamless runway shows, educational workshops and stellar venues, VEFW has put Vancouver on the fashion industry radar. Myriam Laroche- founder and president of the company- is responsible and we were fortunate enough to be able to catch up with her and ask her a few fun questions.

Myriam with Profetik designer Jeff Garner

Every thrifter loves the thrill of a great find. What has been your latest find? 
I was on the east coast and I just bought a mens vintage silk tie from 80’s/90’s by Nino Cerruti an Italian mens wear designer, which was a very very good higher end find. Also in December, one of my best finds was a broach, by Andre Courreges, who launched the mod look in the 60’s. For non-branded pieces I recently found in Quebec a pair of made in Canada shoes from around the 70’s I would say. When I shop I look for brands like this or I look for “made in Canada” from back in the day because the quality is so good. I also look for made in France, and Italy.

What are your top places in Vancouver to shop vintage? 
Well for Value Village it is best to get out of town. So if you go to cities like Abbotsford, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, and New West. The one on Victoria and 49th is the best. I go to the one on Hastings, and they receive shipments every week. The trick is to go before the fashion people. The smaller vintage shops, like the Wildlife Thrift shop on Granville and Drake, are best to go when I have less than an hour.  The difference between going to VV on the east coast and the west coast is that on the east coast they don’t really see it as a treasure sort of place, where as here there is more people who can shop, or who are more used to finding the treasure. When I go to Quebec I go to VV and I find things and I say why hasn’t anyone found this yet? Retro Rock on Davie, F as in Frank, and Deluxe Junk are all great places too. Also Adhesif has a vintage section, she has the best vintage its called Too Cute to Cut. Every time I go she has awesome pieces.

What is your favorite thing to do in your downtime? 
When I am not working I am kind of a freak regarding Yoga and health. I make my own face cleaner with plain yogurt and organic oatmeal with honey. I wash my face every morning with that. I do have product that I purchase but I try to keep it as natural as possible. Yesterday before I washed my hair I put olive oil in my hair and tied it up while I ran about doing my errands. I am very passionate about finding alternate beauty products that are more natural. I love being healthy, it is a big part of my life. It is extremely important to keep balanced while being an entrepreneur, and eating healthy and doing yoga help me to keep balanced. I also like to spend a lot of time outside in the summer. I’ve been spending a lot of time on my patio, doing my work, watching TV, and even taking a nap.

What can you tell us about Eco Fashion Week for fall 2011?
We are very excited. There is a bit of rebranding going on right now. We are stepping up the esthetic and the fashion side of things. EFW has a lot of people involved, and it has been a non-budget event up to now, so we are working very hard to pay people because nobody is paid, not even me. We just do it because we love it. We have some big names coming on board, new sponsors are on board, I can’t say too much because it’s not official yet. I can say that the Fairmont Hotel is our partner now, so we will be having our opening media conference and the opening fashion show at the Fairmont Waterfront this fall. We want to step up on the seminars as well. We always have amazing seminars, but almost nobody is coming. WGSN is there giving a conference on trends for the next year, the entire fashion industry should be there. Also we are trying to have more international brands. Of course Vancouver will be a star through EFW but we want other Canadian brands, American brands, International brands. We are talking with Tourism Vancouver to bring journalists from Montreal, and Toronto to have more visibility for EFW. It is going to be the same concept with one opening night, two days of fashion shows, and one day of trade shows and seminars. It’s going to be the 26th-29th of September, and we are keeping our options to open to adding another day.

How can we encourage people to live an eco-lifestyle? 
I think it’s all in daily habits. Bring your reusable bag to the grocery store. At the beginning it took me some time because I wasn’t used to it, but once you do it gets easier. When you are shopping and you see those five dollar t-shirts, and you think, “Wow they are so cheap. I want one of every color.” Ask yourself, do you really need it? Are you going to wear it? People feel good when they purchase, it’s part of their identity. I say all the time if you buy ten new pieces in a year for your wardrobe, try next year to buy nine new pieces and one second hand. Just try it. Its a ten percent improvement. It is also important to be informed. If you want to buy vegan shoes, sure vegan means no animal bi-products, but sometimes it takes more chemicals to make a shoe vegan and those chemicals are more harmful to the environment. There are some vegan shoes that are studying everything and there are no chemicals. It’s all about being educated, and when you buy make sure it is a conscious decision.

Myriam’s closet is back! You are invited to see the best vintage fashion while enjoying personalized styling by Eco Fashion Week President, Myriam Laroche! Sunday June 26th 1PM-4PM. Please R.S.V.P HERE