Christopher Bates has ascended through the ranks of Canadian menswear, an impressive conquest – considering he once didn’t realize a career in design was even possible.
His decision to leave his corporate job for school in Milan was a risky one, as Canadian markets were primarily focused on street wear and outdoor wear, especially in his hometown of Vancouver. The gamble proved successful as he enrolled in the Istituto Marangoni, which counts Dominco Dolce and Moschino as alumni.
It’s always interesting to unearth where a designer studied (or if they studied), as certain schools seem to nurture familial thought patterns for designers. Most notable is the Antwerp Six whose time at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts embedded in them a progressive sort of design not naturally associated with Belgium.
Christopher’s designs are very telling of his time in Milan. His focus on merino wool, and focus on fitted, tailored pieces is what the Italians are best at, and what his audience is looking for.
Canadian luxury retailer Holt Renfrew recently added his collection to their stores, and his line has been well received by the new Vancouver market, young men with disposable incomes and a keen interest in high end pieces.
We met with him at the launch of his S/S 14 collection, at Holt Renfrew, to discuss his beginning in fashion, the influences for his collection and becoming and having his line carried by Holts.