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We caught up with Ryan Pugsley, the Marketing Manager for International Fashions. International Fashions represents local designers Kersh and Press, who will be headlining the Sunday evening show at Vancouver Fashion Week.


We are only a day out from the opening day of Vancouver Fashion Week. On a scale of 1-10, what’s the stress level like at the office?
It’s pretty much at a 10! It’s really stressful but it’s a lot of fun, I really like to do it.


You see, I was under the impression that at this point all the “heavy lifting” was done, but you’re saying it’s the opposite?
A little bit. You have the best intentions in terms of making plans but everything still has to come together. All the ducks are in a row but we still have our fingers crossed that everything will turn out all right. It’s gonna be a good show.


Speaking of your showcase on Sunday, Kersh and Press are headlining the final night of Fashion Week. Is there a better spot to be at all week than the finale on Sunday?
I think we have a pretty good spot. I’m happy about where we are. It’s cool to be apart of it [Vancouver Fashion Week] and to close the whole event is definitely a good feeling.


Every year Kersh and Press both design a Breast Cancer themed item. We absolutely love the tank tops Kersh did for 2010. What have been the most memorable Breast Cancer items that Kersh and Press have both designed?
For Kersh, the tank tops were probably the coolest. For Press, they did some beautiful pink scarves with the pink breast cancer emblem embroidered on them. That one was very special because they were very soft and they were great for gift giving. It’s definitely a cool thing to do and it’s perfect timing given that October is breast cancer awareness month.


Kersh Fashion Photo
Where does Kersh draw the inspiration to come up with the new theme of each year’s collection?
Well, we really try to make it a story as it helps relate the fashion back to this girl [the customer]. We are really inspired by the West Coast and we are very proud to be Canadian. The whole West Coast lifestyle is really inspirational to us so we really try and stay within that relatable West Coast feel for a lot our inspiration.


Kersh was in October’s issue of Elle Magazine. What impact does getting into a magazine like Elle do for the recognition of the brand?
Getting editorial coverage in those big U.S. and Canadian fashion magazines is awesome. It’s a lot of hard work though. The magazines request photos from upcoming photo shoots and we keep our fingers crossed that something got shot and its gets in the magazine. I get about 10-15 calls a day from the styles that get into those magazines so it’s really, really amazing.


With the “European invasion” coming to VFW this year, this may be one of the biggest Van Fashion Weeks ever. Given that you’re a local company, and you’re headlining the event on Sunday, what are you expecting to get out of this fashion show, in terms of brand recognition and exposure?
Well for us, we are a big international company already, so to be involved in VFW is more to create awareness in our own backyard than anything else. Being from Vancouver, we just want everybody that’s close to us to get to know us. That’s the big thing for us, to let everyone see us here. People see us in the USA and in Europe, but in Vancouver we aren’t sure if people get to know us as well, so its cool to show people that we are and this is what we are doing.


Press Fashion Photo
I recently read in an article that if Press could have 2 celebrities wearing their label, they would be Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Moss. Why these 2?
They really epitomize who our ideal target customer would be. When we are styling these lines, we think “would she wear this” and “how would she wear it”. All the things that we make, we emulate their styles. Gwyneth and Kate are the epitome of cool and style, and we picture them wearing our stuff and hopefully our outfits are as cool as something they would wear.


Where does Press draw the inspiration to come up with the new theme of each year’s collection?
It’s sort of the same [to Kersh]. Press is a little bit more contemporary so it has to have a bit more of a luxurious feel to it. The colour palette can tend to be more neutral. She is a different person [compared to Kersh], but its still a West Coast feel, just in a different light.


Press was recently featured in the Minneapolis Examiner. Is it common to be featured in publications in the United States?
Yeah, for sure. I get contacted daily by publications who want to feature our stuff. It’s kind of the same with the editorial coverage’s for Elle and Glamour and what not. When word kind of catches on people are like “what are you doing” and they want to get samples and feature it [in their publication].


Lastly, on a scale of 1-10, what’s the excitement level at for VFW?
Yeah, we are very, very, very excited! It’s kind of stressful but this thing is like my baby [Laughter]. The stress level is very high but I absolutely love every part of it.


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