Trained in Milan at legendary Istituto Marangoni, Toronto-based Christopher Bates is an intrepid designer achieving a meteoric rise in the fashion industry. His eponymous menswear line is gaining traction with retailers, consumers, media, stylists, and celebrities.
In 2009, Bates was featured as one of the top six leading menswear designers in Canada (Sharp Magazine, September 2009). Since he launched his brand he has been selling in leading Canadian boutiques including Toronto’s high-profile Gotstyle Menswear.
Bates’ unique style signature evolves from the following elements: contemporary tailoring, stylish fabrics and trims, clever details, a modern-edge, quality construction, a tasteful colour palette with injections of boldness, and a unique blend of Scandinavian and Italian influences. He designs quality, lifestyle-oriented pieces with a distinctly European flair. Focusing on the smart-casual contemporary market, his dashing urban looks are perfectly suited for evening, weekend, and transition wear. His inspirations are diverse and include: living, studying and travelling in Europe, asymmetry, the 80`s, architecture, street-style, Depeche Mode, and style icons, such as David Bowie and Freddie Mercury.
Bates designs for dynamic, stylish individuals who possess a cultivated appreciation of designer fashion and a sense of adventure in their life and dress. The line is perfect for confident men in their prime who want to stand out from the crowd. Born and raised in Canada, trained in Milan and inspired by the jet-set lifestyle, Bates’ approach to design is truly global and his line appeals to the growing numbers of fashion-conscious men in cosmopolitan cities around the world.
Bates’ ultimate goal is to create a leading international designer fashion brand.
I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Christopher this past October at the Spring/Summer show at World MasterCard Fashion Week. His collection was classic, sexy and romantic all-in-one! There was one piece that I absolutely fell in love with~ the Romeo dress shirt with the signature kiss print on the collar. It’s funny how such a small detail can have such a strong impact. From the moment I met Christopher Bates I knew that he had something special. Not only is he incredibly charming, he is very humble and genuine.
Upon talking with Christopher, I began to realize that he incorporates his appreciation for life into everything he creates. I appreciate so much his dedication and focus to his work and brand. Christopher is strong-minded and when it comes to business he is focused, driven and determined. Even when I approached him for this interview, he took no time on delivery and made it happen. When he puts his mind to something he gives it 1000%. This designer is one to watch out for, big things are to come in the near future (mark my word). It is my pleasure to share this up close and personal interview with all of you on the man behind the suit~ Christopher Bates.
BB411~ When did you know you wanted to be a designer?
CB~ In 2005. It was during my second tour of Europe. I was in Stockholm, surrounded by the most stylish people I had seen in my life. It was then that I knew there was a market out there for the ideas for clothing I’d be having since I was a kid.
BB411~ If you weren’t a designer and you could be anything in the world what would it be?
CB~ Professional soccer player.
BB411~ Which designers did you admire growing up?
BB411~ Have you always been in love with fashion and beauty?
CB~ Yes, since I was in elementary school. My mom bought some pretty cool clothes for my brothers and I. Clothing was powerful for me. It reinforced how I felt on the inside, which was very energetic.
BB411~ What kind of person does your line represent?
CB~ A cultured and international individual who appreciates the finer things in life. He wants to be like James Bond.
BB411~ Who has been your favourite celebrity to dress?
BB411~ What was your favourite moment from showing Spring/Summer 2013 at World MasterCard Fashion Week?
CB~ Watching my show on a TV monitor backstage. The guys did such a great job. It was flawless.
BB411~ What was the inspiration behind the Beauty/Style looks during the show (make up & hair)?
CB~ We opted for a clean and modern look to compliment the collection. The collection had a James Bond theme, so the hair (Jorge Joao from Redken) was slick and the make up (Grace Lee from Maybelline) was minimal.
CB~ Spring. I love using colour and lot’s of white. I also love lighter weight fabrics. I would dress for Spring year round if I could.
BB411~ What do you look for when creating each collection?
CB~ What’s not readily available in the market. A lot of clothes are over-designed or over-embellished. My goal is to update classic pieces and keep them clean. My focus is on fit, fabric, colour, cut + interesting details.
BB411~ Favourite color?
BB411~ What are the 5 staple pieces every man should have in his wardrobe?
CB~ Every man needs: a pair of fitted black jeans, a tailored sports jacket, a lightweight wool topcoat, crisp white dress shirt and a fitted leather bomber.
BB411~ Describe your style?
BB411~ What does beauty mean to you?
CB~ Having a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
BB411~ What inspires you personally and professionally?
CB~ Music, movies, art, fashion, architecture, automotive, literature, food and wine, and travel.
BB411~ Are you involved in any charities that are close to your heart?
CB~ The Jade’s KIDS Foundation. Jade lives to inspire kids to choose creativity over drugs. His story is incredible.
BB411~ What does it mean to you to give back?
CB~ To help people any way you can.
BB411~If you could tell your younger self something you have learned and know now what would it be?
CB~Follow your passion.
BB411~3 words that best describe you?
CB~Energetic, Ambitious, Imaginative.
BB411~ What is your skin care regime?
BB411~ 3 beauty products you carry with you always?
CB~Vaseline (for my lips), eye drops, water.
BB411~#1 beauty product you could not live without?
BB411~ What is your go to hair products?
BB411~Do any certain scents remind you of your childhood and what is your favorite fragrance?
CB~Dior Fahrenheit. This was my first cologne. It was an extremely distinctive scent. Any time I smell it, it brings me right back to high-school.
BB411~Do you have a best kept beauty secret that has been passed down to you (say from your Mother or Grandmother)?
CB~Drink lots of water.
BB411~ How do you stay fit?
CB~ I go to the gym and do a mixture of cardio & weights + play soccer. 7 days a week I exercise. I also eat healthy.
BB411~ Fun fact that your fans may not know about you
CB~I’m a massive 80’s music fan.
CB~“What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail.” (Dr. Robert Schulfer)
CB~ In 1 year I’d like to have my menswear line selling coast to coast in Canada and in a few good stores abroad. In 5 years I’d like to be based in Europe and starting to open my own mono-brand boutiques. In 10 years I’d like to be evolving my fashion brand into a lifestyle empire including: hotels, nightclubs, restaurants, electronic music, furniture, film, and a modelling agency.
BB411~What advice would you give entrepreneurs starting out that are following their dreams?
CB~Create a budget then double or triple it. And, be brave.
BB411~ When you look back what do you want to be remembered for?
CB~ Living a great life and building an exciting lifestyle empire.
BB411~#1 thing you want to cross off your bucket list?
CB~ Sail around the world in a tall ship.
BB411~ When I say the word #lovethis , what is the first thing that comes to mind?
I can’t tell you what an absolute pleasure it was to do this interview with Christopher! I look forward to seeing all the success that is to come for this amazing designer. I will keep my fingers crossed that one day he may venture out and design a classic woman’s suit~ There is really nothing like having a perfect suit that fits like a glove. I’d be happy to be his test model (spokesperson) and would wear that suit proud!
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Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411