Rea Harbus of Amaranth Designs took a few minutes to chat with me at local 13th Ave Café in Regina!
Raised in Gravelbourg, SK. Rea went on to attend Yvonne Yuen School of Design in Saskatoon, followed by a diploma at The Blanche MacDonald Institute in Vancouver and later established Amaranth Designs in Regina around 2000.
What words would you use to describe Amaranth Designs?
“Sophisticated, Elegant, Quality.”
Rea’s targeted demographic is the professional woman, normally aged 35 and up.
What’s the most important thing to keep in mind when you are working with a client to create a garment for them?
“What their needs are, the occasion – their body type. I take a lot of consideration into their skin tone, and what they are comfortable wearing. I want to make sure what I design is what they will wear more than once.”
Amaranth Designs is carried at Havak and Studio S in Regina, as well as Mint Fashion Co. in Saskatoon.
Amaranth has been established for approximately 15 years; how would you describe the growth you have seen in the Saskatchewan Fashion Industry?
“Over the last 5 years it has grown substantially. I think with the change in the economy more people are wanting to support local business and keep the money here in Saskatchewan to grow our own province.”
There definitely has been huge growth in the industry within the last few years. Through the introduction of SFW in Regina, Saskatoon Design Festival and various other artists’ events Saskatchewan talent has been brought to the forefront.
Below is some of Amaranth’s designs at the 2014 Saskatchewan Fashion Week.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned from running a design label?
“It’s a lot of hard work. It’s very rewarding with clients; they get the results as exactly what they envisioned for themselves.”
Who is a ‘Saskatchewan Fashion Icon’?
“It would have to be the publisher of Sky magazine, Lynn Armstrong. She has a keen fashion sense and is a huge supporter of local business”.
Rea’s work has been published in Sky magazine a variety of times. Lynn’s daughter has also attended Blanche McDonald.
What advice would you give to designers who are just starting out?
“Work hard to get the results that you want.”
Starting out Rea worked a few internships with some big name designers within Vancouver. She emphasised the benefits of various sewing jobs that amplified her skill set. She would like to expand into other provincial markets within the next 2-5 years.
You can interact with Rea and shop Amaranth Designs at the upcoming Trunk Show and Fabric Sale, Sunday March 8th at the South Leisure Centre in Regina. For more information and a list of the designers attending – see below.
Big thanks to amazing photographer Jared Schlechte for capturing and allowing me to share the images posted above!
Check out more of his work below.
Click HERE to visit his site.