It’s hard to ignore the recent attention being paid to menswear, particularly here in Winnipeg where clothes already have a tendency to be more rugged and durable due to our famous winters. Shelley Ediger is in the right place at the right time with her fashion menswear line, Dediger, which focuses on outerwear and accessories.
After graduating from Vancouver’s Blanch Macdonald Centre in 2010, Ediger came home to Winnipeg to launch her line. Since the company’s start-up in 2011, it placed as a semi-finalist in the Mercedes-Benz StartUp, a program created to “discover and support emerging Canadian fashion designers.”
“I have loved clothes since I was two,” says Ediger, 27, displaying a conviction that makes it clear why she is part of the very small group of graduates in her class that went on to be fashion designers. “There’s been no question about what I was going to do with my life, ever.”
Ediger says Winnipeg is the perfect place for her to develop her line, citing the city’s frigid temperatures as a prime reason; apparently the weather inspires more than muttered swear words, a resounding sentiment among the Winnipeg arts scene. Ediger also draws on the city’s history for direction in her designs.
“This past collection that I did, which is on the website right now, is inspired by me driving around Winnipeg,” she says. “I always drive down Valour, and I knew the story from when I was little. I’m always touched by history, and so I was inspired by that story.”
The resulting line is on point with current trends, but nods to the stoicism and boldness of men who were involved in the war, focusing on rugged textures and dropped hemlines.
There’s also been considerable support shown by local shops, most notably Normandy, located on Corydon Ave. The shop - which has been open just over a year - features hand-made and local menswear pieces, and has hosted a pop-up shop for Ediger’s collection.
“Over the last couple years, the biggest thing is the push for men to shop Canada-made,” Ediger says. “That’s been huge. It’s been really great, having stores like Normandy open up, which encourages guys to spend money on that one solid piece, and it’s going to last you for years.”
Developing Dediger has also taught her a variety of tricks to run a successful brand: she mentions time management and self-discipline as keys and establishing a schedule and sticking to it as a necessity.
“You have to be at the studio at this time, and if you’re late, it’s a big deal, even though no one is checking up on you,” she says. “You have to make it matter. If I came to work in sweats and a ponytail, I would work like I was in sweats and a ponytail.”
Ediger says the number one thing for guys to remember this season is to accessorize. Go ahead and get that scarf - it’ll keep you warm and you’ll look great.
Visit facebook.com/dEDIGERmen to stay in the loop on Dediger’s upcoming lines.