On Thursday May 10, Heed the Free hit the runway as an emerging designer in Regina, Saskatchewan during the province's first ever Fashion Week.
Its creator, Sara Armstrong, is one of our own. Sara is twenty-three years old and currently working and living in Vancouver, Canada.
Born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, she is an installation artist and designer with a sustainable focus. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2010 from the University of Regina, with a major in sculpture and inter media. Sara has shown and sold work in galleries across Saskatchewan.
She moved to Vancouver in September of 2010 to begin a career in Fashion. In April of 2011, Sara partnered to launch an Eco-apparel knitwear brand called, Motel June.
In September of 2011, Sara graduated with a Fashion Design diploma from Blanche Macdonald. Her design was featured on the cover of the magazine and in billboards and posters.
Her new line, Heed The Free, is up-cycled and re-purposed. She describes it as an Eco-couture conundrum, with a goal to serve a new market in exploring Eco-fashion.
Her voyage thrives upon child-like curiosity, a love affair with the handcrafted, and the Emersonian spirit. Heed the Free is fiercely independent with a goal of inconsistency as opposed to the consistency of mass production. Heed the Free is about learning and celebrating change and transformation in discovering, composing, decomposing, and reconstructing the old into the new.
Armstrong is dedicating 50% of her profits to the Rainforest Conservation Foundation.
Heed the Free, along with the collection of designers and models who walked the runway last week carry another message about the Saskatchewan's future that bears heeding.
Saskatchewan Fashion Week is an example of how things get done here in Saskatchewan, and the power of a vision that is nurtured and brought to life.
Directors Chelsea O'Connell, Candyce Fiessel and Chris Pritchard created a business plan that inspired volunteers, designers and audiences to come together and share in the artistry of our province's people.
I was inspired and proud knowing that these artists with business savvy are people of Saskatchewan whose passion inspired thousands and brought Saskatchewan to a place we had never been before.
I couldn't help but think about how important it will be to sustain this momentum of the arts so that designers and artists like Sara can have a career and a future here, and be proud to talk about Saskatchewan as the place where it all began for them.
In these times of economic review, we need to continue to nurture the arts and the artists for it is they who possess a vision that others can see too. Artists have the power to tell a story that numbers and Return on Equity measures never will.
Decision makers need to remember that there is more to a future than what a balance sheet can communicate. Without heart, soul and vision, there is no future and no way to inspire. If anything, we need to continue to promote the arts and support the industry with the business tools that it needs to be successful and viable into the future rather than eliminating them.
Visit www.sararmstrong.com to find out more about Heed the Free.