Saturday, August 14, 2010

Where Are They Now: Heidi Ackerman

Recently, we updated you on 2009 Design Competition participant, Heidi Ackerman's appearance in the Star.  We caught up with the busy designer, who's hard at work on her line and creating avant-garde costume pieces for innovative, multi-media opera experience, Opera Erratica.

AOF: How did you first hear about Art of Fashion?

Heidi: I first heard about the Art of Fashion competition through a friend of mine Irene Stickney who I believe won the year before at Art of Fashion.

AOF: How would you describe your experience with the show? What opportunities did being involved with AOF open up for you?

Heidi: Creating an exhibit for AOF was a great experience! I found it so interesting and challenging to create a space that would reflect and represent my style and also engage the viewers. I would love to create more spaces and environments in the future. Through AOF I met great industry people including Leesa Butler from the F-List. After AOF, Leesa invited me to do a Designer Spotlight for one of her events.

AOF: Can you tell us a bit about what you’ve been up to since the design competition?

Heidi: I have been super busy since the design competition. In April I showed a new collection titled construct(this) at FAT (Fashion Art Toronto) and was also invited to present my work at a festival in Riga, Latvia called [moment]. I am currently working on a collaboration with an underground opera company called Opera Erratica - I am creating some avant-garde costumes that are more fashion than traditional costume. The opera will take place August 22-28 in a warehouse space on Lansdowne.

AOF: Do you have any advice for emerging designers in Canada? Do you think starting your design career in Canada is harder than it would be in places where the arts tend to be more valued?

Heidi: I think starting a design career is difficult anywhere. In Canada I am able to find a lot of press and opportunities for editorials but have a hard time finding my customer. I think that living or selling outside of Canada would be ideal for my type of design. My advice for emerging designers is to stay true to your style and follow your intuition.

AOF: How would you describe your style/pieces/line?

Heidi: I am definitely inspired and interested in the concept of futurism which I explore through my work. My design philosophy is to combine fashion-forward/avant-garde clothing with sustainable materials and business practices.

AOF: What do you think it takes to succeed as a designer in Canada? Is marketing crucial?

Heidi: A clear understanding of who your customer is and where you can find them. Creating an allure for your brand is also very important.

AOF: Where can shoppers buy your line?

Heidi: Currently I sell at Thieves Boutique at 1156 Queen Street West here in Toronto. Online stores are also in the works. I do private appointments in my studio; interested parties can contact me through e-mail at or

My website is currently under construction (, so my work can be viewed at

No comments:

Post a Comment