For designer Alexandra Watson, the love for handmade and comfort go hand in hand. Her work in textile and clothing design has allowed her to create pieces that reflect an identity she has come to associate herself with, that of going back to the roots.
Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Atelier Aleur is founded around a love for relaxed and sustainable clothing that minimizes wastage.
Watson’s journey into the world of fashion and design is a perfect tale of following one’s passion and yearning… After taking full opportunity of a beginners sewing course offered at her high school, Watson, founder of Atelier Aleur, gave a vent to her talent by creating items that were missing from her own wardrobe. Soon after, her life as a small town seamstress begun…
As it turned out, Watson was flooded with bespoke orders that enabled her to acquire a hands-on skill over many types of patterns and construction techniques.
Ten years of independent training in the field, juggling internships in the UK, and working within the retail industry, led Watson to enter the industry with her own label.
Sustainable, locally sourced and handmade, Atelier Aleur fills in the gap for comfort-first loungewear in the fashion industry.
Built on the cornerstones of sustainability and quality, the brand offers a modern twist to traditional loungewear pieces. For example, the designer tries to implement unconventional details into her products such as longer than usual sleeves, and lower than usual unisex necklines.
“I want my clients to feel so comfortable in Aleur, that they’re able to reach a state of pure relaxation and thrive in their natural beauty!” Watson stated.
100% locally sourcing from a warehouse in Montréal that sells a combination of Montréal-made, overstock and deadstock materials, enables Watson to create clothes that have a positive impact on the planet.
As a material and process-oriented designer, Watson prefers to work with fabrics such as silk, cotton fleece, and lyocell, which focus on bringing out the relaxed characteristic the brand associates itself with.
The industry thrives on customized clothing and fit today- everyone is looking for an exclusive piece to call their own. Given the niche she caters to, it is not uncommon for Watson to receive requests for custom-made orders on a regular basis.
So much so that the designer credits 40 per cent of her business to custom orders. This goes on to state that Watson is very open to adapting her patterns and also creating new ones in order to give clients the quickest custom experience possible; a move that has leveraged Atelier Aleur’s demand in the market.
“I usually produce 10-30 pieces of each style per collection… Some boutiques keep reordering popular pieces for years.”
The popularity has carved a wide road for the brands availability and reach. Apart from being available for purchase through the brand’s own website, Atelier Aleur is also stocked with General54 on Saint-Laurent Blvd in Montréal, and the designer takes part in trade fairs such as Etsy Montréal, Puces Pop, and Inland Toronto to further her market base.
Citing her future plans, Watson revealed that she is aiming to expand into the Nordic countries as she finds their fashion sensibilities to be in sync with her brands aesthetic.
Her designs are a platform through which she aims to channel the slow fashion movement in order to give back to the planet in an ethical manner by creating a responsible line of beautiful clothing at an economic price point.