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Young fashion designer goes on the road

From the fashion label VOILÀ by designer Andréanne Dandeneau

Dandeneau’s fashions will be seen at the Calgary Art Market from Nov. 16 to Nov. 19, at One of a Kind in Toronto from Nov. 23 to Dec. 3, the Signature Show in Edmonton from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 and at One of a Kind in Chicago from Dec. 7 to Dec 10.

Up-and-coming fashionista Andréanne Dandeneau (Métis/Francophone) is bringing her Winnipeg-based fashion label VOILÀ to Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton and to the U.S. market in Chicago in the coming weeks.

While it’s unusual for a fashion designer to go on the road, Dandeneau got the idea from her twin sister, a professional bass player, who travels the with world with top musicians.

Dandeneau founded VOILÀ in 2005 with the goal of making customers feel good inside and out.

“I believe comfort is the best trend to follow. It will always be in style,” said Dandeneau, who says she takes pride in creating quality products with every garment, which are designed and manufactured in Winnipeg using organic eco-friendly Canadian-made fabrics sustainable practices, and fair labour.

Her designs feature “world-class craftsmanship”, “stunning embellishments” and “comfort and functionality”, reads a press statement about the upcoming tour.

Dandeneau’s fashions will be seen at the Calgary Art Market from Nov. 16 to Nov. 19, at One of a Kind in Toronto from Nov. 23 to Dec. 3, the Signature Show in Edmonton from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 and at One of a Kind in Chicago from Dec. 7 to Dec 10. 

She describes the fall line of VOILÀ as ‘sustainable sophistication’, “purposefully designed for women on the move, who are as in sync with the pulse of urban life as they are with the pursuit of active living.” 

The designs stay true to the French lifestyle that influenced her Francophone heritage and, as a finishing touch, many of her pieces are adorned with Indigenous-inspired designs reflecting her Métis culture. 

Dandeneau claims ancestry from the Ojibwa and French. She was born and raised in Saint-Boniface and graduated in 2004 from LaSalle College School of Fashion Design. 

One year after completing college, Dandeneau started her first fashion company with the help of Aboriginal Business Canada. She created Hug Me, a collection of yoga-inspired active clothing combining comfort with function.

Since then the vision of Dandeneau’s designs have grown and expanded and have been noticed by some influential women, including Lisa Meeches, host of the series Taken, and Rhonda Head, an opera singer who performed alongside the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the Canada 150 celebrations.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights commissioned her to design a shawl for their boutique, which Ginette Reno wore while performing the national anthem at the museum’s opening ceremonies.  

Dandeneau has been awarded the Excellence in Aboriginal Leadership Award from the Asper School of Business, and the Entrepreneurship Award for Sustainable Design & Environment from the Francophone Chamber of Commerce.

She represents Aboriginal designers as a board member of the Apparel Human Resource Council, an organization serving the Canadian Apparel Industry in Canada.

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