Q&A with Emma Backer

November 01, 2015

1 comment

Emma Backer is an up-and-coming fashion designer who is currently working out of her studio in Victoria, BC.

I met Emma a few years ago when she interned with me for a summer while I was working on the denim collection (Spring/Summer 2015).

With her bold shaved head, Emma resembles British it-model of the moment Ruth Bell. Not many women can pull off a shaved head, but Emma can - and in fact she looks the most beautiful I've ever seen her. 

I shot some photos of Emma wearing the Autumn/Winter 2015 collection on a rainy Monday in Cowichan Bay.

Here she tells us what inspires her most and why you should be staring more...

Introducing Emma:

 How did your interest in fashion begin?

I have always been interested in clothing, obviously as a small child I wasn't aware of what fashion was but looking back at some of my outfits I would describe myself as almost too experimental. When I was nine, my mom put my sister into a 4H Sewing and Crafts club. I went with them every Wednesday evening and sat around doing nothing until the teacher told me I should start sewing, so I did and I haven't stopped since! Both of my great grandmothers were amazing seamstresses, so I've heard, and I can't help but believe I inherited some of their fashion savvy genes.

What are you working on right now?

I am currently working on an evening gown for Silken Laumann (the Canadian Olympic rower), which is going on the Canadian red carpet! The dress has been taking up most of my time but when I give myself breaks I am working on a few different projects. Primarily, I am working toward entering a collection in an upcoming fashion show, most likely Mercedes Benz Startup in Toronto.

What has influenced or inspired the work that you do? 

A lot of my influence has come from my love for antiques and vintage design in architecture, clothing, armour, and most of everything! I am always crazy inspired when I am wandering around a hundred year old house or walking through a museum. I want to bring the elegance and creativity from the past into the present, but with a twist...and I am sure lots of people say that. I'm going to make something very different. 

What inspires you the most?

I think I may have already answered this question but I think something else that inspires me a lot, especially in my paintings and illustrations, would be humans. The way people interact with each other, carry themselves, stand, stare, it all really inspires me. I stare a lot and it might be creepy or rude at the time but it generally gets the gears moving in my creative mind and I make something from it.

What do you want to create the most right now?

I want to create clothing that will make others stop and stare. I don't think people stare enough, really. It is so helpful, you can learn so much from society and general human activity from staring at people. Just try not to take it too far haha...

I am generally a humorous individual and try not to take many things seriously so most of my art pieces and clothing has some kind of humour in it. My upcoming collection is definitely going to be something that the majority of society won't accept but that is kind of what I want

The Q&A

Which 3 items would you take with you to a desert island?

My John Fluevog shoes - I could probably eat the leather if I really had to, a purple cabbage, and a rain coat. That's a hard question to answer

What makes you cringe?

So many things, oh lord. One of the worst is when someone else's feet touch my feet under a blanket...very specific, very gross. Oh, and water on a counter. I clean my counters excessively.

What smell do you adore?

Probably my mother's scent, and my partner's. Very cheesy. 

Who would you hang with in heaven?

My aunt Laura, I never got to spend time with her and I think we would have been very close, my great grandmothers, my dog Charlie Brown, and my cats Willie and Lucky.

Jelly Beans or Chocolate?

I think it depends if I am menstruating or not.

What’s the last thing you googled?

Haha I'm not going to put that on here

What’s on your ‘fuhgetaboutit’ list?

Well I'm broke so, my bank account lol

Which city would you most like to live in?

I haven't travelled enough to know, so that has yet to be determined

Britney or Christina?


What is on the flip side?

I'm not sure what that means but if it's regarding what I would do if I weren't passionate about fashion design, I would be a dancer, or an athlete. Or maybe a writer.

What do you doodle?

Lots of breasts, they're so fun and diverse! I also doodle a lot of faces, generally with personalities. 


Follow Emma's adventures in fashion on Instagram @emmalyn_design

Also, I love your comments.

Just sayin ;)

1 Response


November 03, 2015

What a super fun interview. So real and in the moment. Very inspiring, creative and sensory…beautiful clothing, beautiful person, interesting and entertaining questions and answers. Just an all around feel good, feel inspired piece. Thank you <3

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