Edmonton fashion designer takes StartUp title

By Anna-Grae York

EDMONTON — A local designer was picked as the winner of the Edmonton leg of the Mercedes-Benz StartUp fashion competition at Dave Morris Fine Cars on 111 Avenue.

Malorie Urbanovitch, an Edmonton native, won over judges with her impressively coloured and textured designs, and will move on to compete at the World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto this October.

“I have no words,” said Urbanovitch just moments after hearing her name called as the winner on the evening of April 17. “I’m absolutely overwhelmed, I gave it my all.”

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One of Urbanovitch's designs she chose to show on the runway.

Mercedes-Benz StartUp is a Canada-wide initiative to assist designers who have been in the fashion business for less than five years with the business side of the industry.

“They have help with legal advice, copyright,” said Michael Minielly, the public relations supervisor for Mercedes-Benz Canada. “They’re not taught how to run a business in school, so it’s really something of value.”

The other finalists that Urbanovitch beat out were Nicole Campre, another Edmonton designer, Lauren Bagliore (Calgary), Rebecca King (Calgary), and Eliza Faulkner (Vancouver Island).

Urbanovitch says that one of her biggest challenges was choosing which eight outfits she’d pick to showcase on the runway.

“It was really hard, my collection was 16 looks,” she said. “I chose ones that I got the best feedback on, but I even featured ones I got negative feedback on [because] I wanted to prove that they could work, that they were better than that.”

Urbanovitch wasn’t the only one speechless from the win. Her mother, Bernie, was in tears.

“Everything she’s ever done has paid off,” she said. “I remember when she was a little girl, she’d put these outfits together, and I’d say, ‘That doesn’t match at all.’”

She’ll be accompanying her daughter to Toronto in October, and if Urbanovitch wins, she’ll receive an editorial feature in Fashion Magazine.

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