I was first introduced to the Montreal based label Matiere Noir during World Mastercard Fashion Week in Toronto. One of the winners of the Mercedes-Benz Startup Competition, the line has garnered quite a following since launching in 2012. Designer Cécile Raizonville has quite the pedigree, having accomplished much since she graduated with a degree in industrial design and fashion from Felicidad Duce Institute of Barcelona. After winning the Lupo Award presented by Modafad, the Spanish platform for emerging designers, she then continued her training at the house of Haute Couture Josep Font in Barcelona as well at Maxime Simoens in Paris. After completing her training, Cécile decided to venture to New York City to work for the eco-friendly brand Bodkin before moving to Montreal to start her own label. I find Raizonville’s minimalist designs the perfect balance between intellectual and elegant, the type of designs that beg to be worn by fashion royalty like Miroslava Duma or photographed for the pages of W Magazine
What inspired you to launch Matiere Noire?
I had been working in the fashion and costume industries in Montreal for one year . I also had a few experiences in Barcelona ( where I studied Fashion Design), Paris and New York. I felt that it was the right time to put all I had learned in a project. I also knew I wanted to collaborate with other creative people.
Who is the Matière Noire woman?
I would say she is a strong woman. She understands that every decision she makes has an impact on society and chooses to buy sustainable items. She looks for quality and pieces that will last. She cares more about her essence than her appearance. She is strong and mysterious.
Who are your fashion icons?
I admire the elegance of people living in the fifties. I often look at vintage photos.
Actual individuals that I find particularly inspiring are some of the French writers and the philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, who was a free, strong and always elegant. For the SS14 I looked at pictures of the American painter Georgia O’Keeffe.
What inspired your current collection?
To create a new collection I try to immerse myself in a new culture or environment.
I read the book The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and I did some research about how the immigrants arriving in the USA in the 30’s were dressing. I also looked at photos of New Mexico landscapes. I wanted to get back to something raw and simple, that’s why I did collaboration with a weaver to create a custom-made fabric.
Where do you like to shop in Montreal?
I like Les Etoffes , they carry lots of beautiful pieces for both men and women.
What do you think of the Montreal design scene?
From my experience the scene has a lot of young designers with great potential. The city is really allowing talent to grow and I see Montreal becoming a well recognized fashion capital in the future.
Where can one buy Matiere Noire?
We have an online shop where you can find a selection of our pieces. We are also going to expand our sales points this spring in to Toronto and Montreal.
What can we expect next from Matiere Noire?
We are going to release online a series of shorts films. We’ll also be releasing a line of unisex caps in the coming weeks.