interview and photography by Tracie LeBlanc
Katie and Regine are co-owners of Victoire, a sweet shop on Ottawa’s independently fashionable street, Dalhousie.
Why did you decide to open up a boutique in Ottawa?
It’s a city that has the best of both worlds – a big city, but with small town charms. It’s got the large population and tourist industry of a big city, but it’s also small enough that it’s easy to build a community around any project/business/idea you have. Everyone in Ottawa is connected somehow…so it means it’s really only a matter of time before you’re friends…which often leads to partnerships. This is how we love to do business, with friends!
What are your plans for the future?
Our new, bigger space allows us to expand into areas we’ve wanted to for a while, but just didn’t have the space for. We’re excited to be doing men’s wear, and doing more accessories for women, including shoes. We’re also dabbling in a house line, Steel Magnolias, which is primarily jewelry for now – but who knows where that could lead. And we’re also doing more art shows, and are thinking about hosting other types of events (bands, dance parties, etc.)
What do you think about Ottawa’s fashion scene?
A lot of people in Ottawa have full days, and they need outfits that can take them from the desk job, to “5 � 7″ drinks, to a dance party in a stinky basement. That makes for some very innovative (and resourceful!) dressing. Fashion scenes in other cities are more tied to their city’s fashion industry, but since Ottawa has a very small fashion industry, our “fashion scene” interlaps more with the music scene, the art scene, the club scene, the queer scene, etc. This makes things quite eclectic and harder to pin down.
Régine and Katie’s top 10 favourite Canadian designers…
1 – Clayton Evans for complexgeometries
2 – Dace Moore for Dace
3 – Valerie Dumaine
4 – Nokomis
5 – Maryanne Mathias for Hastings & Main
6 – Melissa Matos & Lenny Pier-Ramos for Powerhaus
7 – Arielle de Pinto
8 – Renata Morales
9 – Denis Gagnon