“I always loved clothes and was aware that when I put on a cool outfit I felt better and got a boost of energy,” he says. “I started sketching my own ideas for clothing and logos, and by the time I was 13 I had a book full of designs.”
Still, it wasn’t until Bates landed in Stockholm in 2005 that his stylish path became clear.
“I felt seriously inspired,” he says. “That was when I knew I had to actually create my ideas or I would have serious regrets later in life.”
Now Bates finds inspiration everywhere, from the sharp lines of buildings to the precision of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, with style icons that range from James Bond to David Bowie. Named one of Canada’s Most Influential People by the Alberta Youth Congress, Bates was the only menswear designer to be featured in the Mercedes-Benz Start Up program and shows at Toronto Fashion Week. This year he will design the new uniforms for Air Canada.
“When I’m working on a new collection, I tend to draw inspiration from architecture, geometry, and anatomy,” he says. “I also listen to a lot of music by Depeche Mode. It seems to put me in the right mood for designing.”
Bates will be showing looks from his most recent fall and spring collections during Fashion Week El Paseo, his first major show in the United States.