From Carleton-sur-Mer to New York: the journey of designer Marie Geneviève Cyr

Forget Milan or Paris, it is in the shopping centers of Bathurst, Rimouski and Quebec City that Marie Geneviève Cyr, originally from Carleton-sur-Mer, discovered her interest in fashion.

<q data-attributes="{"lang":{"value":"fr","label":"Français"},"value":{"html":"Dans les années90, remembers Ms.Cyr, when I was at Antoine-Bernard high school, I remember that my parents gave me and my sister a budget twice a year so that we could go shopping. “,” Text “:” In the 90s, remembers MmeCyr, when I was at the Antoine-Bernard high school, I remember my parents giving me and my sister a budget twice a year to go shopping. “}}” lang = “fr”>In the 90s, remembers Ms. Cyr, when I was at the Antoine-Bernard high school, I remember that my parents gave my sister and I a budget twice a year so that we could go shopping.

The studious student, passionate as much by mathematics and physics as by the plastic arts, does not hesitate to put on powder blue pants and dye her hair red.

Marie Geneviève Cyr was determined, from the end of her secondary studies, to make her place in the fashion industry.

Photo: Elle China / Joseph Jagos

<q data-attributes="{"lang":{"value":"fr","label":"Français"},"value":{"html":"À 15years ago, explains Marie Geneviève Cyr, I really discovered that I could express my personality much more easily with clothes. The fashion cycle, the fact that we can build a sartorial personality, I found that very interesting. “,” Text “:” At 15, explains Marie Geneviève Cyr, I really discovered that I could express my personality much more easily with clothes. The fashion cycle, the fact that we can build a sartorial personality, I found that very interesting. “}}” Lang = “fr”>At 15, explains Marie Geneviève Cyr, I really discovered that I could express my personality much more easily with clothes. The fashion cycle, the fact that we can build a sartorial personality, I found that very interesting.

I was counting the months before I finished my fifth grade to be able to leave. I knew I was out of place in Gaspésie.

Marie Genevieve Cyr

Denis Gagnon, Zac Posen et cie

After college studies in design in Montreal, Marie Geneviève Cyr flew to Scotland, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in design and applied arts.

She returns from her European journey with one goal: to settle in New York. In the meantime, she made her mark in Montreal alongside designers Denis Gagnon and Yves Jean Lacasse, in addition to creating costumes for film, television and Cirque du Soleil.

La Gaspésienne will also have the opportunity to showcase her talent as a designer on the small screen by taking part in the Canadian version of the reality show. Haute couture project (Project Runway) in 2007.

In 2008, Marie Geneviève Cyr moved to New York to do a master’s degree in fashion theory and visual culture at New York University. At the same time, she collaborates with prestigious American designers such as Anna Sui, Pamela Love and Zac Posen.

Four designers are seated on stools.

Marie Geneviève Cyr leads here a panel discussion with young designers as part of New York Fashion Week.

Photo: Courtesy of Marie Geneviève Cyr

Soon, the Parsons University School of Design, the largest design school in the United States, opened its doors to her as a teacher. In the classes at the private institution, where tuition is US $ 25,000 per session, Ms. Cyr teaches mostly young Asians.

Made in China

Her work at Parsons University led Marie Geneviève Cyr to multiply trips to Europe and Asia to teach, offer workshops and do research on the design and fashion industry.

Marie Geneviève Cyr in front of a creation table, next to two Chinese women.

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Marie Geneviève Cyr offers several design workshops in Asia. She is seen here at the Chinese Academy of Arts in Hangzhou.

Photo: Courtesy of Marie Geneviève Cyr

Since 2015, I have had a great love affair with China, I spend a lot of time there, explains the Gaspésienne, who masters the basics of Mandarin.

It’s very interesting, what is happening there, reports the designer impressed by the young Chinese emerging. The industry is changing and growing so quickly.

I go to Shanghai Fashion Week and have seen in the past three years how China has become a huge power.

Marie Genevieve Cyr

But the designer from Carleton-sur-Mer is not fooled. Marie Geneviève Cyr is aware that the fashion industry contributes to the pollution, waste and exploitation of countless workers.

An Asian store overflowing with shoes.

Through her travels in Asia, Marie Geneviève Cyr became interested in the overconsumption linked to the fashion industry. She documented the phenomenon through photos.

Photo: Marie Geneviève Cyr

The idea of ​​longevity has disappeared from the fashion world since the 1990s, explains Cyr. Overconsumption is a huge problem, because we are not connected to what we buy.

The teacher, who devotes herself more and more to research, believes that the way of consuming fashion must be reviewed.

As long as the consumer wants a $ 5 t-shirt, and doesn’t understand all the harm behind it, nothing is going to change.

Marie Genevieve Cyr

To limit the ecological footprint of her wardrobe, the designer offers, among other things, swapping clothes with friends, paying more for sustainable clothes, encouraging local designers and shopping at thrift stores.

A soothing Gaspé

Passing through her native Baie-des-Chaleurs for vacation, Marie Geneviève Cyr explains that the Gaspé is for her a haven of peace where she can take a break from her hectic professional life.

The sea, for me, is the kind of infinity, she says. I really like coming here to recharge my batteries in nature.

I have lived in big cities for a very long time and it is very weird to be alone in the forest or to look up and see the stars. I can never do that in New York.

Marie Genevieve Cyr

She also took advantage of her stay in the region to meet the students of her former high school, in Carleton-sur-Mer, to talk about her extraordinary career path.

We can bet that his career will have inspired some.

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