It’s an unseasonably chilly April evening (yeah, right). Picture sleet and wind resulting in sideways sleet that cannot be escaped no matter which way you position your umbrella. Fashion stylist and designer Raul Manriquez was kind enough to come over and discuss how Instagram was his ticket into his career in YYC Fashion and ultimately his inaugural collection for S/S 2014, and also needed to borrow an umbrella, or two, to protect that trademark hair.

At just 19 years of age, Manriquez has a combination of sass, cuteness, determination, professionalism and not giving a fuck about what people think that I immediately felt akin to. He has made a massive impact on the Calgary fashion scene in an extremely short period of time. His creativity, work ethic and love for this city and its people has been noticed by the likes of YYC Fashion Week and Mira Pucchi Maquillage Inc.

Manriquez and Instagram are like a sunshiny day and patio drinking. It is a must follow on Twitter (@theraulyyc) and mirrors Raul not just in exterior but also in character and creative passion. His Instagram is where Ashley Quan, of YYC Fashion Week, first noticed Manriquez and she was hooked. Fast-forward five months and Manriquez has continued on as official fashion stylist for both Mira Pucchi Maquillage Inc. and YYC Fashion Week, and has some exciting new projects.

Manriquez’s latest project, which we are extremely excited about, is a S/S 2014 Men and Women’s clothing line. Manriquez is challenging the idea of typical spring fashion and promoting the feeling of shadows with a combination of white, black and brown utilizing pleather, tulle and silk. His line has separate men and women’s components but the idea is that women can wear either line and men can wear feminine clothing that is fit and structured for the male figure.  Does it get any better than that? I love that Manriquez is taking a turn from androgynous fashion that typically plays with the dichotomy of men’s wear for women.

Manriquez will be starting the Fashion Marketing program at Blanche Macdonald come fall. Workaholic? Maybe, but no one does it with a giggle and a smile like he does.

Not to worry though, this young visionary plans to return to Calgary after his schooling in Vancouver. He will continue to be an ambassador for YYC Fashion Week while in Vancouver and looking to gain experience working in print as well. Calgary is at an exciting time with fashion there has been a enormous progress over the years and Manriquez sees this and wants to promote Calgary’s talent to stay in the Calgary instead of having to move to larger centers, ultimately strengthening fashion in Calgary.

By: Noelle Sylvester

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