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Debbie Shuchat

Designer

Since 1978

Debbie Shuchat is a Montreal women’s fashion designer whose eponymous label was very popular from the early 1980s to the mid-2000s. Aimed at working women, her moderately priced creations were a blend of classic and contemporary, featuring signature details.

After completing a bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from Concordia University followed by a DEC in fashion marketing from LaSalle College, Debbie Shuchat launched her own line in 1978, at the age of 21.

Her first collections earned her several awards and prizes, which enabled her to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City for two years.

Upon returning to Canada, she moved to Toronto where she relaunched her label in addition to designing a line of plus-size clothing manufactured by Sofi in Sault Ste. Marie Ont. The Toronto Star recognized her as the very first Canadian designer to work in this segment of women’s fashion, which had until then been ignored by the top names in the industry.

After five years in Ontario, she returned to Montreal to create a plus-size collection called Shuchat Brodkin for Brodkin Industries and to market her regular label under the name Debbie Shuchat Now. Tyfoon International then began licensing and distributing her creations. Her collections were sold in over 1,000 stores in the United States and carried by retailers like Les Ailes de la Mode, Simons and Holt Renfrew in Canada.

In 2004, Debbie Shuchat worked with Air Canada to design new uniforms for its flight crews and airport employees. American pop singer Gwen Stefani also hired Shuchat to be the artistic director of her L.A.M.B. ready-to-wear brand. In 2016, Debbie Shuchat consulted for Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha and her husband James Conran on the creation of their sport-chic CO+CO label.

Sources

“Debbie Shuchat” Fashion Model Directory, The Fashion Model Directory, http://www.fashionmodeldirectory.com/designers/debbie-shuchat/. 2018. External link

Friede, Eva. “Connecting with consumers: Garment company branches into retail with on-trend Alton Gray store” Montreal Gazette, Postmedia Network Inc., 17 November 2014, https://montrealgazette.com/business/local-business/retail/connecting-with-consumers-garment-company-branches-into-retail-with-on-trend-alton-gray-store. External link

Publication date

01/02/2019

Author

Madeleine Goubau, Contributor

© McCord Museum 2019