Yves Jean Lacasse is the founder and designer of the Montreal brand Envers, which creates small-batch ready-to-wear and custom-made evening wear for men and women. He sums up his aesthetic in three words: romantic, ethnic, historical. The creations of Yves Jean Lacasse are distinctive for their draping, asymmetry and bright colours; they appeal to customers of diverse cultural backgrounds.
Yves Jean Lacasse is from a family that, for three generations, has specialized in made-to-measure wedding attire for a variety of religions.
Jean-Yves Lacasse – Romantic, ethnic, historical
ModeMontréalTV, Jean-Yves Lacasse – Romantic, ethnic, historical, 2010.
After learning design and sewing skills from his parents, he began his career in the fashion industry at the age of 16 when he became a sales clerk.
He went on to become a buyer and manager for Bovet and Marc Andrew stores. From 1988 to 1993, he managed Revenge, a store devoted exclusively to Quebec designers, and worked as a stylist and visual designer for designer Marie Saint Pierre and several magazines. In 1989, he founded Les Productions Envers, a public relations and event planning company that was in business until 1995.
Yves Jean Lacasse became a fashion designer himself in 1996 when he launched his first collection of baroque-inspired men’s fashion.
At the time, his business was based in the Château Saint-Ambroise in Montreal’s St. Henri district. In 2001, he added women’s wear to his collections, which were being sold in over 15 countries. As of 2003, his creations could also be found in his new atelier/store on Sherbrooke Street West in Westmount.
His work was popular with Quebec performing artists. For example, Yves Jean Lacasse dressed Pierre Lapointe for his Le Columbarium music video and the cast of Michel Tremblay’s opera Nelligan.
In addition to his career as a designer, Yves Jean Lacasse taught at the École supérieure de mode of Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) and at the Montréal Centre for Contemporary Textiles from 2004 to 2010. In 2010, he opened a second store on Crescent Street that unfortunately had to close its doors in 2012 following a fire.
As of 2018, Yves Jean Lacasse was getting ready to move his business into the Belgo Building in downtown Montreal. The plan is to set up an atelier/studio where he can continue to design unique pieces for his clients, by appointment.
With the assistance of two employees, he produces all of his creations himself.
The company also markets a high-end children’s clothing line that is sold exclusively in China over the Internet.
In addition to his work as a designer, Yves Jean Lacasse is the owner of the Académie du Design de Mode du Québec, which mentors graduates with a fledgling fashion business. He is also still chairman of the board of the Centre for Contemporary Textiles.
Madeleine Goubau, Contributor