If you find yourself in Regina, Sask., a visit to Coda Clothing and Shoes and Cade Style Lounge is definitely in order. The retailer is a gem in the small city and is operated by a Lethbridge College alumna. Coda sells men’s lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories, and Cade caters to women.
Chelsea Petterson started working as a buyer at Coda while attending the fashion program at the college. After graduating in 2009, she moved to Regina and bought into the company. She helped expand the business by opening Cade four years later. The brands merged into one location in 2014. There’s an online shop as well.
Chelsea values the role her business plays in the local area. “Our customers, our staff and people in our community are more important than the brands we sell,” she says. “We sponsor local artists, musicians and DJs and give back to the community as much as we possibly can.”
Before attending Lethbridge College, Chelsea wasn’t sure which direction she wanted to head, but knew she wanted technical sewing training and some general fashion industry knowledge. She got both at the college. She says the generality of the first year helped her see the “big picture.” As she watched alumni thrive, she was inspired to start building a fashion community in Regina. This passion led her to start Saskatchewan Fashion Week.
Chelsea joined a local design collective to network with designers, modeling agencies and other industry professionals. She teamed up with a duo from the salon industry and together they merged hair, makeup and fashion into one exciting event, which premiered in 2012.
“Their focus on artistic collaboration aligned perfectly with my vision for Saskatchewan Fashion Week, so we joined forces and within months we launched the first of many fashion weeks,” she says. “The event grew faster than I could have ever imagined and has seen over 100 different designers from across Canada showcase on its runway.” The next Saskatchewan Fashion Week is set for May 10 to 12, 2018 in Regina.
Chelsea is proud of how the event gives local designers and industry professionals a platform. She says, “It’s important to me to see Saskatchewan Fashion Week grow to empower the creative industries to work together and make a name for themselves at home, and most importantly create a paying career for themselves.”