Lara Presber – Calgary Fashion Designer

Last week I was kicking around twitter looking for Calgary fashion designers and I came across Lara’s profile. I followed her and we exchanged a few messages regarding her work and my photography. It wasn’t long before the idea to have her on this blog entered my mind. I told her about the project as best I could in 140 characters and she liked the idea and agreed to participate.

I met Lara at her studio downtown the following day. She’s got a great spot in an old row of buildings in a rather central location. When I arrived we hung out and chatted for a bit about Calgary and a few other random things. The conversation was easy and natural, so much in fact I had to interrupt the conversation to get the interview going before I had all the answers to my questions before I had the chance to ask them. Here is what she had to say.

Lara Presber Calgary Fashion Designer - Rob Moses Photography - People of Calgary
Camera: Canon 5D mark iii & 135L – Settings: 1/500th // f2 // ISO 400

1. Where are you from ?
I am from a lot of places haha.

2. What would you concider your home ? Is Calgary home ?
I’ve spent the most time in Calgary than any where else that I have lived.

3. Where else have you lived ?
Well I was born in Saskatchuwan, but I grew up in Calgary and then since I’ve lived in Pakistan, Boston, Milan and I studied in Paris for a little while.

Rob: Nice! So your well traveled.

Lara: I like to travel, ya.

4. So Pakistan, how did you end up in Pakistan from Calgary ?
It was with my family when I was in high school. My father took a job with CITA, the Canadian International Development Agency. So our whole family moved, it was supposed to be for a year and then we were evacuated due to the Gulf War.

Rob: WHAT! “Evacuated”!?

Lara: Ya, but it was good. It was when I was 17 and I think that’s such a pivotal time in life to do something so. . . crazy.

Rob: Wow.

Lara: It was like, you know they talk about those moments which change your life? Like that was just, I don’t know, just flipped the switch of what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it.

Rob: That’s crazy! Really cool.

5. Then you were off to Boston ? How did you end up there and what were you doing in Boston ?
I went to school in Boston and I studied architecture there. I was there for a total of 10 years. I just wanted to stay and pay off all my student loans while I was in the US and get my architect licence, because you know everything in the US is in feet and inches and if I took the test there it was in feet an inches, where as if I took it in Canada it was in metric. I know the metric system, but designing buildings in metric is very different as in imperial. So ya, I spent 10 years there.

6. You go there (Boston), then you do some more studying in Milan and Paris, so why did you move back to Calgary ?
Well I was gone for about a dozen years and I think you just reach the point where you just can’t rent anymore apartments, lease anymore cars and have temporary work visas and I just really wanted to come back to Canada. I wasn’t sure where in Canada, but I was ready to come back. I think you gain so much perspective and such a greater appreciation for your country when you spend so much time from the outside looking in.

7. I probably should have mentioned this earlier, your a fashion designer, how did you get into that ?
It was something that I always wanted to do and growing up in Calgary becoming a fashion designer seemed really unattainable, it seemed impractical and there really wasn’t anybody here to act as a mentor. So I thought I would be practical and just become and architect, because I was interested in both. So after practicing architecture in Boston for 10 years I kind of reached a pivital point where I thought, “I don’t think I like this anymore, I want to try something else,” and I wanted to try fashion and just either do it or not do it and kind of put it to bed. So I took a one year spabatical from architecture to study fashion and it felt really good. So I came back to Canada and launched my own line and continued to practice architecture and now I kind of do them both at the same time.

8. So back to Calgary, what is it about Calgary that you like?
(laughter) That’s a hard question. I think the one thing I really enjoy about this city is the potential. I mean how often do you live in a city with a critical mass of over a million people where the design market isn’t fully saturated. So I think up until this time it’s been really frustrating that everything has just been kind of mediocre, but now that we have so many people from different countries and from different parts of Canada, the expectations of what good design should be, or a good restaurant or good fashion is so elevated that’s its opened the doors for so many people like my self to really grow and expand and experiment.

9. What do you like to do for fun?
Haha I don’t have any extra time for fun. (laughter) No, in the summer I like to ride my bicycle, I like to be outside. We were just talking about winter, in winter I hibernate, I’m not much into winter sports. Ya probably just kind of be outside and enjoy nature.

10. If you had to describe Calgary to some one, what would you say?
Oh that’s a really hard. (pause) I don’t even know. . . (pause). I have no idea.

Rob: No idea! ?

Lara: I don’t know it’s like what I was saying earlier. It’s always just kind of been this very business focused city and now it’s kind of exploding with people wanting to put greater value on experiencing culture. The culture here has exploded recently too and again it all comes back to enjoying life, I think. The City is for example, has re-done a lot of the paths and implemented all of these bike lanes and 10 years ago no one would have ridden, other than couriers no one would have ridden a bicycle in downtown Calgary. So it’s nice to see it (Calgary) kind of growing up into a bigger city.

11. How can people find your work ?
Well they can come by the studio. That’s one way. We have a beautiful store front right on the street. A lot of the time people stop and peer in while we are working and wonder what we are doing. But also I have a website for both architecture and fashion, so people can find me online. (www.LaraPresber.com & www.StudioPresber.com)

Rob: And I know you’re on twitter, because that’s how I found you.

Lara: Yes I’m on twitter and facebook.

Lara Presber standing - Calgary Fashion designer - Rob Moses Photography - People of Calgary

Camera: Canon 5D mark iii & 135L – Settings: 1/400th // f2 // ISO 800

Rob: So where can people find you on twitter ?

Lara: Easy, it’s @LaraPresber and same with facebook it’s Lara Presber Clothing.

12. Ok great, so that’s about it. Have you ever ridden a horse?
Yes I have.

13. Anything you’d like to add?
No (laughter).

Rob: Alright that’s it.

Lara: Come on, everyones ridden a horse in Alberta.

Rob: I have NOT ridden a horse.

Lara: Well you have only been here for a year and half.

– Thank you for taking the time to talk to me Lara, it was fun! 🙂

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Holly – These Kids Love Holly Days

Today’s post was a rather easy one for me to get together. 3 days out of the week my 2 boys (Joshua & Cameron) spend their days at a day home that Holly runs. Last weekend we had Holly and her son over to hour house for dinner and over converstaion the topic of this blog came up. Holly liked the idea of the blog and was happy to participate. Here is what she had to say.

Holly - The People of Calgary - Girl woman - Rob Moses Photography - Celebrity famous 135L Canadian Canada copy
Camera: Canon 5D mark ii & 135L – Settings 1/250th // f2.2 // ISO 100

1. Where are you from?
Calgary.

2. Have you lived here all of your life?
Yes I have.

3. Do you like living in Calgary?
(pause). . . I do.

Rob: You do?

Holly: Ya haha.

Rob: You don’t sounds so sure about that. (laughter)

Holly: For the most part I do.

4. What is it about Calgary that you like?
(pause). . . Well I have never thought of this (laughter). I haven’t thought about this ever! I like that my family is here haha. And I like the weather, it’s bipolar. (laughter) I like the mountains, that you can see them. I think the Calgary Stampede is ok and I like that that you can run a business here pretty well and that’s about it.

5. What do you like to do for fun?
For fun I like hiking and I like to hang out with my family. I like to sing karaoke and I like to stay in touch with some old friends.

6. If you had to describe Calgary to some one, what would you say?
I would say that your gonna like it here and it’s very expensive (laughter).

7. Have you ever ridden a horse?
Yes, my mom owns some.

8. Anything you’d like to add?
Umm, Have a great Stampede everybody, YEE-HAW! 😀

DJ Jimmi Riggz – Calgary Turntablist

I met Greg (aka Jimmi Riggz) at the 10@10 hip hop night I went to last month. After Greg’s set was over he made is way over to the bar and my table wasn’t far off. So I jumped up started to chat with him and told him about this blog, to my surprise he said he had heard of it! I asked him if he would be up for a quick interview and he was down. My conversation with Greg had a lot of laughs which made it one of the most fun interviews to date :). Here’s what Greg AKA Jimmi Riggz had to say.

DJ Jimmi Riggz - People of Calgary Music celebrity famous - Rob Moses Photography Canadian photographer
Camera: Canon 5Diii & 50L – Setting: 1/8000th // f1.2 // ISO 10,000
*Note: I could have put the iso down for this particular shot, but I was shooting in many different lighting situations quickly due to the stage lighting and other lighting in the venue, so I just left it at 10000 to ensure sharp photos.

1. Alright so what’s your name ?
My real name is Greg and my stage name is “Jimmi Riggz”.

2. So where are you from ?
Originally I’m from Dundas, Ontario and I moved out here 6 years ago and I’ve been in Calgary pretty much ever since.

3. Why did you move to Calgary of all places ?
Well originally I moved to Jasper and then it was like, your not going any where, your having fun but your going any where. (laughter)

4. Do you like living in Calgary ?
Ya, I like it for lots of reasons. You know obviously works good and then the (hip hop) scene’s pretty good for the most part. And I like it because it’s close to mountains and all that jazz. So like if you wanna get away for the weekend your just an hour or 2 away from dope spots.

5. So what do you like to do for fun ?
I like skateboarding, I like DJ’ing, I like just getting out camping, whatever, exploring seeing new things and chill’n.

6. So if you had to describe Calgary to someone what would you say ?
I would say it’s a good spot. If you want to get away from your whereabouts and want to meet likeminded people it’s the perfect spot to go because 90% of the people you meet are not from Calgary and at some point in their life, in all our lives we have the same thought of “Hey I need to get out of here”. So in that way when you meet someone you almost have something in common with them right away. So you meet a lot of nice people who at one point in their life where in the same mentality as you, which I like.

Rob: Hey that’s so true, awesome! I love it, I love it.

7. What else do you think the city has to offer for someone just coming to the city for the first time ?
Well theres great opportunities, I mean if your looking for work there is plenty of that. There’s good schools, there’s U of C, there’s SAIT . . . (pause), Ummm, I don’t even know the rest, I didn’t even go to school here man (laughter).

8. So how did you hear about this night and how did you get involved with it ?
Well I heard about it awhile back and I don’t know, I got at Beni cuz I seen videos on youtube and whatever and just heard it was a good place to meet people, network and I don’t know, some real (hip hop)heads that are into music here so I thought why not check this place out. Then I was talking with Beni and they don’t get very many turntablists through here so he was on board to have me out, so here I am.

Random Guy: Yo! You put on a good show buddy!

Greg: Thanks man, thank you.

9. Alright that’s cool, so is there anything else you’d like to add ? Like do you have a website or anything like that people can find you at ?
Naw.

Rob: Twitter ?
Greg: Naw haha.

Rob: Anything ?
Greg: Naw.

Rob: Nothing! ?
Greg: Haha naw I don’t, I’m old school. (laughter)

10. Well have you ever ridden a horse ?
No.

Rob: That’s it!
Greg: Alright. . . I almost did! can I put that?

Rob: Haha ya, how did you almost ride a horse ?
Greg: Well I was supposed too, but then it just never happen. We were up at the ranch and then it just never happen.

Rob: Haha why ? Why didn’t it happen ? You got scared ?
Greg: I dont know, I think we got drunk. (laughter)

Rob: Haha ok, well that’s good. You don’t want to ride a horse drunk. (laughter)

Greg: You don’t have to put that in haha.

Rob: No I’m definitely gonna put that in! (laughter).

Thanks taking the time to talk to me Greg! And that guy who interrupted the interview was right, you put on a good show! 😉