Karen Radley chats to Marissa Freed founder of Freed in Winnipeg for our latest “My Neighbourhood ” Interviews
Tell me about your fashion background:
I have lived and breathed fashion since I was born. The roots of my family's connection to the industry trace back to my great grandfather, who founded our parent company, Freed & Freed International, in This legacy was an integral part of our lives, even influencing our family vacations, where my father would lead us on tours of department stores to assess the structure and fit of other outerwear available in the market.
My personal journey into the world of fashion began at the International Fashion Academy of Design in Toronto, Ontario, where I pursued a program in Fashion Marketing and Merchandising. Building on this foundation, I earned my undergraduate degree in Fashion Marketing from Lynn University in Florida, and continued on to complete an MBA at the same institute.
In 2009, I ventured into the family business at Freed & Freed, gradually assuming the role of the fourth-generation president. In 2020, fueled by a passion for innovation and a commitment to addressing environmental concerns, I launched FREED, our in-house brand. This venture aims to provide functional outerwear that seamlessly blends fashion-forward aesthetics with a conscientious approach to the urgent environmental challenges we face, contributing to a positive impact on our planet.
Favourite neighbourhood in Winnipeg:
Westgate. It is the beautiful neighbourhood where I grew up. There are magnificent old homes lining the river with large backyards that I used to toboggan down as a kid. I have such wonderful memories there!
Favourite place for brunch:
Doesn’t sound like a conventional breakfast spot, but Falafel Place has the best brunch in Winnipeg! You can’t go wrong with the latkes with grilled garlic and banana peppers.
Best coffee in Winnipeg:
Little Sister Coffee Maker. My go-to is an oat milk latte.
Favourite gallery or museum:
The Winnipeg Art Gallery! A beaitful space with awesome exhibits.
Tell us a secret:
If I could restart my career trajectory, I would still be in fashion but I would have moved to Paris and become a trend forecaster.
Favourite place to shop:
The Peg Authentic Brand.
Favourite place to find inspiration:
There are endless places where I find inspiration, and I truly never know where it will strike from next. It can be anything, from wallpaper and interior design to nail polish, makeup and art, even nostalgic old photos.
Best Winnipeg destination for a date:
Wasabi - best sushi in the city.
Assiniboine Park, specifically in the summer.
Favourite food market:
Your sanctuary in your neighbourhood:
Harte Trail – beautilful prairie trails for walking.
What inspires you?
It’s challenging to pinpoint a specific source because I am constantly absorbing visual stimuli from the world around me. Anything and everything has the potential to leave a lasting impression, and in turn influence my designs.
Tell us about the Freed collection for A/w2024?
The FREED A/W 2024 collection epitomizes our brand's commitment to constant improvement. We believe it's our best yet—luxurious, yet accessible and wearable. With a focus on sustainability, we've maximized our zero waste efforts this season, utilizing our exisiting resources consciously. The collection strikes a balance between classic and trendy pieces, offering versatility for everyone. It's not just about style; it reflects our dedication to ethical practices. In essence, A/W 2024 is a celebration of our evolution as a brand, our core values, and of course, fashion!