The new Anne Mulaire label

September 24, 2019

A new, more representative, brand name

Born into a Franco-Manitoban Métis family, Andréanne Dandeneau has turned her passion for fashion into a career. In 2005, she launched her VOILÀ par Andréanne designer label after completing CDEM’s Été en affaires business start-up program. Says Dandeneau: “My business started out in my parents’ basement, in the family home.”

  Andréanne Dandeneau, fashion designer and owner of Anne Mulaire

While the young entrepreneur now owns her own stand-alone shop, her family is still very involved. “My company is a family business in the true sense of the word. It’s a group effort. My family has always been a great source of inspiration for me.”

Andréanne Dandeneau says she owes her family a great deal. “Without my family, especially my parents, I wouldn’t be where I am today. The experience would have been much more difficult.”

Her mother, Huguette, taught her to be proud of her Métis heritage and to care deeply about the environment. Her father, David, influenced Andréanne through his art. Today, he creates Métis prints for his daughter’s collection.

Andréanne Dandeneau decided to change the name of her business to honour her French/Métis heritage. Her designer creations are now marketed under the Anne Mulaire brand.

VOILÀ didn’t represent me,” says the designer. “With Anne Mulaire, I’m simply going back to my name, which was really important to me. It represents me and where I come from. My friends and family call me Anne, and Mulaire is a connection to my Métis side.”

Andréanne Dandeneau is, in fact, the great-great-great-granddaughter of Catherine Mulaire, who was born in 1843. The daughter of a Voyageur and the first rural Métis teacher in the Red River Settlement, Catherine was also an accomplished seamstress whose embroidery continues to inspire Andréanne’s designs. It therefore made complete sense for the young designer to take her ancestor's name.

While her Métis heritage is important to Andréanne Dandeneau and is reflected in her clothing line, she is also committed to the environment. “I’ve always been environmentally conscious. There was no way I was going to create a business that didn’t respect the environment. The clothes I create are as eco-friendly as possible.”

“People are welcome to come and handle the clothes and try them on at one of our cross-Canada shows to see for themselves. It’s a lot more concrete than on our website at annemulaire.ca.

Andréanne’s designs have travelled kilometres, from show to show but also via the website: “We are now selling clothes online across Canada and in the US, Australia, Germany, Italy and the UK.”

The designer recently received a $100,000 grant from Western Economic Diversification (WD) Canada. “We can use this money to further market the company. I’ve been in business for 15 years and some people still haven’t heard of us! We also want to make our website fully bilingual.”

“Lastly, the money will allow us to work with the World Trade Centre Winnipeg. We’re currently preparing an export plan for sales in the US. That all costs money, so the grant will really help us.”

But Andréanne’s big dream is to go to Europe. “I’d love to take part in European fashion shows. I hope to get there one day. But for now, I’m focusing on Canada and the United States.”

See her new collection on September 28th and 29th

Anne Mulaire  - 421 Mulvey Avenue

 

Shop online: annemulaire.ca