fashion magazine
BAGOOM!!!
by HARJIT THIARA
Illustrations by KARSTEN ERGETOWSKI
For Karsten Ergetowski, fashion design was a discovery waiting to be uncovered. In high school he was heavily into graphic design and silk screened hockey jerseys for his school team. They became an instant success. Exposure to European fashions during summer holidays to visit international relatives also inspired him. "I'm a huge fan of European street design. Great fit is available at a good price point and the mens line has unique graphics, not to mention prints and a variety of jeans with interesting washes." By grade 12 it became clear a career in fashion was calling.

Ergetowski entered Kwantlen Polytechnic University's fashion design degree program and quickly started to learn to sew. The journey was far from easy as his skills were not at the same level as his peers. "Passion and drive kept me going. I got my own sewing machine and kept practising - hours upon hours - to better myself". This determination led him to become a strong and versatile designer. In April 2011, Ergetowski's's collection, "Bagoom," made its debut at Kwantlen's grad fashion show. Why Bagoom you ask? It was the first word ever uttered by Karsten, tying into the target market age of 2-4 year old boys. "The collection is a perfect mix of style, fun, innovation, safety and function. This combination is achieved by incorporating technology and health conscious features as well as colour, design lines and original graphics." Inspired by the attitude, playfulness and mischievousness of little boys, the collection is suited to their lifestyle. Garments are infused with fun and a touch of urbanity to match the free spirited personalities of his little clients.

Designing children's wear was a step outside of the box for Ergetowski. His previous focus had been mens and womenswear, but as a sailing instructor he spends a lot of time with kids on a daily basis. Looking after his younger brother while growing up also allowed him to prioritize key features and elements. "This was a very rewarding experience for me. I was willing to meet the unexpected and set a challenge to try things outside of my comfort zone, ending up unexpectedly with Bagoom. Credit for the concept goes to a love for technical design such as the military wear. The clothing protects from the elements and injury. "It's not just about a garment you put on. It's not just about the clothing anymore". Extensive research into all areas left no stone unturned. The technological aspect set Bagoom apart. Distance Sensor Chip - a child locator system - is a key selling feature not offered by others brands of children's wear. The smart clothing fabric ensures fabrics are comfortable and soft to the touch. Elbow and knee padding protect the child as well as added reflective patches.

Currently Ergetowski is engaged in freelance work as well a further research for his brand. Having a keen eye for technical design details, his future vision includes working for a local design house where he can use his unique skills to develop something new. "Clothes have the potential to be multifunctional. I am a strong believer in quality, comfort and fit. An individual should be excited about wearing an item in their wardrobe. Not only should one look good, but feel good and to feel a change. I want to provoke that change in people".

To contact Karsten Ergetowski you can email him at karsten.ergetowski@gmail.com