For Kristi Birnie, choosing a colour is not something that is an easy process. But rather one that is deeply creative and merges science, art and heart, says the manager of colour design at Vancouver-based outdoor gear and clothing maker Arc'teryx Equipment Inc.
Birnie and her team of eight are in charge of deciphering the clothing maker's colour scheme. It can take as many as five months to get colours right, from conceptualizing the palette to approving the final lab dips and completing the colourway. Then there's another five-month wait to see those colours on the roughly 320 products offered by Arc'teryx, widely known for its high-quality Gore-Tex jackets that can cost upwards of $650.
Birnie, 35, was destined to be in fashion. While most of us were sewing imperfect, ugly sweat tops in home ec, Birnie was mapping out her future. After high school, she promptly left her home near Vancouver, British Columbia to attend Ryerson University's School of Fashion. Recruited by Arc'teryx