Fashion designer Marielle Fleury, a pioneer of Quebec fashion, died on June 19 at the age of 93.

Born in 1929, she studied at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal. After training in sewing at the School of Commercial Trades in Montreal, she opened her sewing workshop in 1953 with her parents, then rue Saint-Denis, and then rue Crescent. From the beginning of her career, she dressed many personalities of the time such as Michèle Tisseyre, Yvette Brind’Amour, Gisèle Schmidt, Marcelle Ferron and Madeleine Arbour.

Marielle Fleury works closely with artisans and uses local materials to make her clothes. “She was interested in the Quebec identity and was able to highlight the heritage, which was rare at the time. She made collections with woven wool from here, and even paid homage to Aboriginal culture, with the creation of coats. There was something in his work that was very close to craftsmanship, ”recalls Jean-Claude Poitras, in a telephone interview.

In the 1960s, Marielle Fleury presented her collections at the Ritz-Carlton hotel and became one of the most prominent designers in Montreal. She partnered with manufacturers and in 1966 was named the best fashion designer in the country by the International Union of Ladies’ Garment Workers. “She was one of the first to understand that in addition to having a sewing studio, you also had to democratize fashion, and for that you had to partner with manufacturers, which she did,” explains the creator.

She participated in the 1967 Universal Exhibition in Montreal and created a uniform for the hostesses of the Atlantic Provinces Pavilion. “It was a fabulous showcase for designers and she was one of the four big names in Quebec fashion. There was Michel Robichaud, Léo Chevalier, John Warden and Marielle Fleury,” said Jean-Claude Poitras.

In 1968, she was hired by the manufacturer Sport Togs and for 13 years, she created collections of coats. She finished her teaching career at LaSalle College, where she was responsible for projects and technical quality in the fashion design program from 1990 to 2000. “She was very good at teaching and she marked many students whom she guided wonderfully well at LaSalle College,” said Jean-Claude Poitras. Marielle Fleury was decorated with the Order of Canada in 2001.