Michèle Boulanger-Bussière was a pioneer and leader in Quebec fashion, known for her creativity, determination, and passion for the field. She had dedicated her career to training the next generation, building the industry, and promoting its designers, both in Quebec and abroad.
Trained in fashion design at Montreal’s École des métiers commerciaux, she opened the haute couture salon Monichel in 1959, with her classmate Monique Pagé. Two years later, she spent nearly a year living in Europe. Upon returning to Montreal, she soon got back into fashion and, in 1966, became fashion coordinator for Dupuis Frères. After spending four years with the department store, she was appointed a fashion marketing and export officer in the international branch of the Quebec Ministère de l’Industrie et du Commerce.
During this period, working with the Quebec delegation in New York City, she organized Montréal Mode, an event to promote Montreal fashion designers and manufacturers in the United States.
In 1974, Jean-Paul Morin, the president of LaSalle College, invited her to set up the college-level programs that she believed the fashion industry needed, first in design and then in merchandising and production. She subsequently developed the Centre specialisé de la mode du Québec, which opened in 1983. As vice-president of external relations and fashion development for the LaSalle College Group, in 1988 she helped create the school’s international satellite campuses.
After playing a leading role in the creation of the École supérieure de mode de Montréal in 1995, she was co-chair of the school until 1997 and remained active in its governance until 2006.
Throughout her career, Michèle Boulanger-Bussière contributed to the growth of the Quebec fashion industry. A member of Fashion Group International from 1967 until its dissolution in 1999, she was president of the Montreal chapter from 1975 to 1977. She was a member of the sectoral advisory group on international trade and the steering committee on human resources needs analysis for the Canadian clothing industry. She sat on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Quebec Apparel Productivity Centre and the Centre de promotion de la mode de Montréal, from 1983 to 1987; the Centre de développement des industries de la mode, from 1988 to 1990; and the Fondation de la mode de Montréal from 1990 to 2019.
In 2018, she was named a Knight of the Order of Quebec.
«Hommage à Michèle Boulanger-Bussière», Momentum. Le bulletin du Groupe de mode international Montréal Inc., janvier 1992.
Cynthia Cooper, McCord Museum