Vancouver Fashion Week FW24 Interview with Raquel Grebler Quesne of AHBlO Luxury Knitwear (Canada)

AHBLO will be showing their new collection on the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week FW 24 on Tuesday, April 23rd at 7:20 P.M. Purchase tickets HERE!

From the VFW website - 

Raquel Grebler Quesne, the dynamic creative director behind Ahblo Luxury Knitwear, has carved a niche in the fashion industry with her innovative approach to luxury and sustainability. Born to a Swiss-Spanish heritage, Raquel’s educational journey took her from studying economics in Switzerland to exploring the depths of philosophy at La Sorbonne in Paris. This diverse educational background, combined with her rich multicultural experiences living across Europe, Asia, and South America, has deeply influenced her design philosophy and business acumen.

Raquel’s journey into the world of fashion was ignited by her profound connection with the Andean treasure, Alpaca wool. Captivated by its exquisite softness, thermal properties, and sustainable credentials, she saw in Alpaca wool not just a material but a medium through which she could express her vision for a new kind of luxury—one that harmonizes elegance with ethics.

Ahblo Luxury Knitwear, under Raquel’s visionary leadership, stands as a testament to this ethos. The brand is renowned for its commitment to sustainability, sourcing the finest Alpaca fibers in a way that supports local communities and preserves ancestral craftsmanship. Raquel believes that true luxury transcends the mere possession of high-quality goods; it is an aesthetic experience that appeals to the senses, uplifts the spirit, and respects the planet.

The latest collection from Ahblo, Alpaca Allure, is a celebration of this belief. Designed for the modern, free-minded individual, it features versatile, effortlessly elegant pieces that cater to both women and men. Each garment showcases the unique qualities of Alpaca wool, blending softness with durability in designs that are both timeless and contemporary. With Alpaca Allure, Raquel continues to push the boundaries, demonstrating that luxury knitwear can be both beautiful and benevolent.


Interview - 

Please share a bit about your journey to embrace fashion design as a career.

Coming from a Swiss-Spanish background and having studied economics in Switzerland and philosophy at La Sorbonne in Paris, I’ve been fortunate to gather a wealth of perspectives from my time living in Europe, Asia, and South America. In Cambodia, where I lived 7 years I had the opportunity of working in a project dedicated to Fair Trade Advocacy and silk weaving. While living in Chile I could discover new natural fabrics. These experiences have not only broadened my understanding of the world but also sparked a deep appreciation for Alpaca wool, a material that’s become central to what AHBLO offers.

How did you learn your skills? 

I did a course in knitting design and techniques with the UAL St. Martins but I am basically self-taught.

Who are you as a designer? Aesthetic? Customer? Brand?

I am more a Creative Director than a Designer. In creating AHBLO, I’ve strived to focus on ethical sourcing of Alpaca fibers, aiming to support the communities that help us and to honor traditional craftsmanship. To me, luxury is about the experience that comes from wearing a sustainable and natural material—it should offer comfort, elegance, and a mindfulness of our environment.

What comes easiest for you as a designer? What is hardest?

What comes easiest for me as a Creative Director is to imagine the pieces that capture the essence of the brand. I want every piece to be a good investment that is why I want them to be extremely versatile, very long lasting and transmit the effortless elegance that is for me the true luxury style. It is not that it is hard but there are a lot of details to think about and that make a garment simple. Working with natural materials has been always very important because we want something that looks very natural, almost like an evidence.


Where do you find inspiration for new collections? How important is colour to your design process?

I try to make pieces that are timeless but at the same time extremely modern. That is why I try to be aware of everything going on in the cultural scene. Literature, photography, cinema, sculpture and paintings, avantgarde movements, everything is source of inspiration. Colours themselves are a source of inspiration. We use only natural dyes and all the colours that in our collections are colours that you can find in the nature. There is something about brown for example. I love very dark brown because brown is a colour that is very present in the natural world.

Readers would love to know more about the collection you will be showing at VFW FW24.

This approach is reflected in our latest collection, Alpaca Allure, where we’ve tried to create pieces that are both timeless and adaptable, for women and men alike. These designs aim to highlight the natural beauty and practicality of Alpaca wool, blending its softness and durability in a way that feels modern yet classic. With Alpaca Allure, I hope to contribute, even in a small way, to a shift in how we think about fashion and luxury. It’s about encouraging a more thoughtful, responsible engagement with our clothes—one that values beauty and kindness alike. Through AHBLO, I aspire to offer not just clothing, but an experience that resonates with sustainability and ethical consideration, hopefully making a positive impact on both our planet and those who wear our pieces.

Do you have a favorite look in this collection?

In this collection, I have tried to create looks that are very simple, very readable. I love the very simple midi skirts and oversized sweaters and pants for both men and women.

Where can readers purchase your designs?

For now everything will be available in our website but we are partnering with boutiques in Vancouver, N.Y. and L.A.


What's next for you as a designer and your brand?

We have the Vancouver Fashion Week Show in April 23rd that is going to be super fun. Hope to see you there.

In closing is there anything else you'd like to share with readers?

We love to communicate with our community. Please do not hesitate to send us messages and ask tell us which ones of our pieces are your favourites!

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