Saskatoon fashion designer loses irreplaceable collection to opportunistic thief

Stephanie Gamble is a busy single mother, is the creative force behind C. Lysias Designs, a company with a mission to inspire youth through fashion, and was once named Saskatchewan’s Indigenous Designer Of The Year.

Now Gamble is also the victim of a heartbreaking crime.

“I had three years of my blood, sweat and tears taken.”

Last week, while recovering from a busy day working with Indigenous youth, Gamble absentmindedly left a door on her Jeep unlocked while it was full of precious original clothes and jewelry.

Someone saw an opportunity, and took full advantage.

“Yes I should have carried my bag in from the car but everything hurt. I went into the house and I slept, got my kids up, ready for school and, you know, just like that it was gone,” Gamble recalled in an interview with CBC Radio’s Saskatoon Morning. 

“I didn’t know how to feel, I was traumatized.” 

I do edgy, I do contemporary, I do Indigenous.– Stephanie Gamble

For the thief, the haul amounts to some pretty clothes and jewelry. For Gamble, the lost collection is priceless. It is the result of years of work making patterns and sewing clothes, while working a day job and trying to raise children. 

Stephanie Gamble is no stranger to starting over. But this time, it’s especially painful. Gamble is a single mother of two, who turned to fashion design as a side hustle. Two years ago, she won a bursary after being named Saskatchewan’s Indigenous Designer Of The Year. Last week, she lost all her work, when someone broke into her jeep and stole her entire collection of clothes and jewelry. She spoke with Saskatoon Morning’s Jennifer Quesnel. 6:17

Designer Stephanie Gamble lost priceless parts of her collection after a thief took the items from her unlocked Jeep last week. (CBC)

Plenty of bling 

The stolen items are so original that Gamble struggled to describe them. 

“I do edgy, I do contemporary, I do Indigenous,” she said of her work. 

“My Still I Rise Collection was inspired by the poetry of Maya Angelou. It has floral designs, embroidery, it is super beautiful. I sewed actual LED lights into my dresses, and so when we were doing the runway halfway through they would do a pose and then switch on the lights and it would be…a show-stopper effect.”

Gamble said the theft has been reported to the police. Still, she remains hopeful that whoever took the collection will have a change of heart, and return the clothes and jewelry.

“I made this collection. I went through that,” she said.  

“It was a healing and coping mechanism. I really love what I do and yes I would love them back, just to have them.” 

Gamble is working to open her own storefront soon and wanted the collection to grace the window display as an example of the hard work and love that goes into her designs. She hasn’t given up on that dream.