Interview and photo by Jason Setnyk
Cornwall, Ontario – Annie DeRochie (aka AnnieChie Designs) is a cosplayer, designer, and Youtuber originally from South Glengarry. She’s a graduate of Fanshawe College’s Fashion Design and Costume Production programs, which she graduated from in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Annie’s focus in cosplay making is primarily sewing-based costumes, which are well-finished and fitted. In August of 2022, she and her friend Mae-Gwyn Cosplay won the Canadian Selection for the World Cosplay Summit, crowning them Team Canada for the championship in Nagoya, Japan, in August of 2023.
Cosplay fans can meet Annie DeRochie and see her cosplay designs at the 2023 edition of the Cornwall and Area Pop Event (CAPE) on Saturday, April 22nd, and Sunday, April 23rd, at the Benson Centre in Cornwall.
Five Questions with The Seeker
1 – Why did you start cosplaying?
“I started cosplaying because I thought it seemed super neat when I was very young. I would see videos and pictures of cosplayers surrounded by friends enjoying their favourite characters in a very interactive and interactive way, and I wanted to try it too. I’ve always been a big fan of the Legend of Zelda series, so the idea of making costumes of the characters excited me a lot since I was a very artsy kid.”
2 – What is your favourite thing about cosplaying?
“My favourite things about cosplaying are the creation process and the community aspects. Sewing and creating are extremely satisfying to me, and I love being able to make fictional clothing into real garments. And the friends I have made through this unique hobby are so special to me, and I am so thankful for them. I would never have met some of my closest friends without cosplay.”
3 – How have you evolved as a cosplayer compared to when you first started?
“My cosplay abilities have evolved a lot throughout the years. I have been in this hobby for over 12 years now. I started as a 13-year-old awkwardly putting together ill-fitting garments with scrap fabrics from my mom’s craft room. Now I use various sewing techniques, spend hours researching, and can buy myself high-end fabrics to make costumes that my younger self could only dream of.”
4 – Have you won any awards cosplaying? Tell us about it.
“I have won several awards and compete at the highest level, the Master Division. I have won several awards for my performances, including a few Best in Class awards and recently a Best in Class Master Workmanship at one of Canada’s biggest Anime Conventions. My most recent award was with Mae-Gwyn cosplay and was the title of Team Canada 2023 for the World Cosplay Summit. We’re excited to compete in the biggest cosplay competition in the world.”
5 – Briefly tell us about your creative process from start to finish when making a cosplay.
“When making a new cosplay, I always research techniques and fabrics that make sense for the character. I make a sketch detailing all the pieces I will need to make. Then I start to collect fabrics and sometimes patterns or start to draft my own patterns by hand. From there, the process changes depending on the kind of costume I am making since there are so many different steps to make different kinds of garments.”
Learn more about AnnieChie Designs on Facebook.