Laura Friedland was born in New York City. She credits receiving the ‘Most Artistic’ award in kindergarten as setting the direction for her life. She originally studied Art and Dance, receiving a B.A. from Connecticut College, followed by studies in Textile Design from Parson’s School of Design and a degree in Fashion at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York where she specialized in knit fabric design. She worked for many years in the apparel industry in New York and was a recipient of the Design America Award sponsored by the National Knitwear and Sportswear Association of New York. She moved to Vancouver, Canada in 1994, and started her own knit studio in 1995.
Moose Mountain Company and Laura Friedland Design
In 1995, Laura Friedland was a working as a contract designer at Jantzen Sportwear in Vancouver when Jantzen U.S. decided to close and sell off its’ Vancouver manufacturing operation. Laura purchased a number of machines intending to develop her own line of apparel. Her focus quickly changed after receiving a significant retail commission for specialty lap warmers favoured by Japanese tourists. Moose Mountain Company was formed to design and manufacture high-end Canadiana textiles—luxurious Merino wool Moose, Bears, and Maple Leaves with a modern twist. It was at Moose Mountain that Laura developed the unique brushed Merino Fabric that she and the company would become known for. The Moose Mountain Line expanded and was soon available at resorts, museum shops, and specialty stores across Canada and the U.S.
In 2000, a new line of throws and pillows was launched under the Laura Friedland label. These new designs were modern and featured a bold use of colour. Defying economic pressure to shift production abroad, Moose Mountain and Laura Friedland designs were proudly manufactured in Canada. Tragically, the manufacturing facility was destroyed by fire, and while alternative solutions were found in the short term, it was deemed that it was ultimately not financially viable to rebuild and production ceased in 2009. Laura Friedland is currently exploring various design opportunities.