CAFA Emerging Talent Profiles
As a fundamental part of our mandate, CAFA is dedicated to promoting and supporting the next generation of great Canadian fashion talent.
In this exclusive series, we are honoured to introduce you to some of Canada’s rising fashion stars as we interview some of our country’s most talented and creative emerging designers.
UNTTLD is a luxury line that reflects a sense of masculine femininity and timeless elegance, focusing on fine fabrics and the perfect fit. Part of UNTTLD's mission is to support high-end fashion manufacturing Canada".
Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Sarah Sears considers jewelry design her first love. Her journey began in 2008 during a trip to South East Asia to teach English. During her time in Chiang Mai, she enrolled in an introductory jewelry making course at the Nova Art Lab. Shortly after, she returned to Canada, ready to attend art school with a mission to master the art of metalsmithing. Sarah graduated in 2013 from NSCAD University with a major in Jewelry Design/Metalsmithing.
Montreal based designer Brit Wacher forges a specific and precise path in creating quality, handcrafted, and original, wearable objects. Following her graduation from La Salle University in Vancouver, BC she worked as a stylist in Thailand before relocating to Arnhem where she worked with Dutch designer Pauline Van Dongen.
Jewelry line CoutuKitsch is linked closely to the life of its founder, Dorian Kitsch. The very name pays homage to Dorian’s roots. Coutu is a family name representing her Metis heritage, while Kitsch is Dorian’s surname from her father’s stepfather.
Bano eeMee is derived from the visions of Creative Director Aleem Arif who founded the brand in early 2012. Aleem, hailing from the world of finance decided to switch his career to fashion and form Bano eeMee in Canada. The brand is dedicated to two generations of women in Aleem’s family.
Designed and handcrafted in Montreal by Lina Hu, Arc Jewellery was born in a time of transition. Originally in Montreal to pursue a Master’s Degree in Epidemiology, Lina quickly realized that this was not her calling. She made the difficult decision to leave school, and, on a whim, decided to enroll in a jewellery course.
Elisa Medina’s creative pursuits began with a love for painting and drawing in Quito, Ecuador. Moving to Vancouver, Canada in 2008 allowed Medina to cultivate her technical skills in fashion design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Established in 2013, 3.PARADIS is an innovative and trendsetting luxury ready-to-wear brand founded by designers Emeric Tchatchoua and Raymond Cheung. Long-time friends, Emeric and Ray come from two different corners of the world (Paris and Hong Kong) with a common artistic vision and dream of uniting and embracing all cultures and differences. They are the authentic innovators and visionaries that bring about the magic behind the brand, the vision and creativity.
Dolorous Jewelry is a collection of hand made accessories designed and produced by Toronto-native Danielle Singer. Inspired by historical and specifically Medieval accessories, Dolorous Jewelry is known for its signature styles of body chains including Broad Collar Shoulder Jewelry, a variety of Hand Pieces and versatile cross-body necklaces.
Striking the perfect balance between luxury and functionality, homegrown label Opelle is making a splash in the Canadian fashion scene with its line of high quality handbags. The brand’s vision is to “create pieces that close the gap between traditional luxury & fast-fashion”. Using 100% genuine leather handcrafted in a utilitarian design, Opelle’s Permanent Collection encompasses 24 unique styles with seasonal collections released twice a year.
Morfologi, by Daniel Christian Tang, is not just a line of jewelry - it is a tactile architectural experience. The jewelry created in the collection are true, one of a kind pieces of wearable art. Each piece is custom made from a single 3D printed file, cast in the finest materials and finished in Platinum, 18k Gold or 18k Rose Gold.
Quebec City based designer, Rudy Bois, was born in Trois-Pistoles, Quebec, Canada. It’s after his Paris internship in fashion marketing that he reconnected with his childhood passion for designing womenswear. Rudy Bois launched his first high-end ready-to-wear collection under the label RUDYBOIS for the spring summer 2013 season. Success was immediate. This debut collection gave the brand a window through the international fashion press.
Upon graduation from the prestigious Wilfrid Laurier University School of Business, Jacqueline joined her family’s business as a marketing and brand strategist. She has travelled extensively to Europe, Japan and the United States, honing her business skills and gathering inspiration from museums, art and fashion from around the world.
Valérie Tolila is a woman on a mission. Back in 2000, Tolila embarked on what would be a 13-year trip through Europe. While living in Istanbul, she decided to take a chance and enrolled in fashion design at LaSalle college international.
If you are a follower of Canadian fashion, the name Matthew Gallagher should certainly ring a bell. The bourgeoning designer is having a defining year – he was among the nominees for the CAFA 2015 Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent and is currently up for the prestigious TFI New Labels prize.
“The business of fashion is sometimes overlooked,” says emerging designer Christopher Paunil. While it is true that fashion’s creative facet tends to take the spotlight, a brand simply cannot survive without the essentials of commerce, finance, marketing, and administration. The Toronto-based designer, along with his business manager Chalo Barruta, aims to strike a balance between artistry and business savvy.
Emerging designer Malorie Urbanovitch has been garnering national attention as one of the most promising new talents in Canadian fashion. Her spring 2014 ready-to-wear collection was named as one of the winners at the Mercedes-Benz Start Up competition. Since then, Malorie’s work has appeared on the pages of renowned publications such as a British Vogue and ELLE Canada.