With not one, but three fashion weeks, and a fourth to come to Yorkville later this fall, it’s not hard to see that Toronto, and Canada, is flooding with talent. Fashion, in particular, is a category where the city strives. And with a wealth of burgeoning designers on the cusp of something spectacular, it wasn’t easy narrowing down a list to just five of our nation’s brightest talents. But there are a handful that have risen above in a notoriously tough industry, earning them titles of ones to watch. In no particular order, here are the five Canadian designers to keep an eye on in 2017…
While the brand itself is three years old, designers Mona Koochek and Tania Martins have taken a path less traveled on the road to international success. Since their fruition, the duo has been named new emerging talent by Women’s Wear Daily, a new label to watch by Harper’s Bazaar, and designers to know by Refinery29. While in the past they’ve steered clear of Toronto Fashion Week, they recently showed at The Collections’ reimagined version of event, Re\Set. Showing amongst heavy hitters like Forbes’ ‘30 under 30’ Beaufille and Vogue recognized Sid Neigum, the setting was true to form for Markoo’s cool-girl designs and streetwise staples.
Electric designer Jordan Erin McKay (JEM) has been making waves on the Toronto fashion scene since launching her menswear and womenswear collections at TOM* and TW-FW. With designs that bridge vintage rock n’ roll and old Hollywood glamour, JEM’s collections are approachable and fun, oozing a Canadian cool that is sure to put HENDRIXROE on the map for 2017.
With over 20k followers on Instagram, calling Vejas Kruszewski emerging talent seems like an oxymoron. In 2016, the then 19-year-old Canadian made headlines internationally after earning an LVMH prize, an award that was decided upon by a panel of designers that included lauded names like Nicolas Ghesquière, Phoebe Philo, Riccardo Tisci, Karl Lagerfeld, and more. Most recently, the largely self-taught designer showcased his Fall 2017 collection in Paris, experimenting with silhouettes and workwear staples. This young gun is giving Canadian fashion the global attention it deserves.
The Montreal-born Ryerson grad isn’t exactly a newcomer to Canadian fashion. He’s held many notable roles, including the title of Creative Director at Canadian heritage brand Laparka. But most recently, he set foot on his own to launch his inaugural namesake outerwear collection at TW-FW. With a collection titled Queen of the North, the designer fused fashion with function, incorporating a wide range of textiles and colours to showcase his wealth of technical design knowledge. The collection has since garnered global attention from publications like Vogue Italia.
Born and raised in the small town of Squamish, British Columbia, not much else is known about up-and-comer Jordana Séguin. The designer made her debut at Vancouver Fashion Week a few years back, showing much promise as emerging talent. And while the designer’s imprint is small, with not even as much as a website to showcase her designs, it is mighty. Just recently, the young Canadian made her Toronto debut in the Emergence by Toronto Film School’s Toronto Women’s Fashion Week presentation, shining a spotlight on her playful designs and namesake label.
Image courtesy of Hendrixroe
Image courtesy of Markoo Studios
Image courtesy of Serge Kerbel
Image courtesy of Vejas
Image courtesy of Alfie Nguyen
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