Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards
I strive to increase the visibility of the fashion industry within Atlantic Canada, so you can imagine how honored I felt when asked to be a jury member for the first ever Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards (CAFA) held in Toronto earlier this year.
I was selected along with a team of industry professionals that have a strong understanding of the Canadian fashion industry and the impact of fashion worldwide.
Canadian designers struggle to establish themselves as international contenders. Even top designers who have chosen to stay in the country have to work diligently to remain visible.
This is how CAFA was born. Organizers wanted to honor those that had an impact on the industry to support its growth.
CELEBRATING FASHION Twin designers Dean and Dan Caten earned a double victory at CAFA. The Toronto – born brothers behind the renowned Milan-based label DSquared2 were recognized with an award for outstanding achievement and also received the award for the International Canadian Designer of the Year. This award honors designers who have had success abroad and have brought attention to Canadian talent on the world stage.
Jeanne Beker scored the 2014 Vanguard Award Honoree Title. It was a much deserved accomplishment for Beker, considering she is one of the most recognized Canadian faces on fashion television.
Winner for Menswear Designer of the Year went to Travis Taddeo.
Jeremy Laing, who apprenticed for Alexander McQueen, took the winning spot for Womenswear Designer of the Year.
Ottawa – born twins Byron and Dexter Peart took home Accessory Designer of the Year, as well as honors for their brand WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie, which features a collection of bags and accessories.
Other categories included the Canadian Style Award, which was given to Joe Fresh creative director Joe Mimran, who was named honorary chair of the 2014 event.
George Antonopoulos, a contributing fashion editor at Fashion Magazine and Men’s Fashion, was named stylist of the year.
The beautiful Coco Rocha won Model of the Year (image shown above with designers Dean & Dan Caten of Dsquared2)
Photographer Chris Nicholls took home the Image Maker award. This award is presented to a Canadian photographer or filmmaker who has made a significant impact on the Canadian industry.
Taking home the Emerging Talent Award was reining Toronto Fashion Incubator New Labels winner Sarah Stevenson.
At one point during the evening, I remember taking a step back and looking around room filled with Canadian fashion elite. I wasn’t sure if it was possible to top this experience, but later that evening, I found myself getting a hug in the ladies room from Jeanne Beker. She’d discovered it was my 40th birthday that night. The hug became the cherry on the top of my fashion “Sunday”