Group of Seven Fashion Designers
Joeffer Caoc (pronc. joe-fur kay-awk) is a leading Canadian fashion designer known for intelligent, modern and sexy design. Unexpected, artistic and architectural detailing is Joeffer Caoc’s signature.
Intricate yet subtle tucking, fluid lines, drapery, pleating, asymmetry, and gathering, combined with meticulous fit and classic tailoring, create truly unique pieces with enduring style. The fit, construction and unconventional detailing of Joeffer Caoc’s garments are exceptional.
Born in the Philippines and raised in Canada, Joeffer graduated from Toronto’s Ryerson University Fashion Design program, where he received an Outstanding Recent Graduate Award. He launched his first label in 1995 and has received outstanding recognition and support ever since.
Joeffer Caoc’s clothes are a favourite for music and film personalities including; award-winning singer Nelly Furtado, supermodels Coco Rocha and Daria Werbowy, legendary screen beauty Jacqueline Bisset, Angela Bassett, Jill Hennessy, and fashion maven Jeanne Beker. All have embraced his distinct style and precise design sensibility. His work is often seen on the cover and in the editorial pages of leading fashion magazines.
The made-in-Canada JOEFFER CAOC collection consists of daywear separates, eveningwear, cocktail dresses, and gowns. The collection targets the woman who desires the longevity and fit associated with classic tailoring, but also seeks the forward styling for which Joeffer Caoc is famed. It is available in fine specialty stores in Canada and the USA and at select Hudson Bay locations.
The creative team behind the successful Comrags label is Joyce Gunhouse of Victoria, B.C. and Judy Cornish of Burlington, Ontario. The partners met while studying Fashion Design at Ryerson Polytechnic in Toronto, deciding to go into business together when they discovered a compatible design sensibility and work ethic in each other.
Comrags, currently in its 28th year of business, has evolved from a small, local design team into one of Canada’s most well-known labels.
Comrags has been described as “feminine despite themselves” and “prettiness with an edge” inspiring legions of die-hard fans. Inspiration for Comrags’ designs comes from everywhere: the street, television, art and literature. In the words of their creators, Comrags clothes are for women of any age; women with a modern attitude toward style; women with self-confidence.
Comrags is proud to say that it is still made in Canada.
Greta Constantine is an accessible luxury line of ready-to-wear womenswear based in Toronto, Canada. Designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong, considered the “jersey boys of Toronto,” have rapidly accumulated a clientele comprised of international socialites and celebrities alike. The label itself is derived from the combination of the name of Stephen’s mother, Greta, with that of Kirk’s grandfather, Constantine. The pair works together in their Toronto area studio—conceptualizing, exploring, and challenging the fashions of today for the women of tomorrow.
Greta Constantine and Ezra Constantine regularly garner a high level of attention from Canadian and international media with appearances in: Vogue, British Vogue, FASHION, Flare, Nylon, FQ, WWD, Elle Canada, US Weekly, Hello! Magazine, House and Home, The Toronto Star, National Post, and Glow among others. Moreover, our pieces have been featured on covers for FASHION, Zink!, Azure, Spade, FQ, and Lush. They have also been featured online on iwantigot.geekigirl.com, finalfashion.ca, and stylebubble.com. They have had runway shows during Toronto Fashion Week, in addition to New York Fashion Week, and have collaborated with Audi, ALDO, MAC Cosmetics, Kiehl’s, RADO, and Schwarzkopf among many other lifestyle brands.
The Greta Constantine collection appeals to the sleek, worldly, empowered and sophisticated woman and offers clothes with a modern sensibility for truly effortless dressing. Some of their A-list clientele include: Jennifer Hudson, Nelly Furtado, Angelina Jolie, Iman, Kreesha Turner, Hilary Duff, Victoria Beckham, Jully Black, Grace Park, Camilla Al Fayed, Jessi Cruickshank, Alexandra Weston, Jeanne Beker, Yasmin Warsame, Stacey Kimmel, and Naomi Campbell.
Designers, Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong met in Toronto and became fast friends. Sensing that the current state of Canadian fashion was in decline, they sought to pursue their lifelong dreams of starting their own label. Kirk, a stylist by trade based in Milan, Italy, has worked for international designers such as Dsquared2 and Neil Barrett. He has used his wealth of experience to fulfill his role as a guest teacher at the renowned Istituto Marangoni in Milan. Stephen began his career as a costume designer in Toronto for Susan Dicks & Co. and has made clothing for several films such as The Last Day of Disco, American Psycho, Glitter, Chicago, and Hairspray.
Born in Toronto, Canada and trained at the prestigious Ryerson University, David Dixon enjoys tremendous media acclaim and stands out among his Canadian contemporaries as one of the leaders in women’s fashion design.
Dixon apprenticed with well-known Canadian designer Alfred Sung and in 1995, established the David Dixon label. Starting out at the Toronto Fashion Incubator, a highly respected organization focused on assisting new designers, he began wholesaling and manufacturing his line and in 1999, David left the Incubator to open his own design and production studio based in Toronto. David Dixon remains affiliated with the Incubator by sitting on their Board as an advisor.
Today, David Dixon is sold across Canada, the United States, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. He possesses a modernist openness towards emerging design and rejects the notion of radically changing from one fashion trend to another. Dixon’s innovative designs have won him a following among the elite communities of film and fashion including; Jann Arden, Pamela Anderson, Meg Ryan, Wendy Crewson, Ashley MacIsaac, Holly Cole, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kari Matchett, Paul Gross, and newcomer Kristin Booth.
The overriding theme in Dixon’s collection is quiet elegance. His belief is that women respond first to colour and texture, so when silhouettes are simplified and modern, he can explore with textiles. Whether it’s creating signature fabrics or searching the globe for new fabrications, Dixon’s clothing combines luxury with the functional and fantasy with sensibility.
Thien Le is an artist of many trades. A visual artist at heart, he now imparts his natural eye for line, style and colour into his vibrant creations.
As a youth, his artistic energy was expressed through sculpture and painting. Later, fashion became the vehicle for his visual creativity and in 1996, he enrolled at the International Academy of Design. In addition to his studies, he worked full- and part-time positions in visual merchandising at various retailers and costuming at the Canadian Opera Company. In 1998, he graduated from the International Academy of Design and received the Best Evening Wear Designer award. Having refined his skills from his work experience, Thien launched his own label in 1999.
Since then, Thien Le’s designs have taken centre stage. Thien Le’s creations were presented at the launch of Chrysalid: Lancome’s new line of makeup and he collaborated with Elizabeth Arden the “Red Door Salon” in Los Angeles and New York City. He continues to be known for his intricately detailed designs and elegant formalwear.
Romanian-born fashion designer Lucian Matis grew up in his mother’s tailor shop and began designing at a very early age, with his first customers being his school teachers.
Prior to moving to Canada in 1999, Matis studied art and completed a specialization in painting and graphics at the Sibiu Art Institute in Transylvania. In 2000, Matis continued his education in the Fashion Design program at Ryerson University where his talent was very quickly noticed. Along with being granted an early graduation in 2003, he also received multiple awards including: The Fur Council of Canada Award (2002), Le Chateaus Menswear Competition (2002), Peoples Choice Award for Best Sketch (2002), Semi-finalist for the International Young Designer Competition (2002), and Alfred Sung Award for great design talent (2003).
Lucian’s first professional collection was presented at L’Oreal Fashion Weeks Fall/Winter 2007 shows, and was received with great accolades and praise from the Canadian industry.
Matis has gone on to secure an unmatched presence in television, online and print media. He was requested for a special guest appearance on the season finale of the highly rated Canada’s Next Top Model where his collection was featured in its entirety. Matis was also invited to participate on the first season of Slice network’s hit reality TV show, Project Runway Canada, where he gained a vast fan base across the country and took a contentious second place. In addition, Matis has been featured in several in-depth profiles on Fashion Television, and has done regular on-air runway reports on his collections for etalk, Entertainment Tonight Canada, Breakfast Television, CityLine, Marilyn Dennis, Global Television, CBC World News, and CP24.
Matis’ collections have graced the pages and covers of numerous national and international publications including Flare, Elle Canada, Lush, Applied Arts, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The National Post, ION, Tribute (France), Women’s Wear Daily (USA), and Launchpad (USA).
The name D’Arcy Moses is synonymous with innovative fashion. Moses, a South Slave Dene of the Northwest Territories, first made an impact on the Canadian fashion scene as a resident of the Toronto Fashion Incubator and a participant of the New Labels Show during Toronto Fashion Week.
From the beginning of his career, it was apparent that D’Arcy possessed the unique talent of bringing together his indigenous and adopted cultures in new and unusual ways—his relationship to fur and hide is innate; his design vocabulary reflective of an age-old cultural history; his design statement brings cultural legitimacy to today’s fashion.
During his career, D’Arcy has created an international awareness of Canadian Fur and Canadian First Nation Design talent. His innovative approach, charismatic ambience and inherent passion for his work made his collections with Montreal Fur Manufacturers a favourite in New York and the United States.
In addition, D’Arcy had spent a number of years nurturing the talents of his own people through the development of Nats’enelu, a centre for indigenous creative talent in the heart of the Northwest Territories. His lines for MWG Apparel Limited sold to major U.S. retailers including Orvis Limited and Mark’s Work Wearhouse. Last season, he worked cooperatively with Paula Lishman and designed a capsule collection of casual, sexy urban men’s and women’s fur separates.
D’Arcy has designed for Her Excellency, the Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson, and His Excellency, John Ralston Saul, using both traditional Moose hide and woolen cloth jackets decorated with exquisite local beadwork. He also attended the Governor General’s State Visit to Germany as a member of her personal entourage in October 2001. And in October 2002, D’Arcy received the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Award for his contribution to fashion and the arts.