Held every spring, the TFI New Labels competition is one of the most anticipated events of the year, given its track record of showcasing the best emerging design talent in Canada. Past recipients of the award have included last year's winner Sid Neigum from Edmonton, 2011 winner Golnaz Ashtiani from Toronto and 2010 winner Anastasia Lomonova from Montreal.
Just this week, the award's panelists selected their final four contenders to go head-to-head for the chance to win a coveted contract with Target. Designers will be competing for a $25,000 cash award from TFI supporter and philanthropist Suzanne Rogers (of The Bay), as well as the chance to create an exclusive collection to be sold in Target stores across Canada. The TFI New Labels winner will also receive a full-page editorial feature in Flare magazine after a showdown at the gala event on April 30th at The Carlu.
It's a prize that shouldn't be sniffed at, as it could potentially propel a young talent designer into the big leagues. But without further ado, maybe I should introduce the four finalists…
Victoria-born designer Defne Husrevoglu and Maiko Suzuki of Japan are the duo behind SEVENTHIRTYONE. Given their eclectic backgrounds, their retro clothing is inspired by both Canada and Japan, while their latest spring line draws influence from the stormy darkness of Scottish skies.
Image via SEVENTHIRTYONE
Elegant label Paria Shirvani is known for designing clothing that is artistically unique and effortlessly chic. Her strengths lie in majestic draping and flawless tailoring, which may have something to do with her impressive industry background working for the likes of Jeremy Scott, Costello Tagliapietra, Joeffer Caoc, Arthur Mendonca and Joe Fresh (with whom she remained for three years).
Image via Paria Shirvani
A contemporary dress and separates brand, Christopher Paunil is focused on bridal wear, cut from fine silks and molded into flowing silhouettes. His fashion mandate is charming, sophisticated, and effortlessly luxurious as he aims to make women feel beautiful, whether it be a special occasion or even that special day.
Image viaChristopher Paunil
Sarah Stevenson Design
Fashion and textile designer Sarah Stevenson Design is all about artistic and original printed pieces. Inspired mainly by nature, Sarah creates dramatically romantic prints and imagery that adorn her clothing, from hand painted collaged florals to impressionistic watercolour leaves. She considers herself to be the gap between art and fashion, though her clothing and classic silhouettes are all sublimely wearable.
Image via Sarah Stevenson Design