Haute Topic: Our Canadian designers need you

Skip the mall and support homegrown talent

The second annual Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards (CAFA) take place Saturday, January 31, at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. It’s not too late to purchase tickets to the gala ceremony ($500) or after-party ($100) at cafawards.ca.

Even more important than the big, glitzy event is its message: Canadian design talent needs more public support. This means skipping the Forever 21s, H&Ms and GAPs of the world next time you get the shopping bug and seeking out homegrown labels that need your dollars to survive and thrive. 

Don’t know where to start? Here’s the rundown on five noteworthy CAFA nominees.

Label Greta Constantine (gretaconstantine.com)

Known for Red carpet and cocktail dresses that flatter the female form like few others can.

Available at Holt Renfrew, TNT, By Tocca


Label Smythe(smythelesvestes.com)

Known for Impeccably tailored jackets that can take you from the boardroom to the swankiest bar in town. Look out for their upcoming collab with fellow CAFA nominee Beaufille (beaufille.com).

Available at Holt Renfrew, revolveclothing.com, neimanmarcus.com


Label Wings + Horns (wingsandhorns.com)

Known for Sleek streetwear for men that combines modern fabrics with classic cuts. 

Available at Nomad, Uncle Otis, Holt Renfrew


Label Jenny Bird (jenny-bird.com)

Known for Cool-girl chunky metallic jewellery that layers well and makes a statement.

Available at Gotstyle, Frock, Andrews


Label Sid Neigum (sidneigum.com)

Known for One of the most creative young designers to hit the Toronto Fashion Week runway in years, Neigum keeps things fresh with unexpected textiles and, most recently, laser cutting. 

Available at The Room at Hudson’s Bay, coming soon to Jonathan + Olivia. Follow him on Twitter @SidNeigum for updates on sample sales.

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