new canadian designers
Photography by Riley Stewart. Styling by Eliza Grossman. Makeup by Grace Lee. Art direction by Danielle Campbell. Hair, Cia Mandarello for Makeup, Grace Lee for Maybelline New York. Fashion assistant, Cynthia Ongenda.

These New Canadian Designers Are the Future of Fashion

In our Winter issue, FASHION editors rounded up the 100 people, products and experiences we predict will blow up in 2019. It’s our inaugural Hot 100 Fuse List. From the workouts you’ll be doing, to the new designers and destinations you’ll see on your feed, this is your guide to being in the know next year.  To help us uncover the next big thing in Canadian fashion, we hosted The Perfect Fit Design Challenge with the Maybelline New York Fit Me! Foundation and The Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute.

The Challenge: Inclusivity is the new exclusivity, but the desire to be inclusive doesn’t come at the expense of customization. We all want to belong, but we also want to express our own individuality. For the Perfect Fit Design Challenge, each fellow from The Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute (SRFI) was asked to create a look that was both inclusive and inspired by empowering female archetypes. Depending on their aesthetic, the designers were matched with either Mother Earth, Artemis or Aphrodite. The focus was on creating daywear pieces that highlight texture, layers and separates.

26. Jonah Solomon

“As a designer, you’re shaping what the world is through your designs.”

When Jonah Solomon was 16, he headed to Parsons in New York to attend an intensive summer course on fashion design. The first weekend he got there, which happened to include the Fourth of July holiday, an intense professor told the class to prepare 50 design sketches or not bother coming back. Solomon was intimidated, sure, but he met the requirement and found out that he loved the pressure cooker experience.

“I love having a grind and being on a deadline,” says the 20-year-old designer. Now in his third year as a fashion design student at Ryerson and an SRFI fellow, he’s more willing to tackle the big issues than ever before. “As a designer, you’re shaping what the world is through your designs,” he says. “There is so much turmoil happening. I can use my position to create some sort of change.”


Beauty Note: “I wanted the makeup to be neutral and natural, but I also wanted a little glow in all the right places,” explains Grace Lee, lead artist for Maybelline New York. “I used Fit Me! Hydrate and Smooth Foundation in ‘375,’ and I mixed Baby Lips Balm and the Facestudio Master Strobing Stick on the model’s cheekbones and eyelids. For extra glow, I dusted on a layer of Facestudio Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter. Total Temptation Washable Mascara was used on the top and bottom lashes, and the brows were brushed and set with Great Lash Clear Mascara. The lipstick was Colour Sensational Shine Compulsion in ‘Chocolate Lust.’”

27. Olivia Rubens

“My goal is to bring my craft up to the level of a couturier.”

“When people think of eco-friendly clothing, they envision something very bland and granola; I really have fun challenging that and going in the opposite direction,” says Olivia Rubens, a 26-year-old designer whose kooky, colourful designs are the antithesis of dull. The Ryerson grad and SRFI fellow is now completing her MA in womenswear at the London College of Fashion.

“My goal is to bring my craft up to the level of a couturier,” she says. But it’s been a long journey: She applied and was rejected four times before she finally got in. “I just won’t give up,” she says. Rubens hopes to snag a coveted atelier position working for Vivienne Westwood or Faustine Steinmetz before returning to Canada to spearhead her own label. With her unmatched level of grit and determination, there’s no doubt she’ll make it happen.

Beauty Note: “For this colourful outfit, I really wanted the makeup to be vibrant,” explains Lee. “I decided to add some pops of colour to the model’s eyelids with the Lemonade Craze Eyeshadow Palette. I also used the Eye Studio Lasting Drama Eyeliner Pencil in ‘White’ underneath the eyeshadow to make her eyes really stand out. When I’m doing a brightly coloured eye, I like to keep the rest of the makeup looking soft and natural. That’s why I chose Colour Sensational Shine Compulsion in ‘Baddest Beige’ for her lips. For her foundation, I used Fit Me! Matte and Poreless in ‘238.’”

28. Matin Mithras

“I put my heart and passion into something that I really love doing.”

Matin Mithras always wanted to be a designer, but when he was growing up in Tehran, the only college that taught fashion only accepted women. Mithras settled on studying interior design instead and forged the beginnings of a successful career. But when he moved with his family to Canada in 2010 (“We didn’t like the [Iranian] government,” he says), he realized he was ready for a new path.

“From the first day we moved to Canada, I had this feeling that I was going to try fashion,” he says. When he was chosen to be an SRFI fellow, the fourth-year Ryerson student who specializes in vampy glamour describes feeling validated for his life choices. “I feel like I put my heart and passion into something that I really love doing, and it looks like somebody’s recognized it,” he says. Turns out his childhood dreams weren’t so far out of reach after all.


Beauty Note: “There’s nothing more beautiful and classic than a statement red lip,” explains Lee. “For this model, I chose SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick in ‘Pioneer.’ It’s a long-wear product, which means it’s important to work quickly because once it dries, it won’t come off. You’ll have a perfect red lip with no need for a touch-up. Her foundation is Fit Me! Matte and Poreless in ‘130.’ I also contoured her face with a darker shade of foundation, and then I filled in her eyebrows with the Brow Precise Micro Pencil. For the mascara, I chose Total Temptation, and I used the Eye Studio Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner along her lash line.”

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