Canadian designer Sarah Stevenson wins TFI New Labels
TORONTO – In one year’s time, Canadian designer Sarah Stevenson will see her collection in 124 Target stores across Canada.
“Honestly, it really is a dream come true,” Stevenson said, flanked by two models wearing her winning collection. “I’ve been struggling for years trying to have a breakthrough and working so incredibly hard. I’ve had my moments when I’ve almost given up so this really is a dream come true.”
Stevenson won the Toronto Fashion Incubator New Labels competition,with her collection inspired by Dutch still life paintings from the Baroque period. She beat out three other designers for the grand prize of $25,000 from Suzanne Rogers, a full-page feature in Flare magazine and the Target collection.
The decision was tough, said John Morioka, Senior Vice President Merchandising for Target Canada, but being the presenting sponsor for TFI New labels events gave him a better understanding of the education and experience young designers get in order to be successful.
Morioka said that all four designers had strong collections, but as a judge, he was looking for something specific in the winner.
“We really wanted to make sure the designer had a really strong vision and was committed to what they were doing,” he said.
When asked if this is part of a bigger move to incorporate more Canadian designers into Target stores, Morioka said the number one priority is to bring the brand to Canada but they want to celebrate Canada. “This is a great way not only to build on our fashion and design credibility but to invest in the community as well.”
Stevenson will be working on her collection soon. “I’m a textile designer so that will always remain the basis of all my collections but I’d like to evolve as well.”
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