Designer Jennifer Torosian on coming up in fashion

Being a finalist in Toronto’s New Labels competition presented by Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) meant more than winning for designer Jennifer Torosian and partner Raed Ali. Debuting their first ever runway show in front of the likes of fashion icon David Dixon and many other Canadian fashion influencers was like ‘a final finish to a hem’ for them.

Even though Torosian’s self-named line is just two years beyond its 2013 debut, the fine arts and multimedia graduate has made great success with her ready-to wear women’s line thus far – she even has Urbanology Magazine’s current cover girl, “The Young and the Restless” actress Mishael Morgan donning her unique threads.

Torosian’s Fall/Winter 2015 collection features structured necklines, dark hues and luxurious fabrics inspired by the now popular sport-chic aesthetic. The designer gives the fashion forward femme a detailed and pristine look for the cooler season.

HOW HAS THE PROCESS BEEN FOR YOU AS AN EMERGING CANADIAN DESIGNER? It’s a tough process, because you want to do so much and the growth is so quick. The process was tough, but worth it.

WHAT STEPS HAVE YOU TAKEN TO BE A FASHION DESIGNER? Other than applying to TFI New Labels, we’ve done trade shows … and made contacts within [Toronto Fashion Week] with a lot of media, stylists and bloggers. We source our fabrics from Europe so from the beginning, twice a year, I’ve gone to Paris to import my own fabrics. It helps me maintain exclusivity in the market, because I’m importing qualities and colours. We’ve done other trade shows in New York, just for sales and getting our name out there and just having high standards. My partner has experience in manufacturing production so having his eyes over all the products, quality control, and just having really high standards in our finishing and quality. Also foundation building, we want to make sure we have a good brand and all these qualities we want to bring to the market.

For me it could be a mood, or an image, or just sort of a vibe that we’re going for, but it’s a lot research, keeping our eyes open, paying attention to our job each season and following the market.

WHERE DO YOU GET INSPIRATION FOR YOUR COLLECTIONS? For every season it changes, but I do a lot of research myself by looking at different websites, the market and trends. Going to Europe to do the sourcing is a big inspiration because you get to see the textiles that are popular and what’s trending. For me it could be a mood, or an image, or just sort of a vibe that we’re going for, but it’s a lot research, keeping our eyes open, paying attention to our job each season and following the market.

HOW DOES YOUR LINE STAND APART FROM OTHER READY-TO-WEAR WOMEN’S CLOTHING BRANDS? We’re really interested in new technologies and fabrics. We’re combing our tailored elements, but with clean sport finishes, so it’s sport clocked. It’s wearable, but we’re offering more product that’s at an affordable price point, so there’s quality and luxury there. Again we’re playing with luxurious fabrics and beautiful quality and it’s all about the detailing – fabric combinations and hardware. Detail is our function and that’s how we stand out.

WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR LINE TO BE IN THE YEARS TO COME? We would like to be available internationally, across Canada, but international outlets. That’s what we’re focusing on. Going to different trade shows and getting our name out there, participating in other events in the city and having the right people in place to help build our brand.