Ashtiani Golnaz takes TFI New Labels

With fashion week barely behind us, Toronto’s fashion crowds hit the Design Exchange for TFI’s New Labels runway show. Over five months, selected designers work independently and with a team of judges to create a collection. Three finalists shared the runway: Caitlin Power, Golnaz Ashtiani and Nikki Wirthensohn for NARCESAfterwards, the judges picked a winner based on a line’s fit, quality, innovation, marketability and styling. 
Ashtiani
Ashtiani
Caitlin Power
Caitlin Power
NARCES
NARCES
I’m a fan of Caitlin Power – having noticed her at Edmonton Fashion Week years ago – and would wear NARCES cocktail dresses in a heartbeat, but Ashtiani’s line was a clear front-runner and took the crown. Her grand prize is valued over $40,000 and includes a Flare magazine feature and the chance to design an outfit for Sears womenswear. Interestingly, one of the judges, Sears Canada’s brand and trend director, Cynthia Florek, is a previous finalist of TFI New Labels competition for her now defunct label CINCYN.   
Other previous New Labels finalists and winners include David Dixon, Joeffer Caoc and Ashley Rowe. Unfortunately, there are too many who are no longer designing at all, proving you can have the talent but fashion is still about the business. Those of us who work in and follow fashion must do a better job of helping designers sustain their labels. In the meantime, I wonder if they are working on a TFI New Labels “where are they now” special. Here’s (hint, hint) hoping.