Last Saturday’s Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards (CAFA) proved at least one thing. There is a future for a fashion awards show in Canada.
CAFA hosted its second annual awards show to celebrate and support the Canadian fashion industry by honouring designers, stylists and other fashion influencers. Twelve awards were given out during a gala dinner at the Fairmont Royal York.
NEWSFLASH: Sid Neigum is officially a triple threat. He’s won the TFI New Labels (2012), the Mercedes Benz Start-Up (2014) and now CAFA’s Emerging Talent, Fashion award. Hey Canada, don’t they call that a hat trick in hockey?
Neigum has netted a combined total of $70,000 in cash prizes plus valuable services and mentorship to help push his career forward. All eyes will be on his next move. I think Neigum is perfectly poised to break out of Canada in a serious way.
This year CAFA added a second emerging talent award for Accessories, won by Beaufille. Swarovski sponsored both Emerging Talent categories. Winners each received $10,000 plus time with a six-panel team of mentors. The panel will offer their expertise and services. Vicky Milner, CAFA managing director, explained,
Mentorship is so incredibly important for designers. We approached different individuals who would be able to offer different skill sets and services, helping them save money on things that are normally quite expensive (i.e. PR and digital support) while at the same time providing them honest and valuable advice about business, finance, marketing , manufacturing, distribution, etc.
Bravo to Tommy Ton who took home two CAFA trophies including the Sephora Image Maker Award and Fashion Blogger of the Year for his (now shuttered) JakandJil.com. I have mad love and respect for Tommy ever since we spent an afternoon in my closet in the early days of his blog (way, way back). He knew every designer and every season of everything I owned.
It is worth noting how many of the gala’s attendees appeared to be non-industry folk – you know, regular people who don’t work in fashion. This is a good thing. More people supporting the industry leads to better resources for designers, more attention from retailers and media and ideally, more success all around.
The list of 2015 CAFA winners includes:
The Womenswear Designer of the Year Award – Mikhael Kale
The Menswear Designer of the Year Award – Philippe Dubuc
The Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent, Fashion – Sid Neigum
The Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent, Accessories – Beaufille
The Outstanding Achievement Award – Marie Saint-Pierre
The Accessory Designer of the Year Award – Jerome C. Rousseau
The Sephora Image Maker Award – Tommy Ton
The Hudson’s Bay International Canadian Designer of the Year Award – Erdem
The Yorkdale Stylist of the Year Award – Zeina Esmail
The Model of the Year Award – Anaïs Pouliot
The Fashion Blogger of the Year Award – Tommy Ton
The Vanguard Award – Joe Zee
Photos by the F-List except where noted.