Edmonton Woman Magazine: 3 Emerging Fashion Designers

This article was featured in the November/December 2014 issue of Edmonton Woman Magazine. To read this issue of the magazine online, click here.

3 Emerging Fashion Designers That Rocked the WCFW Runway!

Janis Galloway, owner of Dress Me Dearly Styling, shares the three emerging designers that captured her attention this fall


Western Canada Fashion Week (WCFW) descended upon Edmonton September 18 to 27 this season, presenting its longest running program yet at the ATB Financial Arts Barns in Old Strathcona. It was a ten-day affair spotlighting local emerging talent – an impressive schedule considering both New York City and Milan Fashion Weeks run for only eight days.

Launched in 2005 by Executive Director Sandra Sing Fernandes, WCFW is the longest running fashion event in Alberta. Sing Fernandes who comes from a varied arts and design background herself, founded the event with the hopes of mentoring and incubating the local fashion community, “from the designers to the hair stylists to the makeup artists, our audience has a chance to follow their careers each season.”

Fostering that spirit of inclusion, WCFW has been an important platform for novice Alberta designers. Many have gone on to build successful careers including Sid Neigum and Malorie Urbanovitch who now sell internationally and show at World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto each season to an audience of major buyers and media. Designers gain valuable exposure and experience at Western Canada Fashion Week, putting on shows under the bright lights and feeling the fast-paced pressure that comes with runway presentations. This season, three designers in particular caught our attention as they showed promising growth in both creativity and construction.

Luxx Ready to Wear

Edmonton designer Derek Jagodinsky presented his strongest collection to date, which he titled Strength of our Nation. We’ve seen Jagodinsky embrace his Cree roots whole-heartedly over the last two seasons with contemporary interpretations of First Nations aesthetic. “I was inspired by the strength of our Aboriginal culture and in particular, the strength of our women.”

Jagodinsky partnered with well-known Alberta artist Aaron Paquette, printing the painter’s bright artworks onto jackets and dresses. Standout pieces from the Spring 2015 collection included a mini dress with coloured neck panel featuring a print reminiscent of tree bark juxtaposed above fluid black fringe. A high-collared black maxi dress with hand-beaded collar and micro handbags with floor sweeping fringe were other runway favourites.

Suka Clothing

Alicia Schick is the veteran designer behind Suka Clothing, an Edmonton made brand and favourite amongst local it-girls. Schick is known for her ability to perfectly meld darling damsel with sultry femme fatale in her designs. This season, she upped the game with her quirky “Gothletics” collection, a reinterpretation of this year’s sportswear trend. The show featured a vampy series of cropped crew neck sweaters and graphic white tees playing on household tag lines like “just don’t” spelled out under an upside down Nike swish. Looks were styled with thigh-high socks, ball caps and mega attitude.

Bano eeMee

Calgary’s Aleem Arif debuted his label only three years ago, but has gained fast momentum in his short design career. His luxury outerwear label Bano eeMee, which is hand sewn by artisans in Pakistan, is now carried across Canada in ten boutique retailers. At Western Canada Fashion Week this season, Arif presented a luxurious collection of welltailored, genuine lamb leather motorcycle jackets, some with unique lazer cuts. Colours ranged from classic browns to smoky grey and striking yellow.