Sarah Stevenson wins TFI New Labels 2013 competition

May 13, 2013

By Julia Eskins

Photography by Kareen Mallon

The Toronto Fashion Incubator’s New Labels competition is renowned for helping to launch the careers of Canada’s top fashion designers, including David Dixon, Joeffer Caoc and 2012 winner Sid Neigum.

For this year’s annual event, TFI partnered with Target, raising the stakes even higher for the four finalists who showcased their collections at an evening gala at The Carlu on Apr.30. With the grand prize consisting of a $25,000 cash award from TFI supporter Suzanne Rogers, and the opportunity to design an exclusive, limited edition collection for Target, the evening marked a major moment for the Canadian fashion industry. This year’s finalists included Sarah Stevenson, SEVENTHIRTYONE, Christopher Paunil and Paria Shirvani.

Finalists line up on the runway.

After cocktails, nibbling and soaking in the red and white glow of the Target-sponsored atmosphere, Sarah Stevenson opened the show with a strong collection of classically feminine pieces that had an artistic twist. The Toronto-based designer used laser cutting techniques to create colourful textiles with floral prints inspired by Dutch still-life paintings from the Baroque era. With luxurious silk satin skirts and wool coats, the collection elegantly highlighted Stevenson’s textile design prowess.

Toronto-based Paria Shirvani showcased expertly tailored pieces with asymmetrical lines, draping and structured blazers in a neutral colour palette.


On the runway

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The duo behind Christopher Paunil presented soft and flowy pieces in ivory and blush. From airy mesh dresses to neoprene blazers, the collection was both feminine and modern.

Canadian-Japanese inspired line SEVENTHIRTYONE captured the pair’s diverse backgrounds with funky hockey jersey dresses and chic layered ensembles.

At the end of the night, Sarah Stevenson was announced as this year’s winner. Stevenson’s exclusive collection will be sold at Target stores across Canada in 2014.

Sarah Stevenson wins TFI New Labels 2013 competition and accepts the award from philanthropist Suzanne Rogers.


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