FAJO’s designers to watch

May 22, 2012

By Katherine Ellis

Photography by Kareen Mallon and Erin Leydon

During fashion weeks in Toronto, Ottawa and Montréal, FAJO Magazine’s team sought out the best and brightest designers to watch, and those who made a real impression while sending their collections down the runway. Take a look at what we think makes them stand out and why we expect their careers to grow exponentially in the near future.

Anastasia Lomonova (left), Ruth Weil (centre) and Martin Lim.

Anastasia Lomonova

Originally trained as a visual artist with a specialty in oil painting, Anastasia Lomonova made the transition to fashion design, and graduated from the prestigious Ryerson University School of Fashion. The Montréal-based fashion designer presented at |FAT| Arts & Fashion Week last year, fresh off her 2010 win as TFI’s New Labels competition winner for her collection titled “The Morrigan”.

Her 2011 runway show at |FAT| included models wrapped in fabric from head-to-toe, and her loose fitting designs were worn over the wraps. The underlying fabric alternated between pastel gray, camel and bright red. Also at |FAT|, Lomonova was the subject of a film by Dominique Loubier.

Ruth Weil

Ryerson alumnus Hillary Sampliner emerged onto the fashion scene in 2010 when her fall 2010/2011 collection hit the |FAT| runway. With a line named after her grandmother, Sampliner’s aesthetic is at once classic, vintage and colourful. The designer likes to experiment with painting, dyeing and unconventional presses in many of her pieces.

At her |FAT| presentation last year, Weil combined vintage masks, miniature hats, frocks and mini dresses, all accessorized with two-coloured leggings. Her colour palette included black, golden brown, washed-out emerald and yellow – some pieces were also accented with spider-like prints.

Sampliner is currently designing in Toronto, but hopes to continue her career in Europe.


The Montréal-based, married fashion design couple Danielle Martin and Pao Lim are the creative minds behind MARTIN LIM. The duo has won many international and national awards, and they have also worked with many renowned designers, including Christian Lacroix and Roland Mouret.

Both Martin and Lim hold a B.A. in Fashion Management and Design from the École Superieure de Mode de Montréal – UQUAM and M.A. in Fashion Womenswear from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. With their company launched in 2010, the designers merge romanticism and architectural designs in their work – something that was seen in their latest collection showcased at the World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto. Long, silk, rectangular tops, as well as simple sheath dresses and pencil skirts, were very popular on the runway. MARTIN LIM was also the national winner of the popular Mercedes-Benz StartUp that launched last year across the country.


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