Where would you find fashion industry’s top artists, designers, influencers, and industry leaders all in one place? The Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards (CAFA), of course! At the 6th annual Awards Gala, CAFA did not disappoint as it celebrated outstanding achievement and emerging talent in the Canadian fashion industry. This prestigious event was held at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto and hosted by Canadian television personality, Jessi Cruickshank, who was hilarious and fabulous, among her 16 designer outfit changes.

Attending my first CAFA, outfitted by Canadian designer, Auneya Munir of Auneya Bridal, I felt like a star at the Oscars. Described by another first-timer, Marie Copps, fashion and accessory designer, “It was like attending the Oscars, not for the film awards but for arts and fashion.” Canada’s most stylish dressed to impress in the best of our homegrown designers. Whether they were sashaying and posing on the red carpet, or they were camera posturing for our talented photographer George Pimentel, or they were Oscar-style interviewed by Lisa Kisber via Facebook Live Stream, or they were posing in the portrait room, it was the one night of the year where Canada’s most fashionable re-acquainted with old friends and made new friends.. We celebrated and “wore Canada proud” because isn’t that what it’s all about – recognizing and showcasing Canada’s fashion?


Over clinking glasses, dining on smoked steelhead and beef strip loin, honorary awards were presented in 22 categories; across design, photography, styling, modelling, social impact, and digital impact. The 2019 Vanguard Award was presented for significant contributions to the creative community. Loriot was attributed with leaving a mark on the art world through his work as a curator and creative director.

Douglas Kirkland graciously accepted The International Canadian Designer Award. Kirkland was acknowledged for his exceptional career as a coveted photographer who has photographed some of our most iconic Hollywood celebrities. Aurora James, founder and creative director of Brother Vellies, a line of footwear and accessories, picked up The International Canadian Designer Award.

Other notable winners included Sid Neigum who took home two awards, The Womenswear Designer of the Year, and The Suzanne Rogers Designer ($20,000) Grant for International Development. Refreshingly, Canadian model, Tasha Tilberg, won The Model of the Year 26 years after the start of her career, and Krow Kian, one of the most sought-after transgender models, was awarded The Fresh Face of the Year Award. Matt & Nat was awarded The Fashion Impact Award and KOTN was celebrated for their contribution to sustainability in fashion. The Menswear Designer of the Year Award went to Christopher Bates. For the full list of winners: https://www.cafawards.ca/cafa-2019/2019-winners/.

The evening concluded with “Slay the Runway” fierce runway walk-off. Cheers to another successful event!

1- Jessi Cruickshank
2- Jenna Naumovich Freda

3- Douglas Kirkland, Catherine Martin
4-Viktor Horsting, Thierry-Maxime Loriot and Rolf Snoeren
5- Coco Rocha, Sid Neigum, Sylvia Mantella
6- Jessica Mulroney, Krystal Kooper
7- Jayjay Kings, Naomi Leone
8- Britney Kelleher, David Dixon, Donna Kuczynski
9- Suzanne Rogers
10- Coco Rocha