Behind the Scenes of Startup Fashion Week

From clothing to bedding to jewellery and makeup, Startup Fashion Week shines a spotlight on the young and emerging entrepreneurs in our creative city. It began this year in late October here in Toronto, and Ryerson Folio had the special honour of being invited to the pre-show.

Startup Fashion Week Toronto started back in 2017 and has since become an annual event. The companies showcased each year are local businesses offering reusable and sustainable products. It’s the difference in products offered that showcase a diverse and growing interest in transforming the old to new again while being sustainable and true to an items’ roots.

Some of the designers that showcased their products at the event are highlighted below. It was an honour getting to know them and to hear their stories, as well as realizing the impact their collections have on the local Toronto community.


Élange studio creator and partner
Local upscaling designer represented by Élange, Timor Dahi.

Élange is a fairly new company representing numerous sustainable brands. From accessories to clothing, Élange strongholds a spectrum of people’s fashion desires and brings them together through their boutique. Élange represents brands from Russia to local up-and -coming labels, to offer a truly all-encompassing array of sustainable fashion.

One of the most memorable creations presented through Élange was the reputable work by Timor Dahi. This local Toronto designer created new shirts and shorts through a patchwork of old quilts­‑ the unique patterns that are his end result are absolutely stunning. The pieces are very recognizable and so beautiful to wear.

Raccoon Guts

Raccoon Guts Clothing Line.

Raccoon Guts is an up-cycling clothing collection created by one of Ryerson’s very own current student, Hayley Spurdle. This collection takes a new spin on the use of thrifted clothing by giving them new life with paint, embroidery and imprinting.

When asked what inspired her to create this edgy, streetwear collection, Spurdle said “I’ve always [wanted to be] an artist”. Sprudle took her passion for art and creativity and turned away from the 2D medium into costume design. “Costumes rely on technical skill; fashion relies a lot on creativity,” she said. This vision is most evident in her collection: Spurdle brings a voice to the possibility of incorporating thrifted clothes and the economic and environmental benefits this has over fast-fashion industries.

Nomina Studio

Nomina Studio founder Aimon Ali and models.
Nomina Studio represented by Fash Public Relations.

“I’m not overcharging which I feel is a really big trend in the accessory industry recently,” said Ali.  She hopes to counterattack some of the bigger brands and bring the accessory industry back down to its roots, by offering affordable yet trending fashion through her inclusive collection.

Ryerson Folio had the honour to speak with Nomina Studio designer, Aimon Ali, represented by FASH Public Relations, as well. Nomina Studio is an accessories company that promotes handmade accessories, offering gold plated jewellery, seashells dipped in gold, fresh pearls and hair barrettes. All these items are handmade, and the company prides itself on sourcing where the products come from and knowing who is making them. This aids in keeping the products very affordable and accessible to Toronto residents. More so, by having one individual representing the brand and setting her visions

1 Day Beauty Co

1 Day Beauty founder Corinne Haddad.

Of her company, founder Corinne Haddad claims “1 Day Beauty was created with community in mind”. The company brought a different aspect to Startup Fashion Week Toronto, as it veered away from the usual offerings of sustainable accessories and clothing fashion to target a booming monopoly: makeup and skincare. 1 Day Beauty company is an “all-inclusive and beauty democratized” says Corrine. Her aim for this company is to leave no one alien to any aspect of the beauty world and to really reach all ages and orientations.  She feels that makeup made from organic and real products like castor seed oil, rosemary extracts, and sunflower oils will benefit both the person applying her products and making them healthier to use on the skin.

Other collections showcased at the event included Danya, Consciously Chic, and Sleepenvie.

Taking note of what clothing you are wearing and where it is coming from is crucial to understanding of our world. As consumers, we need to become more educated on the environment’s products are being created and the cost to our planet it takes to disrepute these.

Both the environment and economy are impacted by simple purchases. By supporting local start-ups aspiring to change how the fast fashion industry is run, there is a chance to upend the unsustainable cycle of fashion. Making more responsible choices in sourcing your clothes can be both cost-effective and stylish.  

Danya Clothing Line.
Nomina Studio accessories.

Photos by Olivia Johnson.