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Toronto Fashion Week Fall 2015: Backstage with David Dixon
David Dixon takes a bow after his Fall 2015 runway show. Photo by Jenna Marie Wakani.
Last night, Canadian designer
David Dixon celebrated his 20th year in the game with a standout runway show at
Toronto Fashion Week for his high-drama mega-glam Fall 2015 collection inspired by Joan of Arc. (Strong women are totally his thing, and we can definitely get on board with that.) We had a chance to speak to the talented visionary backstage before his show about how far he’s come – and where he thinks all
Canadian designers need to look next (Hint: it’s NOT New York.)
After 20 years in Canadian fashion, what’s the most prominent change you’ve seen in the industry? "I would say the biggest changes have been happening in the past five to ten years, simply because of social media and the Internet. That has changed the entire landscape of design. Not only is fashion so instant – like we’re watching livestream shows from Europe now – but the customer’s become quite savvy about what’s happening. They are no longer waiting for the reviews and the clothes to come out six months from now – people are educated about what works for them and what doesn’t, so I think the whole trend issue is going out and people will just start adopting the pieces that they find inspirational."
How do you think Canadian designers can benefit from these changes? "We’re becoming much more visible, because people that are actually coming to the shows – the fashion media, as well and personal clients – are all international people: They travel all over the place. We’re not just this little country anymore, we’re part of a global culture."
READ MORE: Toronto Fashion Week Fall 2015: 20 reason why we love Canadian designer David Dixon
What do you think needs to be the next big push for the Canadian design industry? "Hopefully we can get more recognition and support for arts and culture from our government. And also brand awareness: I think because a lot of us don’t have the backers that the European designers have we don’t have a lot of options in terms of how we can expose ourselves. So I think we just need a little bit more help in terms of how we market ourselves internationally."
What is the next major milestone you are looking toward as a designer? "The next milestone is basically to keep trucking – keep going. That’s our thing: keep growing and evolving. There are so many goals that we get wrapped up with but it’s really just about evolving and making every day exciting."
Tell me about the inspiration behind your Fall 2015 collection. "The collection is inspired by Joan of Arc. I came across an image of her and it just became so inspiring. She famously said, “I’m not afraid, I was born to do this.” Here was this woman ahead of her time, really a role model for women everywhere. I design for women of power, whether they are stay-at-home moms or CEOs. They are confident women who believe in what they do – they feel born to do certain things and have that sort of initiative and power, and that’s what it’s all about."
Has the David Dixon woman evolved or changed much over the 20 years? "I would say she’s grown with me, because the more I get to know her the more I’m able to design for her. But she has always been aspirational, authentic, funny, smart, educated – she has a busy life and she’s also very socially aware. She understands her community, she understands giving back and that whole philosophy that we are here for a purpose: She’s the purpose of it all."
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