She's talented, she's driven, and she's the new name of Canadian contemporary outerwear. Get to know Candace Daniela.
SKYN: Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you?
CD: I am just your average ordinary girl with a huge dream. I was born and raised in the GTA and completed my education here as well. I always wanted to be a fashion designer and loved creating and designing clothing but I was brought up to choose the ‘safer’ or more ‘stable’ route in terms of my education. I went to University of Waterloo for Economics but it never stopped me from pursuing my fashion dreams on the side. It just motivated me to work harder and find other alternatives to learn about fashion and garment construction.
SKYN: That's phenomenal! Really, so inspirational, and such a great example of how hard work, dedication, and pure passion really can make all your dreams come true. So now that we know you're a perfect mix of economics and fashion, but for those readers out there who'd like to know the specifics, what is it that you do?
CD: Currently I work full-time in the Toronto Financial District. As soon as my day job is over, I start working on my upcoming collection. I do the design, pattern making, draping, cutting and sewing of all my sample pieces (but I recently learned to hire a contract sewer to help so I can manage my time better).
SKYN: Oh wow - so sounds like you've got quite a bit going on! Definite Wonder Woman over here. Not only are you incredibly driven, and talented, but you're also ragingly successful. We head you've just had two brilliant showings at TOM* and Toronto Fashion Week - congratulations! That's a huge accomplishment. Did you ever image you'd reach such great heights?
CD: Thank you! No, not at all! It was always my dream and goal to be a successful designer but I never really imagined myself actually showing Toronto Fashion Week and especially this soon! This year has been incredible, the experience and opportunities I received are so surreal. Given the opportunity to showcase in TOM* and Toronto Fashion Week has truly been a dream come true.
SKYN: We can imagine! You are absolutely brilliant and so incredibly talented, what inspired you to get involved in textiles?
CD: Thank you so much! My grandfather owned his own leather factory and created beautiful coats. I never had the chance to really get to know him, but I see the incredible pieces that he created being passed down in the family, and I just fell in love.
SKYN: And what inspires you in your actual designs now? Where do you get your inspiration from?
CD: Anything and Everything! It is crazy how designs and ideas can pop up in your head when you least expect it. From seeing someone’s tattoo on the street to the texture from a building wall, your brain is always creating and designing. My latest collection was inspired by the Nordic/European culture. I saw my photos from my friend’s recent trip to Northern Europe and I just kept imagining myself being there and the clothes I wanted to wear if I had the chance to go.
SKYN: That's wicked. It's funny how we can get inspiration from the littlest things, but they can make the most profound impact on us. Kind of like you. You're off making quite the impact on the fashion industry! And although we know that there's a definite glamorous side to fashion, there's probably a side that isn't quite as exciting. What's one thing about being in the industry that people might not know?
CD: There is a lot of hard work being put into it. Not just for a designer, but the models, photographers and Make-up artists. We recently filmed a short video for my show which was 1.5 minutes. This video took 8 hours of filming, 4 hours in the car, and another 7-8 hours of editing! I definitely would not have thought that a short video would have taken up so much time and work from everyone involved if I was not a part of it.
SKYN: Holy - that's wild! I'm sure it was totally worth it though. Other than how long a short video actually takes to make, what's one thing you wish you knew when you started out as a designer? Maybe a tip for any aspiring designer out there with big dreams of being the next Candace Daniela.
CD: Time is money! I think being a young designer, we often forget about charging a client for the time and labour we put into a garment. Looking back now, I realize how poorly I had priced my garments for sale and not valuing my own time as much as I should have. For all those who are just starting out, don’t forget your worth and the value of time!
SKYN: That's great advice. Your value and worth are definitely two solid things to be incredibly proud of. What are you most proud of?
CD: I am most proud of myself for not giving up and continuing to pursue my dream despite challenges that come my way. I am proud for continuing to work a day job and continuing to maintain good relationships with my family and friends. I really would not have been able to accomplish any of this if it weren’t for my extremely supportive friends and family.
SKYN: Absolutely. Family and friends are so key. They help mold and shape us into who we are, and into what we create. You've created something so unique with Candace Daniela, where do you see you and your brand going in the next 5 years. What's next for Candace Daniela?
CD: I think the next steps for the Candace Daniela brand is to continue to reach a larger community. I would love my brand to be recognized internationally in the next 5 years
SKYN: We're sure it will be! Once Candace Daniela is known worldwide, what would you love it to be known for?
CD: I would love Candace Daniela to be known for quality, being fashion forward and true to its clients. I want the brand to be known for creating and maintaining great customer relationships and staying true to our vision.
SKYN: Well, you're on a great path for it, because Ms Candace, you've got that all covered! Now finally, if people wanted to get their hands on some of your beautiful pieces, where can they go to?
CD: We are currently re-vamping our website ( www.candacedaniela.com ), so please keep checking back! You can also reach me @candacedaniela on Instagram and Twitter and Candace Daniela on Facebook . I.V.A Boutique( 253 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga, ON L5G 1G9) in Mississauga currently has some SS16 coats in stock and we hope to get our FW17 collection out in many other stores
SKYN: Very cool - thanks so much for chatting Candace!
Candace Daniela | @candacedaniela | 253 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga, ON L5G 1G9 | www.candacedaniela.com
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