“We are honoured to be celebrating our tenth anniversary this evening in the company of our incredible fashion community,” said Vicky Milner, CAFA President. “I’m very touched to see many familiar faces here tonight who have supported CAFA’s mission from the very beginning, however I’m also so thrilled to welcome many new faces who are trailblazing the future of fashion, not just here in Canada, but on an international level.”
The 2023 event was hosted by Canadian drag artist, television personality, and Toronto native Brooke Lynn Hytes and took place at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Joe Zee presented Aurora James with the 2023 Vanguard Award for her trailblazing work to make the global economy a more equitable place for historically excluded groups. A grateful James stated the following:
“Thank you to CAFA for this incredible Vanguard Award recognition. I founded the Fifteen Percent Pledge three years ago to create greater equity for Black entrepreneurs. Since then, we’ve signed on 29 Pledge takers– some of the biggest retailers across fashion, beauty, and the design space– and are in the process of reallocating nearly $14 billion in revenue to Black founders. This work isn’t easy, but it is very important. Thank you to CAFA for their support on this journey towards closing the racial wealth gap and creating a more equitable economy”.
The CAFAs Outstanding Achievement Award, presented by Sarain Fox, went to Dani Reiss, C.M., OOnt, Chairman and CEO of Canada Goose, for his contributions in building one of the world’s most recognizable brands and leading manufacturers of performance luxury apparel.
“Receiving the Outstanding Achievement Award is truly humbling, and I am grateful to be recognized amongst some of the most talented individuals in the Canadian arts and fashion industry,” said Reiss. “Canada has played such an important role in the Canada Goose story. The spirit, the landscapes, the stories have been the backbone of our brand. We’re proud to not only represent Canada on the global stage but to also embody the spirit of quality, innovation, and grit that defines our nation. Thank you, CAFA for this incredible honour” says Dani Reiss.
The International Canadian Designer Award was presented to Justin R. Saunders, Designer, Creative Director, and Founder of JJJJound who gave credit to his team for bringing his vision to life.
The other CAFAs handed out included:
The Womenswear Designer of the Year Award was presented to LAMARQUE
The Menswear Designer of the Year Award was presented to École de Pensée
The Accessory Designer of the Year Award was presented to Vitaly
The Outerwear Brand of the Year Award was presented to RUDSAK
Cash Labs received the Fashion Innovation Award
The Digital Fashion Creator of the Year Award went to Sasha Exeter
Sam Huang received the Fashion Design Student Award
The Model of the Year Award was presented to Lauren Chan
Renata Kaveh received the Image Maker of the Year Award
Heather Diamond Strongarm was presented the Fresh Face of the Year Award
The Stylist of the Year Award was presented to Nadia Pizzimenti
The Fashion Impact Award went to Manitobah
Triarchy received the Sustainability Award
The Makeup Artist of the Year Award was awarded to Simone Otis by GRAE
The Hair Artist of the Year Award was awarded to Andrew Ly