A look inside four incredibly talented local designers who are creating a tidal wave of noise. Creative, innovative and prolific, indulge in their creations and let them transport you into their world of fashion.

By Louis Angot


Born in Romania, Matis was thrown right off into the fashion world, working at his mom’s tailor shop and designing for his school teachers. Studying painting and graphics in his home country, he moves to Canada in 1999 and enrolls at Ryerson University in Fashion Design. The rest is history. Matis will go on to win several prestigious awards across the country and have his breakthrough as a runner-up on hit TV show Project Runway Canada.

If he chose the fashion path, the designer never quite abandoned fine arts. Each of his collections, since his memorable beginnings at Toronto’s Fashion Week in 2007, has been impregnated with an artistic spirit and received critical and commercial acclaim. Like some artists who work through a plethora of media, Lucian loves to use different textiles and materials, like feathers, fur, leather or lace. His creations are whimsical, over-the-top and timeless – a dream for fashion editors, who never hesitate before featuring a Lucian Matis piece in an editorial. But above all, they scream couture : the craftmanship of his garments is a work of art itself, each embroidery, each seam, falling right into place, whatever the textile is. No wonder it’s why he always admired one of the pioneers of haute couture, Hubert de Givenchy!

lucian-matis-03 Designers and artists alike take inspiration everywhere they can. For Lucian Matis, it starts from his origins in Romania, where the folklore and the general vibe of Europe translate in his creations. Nature, travels, but moreover, the ethnic melting-pot of Toronto, where he now resides, serves as starting ideas for each of his collections. Always creating with a broad sight, the designer can pass from flowy dresses with colorful patterns to boxy and textured silhouettes, proving he can reinvent himself in a snap of the finger.

In any artistic venture, one must be versatile. To do so, Matis expanded his brand as he became more than a designer, but also an entrepreneur. Alongside his eponymous line, the creator launched MATIS by Lucian Matis, a diffusion line for career women that stays true to his aesthetic at a more affordable price, and a bridal branch, with custom-made designs. He also recently launched Lucian Matis Home, a line of home furniture and articles with innovative design.

Every designer dreams to go international, and Matis, with appearances on TV, spreads in major magazines, and clothes to die for on the likes of Nelly Furtado and Iman, could very likely be the next Canadian designer to make it in the great fashion world.