TORONTO—Acclaimed designer Jason Wu could soon be adding to his accolades at the upcoming Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards.
The award-winning talent was announced as a nominee for international Canadian designer of the year at an event in Toronto on Wednesday. The CAFAs honour homegrown talent within the arts and fashion community.
The Vancouver-raised, New York-based Wu will face off against fellow New Yorker Tanya Taylor and London-based Thomas Tait in the international Canadian category.
Womenswear nominees include Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong of Greta Constantine, John Muscat and Jennifer Wells of Line Knitwear, Kimberley Newport-Mimran of Pink Tartan, and Lucian Matis.
Menswear designer of the year nominees include Christopher Bates, Frank and Oak and Wings + Horns.
The winners of the emerging talent awards will each take home $10,000 and receive professional mentorship from industry veterans.
Nominees in the emerging fashion design category include 3.Paradis, Matthew Gallagher, UNTTLD and Beaufille. In the accessory field, Arc Jewellery will square off against Daniel Christian Tang, Lauren Klassen and Sully Wong.
Image maker nominees include Max Abadian, Richard Bernardin, Arkan Zakharov and Gabor Jurina.
Stylist of the year award nominees include Annie Horth, Juliana Schiavinatto and George Antonopoulos.
Heather Marks, Kirsten Owen, Herieth Paul and Crista Cober are vying for model of the year honours.
CAFA managing director Vicky Milner said while they already have a category honouring models, they wanted to take the opportunity to focus on emerging talents in the field.
They created the fresh face of the year award, with Adam Butcher, Emma Genier, Malik Lindo and Steph Smith serving as the inaugural nominees.
The fashion impact award recognizes a homegrown designer or brand that has made a significant social or philanthropic impact, while the fashion innovation award highlights a company that is innovating how people experience, consume or interact with fashion through technology.
Impact nominees are Browns Shoes, Laura Siegel and Obakki, while Frank and Oak, Stylekick and Sidebuy are the innovation nominees.
“We’re always looking at ways to include other people within the sector, broaden our audience and reach, and just create more opportunities for people to participate in CAFA,” said Milner.
Rounding out the list are nominees is the fashion design student award where schools nominated star students in their graduating classes. Nominees include Hamish Thwaites, Meghan Buckley, Patricia Nicolas and Tricia Crivellaro.
“We wanted to include the schools and give the younger generation something to aspire to and get excited about,” said Milner.
“It’s a great also for us to tell the message of the educational programs that are happening across the country from coast to coast and to spotlight some of these young talents and designers.”
The third annual CAFA gala is slated to take place on April 15 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto.