Humber alumni Sana Sapra said it was a dream come true to have her fashion collection showcased at this year’s Fashion Art Toronto show.
“I come from India, and I’ve always wanted to put my cultural aspects in every collection I do,” said Sapra, a graduate of the Fashion Management program.
The 15th-anniversary edition of the longest-running fashion week in Toronto was held from Oct. 15 to 26.
This year’s theme for artists was “We Are All in This Together,” which reflected on community, family, and inclusion. The 15th edition established diverse connections while nourishing talent from the past involving various artists around the world.
Sapra designed her Folklore collection around the idea of sustainability and created it from waste that would have ended up in landfills.
“There’s enough (of a) carbon footprint already, but nobody’s really doing anything to reduce that,” she said.
Sapra’s emphasis on sustainability was inspired by what she learned at Humber.
“It just helped me understand the market better, we had a lot of modules related to sustainability. It was about getting a different perspective on how we can think about change,” she said.
Sapra decided to participate in the Fashion Art Toronto’s fashion show because her work was more than just fashion, it was being able to show different perspectives of art.
“Being a cautious designer, I really wanted to think of something different and how a designer could make a change,” Sapra said.
Fashion Art Toronto’s fashion week was virtual this year, a real change for everyone involved.
Rachel Jones, a makeup manager with Fashion Art Toronto, usually works with a team of 50 makeup artists. Due to the virtual show, Jones transitioned to online consultations with the models.
“One of the main themes of Fashion Art Toronto is inclusivity,” Jones said. “I offered private one-on-one consultations, and they showed up with their products and tools, and they would do the look with me on camera.”
For Jones, conducting those consultations virtually was a unique experience. Normally, there would be background noise and many distractions, but meeting virtually provided none of that.
“When I was meeting virtually, one-on-one, I really got to connect with the model,” she said.
The announcement of Sapra’s work being showcased resulted in immense support from fellow alumni and faculty as well.
Rossie Kadiyska, a Humber College professor and Fashion Management program coordinator, said it wasn’t a big surprise for her to hear the news of Sapra being featured in Fashion Art Toronto, always knowing she was destined for big things.
“She’s so passionate about sustainability, I cannot just rave about the work that she’s done,” Kadiyska said. “It’s not only fashion that is beautiful, but it’s also fashion that is beautiful for the planet.”
The program doesn’t deal with the design aspect of fashion but focuses more on the management side of the industry. Most students in the program, like Sapra, have a background in designing.
“That knowledge is a very big asset to them, especially if they want to go more into the fashion industry here in Toronto,” Kadiyska said.
Conducting the program during the pandemic was challenging to start, but has proven advantageous, allowing participation in international competition as well as collaboration within Humber College.
“The downside turned into an upside, we had more opportunities to collaborate across disciplines. There is a group of my students right now working with a group of web design students on a fashion tech project,” Kadiyska said.
Sapra’s collection also pays homage to artisans in India, with the jewelry in the collection is authentic Indian handcraft.
“Everything gets done by the artisans back home in India, it is also a small aspect of how we are contributing back to those artisans and try to uplift their handicrafts,” she said.
Sapra plans to continue her career as a fashion designer by setting up her store in Toronto and Vancouver next year and participating in more fashion weeks.