An Interview with Michael Zoffranieri: The Emerging Canadian Fashion Industry
Updated: Feb 28
An article previously published on the now discontinued Toronto Women's Fashion Week website in September of 2017. This article was written after an interview over the phone with the talented fashion designer Michael Zoffranieri himself. Presently, Michael has been featured in fashion publications like Elle Canada, Vogue Italia, and FLARE Magazine.
The Canadian fashion industry is ready for the spotlight. As opportunities for emerging fashion designers increase and consumer awareness is on the rise, Canada could be on the verge of becoming a global fashion powerhouse. Canada has gracefully taken on the challenge of encouraging up-and-coming designers through different platforms. One of them being the prestigious TFI New Labels fashion show, which showcases emerging Canadian talent.
Each year, designers compete for the Suzanne Rogers Award for Most Promising New Label. An amazing recognition that includes a $30,000 prize, editorial features, as well as the opportunity to feature their designs at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018.
The winner of this year’s TFI New Labels award is Ryerson grad, Michael Zoffranieri. Being the youngest in the competition was not a threat for this evening-wear designer. His fresh take on trends, and edgy yet conservative designs walked the walk and talked the talk. Finally, wowing the panel of judges and taking home the prize.
At just 22 years of age, Zoffranieri has a Fashion Design degree from Ryerson University and an established brand named ZOFF. A brand with a key mantra “Art is Movement”. Michael specializes in exquisite tailoring, embroidery and embellishment, which are important elements embodied by the ZOFF brand.
Michael Z’s creative process begins within himself, his ideas and his feelings.
He is inspired by the female figures in his life, as well as his customers. This designer wants to tailor his clients’ stories within his designs.
As for his education, Michael’s Fashion Design degree at Ryerson has given him great networking connections, as well as a creative discipline. Actually, designer David Dixon advised him to enter this design program. Zoffranieri believes that graduates that come out of Ryerson get hired quickly, mostly by other Ryerson graduates. This is due to the impressive academic formation this university provides.
Michael Zoffranieri told TW FW that staying connected with the Canadian fashion community has taken him places, from interning within David Dixon INC, to working with the Ryerson fashion community, to his own studio space within TFI, all intertwined through CFG. Michael advices fashion newcomers in Canada to stay connected within the industry. A community which is small and tight, therefore once you are in, you must nurture your connections.
SS18 collection, Fuoco Dentro, ZOFF
Zoff will be showcasing its SS18 collection, Fuoco Dentro, with TW FW. A collection inspired by finding the “Fire Within”, connecting with the person that you are inside, knowing who you are, and “finding the struggle, and going through it” says Zoffranieri.
Canada Fashion Group provides a national and international support for Canada’s fashion designers and brands, with platforms like runway presentations, emerging designer programs, industry panel discussions, pop up shops, showrooms and networking opportunities.
CFG proudly owns both TOM* and TW, fashion weeks that are made by and for Canadians to support and nurture the fashion community of Canada. CFG and TW FW is home to Canada’s most iconic designers and the next generation of emerging talent.