September 2009

Up-and-coming fashion designer Lucian Matis, like every immigrant, has a story about becoming Canadian that started when he left a politically unstable Romania

Luckily, the Canadian fashion industry is an environment where Canada’s cultural mosaic truly thrives; Matis is actually one of many Canadian immigrants who have found their way in the Canadian fashion scene. Examples abound: Chinese-born Alfred Sung now has an internationally acclaimed bridal label. Montrealer Irina Lazareanu, is, like Matis, originally from Romania and is currently one of the most sought-after supermodels in the business.
In fact, Matis’ closest colleagues are mostly immigrants.

His close friend and colleague, fashion photographer Arline Malakian, for example, was born in Lebanon. “She is the Lucian Matis woman; she’s sophisticated and she wears fashion not just for her ego, but for the sake of showing beauty and art,” says Matis.

He also worked with Colombian-born Dandi Maestre, the jewelry and accessory designer responsible for the antler and horn pieces woven into his spring collection. Matis says, “She takes things from every part of life, from humans and animals, and all ethnicities. It’s beautiful.”