Toronto Fashion Week: 5 Questions with SOIA & KYO designer Ilan Elfassy

When it comes to surviving unpredictable Canadian weather in style, we turn to SOIA & KYO, our mecca of fashionable fall and winter staples that promise to keep us warm and looking good.

Designer and creative director Ilan Elfassy knows the importance of solid outwear firsthand. Born in Montreal, he grew up in a fashion-industry family whose business specialized in leather coats. Since launching in 2004, SOIA & KYO has received a cult following in Canada for revolutionizing the puffy parka and giving us Canucks more than a few ultra-chic options to keep cozy.

We caught up with Ilan and asked him the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHY of the Spring 2014 collection. See his answers below!

WHAT was your inspiration for the spring/summer 2014 collection?
The Spring/Summer 2014 collection is an escape to a rooftop garden. Inspired by its soft breeze and lightness, the collection offers the perfect balance between sophistication and minimalism. The colour palette reflects soft skies, delicate floral pastels and the beautiful earth tones found in nature.

WHY do you love showing in Toronto and the energy at World MasterCard Fashion Week?
We’ve been showing in Toronto for many years now. We love the ambiance and creative energy that surrounds the shows, as well the opportunity to meet with media, clients and buyers.

We look forward to collaborating with talented artists and amazing sponsors in the industry. It is an occasion to see how other Canadian designers are evolving. 

Also, we love Toronto: visiting our showroom and checking out new boutiques, restaurants and hotspots.

WHEN people see the collection what do you hope they’ll take away from it?
We hope people sense a soft, fresh and modern collection that illustrates an effortless, natural beauty. This season has brought some changes to the brand: we’re celebrating our tenth anniversary, and have a new logo and website that reflects our growth and evolution. We can’t wait to show off our new look during fashion week.

WHO is the 'SOIA & KYO' woman, and what is she doing on a Saturday afternoon in Toronto?
The SOIA & KYO woman embodies a feminine beauty with classic style. She spends her Saturdays shopping, walking downtown along the harbour front, and enjoying a drink and a bite to eat at a relaxed and trendy spot. 

WHERE do you see yourself and your brand in five years?
We’ve branched out internationally and see ourselves building on this over the next five years. We’ll be growing and expanding our global presence to become a dominant brand in the outerwear market.

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