Morning Coffee with Fan Favourite Sunny Fong, Designer of Vawk

One-on-one with a few of our favourite designers set to show at Toronto Fashion Week. Over a cup of coffee, Emily Ramshaw, Assistant Fashion News Editor, will find out what we can expect from their Fall 2013 collections, why they love working in the Canadian fashion industry, and the unique influences in each of their designs. Check back daily!

GIVEAWAY: In the spirit of Toronto Fashion Week, FLARE editors picked their favourite fashion books to help one lucky winner update their personal library. Enter now for your chance to win six new tomes from Indigo-Chapters.

Emily Ramshaw with designer Sunny Fong of Vawk
Emily Ramshaw with designer Sunny Fong of Vawk

Video Schedule 
Monday, March 18: Kimberley Newport-Mimran, President and Head Designer of Pink Tartan
Tuesday, March 19: Sid Neigum
Wednesday, March 20: Joe Mimran, Creative Director of Joe Fresh
Thursday, March 21: Sunny Fong, Creative Director of Vawk
Friday, March 22: An inside look at Toronto Fashion Week Fall 2013

The Transcript
Emily Ramshaw: Can you give us a little preview of what we can expect from your Fall 2013 collection?
Sunny Fong: A mix of two ideas, hunting, concepts of hunting, hunting gear, camouflage, how to get into your hunting mode. And just in terms of how things are cut or silhouette, I reference a lot of Scandinavian interior design.

ER: Can you outline for me your trajectory through the industry?
SF: It’s been all over the place. I started my line in 2004, and I did it all myself. It was a hard time during the recession so I put my line on hold and did Project Runway, and that helped bring back my line and I relaunched that back in 2009 and here we are today.

ER: How was your experience on Project Runway?
SF: It was great. What I was doing before was more unrealistic, but having gone through the show and having dressing one and dealing with different challenges and the need for different garments, made me understand business a little more on the spot. And then after that, it definitely took my perspective on fashion in a different way.

ER: So I know you’ve gone through ups and downs in your line, do you have any advice for those who want to come into the industry as a designer?
SF: I think the one thing that I know is that you have to treat it as a business. I love the design process, it’s amazing, but at the end if you make that sale and get that garment out, and someone buys it, just to have your designs translate to revenue is important, it keeps business going.

ER: What do you think is the Vawk signature?
SF: What we do every season, is that there’s an element that you can’t find from manufacturing. You have to actually have that moment where you see a hand crafted quality tunic, usually we do stuff by hand, and I think each season we try to carry that through and I think that brings a level of luxury to a garment. Other than to say that was made in a factory somewhere, everything’s made in house, everything I’ve gone through and touched, and there’s a hand element to each garment at least.

ER: I know you used a diverse group of models before, why is that important to you?
SF: I think when we started I was definitely interested in different cultures and representing that on the runway. And as for body types I was never very specific on one certain body type. As every season goes by we try to represent our consumer as well as another body type that we can learn from. If I do create a garment I want it to be something that can be worn in a real environment.

ER: So where do woman wear those incredible Vawk gowns?
SF: I don’t know, on the red carpet and parties. My friend the other day messaged me that someone was wearing one of my coats on the subway.

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