The goal of The Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute (SRFI) is to educate, support, promote, and advocate for new talent at Ryerson University in fashion craftsmanship and design under the School of Fashion’s guiding principles of diversity, heritage, and innovation.

The SRFI fellowship program is unique in the Canadian fashion landscape attracting fellows early in their academic and creative careers. Undergraduate students from third and fourth year fashion design along with recent graduates undergo a competitive selection process to become Fellows of the Institute. The SRFI provides perspective for an elite group of students and alumni working in the field to bridge the transition from their fashion education to practice.

Made possible through a gift from The Edward and Suzanne Rogers Foundation, the SRFI at the School of Fashion in the Faculty of Communication and Design at Ryerson University supports emerging Canadian fashion designers nationally and internationally.

Suzanne Rogers at Canada House on Trafalgar Square.
Photo: Darren Bandoo

These talented individuals will learn, grow, create and make an impact in the world of fashion because of Suzanne Rogers and the Rogers family’s legacy of support.
As a regular attendee of Mass Exodus, Ryerson Fashion’s year-end showcase, Suzanne Rogers has witnessed countless debuts of young designers only to see their journey seemingly end when the model exits the runway. Inspired by the curiosity of knowing where these designers will end up, Suzanne Rogers posed the question “what happens next?” This question would ultimately become the first step in the creation of The Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute (SRFI). Over a period of two years, Suzanne Rogers and Robert Ott would develop a dynamic fellowship program set to enrich the next generation of Canadian design talent.

Mayor John Tory at the launch of the SRFI.
Photo: Brian Batista Bettencourt

The Fellows

JUSTINE LATOUR

Justine Latour is a cognizant observer of the world around her, allowing sights, smells, and feelings of her surroundings to guide her work. Since graduating from Ryerson University’s Fashion Design program in 2016, Justine relocated to Europe and currently resides in Berlin, Germany.

Justine champions innovative techniques and ethical textiles in order to subvert fast fashion in favour of sustainable wearable art. Through Burnt Design, an artistic collaboration with her twin sister Selina, she plays with “What Ifs” and draws inspiration from the bright colours of nostalgia and sisterhood. In November 2020, she will be moving to Lisbon, Portugal, to continue evolving her design practice. Justine specializes in print development for apparel and is beginning to translate this work into jewelry and accessories.

SARA HE

Sara He is an undergraduate student entering her third year of Fashion Design at Ryerson University. As a queer designer from a family of Chinese immigrants, Sara strives to create a voice for people like herself through her work.

Sara’s background in visual arts informs her practice as an emerging fashion designer. With an interest in conceptual artists like Nick Cave and Urs Fischer, she is inspired to think unconventionally when approaching her design process. Sara values sustainable and socially conscious design and is committed to contributing progressive change to the fashion industry. In 2021, Sara will be completing a semester abroad at Amsterdam Fashion Institute.

MICHAL PERELMUTER & JULIA PAYTON

Michal Perelmuter and Julia Payton is the design duo behind the label avrgbbs. Nostalgia, play, and fantasy are integral to their process as they create garments with illustrative motifs, intricate embellishments, and textiles made from latex & upcycled materials. As two queer designers, their relationship and identity give them a unique perspective and approach to design.

In the summer of 2017, Michal and Julia travelled to London, UK to intern and develop their collaborative undergraduate thesis. Inspired by childhood creativity, they created a 5-look collection titled “Won’t you play with me?”, and an interactive book meant to reignite adult creativity. After graduating, their second collection, “The tale of two average and nostalgic babies” opened Fashion Art Toronto in April 2019. Michal and Julia moved to London, UK in October 2019 to evolve their imaginative world of avrgbbs.

LYNNE HEY

Lynne Hey was born in Durban, South Africa and moved to Canada at a young age with her family. Her childhood was spent exploring creativity through drawing and painting. In her early adolescence, Lynne began using fashion as her primary creative medium.

Lynne became fascinated with styles from alternative subcultures and films from the mid-60s and 70s like Roman Polanski’s Apartment Trilogy, Deep Red, and The Exorcist. Her interest in the horror genre and depicting elements of the macabre have become key reference points to her design aesthetic. Lynne is currently designing her fourth-year collection.

ALEXANDRA ARMATA

Alexandra Armata graduated from the Ryerson fashion design program in 2016. She’s had opportunities to showcase her work to a global audience. Her previous achievements include an exhibition at the Institute of Textiles and Clothing in Hong Kong, as well as a nomination and runway presentation as part of the International Emerging Designer Awards in Dunedin, New Zealand. Alexandra was recognized at the 2016 Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards, earning a nomination in the Student Designer of the Year category.

With her passion for conceptual fashion, she hopes to continue designing collections that challenge her creativity. In fall 2017, she began studying postgraduate Womenswear Design at London College of Fashion. Alexandra is currently pursuing a MA Fashion in Womenswear at Central Saint Martins in London, U.K, and received the Isabella Blow Foundation scholarship.

STEPHANIE MOSCALL-VAREY

Stephanie Moscall-Varey graduated from Ryerson University’s fashion design program in 2015.  Raised in Southern Ontario, she was influenced by the natural world interpreting aspects of nature in fabric form.

Stephanie has worked alongside designer Jeremy Laing and traveled to New York Fashion Week for his spring 2014 presentation. She also worked closely with former Ryerson’s Designer-in-residence, Wayne Clark on her graduating collection, which was well-received and landed her in competitions and secured her a position with fashion giant, Abercrombie & Fitch, as a technical designer.

In October 2017, Stephanie decided to move back to Canada to focus on her own collection. Since her return, Stephanie debuted her f/w 2018-19 collection, Rita, at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week and participated in the ID Emerging Designer Competition in New Zealand. Stephanie is currently living in England pursuing an MA Fashion in Design Technology Womenswear at London College of Fashion.

JONAH SOLOMON

Jonah Solomon is from Thornhill, Ontario, and is in his third year of study at Ryerson Fashion. From a young age, Jonah was exposed to a wide variety of artistic media from his grandfathers – one a photographer, the other a painter. This exposure sparked a passion for the arts, which grew into a love for the fashion industry.

As Jonah develops as a designer, he looks to art as a source of inspiration. Jonah is equally passionate about fashion illustration, which he uses to bridge the gap between art and fashion. Beginning in 2019, Jonah will participate in a one-semester student exchange program at Kingston University London in England.

MATIN MITHRAS

Matin Mithras was born in Iran, where he spent his childhood surrounded by creativity and learned sewing from his mother. Matin’s creative exploration has involved drawing, painting, and graphic design, which he used to study interior design.

After completing his training, Matin worked as an architectural drafter in Tehran. Later, he and his family moved to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Matin was accepted into the fashion design program at Ryerson University in 2015 and moved to Toronto from the East Coast to begin his journey in fashion. Matin is in his fourth year at Ryerson and will present it at Mass Exodus in April 2019.

OLIVIA RUBENS

Olivia Rubens is a contemporary eco-friendly womenswear designer with a passion for textile and knitwear design. Olivia campaigns for issues for women in the workplace. She is committed to continuing an important and sensitive dialogue to create unity and support for women in beauty, public relations, and technology in Canada.

Olivia grew up in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, and obtained her bachelor’s degree from Ryerson University in fashion design in 2015, with a semester abroad at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2014. She has placed and participated in numerous competitions, and most recently showed her f/w 2018-19 line at Toronto Fashion Week. Olivia is currently pursuing a MA Fashion in Design Technology Womenswear at London College of Fashion in England.

FELLOWS ALUMNI
Adrian Arnieri
Quentin Tecumseh Collier


Fellows Photos: Ted Belton