Conversation with Dorian Who

Conversation with Dorian Who

Are you self-taught or did you study fashion design?

I studied Fashion Design at Lasalle in Turkey before I move to Toronto

Do you design your own clothes, or you have go to label?

I Design most of my clothes but I also shop from another brands. I wish I could make everything myself.

When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a designer?

Growing up in Iran, Fashion was a gateway for me to express myself within an isolated and restricted environment. There was no Fashion school in Iran So after I finish my high school I started to work for  a local designer and that was the moment I realized that I wanted to create and be a designer. After three years working for her, I moved to Turkey for school and after I Graduated I moved to Toronto in 2015. Since my move to Toronto I have expressed myself freely through my personal style and in return it has opened many doors for me. My personal style has been featured in different magazines such as Bof, Women Sense, Fashion Magazine and I made it to top three finalists for Elle Canada’s Ec style search contest out of 1500 people in 2016 and last year I was among 10 disruptors artist for project Xposed in collaboration with Cafa Awards and this year I am in the list of best dressed for Toronto life. So I decided to turn my personal style to a brand, Dorian Who

How would you describe your Brand?

Dorian who is a Street Avant-Gard brand based in Toronto which is mainly inspired by my personal style.

DORIAN WHO: brings a modern, maximalist edge with a unique silhouette-bold prints, edgy cuts that allows flexibility in mix & matching. The brand exudes a youthful spirit and distinctive identity with a vibrant energy, DORIAN WHO combines the Middle Eastern heritage from Dorian’s culture into the design, but with a modern twist.

What other skills are important?

Definitely sewing and pattern drafting are really important.

What are you biggest fear when going out and starting your own line?

The biggest fear and challenge is definitely gaining recognition for your work. It takes a lot of time and commitment as well as finance to complete a collection and then to promote and sell. Showcasing at established and high profile events such as Toronto Fashion Week can be extremely expensive, and once you’re in, it doesn’t mean overnight success or guaranteed sales. Press and buyers tend to wait a few seasons for new labels to grow and show their potential before taking them seriously.

What is your favorite part about being a designer?

Creating what you can't find in other stores.

Could you give me a detailed breakdown of the steps in producing a collection... (From conception to the runway)?


-look at colour and trends from variety of sources

-source fabrics, trims and linings

-start designing

-get the pattern cut

-fit the first samples

-press all samples

-create a critical path for sample and production-work closely with the factory/sample maker

-book and do photo shoot for the look book

-send look book to printer

-begin the marketing and sales of new collection August sales for SS February sales for AW

-place orders of all fabrics and trims

-start placing styles on website

-marketing and social media

-start shipping orders to clients wholesale and directly

Where do you go for inspiration?

I get inspired by all sorts of things, particularly different cultures, surreal art and nature.

What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?

I am fascinated by power and strength at the moment and that's my inspiration for the next collection

How do you want your client feel when wearing your clothes?

I want to dress strong, intelligent and creative client. I want my brand to speak to a person who is confident in her/his self and her/his sense of style. Clients who live a passionate life. I think Dorian Who client can be any age and from any place. She/he is not defined by how others see them, she/he has fun interpreting the pieces their own way, and is more interested in taking risks rather than following trends

How would you describe your personal style?

I would describe my personal style as bold, self-expressional, culture oriented and edgy.

How is working in fashion different in Toronto then from Paris, NY?

I would say even with all the diversity in Canada, it’s a bit safe here. I would love to see more edgy and bold ideas from Canada-based designers.

If you were a superhero, what kind of powers would you have?


In your opinion, which super villains needs fashion advice?


Would you like to add something else?

I wish that they were more resources, help with owning a business and ways to connect with the right people to help you grow and to help other small businesses grow.