Interview – Nadya Toto

Nadya Toto by Nadya Toto, designer.


What is the story behind your brand?
It started in the late 1980s. I was one of the first Canadian Designers showing jersey and jacquard womenswear collections for the first time. Today, Nadya is celebrating 30 years of her fascinating collections.

How would you describe your brand?
Sophisticated, yet minimalist, ultra-feminine & decidedly romantic.

What is your creative process?
It is all about visioning and visualization. I do true fabric research, creating mixes and fabric designs with textile mills. I then conceive a collection through the selected fabrics. Sketching designs in my head and scratching them onto paper. And then it is all about editing, editing, editing, editing. Listening to music, I drape fabrics on a mannequin. A mix of trial and error until perfection decides to take place at last. Only then does it become THE COLLECTION!

What has inspired your latest collection?
Brazil. The unforgettable vibe from a trip to Brazil: the people, the nature that just grows everywhere, the architecture (I think they are incredibly talented in architecture especially with influences from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s influences). Oscar Niemeyer is amazing.

What are your influences?
I am enlightened everyday by my Italian roots that bring me inner security in myself, my thinking, my visions, and love. I am influenced constantly by the small Italian cities where I come from, such as Silvi Marina on the beach and the South of Italy Palo del Colle.

What is your signature piece?
The SISI capelet! It is a black flocked polka dot tulle capelet with a gros grain knotted ribbon tie.

Who is the NADYA TOTO woman?
Every woman.

What is your fondest fashion memory?
One of my most incredible shows in 2001 at the USINE C in Montréal.

How are you coping with COVID?
Great! I am taking it as an opportunity to do things I never have time to do, like going for walks with my daughter everyday! I am keeping very optimistic and starting my Spring 2021 collection!

On a different note… which book is on your nightstand at the moment?
“True Love” by Thich Nhat Hanh. 

Which song are you listening to over and over?
“Big in Japan” by Alphaville.
“La Cura” by Franco Battiato.
But I must mention my favorite and most inspiring music composer of all times Ennio Morricone.

Which television series are you binge watching?
“Suburra” (Netflix). 

What is your favorite recipe of the moment?
Vegan burgers made of beets.

Which movie inspires you?
The classic “Blade Runner” directed by Ridley Scott.



Andrew McNally

When asked what it is that I do for work, I like to joke that I am a fashion hybrid. I am lucky enough to work in various ways within this industry which I am passionate about. I am a fashion columnist at Journal de Montreal for which I write for different columns, including Mode de stars (Fashion of the Stars) and Dans la garde-robe de… (A Glimpse In His.Her Closet…). I also do image consulting for several performers and actors in the Quebec entertainment industry. In addition, I work behind the scenes as an Artistic Director at many fashion events and fashion shows. The rest of my time is spent teaching fashion at LaSalle College.