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Canadian Designer Series: Joeffer Caoc

| Sunday January 24, 20103 comments
Joeffer Caoc doesn’t like shopping. He’s currently reading at once the Gossip Girl book series and Eckart Tolle’s The Power of Now. He used sun-in in the 80s.

“It really damages your hair, but all my friends were doing it,” confesses the second generation seamster, who was born in the Philippines and moved to Toronto at the age of four.

Back in the Philippines, he used to deconstruct the clothes his mother would wear and patch them back together differently. Which is kind of what he does now – deconstruct the familiar. “The way I design is that everything has a classic silhouette, and it’s sort of f****ed up or twisted around with either the fabric, the detail, the seaming, or the way that it’s cut, yet it’s identifiable. It’s a hip length jacket or a black dress. But there’s always a quirky little detail to it.”

A detail fit for the Joeffer Caoc woman. Caoc describes the wearer of his designs as “subtly fashion-savvy” but not necessarily a follower of trends. Though he doesn’t have any particular model muses, he points to all the confident women in his life as a source of inspiration. “[I think about] a combination of all of them. Or maybe of whom I would want to be if I was a woman.”

Along with being witty, he’s also a risk-taker. After working with Lida Baday (one of his favourite Canadian designers, along with Jeremy Laing) for only two years, he launched his own at the ripe age of 24. “I just sort of did it,” he explains of the move. “I was young. I was fearless.”

This spring, expect to see colourful dresses in pink, yellow and khaki hues on the racks at Eleven (just one of the many retailers where Joeffer Caoc is sold). In the current economic climate, Caoc cites an attention-grabbing quality as a must in his collection. However, for Canadian fashion designers, financial support is a consistent challenge: “We’re not like Europe, where fashion is a part of their heritage – hockey is a part of our heritage,” he supposes.

The lack of capital also makes the men’s market in Canada an especially difficult one for any designer to breach, but it is one of Caoc’s future aspirations. For the time being, though, he’ll stick with women. “Women are a lot more adventurous,” he states. Kudos to that.

Still, he never makes anything for himself, which is where his disinterest in shopping comes in. Sadly, because he spends so much time around clothes, scouring the racks of precious garments in dazzling boutiques just isn’t as exciting for him as it is for the rest of us.

Shopping for products, however, is a different story: “I am a f***ing whore in Shoppers Drug Mart!” he exclaims. “If the package is shiny, I’ll just buy it!” Ah, yes. He is just like us.

by Julie-Anne Cleyn

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on February 11, 2010  yummy101  258 said:

I love fashion and how it continously changes!

on January 26, 2010  Mski  498 said:

I have been buying Joeffer's stuff for years..nod to the old Misura days!
You will never go wrong purchasing one of his pieces. I personally love the architectural influence in his work - he manages to convey power and femininity in his work - which I believe is a true art!

on January 26, 2010  roadee  2,181 said:

Love the collection. Nice pics. Great article!

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