Born in Montreal, 1969
© Stephanie Lefevre. Photo courtesy of Nadya Toto
Nadya Toto is the founder, owner and designer of her eponymous brand of affordable women’s ready-to-wear. The simple, minimalist silhouettes of her clothes emphasize the quality of the cut and highlight the original materials. In addition to buying fabrics from European suppliers, Nadya Toto makes some of them herself.
Born into a family of Italian origin, Nadya Toto learned about couture and fashion design at a very young age.
When she was just 13 years old, she sold hounds-tooth school bags and hand-painted sweaters under her own label at Dragon Cité, a boutique on Montreal’s St. Denis Street.
After taking a technical training program in women’s fashion design at Collège Marie-Victorin, Nadya Toto worked as a designer for Montreal manufacturer Annie-Lee Dresses. In 1989, she launched her own label and presented her first collection at the Barbizon Hotel in New York City. While her first atelier was located on Queen Mary Road in Montreal, she eventually moved seven times, always staying on the island of Montreal. In 1997, Nadya Toto opened a store on Mountain Street; it closed its doors a decade later in 2007. In addition to collections of ready-to-wear, the designer’s label launched an eyewear line in 2001.
As of 2018, eight people were employed at the Nadya Toto head office in Montreal’s Saint Laurent borough. The more elaborate pieces in her collections are produced in-house while higher volume items are given to local subcontractors. The clothing is sold at some 50 retailers across Canada as well as on the brand’s e-commerce Website.
Fashion show at Montreal Fashion Week. Photo courtesy of Nadya Toto
Glasses © Nadya Toto. Photo courtesy of Nadya Toto
Nadya Toto © Anick Lessard. Photo courtesy of Nadya Toto
Fletcher, Sarah. « My Montreal : Fashion designer Nadya Toto » Montreal Gazette, Postmedia Network Inc., 5 January 2015, https://montrealgazette.com/life/urban-expressions/my-montreal-fashion-designer-nadya-toto.
Madeleine Goubau, Contributor
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