Feature: Mavra Toufidis, Fashion Designer - LLEGANCE
LLEGANCE Exclusive: Mavra Toufidis, Fashion Designer - LLEGANCE; A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of visiting the atelier of Montreal based fashion designer, Mavra Toufidis. After touring her atelier and seeing her stunning garments, we sat down & talked about her business and her love of corsets. Being a fashion designer is more than making clothes. It’s about the process behind designing clothes and the creative aspect of making clothes. Designing is a fashion art. Keep reading to find out what it takes to be a fashion designer. #designer #llegance

Feature: Mavra Toufidis, Fashion Designer

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LLEGANCE Exclusive: Mavra Toufidis, Fashion Designer - LLEGANCE; A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of visiting the atelier of Montreal based fashion designer, Mavra Toufidis. After touring her atelier and seeing her stunning garments, we sat down & talked about her business and her love of corsets. Being a fashion designer is more than making clothes. It’s about the process behind designing clothes and the creative aspect of making clothes. Designing is a fashion art. Keep reading to find out what it takes to be a fashion designer. #designer #llegance

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of visiting the atelier of Montreal based fashion designer, Mavra Toufidis. She’s a creative and unique designer with a love for dresses and corsets.

After touring her atelier and seeing all of her stunning garments, we sat down and talked about her business. Keep reading to find out what it takes to be a fashion designer, what her design process is like and so much more.


AZ: Tell me about your decision to be a designer and how it came about?

MT: I grew up sketching and drawing. I didn’t know what it was but I was always attracted to fashion. As a young girl, I didn’t know there was an actual industry where people made clothes.

So I went to school in fashion design and pattern making back when Concordia had the program. I would go to school at night and was taught by teachers who were in the industry.

I myself worked in mass production. I was making patterns on the computer, printing them and sending them to the cutting room. At the same time, I was continuing my education in design and couture. That’s when I took a course in corset making and loved it.

Slowly I would start making pieces for friends or family, and it just kept growing from there.


AZ: What is the dynamic like working with your Mom every day?

LLEGANCE Exclusive: Mavra Toufidis, Fashion Designer - LLEGANCE; A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of visiting the atelier of Montreal based fashion designer, Mavra Toufidis. After touring her atelier and seeing her stunning garments, we sat down & talked about her business and her love of corsets. Being a fashion designer is more than making clothes. It’s about the process behind designing clothes and the creative aspect of making clothes. Designing is a fashion art. Keep reading to find out what it takes to be a fashion designer. #designer #llegance
She’s currently designing a wedding dress for a client.

MT: I always saw her sewing. Of course to her it was a job that she needed to do to feed her family. To me, it was amazing to realize I could make a dress in my home for an event I had the next day. Knowing that it could be exactly how I wanted it with the right fabric, style and length was exhilarating.

The dynamic with my mom is great because she’s always ready to help. She’s really the only one that gets me and knows me. I also know her and how she works.


AZ: How did you get your business off the ground at the start?

MT: The power of word of mouth is incredible. I grew through word of mouth at the beginning and it slowly evolved. Of course, I started working out of my basement, which I turned into my atelier.

A lot of my customers were actually happy with that because they didn’t want my costs to go up. One step led to the next and I met amazing people along the way. Now we’re getting ready to open up a store, which is terrifying and exciting at the same time.


AZ: Can you walk us through the process from designing a piece, to having it ready to wear?

LLEGANCE Exclusive: Mavra Toufidis, Fashion Designer - LLEGANCE; A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of visiting the atelier of Montreal based fashion designer, Mavra Toufidis. After touring her atelier and seeing her stunning garments, we sat down & talked about her business and her love of corsets. Being a fashion designer is more than making clothes. It’s about the process behind designing clothes and the creative aspect of making clothes. Designing is a fashion art. Keep reading to find out what it takes to be a fashion designer. #designer #llegance
This is the cotton version she makes before cutting into the actual fabric for the final dress.

MT: I’m constantly looking through pictures of movies, videos and music that inspire me. The inspiration is a feeling. You learn that if you have a passion for something, you get that “feeling”.

The customer normally comes to me with a picture first. As we talk, I get to know them a little bit more. They sometimes bring in a piece they already love so I can get an idea of their favourite fit. From there I’ll suggest what looks best on them. The dress or outfit has to be made up in my head before I proceed to designing a pattern.

Once I have that, we make a cotton version that I’ll have draped on the mannequin. We then have the customer try it on and together we’ll decide which adjustments to make. We really cater to women who just want something special and specially made.


AZ: You’re currently in the process of expanding. Can you tell us about the launch of the new atelier?

MT: I ended up meeting my partners and it just seemed like a perfect fit. My partner Jeremy does the men’s wear. We do the same thing where we don’t have anything off the rack. We work with the customer and produce pieces that are exactly made to their measurements.

We then met Marcus who fell in love with what we do. He’s very passionate about working with people who are in design. He even does accessories himself. We thought we would make a great team together if we started up something a little bit different.

The vision is to make it into an atelier, lifestyle lounge shop. We want to be able to offer our customer a glass of champagne and a little bite to eat as they’re visiting. We will even have all the fabrics for the customers to see, touch and feel when they come in for a consultation.


AZ: Will you get your daughters implicated in the business in the long run?

LLEGANCE Exclusive: Mavra Toufidis, Fashion Designer - LLEGANCE; A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of visiting the atelier of Montreal based fashion designer, Mavra Toufidis. After touring her atelier and seeing her stunning garments, we sat down & talked about her business and her love of corsets. Being a fashion designer is more than making clothes. It’s about the process behind designing clothes and the creative aspect of making clothes. Designing is a fashion art. Keep reading to find out what it takes to be a fashion designer. #designer #llegance
Two of her corset dresses.

MT: My kids, including my son, are very much a big part of what I do. They are my biggest inspiration. My older one is very much interested in the business part of what we do. My younger one is more into the styling and has the eye for detail.

However, right now they are very busy for that type of commitment. My daughters might join me in the long term but not right now. We’ll see!


AZ: Where do you seek design inspiration the most?

MT: I love era movies, music, anything fantasy or creative. I follow couture houses like Dior, Chanel, Alexander McQueen when they do their custom pieces. It’s not just about fashion, it’s also about recreating what you see in your head.

I spend hours looking at pictures and filing them in my folders. I love inspiration like a garment on a mannequin in an atelier in France. Seeing the people that work in these ateliers is also incredible.


For more on Mavra Toufidis follow them on Instagram and keep an eye out for the new store opening.

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Adrianna Zakher
adriannazakher@hotmail.com

Adrianna the founder and editor in chief of LLEGANCE. As a professional, she understands that buying clothing for work can be a challenging task. Not only do you have to figure out how to style office wear, but you also may not have the time to buy new clothing pieces. She loves making feel and look confident at the office so they can close more deals, earn more money and accelerate their career. In her spare time she enjoys hanging out with friends, shopping of course, taking her dog for a walk and going to the gym.

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