TORONTO - Fil-Canadian fashion designer Farley Chatto started his own line while he was still a student at Ryerson University.
Dubbed by fashion media as one of the Top 8 designers in Canada, Chatto's Far and Away Fur Collection hit the runway at the World Mastercard Canada Fashion Week in Toronto.
As extreme temperatures dropped this winter, it seems that everybody needs a Farley.
It hasn't been done in years, but Chatto took a risky and expensive venture being the only one to showcase a full fur collection.
"What I'm bringing to fur, that's new is the idea that I want people to look at fur, not as the ubiquitous luxury item. Yes it's a luxury item but what I'm looking for people to think of fur now is 'it's just another coat'. The fact that I used OA or origin assured fur I can guarantee you quality garments that are both certified and ethical," he said.
The fur creations are just one part of his 20-something years in the industry.
His love for fashion started at home.
"Really, my love for sewing started with my family because of my mom and my aunt. My aunt's a master cutter and a master tailor. Basically that's where the love started for fashion. Sewing garments before, I did puppets and clothing for my dolls. I eventually moved into sewing for myself and then for my friends in high school and by the time I was 15, 14-15 I was sewing full wedding gowns for friends who are getting married," he said.
His collection received a standing ovation.
Toronto-based jewelry designer Jon de Porter had nothing but praise for Chatto.
"I love his attitude towards fur. He doesn't take himself too seriously. He puts bold, colorful statements on the runway," he said.
Chatto's reputation spans globally. He is sought by production companies and big celebrities like Elton John.
But this local designer remains unfazed by fame and success.
"It's always about the people. I think part of what I am is attributed to my Filipino background. It's not about the fame, it's not about who I've dressed, it's not even about how much money, although there's no money sometimes. It's really about the enjoyment and I love the interaction with people," he said.
Chatto was one of the featured designers on March 28 at the Dare to Wear Love Fashion Show in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation which combats HIV/AIDS in Africa.