Tonight at 7 pm, women all across Toronto will kick off the weekend by dreaming of what they’ll be wearing this spring, thanks to the Stephan Caras Spring/Summer 2014 runway show on the final night of World MasterCard Fashion Week. Inspired by the similarities between the pearl and femininity, the soft colours and flowing fabrics of Stephan Caras’ latest collection are the perfect reminder that spring will inevitably come even though the winter is only just now upon us. We caught up with Stephan’s design partner, his son Kyriako Caras, before the Stephan Caras show at World MasterCard Fashion Week, to find out more about his exciting career with his father…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
I was born and raised in Toronto, and I am of Greek background. As a child I was immersed in the world of fashion as I spent most of my youth along side my father in the studio and work rooms learning the technicalities of fashion design. I began designing as a teenager as part of this process as I became inspired by the various shapes and forms that I could produce by experimenting with all the fabrics we had in our studio. This developed into a passion and a desire to constantly re-invent myself and design pieces that were unique. This passion grew and contributed to developing a keen sense of construction and creativity, and to the inspiration behind the designs that create…
“Fashion has been a lifelong synergy and interplay between design, expression, and beauty. Femininity is expressed both through shape and fluidity. Luxurious and bold statements are coupled with the softness and beauty of the female form. My designs are an expression of humble beauty exaggerated by sensuality and motion.”
Fashion has taken me to many different parts of the world and this exposure served as inspiration for my studies in history and anthropology at the University of Toronto, and my studies abroad with the University of California, Berkeley. I have an Honours Bachelors of Arts in Archaeology from the University of Toronto. I have used this as a platform of inspiration for my passion for design in developing a keen sense of artistic expression, coupled with my knowledge of culture and history.
What are the biggest challenges and best rewards about what you do?
The biggest challenge about what I do is also my most favourite reward. As I have said, I constantly try to re-invent myself by experimenting with new fabrics, and create pieces that evoke a reaction from those who wear it. The challenge is how to create an idea and make it into a reality, and feasible in a demanding market. It’s about creating pieces that are elegant, feminine, and women can wear and feel beautiful. It is an artistic expression that has to be produced, and this is the major challenge as I interact with the various technicalities that are involved with designing and producing a timeless piece. The reward is when all this comes together and the women who wear these designs feel feminine, confident, and beautiful.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Family is the most important for me. Happiness is truly happiness when it is shared, so my close connection with family is what gives me strength. I love listening to music. The world would be a lot more dull if there wasn’t an outlet of music to keep you inspired. Third, is coffee…
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…it is such a diverse city. The world is at your fingertips in Toronto, and you can expose yourself to so many cultures and interesting people. When you expose yourself to diversity, you expand your mind and this helps any artist become open to new ideas and concepts. Toronto is constantly moving forward and it a great place to do business, and meet people from all corners of the globe. It is a great stage to expose yourself in terms of fashion and because it is so culturally diverse, expose your designs cross culturally. People love and accept the arts in Toronto. It has always been home and I love living here.
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
One of my favourite restaurants is a small tavern in the island of Amorgos, Greece. It is in a small village called Chora, overlooking the sea. The owner must be at least 80 years-old and still serves guests at his tables. Every 10 minutes or so, he stops to play the violin for everybody and the goes on to tell jokes and anecdotes about his past. It is one of the coolest and most amazing things I have ever seen!
In Toronto, I enjoy eating in any of the great restaurants that are on the Danforth. Fresh food and great atmosphere.
What’s one of your favourite designers/brands?
I have always admired the designs of my father, Stephan Caras. He has always been my role model as a designer. His designs are masterfully tailored and his vast knowledge of construction and design has always served as an inspiration for me and my designs.
What products are always in your beauty/grooming bag?
I always carry my cologne, beard clipper, and sewing kit. You never know when you have to fix a clothing malfunction for that special occasion.
What style trends are you obsessed with right now?
I have never followed trends to the point that I am obsessed with them. My philosophy is that whatever you are wearing, should be an expression of the character or essence that you as an individual exudes. This involves a great understanding of what shapes and lines suit you the best and adding details or accessories to enhance this look in a balanced and unique way. Fashion is about having the confidence to express yourself and people are drawn to this.
What’s your favourite spa or service?
After the hard and stressful process that is involved in creating a collection, I always enjoy getting a massage as a way of relaxing, unwinding and loosening up.
Let’s get social for a mo’. How can people stay up-to-date with your busy life?
People have many ways to keep up with the Caras brand. They can visit our website at stephancaras.com where we also have an up-to-date blog about events and news in relation to the Caras brand. People can also stay in touch by following us on Twitter or on Facebook. We also have Instagram, so there are many ways in which people can keep up with the latest events.