Written by: Rashi Bindra
This Month we focus our designer spotlight on Toronto “Golden Boy” Adrian Arnieri.
Contributor Rashi Bindra sits down with the down to earth designer to find out what makes him unique as a person and as a creative. From the age of 3, designer Adrian Arnieri has been passionate about designing theatrical women’s clothes. His influencers being celebrity icons such as the Spice Girls, Designers including Alexander McQueen and theater productions such as The Wizard of Oz.
Having participated in the Mississauga Business Enterprise center gave Adrian the confidence to start his business which has continued to expand since its launch back in 2015. The ARNIERI brand has been featured in high-end beauty magazines all over North America, thanks to the Schwarzkopf Canada team. Connecting with Entertainment Tonight Canada gave ARNIERI world wide exposure when host Sangita Patel wore a custom ARNIERI gown to the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, CAFA Awards, and most recently the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards. Arnieri continues to represent his brand while being featured as a contestant on the Slice TV competition show “STITCHED” and WINDOW WARS. This season he launched his Spice Girls influenced collection at Toronto Fashion Week and earlier this year was awarded the Mississauga Arts Council award (popularly known as Marty’s) in Fashion.
- RB: What was it like doing your first show?
- AA: Showing at Toronto Fashion Week was such a dream come true. I’ve been waiting for this moment since I was a student at Ryerson University. I didn’t necessarily know that my first collection at fashion week would be inspired by the Spice Girls. Everything comes full circle; The Spice Girls were my fashion inspiration growing up and the reason I became a designer. The energy backstage at the show was electric. It was so fulfilling to witness each model connecting with his/her/their look, and reflection on growing up with the music of the Girl Power band!
- RB: TFW and Window Wars all came at once, how does that feel?
- AA: Like a lot of events in my career so far, everything happens all at once! Creating a collection entirely on my own was a large task for one person to juggle on top of participating in Window Wars. It was such a great opportunity! Both contestants on the show selected my collections to be featured in their windows. It was such an honor that out of all the Fashion Week Designers, these two women chose my garments to be displayed in their Yorkville Windows. I was so excited during the day of the window reveal. Being able to see other artists interpret my work is such an amazing thing to witness. The entire experience made me feel as though I had my first store opening… something I look forward to in the future.
- RB: You have decided to go the custom route over mass product consumption. Why?
- AA: For me, I am one person, I like to purchase my fabric, be able to create the sample and the finale product. It gives me pride and joy to know that I have acquired these skills over the years and put my time and creative abilities into each garment detail. I would define my garments as statement pieces; expensive fabrics are used, and garment fit is unique to each person. At the moment it only makes sense to produce custom garments made to order. It’s also important for my customers to feel as though they are a part of the design process, selecting specific colors and optional fabrics. This approach is environmentally friendly.
- RB: Do you follow trends or set them?
- AA: I would absolutely love to believe that I set trends rather than follow them. I have never been one to do what others do. Individuality is what makes us so beautiful, and I celebrate those ideas in me rather them repress them. Everyone puts so much focus on being trendy when really the word trend screams out “SAME”!
- RB: Which designer is your favorite, and which designer has influenced you?
- AA: There are so many incredible designers whom I admire, both famous and emerging. One of my greatest fashion loves is Alexander McQueen. It would have been amazing to have seen what works he would be creating today, if he was still alive. Versace is another favorite of mine. Gianni and Donatella’s love for glamour seduces me every time as I’ve been captivated by how both designers merged fashion and celebrity together. Jeremy Scott for Moschino is my spirit animal! I admire his use of fun pop culture references and comedy. My favorite Canadian designer, without question, is Farley Chatto. I am lucky to have Farley as both my mentor and friend, teaching me all I know about fur and evening wear. Mr. Chatto goes above and beyond his role as a teacher at Ryerson, and really wants his students to grow.
Photo credit: Carlyle Routh
Photo credit: George Pimentel
Photo credit: Carlyle Routh