Originally from Iran, Nahal Shad was raised in Toronto. When she turned 20, Shad moved to Los Angeles to study fashion design and discover her design philosophy. Now 25-years-old, she has moved back to Toronto to establish her brand and bring her ideas to the streets and red carpets of the city that raised her. Shad had always had a creative temperament and a deep passion for style and design. For as long as she can remember, she has been sketching away ideas of garments she wanted to create. Both of Shad’s parents wanted her to have a structured and stable life, and a career in fashion was neither. “Therefore with good reason, they always tried to detour me from such an ambiguous path,” said Shad. However, as she got older, her parents saw how deep her passion was and decided to step back and support her in what she loves most.

Nahal Shad Design was established 18 months ago when she wanted to create something that was different, but classic and elegant at the same time. Her focus is in modernising classic couture techniques but still keeping the chic and luxurious feel that is so famously known for. “Many people see couture as only evening wear, which my brand will also feature, however, my goal is to incorporate it into streetwear and give it and a little twist of luxury.”

Each piece is made entirely by Shad from the first pencil stroke to the last stitch. “My creations are essentially a diary of my feelings and emotions so following them through their phases and being involved in the design and construction is very important to me.” Traditionally couture tailoring is important to her brand as well as all materials and pieces made in Canada. The most important aspect for her is to utilise Canadian materials and translate them all into well-made and high-quality clothes that can stand the test of time. Shad’s team includes one assistant and her manager. “The brand is in its development phase and requires a lot of micromanaging to translate my visions into the intended creations,” she added.

Shad’s current goal is to ensure that the debut of the brand at Vancouver Fashion Week goes ahead successfully. Following the show, her next goal is to spend some time travelling and researching for inspiration for the next collection. “I have been looking forward to learning about my Middle Eastern culture and incorporating unique attributes of it into my upcoming creations.” Another goal of Shad’s is to have her own store and do collaborations with different boutiques in different fields. From jewellery to furniture to flowers, Shad said the artistic field is so broad and boundless that collaboration and experimentation are very important. A recent collaboration has been with the American Heart Association where she used fashion as a platform to spread a message and bring awareness.

Her Vancouver Fashion Week SS18 debut is her first show on this scale and said a highlight of her show will be showcasing her first ever bridal designs. “Vancouver Fashion Week is an incredible and well-established platform for designers, and it is an honour for me to be a part of such an event. Being surrounded by creative energies and fellow artists will familiarise me with not only the Canadian market but also the international styles that will also be there.”