Canadian Fashion Designer: Mani Jassal

Fashion designer, Mani Jassal showcased her Spring/Summer 2016 evening wear Udaipur Tea Party collection in a runway show at 99 Sudbury on Oct. 14, 2015. Jassal’s inspiration for this collection was the city of Udaipur in India, also know as the ‘City of Lakes’. The designer reflected majestic combination of mountains, water and marble architecture of the royal palaces in an innovative blend of fabrics, colours and silhouettes that give the collection very luxurious touch. She used silks, crepes, brocades and embroidered floral prints in intricate pieces – gowns, skirts, trousers, capes, and separates.

Jassal describes her self-titled label as “a little bit more rebellious and a little bit more different.” Each outfit reflects the designer’s individuality and every piece of clothing is hand-made by Jassal herself, sometimes with the help from her mother.

She uses fashion as a universal language by combining Canadian and Indian cultures together. “I am Canadian-Indian, so my brand is taking those two cultures together, putting them together and creating clothes for everyone. It is not just for Indians or just for Canadians – it is for everyone,” she said. She represents that idea by choosing her models from many different ethnic groups.

Her studio is a place where she produces clothes for both national and international clients. Local clients come to her studio to place the order and have a look at her newest collections. For her international clients, she offers virtual design consultations. “No matter where you are in the world, I am able to create you something for any occasion,” she said.

The process of designing a cloth takes a lot of time since Jassal does everything on her own, but the final product is the only one of its kind. She draws inspirations from traveling, reading fashion magazines, or just simply watching people around her. Whenever and wherever an idea comes to her mind, she starts sketching it right away. Next, she goes fabric shopping. If she sees something she likes, she automatically has this vision in her head what she wants to create with it. In her designs, she enjoys using a lot raw silks and incorporating to it some sort of shine or print fabrics. Her collections always remain in one colour rather than a bunch of different colours for each piece of clothing. She designs clothes that she would want to wear and her customers enjoy what she wears, so it goes hand in hand to balance her creativity with commerce.

“My favourite part about being a designer is that it makes me happy, I really enjoy doing it and it doesn’t feel like a job,” she said.

Since Jassal was 12-years old, she knew she wanted to be a fashion designer. It was in the high school when she had this kind of ‘breaking point’ because she did not know what she wanted to do and at this point she was actually planning to be an engineer instead of a fashion designer. However, her passion to fashion drove her to Ryerson University in Toronto for fashion design and two years after the graduation she is here with her self-titled brand.

In five years from now, she wants to have her own boutique. She is planning to open her first location in Toronto and then expand her boutiques all over the world.