In this Modern Artist segment, we have a conversation with Mississauga’s Maya Charbin, renowned fashion designer who’s made pieces for Miss Universe Canada 2018, Mayor Bonnie Crombie and numerous others.
1. What exactly do you do and how long have you been doing it for?
I have been designing women’s wear my whole life and launched my label, Maya Charbin in 2014.
I’m inspired by unfamiliar places, objects, and experiences and was always driven to discover the unknown.
I was born in Lebanon and now based in Mississauga. My design aesthetic is reflective of a global influence.
I have had many amazing opportunities to build my brand, like dressing Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Miss Universe Canada 2018 and numerous Canadian celebrities.
2. What attracted you to become a fashion designer?
Since age eight, I loved sewing and designing and used to wait for my mum to take a nap so I could use her sewing machine.
As my parents couldn't afford sending me to fashion school, I majored in social sciences and did makeup sessions. However, my dream to become a fashion designer was always alive.
My joy and passion for life grew when I had both of my kids. Nevertheless, I felt something was still missing so I decided to chase my dream. I went back to school and finally became a fashion designer.
It wasn't easy being a mother and a student as there were sleepless nights for three years. However, I proudly made it with honour.
3. What's been your biggest challenge?
Developing and staying loyal to my own brand.
Being able to tell someone wearing a “Maya Charbin” in a crowded room isn’t easy. I needed to show people that I was different from other designers and big corporations. I am a designer of passion; one garment will never be like the next. I make timeless garments that provide unique feelings.
4. How have you overcome it?
I try to stay away from trends or other designers work. I shy away from the typical fashion stigma that can make other designers feel closed in. My passion drives and inspires me and is reflected through my garments. I give each piece its own character and energy regardless of my various clients.
5. What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?
Be passionate and committed in your work because it will drive you to be successful.
6. What's in store for you in 2019?
I am excited for my May 22nd fashion show at the beautiful Harding House, which will have a beautiful theme.
Following that, I’m in Italy for Torino fashion week.