If her family hadn’t left Iran when she was 11, Dorsa Babaei might not have had the career as a fashion designer she has today. First for the obvious reasons that we know, but also because her creativity was strongly imbued with the prints and colors of daily life in India, where she lived until she was 18 years old.

“The stimulation was so intense, there was bling everywhere, all the time, 24 hours a day!” », remembers the one who gave us an appointment in her studio in Saint-Lambert.

It was in Dubai that Dorsa Babaei’s career as a designer began, after three years of study at the renowned ESMOD school in the United Arab Emirates. With a “new couture” diploma in her pocket, she landed her first job for a tandem of brother-sister entrepreneurs in a neighborhood “a bit like the DIX30, but more chic”, describes Dorsa. “He was a perfumer and she was a designer. I was the assistant to both. Then one day, my boss asked me if I wanted to create a collection together. He was ready to finance it. »

Two years later, in 2016, the young woman returned to Iran and felt ready to launch her own brand. She even opened two boutiques, with her mother as a partner. This was short-lived since his application to immigrate to Canada was approved much faster than expected.

Arriving in November 2017, first in Toronto, then in Fredericton with an aunt, she fell under the winter charm of Montreal on January 13, when she was only passing through to attend a concert.

Between francization courses and a job as a designer on rue Chabanel, the designer had to put her mark on the ice. Layoffs due to COVID-19 allowed Dorsali to resurrect, in 2021. Her mother joined Dorsa Babaei in Quebec in 2021 and started helping out from the second collection. But this time, no shop.

“My role model has changed, as do many creators. I mainly sell online and participate in pop-up shops, artisan fairs, etc. I produce only a few pieces. The rest is sewn to order. »

It will be a busy spring, with appearances at One of a Kind shows in Toronto and Chicago, and then at Inland, also in the Queen City.

The spring-summer 2023 collection has been baptized Out of love and infused with all the hope that the new Quebecer cultivates for Iranian women. “I chose March 23 to launch these new coins because it was Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, March 20, when we celebrate the first day of spring. I see it as a new beginning. I hope things will change both in Iran and in Ukraine and Afghanistan,” she drops.

With the official withdrawal of winter, a spring breeze is blowing through local fashion. Here is an overview of the spring-summer 2023 collections for women of some Quebec brands that manufacture their clothes in Canada, mainly in Montreal.

The Alina sandal is a new model from the Maguire brand with a special feature: it was made in a factory in Ukraine. “I met the leaders of the Ukrainian manufacture Kachorovska in Milan last year and was touched by their courage and resilience. We stayed in touch and they offered me this model,” explains Myriam Maguire, co-founder of the brand. The Alina sandal has a thick platform type sole, the leather is soft and smooth. The model is offered in two colors, pink and black. “We start with a model. We ordered a hundred pairs of each color. The shoes have left Ukraine, they should arrive next week. If the reaction is good, we can recommend it,” she says. Maguire, founded in 2016 by sisters Myriam and Romy Maguire, aims to make quality shoes accessible at a fair price. “It’s the first time we’ve done business with Ukraine, they are quality shoes and it’s a way to help them. »

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