An artist who weaves heritage, textiles and a detailed artistic craft into her distinctive pieces, Saniya Khan is one of Toronto’s most established clothing designers (she’s been interviewed by Fashion TV’s Jeanne Beker, which means you’re a fashion star in our book).

A veteran of Toronto Fashion Week since 2004, Saniya Khan’s Fall/Winter 2012/2013 collection included a mix of muted eggplant, beige, black, grey and deep red colours presented in knits, sheer fabrics, embroidery, plaid details, and velvet fabrics. We interviewed the designer on the inspiration behind her clothing and how her Pakistani heritage weaves its way into her collections.

JS: What’s the inspiration behind your collection?

Saniya Khan: The theme for the collection was “window to the soul.” It was symbolic of a spirit’s evolution. Processing old experiences, accepting some, discarding some as the journey goes on. There were my studio archives – left over materials, embellishments, etc, that were recycled, transformed and incorporated with some new materials.

JS: How many years have you been presenting at Toronto Fashion Week?

Saniya Khan: My first collection was presented at TFW in 2004. I had been part of some group presentations in 2003 as well.

JS: How do you weave your cultural heritage/background into your collection?

Saniya Khan: I guess it happens automatically. The cultural heritage is an integral part of who I am.

JS: Why is it important to include your cultural heritage in your collections?

Saniya Khan: It is so diverse and so profound that it would be an utter loss not to share and carry it forward.

JS: The highlight of your career has been..

Saniya Khan: A lot of love and encouragement has come my way because of it.

JS: If I wasn’t a designer I would be…

Saniya Khan: A healer of some sort.


See more from Saniya Khan’s Fall/Winter 2012/2013 collection at, and watch the runway show below.

Photography: George Pimentel, courtesy Saniya Khan