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2021 CAFA Nominees On What It Means To Be a Canadian Creative

With the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards (CAFA) just around the corner, the nominees showcase some of Canada’s brightest creatives. Hosted virtually on May 19th, this year’s ceremony will honour a vast range of categories from sustainability to makeup artistry. To celebrate S/ asked a selection of CAFA nominees to reveal what it means to be a Canadian creative. Our first series includes model Anisha Sandhu, footwear designer Myriam Maguire, and fashion designer Spencer Badu.

Anisha Sandhu, Model

Nominated category: The Fresh Face of the Year Award

Photography by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

“To me, being recognized as a Canadian creative also means being recognized as an Indo-Canadian creative. I’m happy to be a part of the growing diversity in the industry and am really proud that I’m adding to an accurate representation of how diverse Canada is. Often, we get so caught up in working that we never get the chance to reflect on how far it has brought us. Moments like this make me proud because it is a marker of how far I’ve come.”

Myriam Maguire, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Maguire

Nominated category: The Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent, Accessories

Photography by Gabrielle Lacasse

“I think we need to review the way the system works as a whole. The industry moves quickly on new trends but the way the system works is dated. The entire model was put in place before the existence of the internet and is due for a reset. We need more flexibility, smaller quantities, less waste, fewer markdowns and a fair price for the entire chain—from the factory to the customers. The time of big companies exploiting developing countries is over, we need to see our international collaboration as a fair partnership for everyone. And don’t get me started on greenwashing!”

Spencer Badu, Designer

Nominated category: The Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent, Fashion

Photography by Brent Goldsmith 

“It’s honestly an honour. Being Canadian is tough but there’s a resilience that comes with it though. There’s a long list of Canadian creatives that have been able to make an impact locally and globally. I hope to do the same, I like to think this recognition is a sign that I’m going in the right direction. I hope it inspires young creatives coming up, especially the ones that look like me.”