We were lucky enough to have Lucian Matis as one of five Canadian designers at our recent Fight for Beauty Fashion Show on November 21, 2017. Lucian Matis is a Toronto-based womenswear designer whose eponymous label features elegant daywear and eveningwear with couture-quality embellishment. Originally from Romania, Lucian perfected his hand-sewing techniques working alongside his mother in her tailor shop. Before immigrating to Canada in 2007, Lucian studied fine arts in Europe and then fashion design at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Since the launch of his first collection in 2007, his designs have been featured in national and international publications, including FASHION and WWD, and worn by celebrities and VIPs like Nelly Furtado, Iman and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau. Among his many industry accolades, Matis has been nominated twice for the CAFAs Womenswear Designer of the Year award.
We caught up with Lucian after the show and asked him some questions about where he grew up, who inspires him and his personal style.
Fairmont Pacific Rim: Who are you and where are you from?
Lucian Matis: I was born in Romania but live in Toronto, Ontario
Tell us a little bit about where your interest in fashion stemmed from?
My mother was very instrumental in developing my interest in fashion. Back in Transylvania, Romania, my mother worked as a tailor and I used to watch in awe as she expertly transformed various fabrics into the most beautiful and elegant garment.
Where did you study fashion? Was there a mentor or someone who inspired your passion?
I studied Fashion Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. One artist who inspired me was Barbara Cole, the underwater photographer. While I was at Ryerson Barbara was looking for a talented designer to collaborate with. Upon meeting me her search was over. We clicked right away. We have been collaborating for over a decade and a half. I love working with her. She creates beautiful and interesting works of art and my work complements her work.
How did you start you fashion career?
I sold my first knit sweater at the age of 7 to a wealthy Parisian who happened to be visiting my mother’s client and friend. She was looking for gifts for her children but was unable to find anything suitable. In the end she bought two custom made Mickey and Mini Mouse sweaters from me.
Who are your style influences or muses?
My muse is Cate Blanchett. She is tall and beautiful, a blank canvas. Like a chameleon she is able to transform into a variety of looks and characters effortlessly.
Where can we find your collections?
LUCIAN MATIS is sold across Canada, the US, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Kuwait, and Bahrain. We sell internationally on-line.
Which celebrities have worn your designs?
Fashion models like Iman and Coco Rocha, performers like Katy Perry, Nelly Furtado, and Mia Martina have all been known to wear my designs. I would also like to add that Sophie Gregoire Trudeau also wear my dresses for Canada Day celebrations and official state visits to the US, Mexico, Cuba, and Japan and China.
Tell us something people may not know about you.
My name is spelled L-U-C-I-A-N. It is spelled with an “a” not an “e” and the pronounced “lu-ch-ian.”
How would you describe your personal style? What’s your one prized style possession?
I would describe my personal style as “easy.” When I am not travelling my uniform is usually a cap, T-shirt and jeans. My prized possession is a sweater I designed and knitted by my mother. I must confess, the workmanship on it is truly a work of art.
Do you ever get designer’s block? How do you overcome it?
Do I ever get designer’s block? Who doesn’t? And anyone who tells you they do not is lying. As far as answering the question to what I do to overcome designer’s block, well… let’s just skip that one, shall we? (SMILE).
What is your one guilty pleasure?
What is one thing you always travel with?
I can’t think of anything I’m always with. The only thing that comes to mind right now is that even though it is not always possible, I do always try to bring my dog Bronson along wherever I go. Does that count?
What’s something really weird that you love?
I have been told that I am weird because I love butter so much I eat it like people eat cream cheese.
Finally, what does a globetrotting fashion designer like you consider as your travel uniform?
Whenever I travel I usually wear a mix of casual and dressy but always in black.
To keep up with Lucian online, visit: