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Meet the Duo of Female Designers Taking Over Toronto this Summer

When it comes to the fashion scene in Toronto, there are two women in particular creating major names for themselves. Nicoletta Stefanou, known for her unique tailored made garments, and Christina Rakitzis, known for her distinctive and expressive pieces; offer an unparalleled level of synthesis when it comes to their latest collaboration. 

Nicoletta Stefanou has been immersed in the world of fashion since a young age. Her grandfather came from a fashion background as a master tailor in Guyana and after moving to Canada he continued his practice working in the basement of her childhood home. This early exposure led her to follow in his footsteps and turn her dreams into a reality. She took upon studying fashion arts at Seneca College and shortly after graduating she started a fashion label of her own. Exercising her creative ability and finding inspiration from part of her Greek heritage, Nicoletta Stefanou now designs bespoke evening gowns, bridesmaid dresses, streetwear, and more recently swimwear. Utilizing her knowledge in all aspects of production, she is proud to be a one stop atelier – from designing and illustrating, pattern drafting and sampling, to the final step of garment construction. 

Christina Rakitzis similarly shares a passion for creating. With a keen artistic ability, she has always found fashion as an outlet to express herself. Her first take on a clothing line began in high school when she created a brand dedicated to making affordable rave apparel for young teens. Christina turned her hobby into a career when she launched her brand Eletros Streetwear – an exclusive line that offers a blend of minimalism, street grunge, and luxury fabrics. Her goal has always been to stand out from the crowd, and her unique pieces allow for a true expression of individuality through fashion. 

With both designers sharing the vision of becoming more versatile, they’ve decided to complement each other’s talents and collaborate on a women’s swimwear line for the upcoming season. Combining simplicity and sophistication, the Oia Collection was inspired by the designer’s roots and love for Greece and their desire to express the beauty of their country through fashion. 

The concept behind the Oia Collection was to make a bathing suit line that has very different cuts than traditional North American brands. The goal was to create a line that was flattering to all body types and comfortable for all women to feel confident and sexy while looking their absolute best. Oia is recognized as one of the most enchanted places in the world, known for their stunning sunsets – a magical hour of the day when the light makes everything look more vibrant and beautiful. The essence of this collection is to capture that same beauty and express it through a vibrant colour pallet which is representative of the stages of a sunset. 

Drawing inspiration from the Empire Period of Greece, the long straps and crisscross aesthetic across the body are symbolic of fashion trends dating back to Classical Greece – an era when many garments were held up by straps and broaches. Striving to create something truly unique and never seen before, the duo of designers fashioned a unique asymmetrical, intricate cut, complimented by exaggerated O-rings to extenuate your collarbone. These bespoke cuts will not be seen anywhere else and will give you a luxurious aesthetic when worn. Feeling like a true goddess.  

The upcoming collection is set to be eco-friendly and sustainable for the planet – aiming for no waste. These notable designers premiered the Oia Collection at Fashion Art Toronto – an innovative platform showcasing avant-garde runway shows, immersive media installations, performances, and more. The response from the show was remarkable, as each model strutted the runway in swimsuits colour coordinated with the succession of the stages of the sunset. Needless to say, the Oia Collection is destined to become one of Toronto’s premier swimwear lines and is something exciting to look forward to for summer 2021.  

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