Designer fashions ‘East-West’ collection

Brian Maristela always enjoyed drawing but when he started sketching clothing designs four years ago, he found a new love.

“It was something I’d always been interested in,” Maristela said. “I always loved the art. One day I realized I wanted to design and make my own line.”

Maristela’s clothing line Lizares – debuted his Spring 2010 collection last week at LG Toronto Fashion Week.

“It was everything I hoped for and more,” Maristela said. “One thing I never realized is all the work involved in making a show.”

Lizares’s theme, “East meets West,” blends the Filipino heritage of his parents with his Sudbury, Ontario upbringing. His line has white-tailored shirts made of banana leaves and black-linen shorts with leather panels sewn over the thighs.

“My designs are all about the fine detail,” he said.

Maristela attended Fanshawe College where he graduated with a degree in Fashion Design. He was rewarded for being a top student by being one of five designers featured at the college’s Toronto Fashion Week Show. His designs were awarded the college’s 3M Brand Award, an award for thorough design and vision.

“I’m grateful to the teachers at Fanshaw College because they made Fanshaw’s Fashion Week a lot easier,” Maristela said. “They took on more tasks so we could focus on our designs.”

His men’s line, Lizares, is the final product of what Maristela said was a career charmed with support.

“I’ve been very lucky I’ve had a lot of guidance,” Maristela said

He said his greatest support has been his parents. Lizares -Maristela’s mother’s maiden name- is an ode to his parent’s dedication.

The designer said he started his career with a men’s clothing line because he saw an untapped market. The increasing popularity of men’s fashion was an opportunity that Maristela hoped to capitalize on.

“Men are taking more risks with what they’re wearing,” Maristela said. “I see more embroidered detailing and tailored fitting clothes for men.”

Maristela plans to focus on men’s wear for another six seasons before debuting his women’s line. He said he looks forward to Toronto’s fall Fashion Week 2010 and has already begun preparations for the show.