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Sinting Fest Fashion Parade

Featuring designers from the Avenue

Sunday, August 28th 2022 at 2:00pm

Beni Boo Styles
Philian Fashions
Gustave Shop
Wailer’s Connections

Special Guest Model: Consul General of Jamaica, Lincoln Downer.

Wailer’s Connections

Justin Brown, known as Wailer from his early DJ days in Jamaica, always knew he wanted to be a tailor. His father encouraged him to be a mechanic, with plans for him to join his family taxi business…Wailer however, had other plans.

He loved seeing how people dress and used to watch his Aunt May make uniforms. In his teenage years, his cousin, sister Micey introduced him to a local tailor, Joe Bryan, who was deaf, and his shop was in Palmers Cross where he started as an unpaid apprentice. As an apprentice he learned how to measure, do the calculations, and cut pants. This is where he started to make a name for himself.

He decided to start his own business, within a shared space. He rented a cubicle for $4/month and shared the light bill with other tailors in the shop. It was a busy shop which included a shoemaker, who referred his customers to the tailors. His main clientele were students from e.g. Vere Technical High and other local schools, who loved the custom style of Wailer’s tailored, khaki school pants.

Wailer migrated to Canada in 1990, stayed with a friend and then family, while continuing to build his connections. One of those connections was ‘Big Bird’ also known as Dave, who introduced him to Little Jamaica and the owner of Derrick Fashions, where he got his first job. The fashion trend at that time was linen, and corduroy with leather. He met his wife Vennicia soon after.

He returned to tailoring days at Dynasty Fashions, a popular store frequented by music promoters and customers included Reggae legends Shabba Ranks, Lady Saw, Buju Banton, who would shop for custom tailoring for their Toronto or international shows. After spending a few years working for Leons and Purolator, he got sick and was advised by his doctor to discontinue heavy work.

Full circle, he returned to his trade, opened Wailer’s Connections at 6 Times Road in Little Jamaica and his customers from all over, literally found him. The tailoring shop did very well and when a barber in the neighbouring store was selling his shop, he purchased it and hired barbers. Wailer being who his is, learned how to cut hair and now, with years of experience, the two trades are seamlessly combined.

In 2021, due to a fire, he moved to 1627 Eglinton Ave W and his new shop combines both tailoring and barber services. The bright open store front with modern finishes, has people stop in their tracks, to look in.

“I love both professions the same, the transition is easy,” he says. “Cutting hair, I love to see the client happy with the final product. It’s the same with tailoring, my clients trust me to advise them on what looks good on them, and my designs make my clients faithfully return over and over. I have clients who have been my customers since the 90’s and they now bring their children in for tailoring services.”

Wailer’s Connections is a perfect name summarizing his connections through the years that have helped him build a successful career. It also signifies bringing us all together connecting through fashion and events. The Sinting Fest on Eglinton West fashion show features many of Wailer’s creations including Walking Suits.

Special Guest Model: Consul General of Jamaica, Lincoln Downer.

Beni Boo Styles

2522 Eglinton Ave W, York

Beni Boo started with the vision of providing the latest for the fashionably hip along with providing exceptional value, quality, and superb customer service. Since its inception in 2012, Beni Boo has grown from a solo designer’s dream to one of the web’s most outstanding shopping experiences. They are located at 1522 Eglinton Ave W, that carries anything Beni Boo. They offer a select choice of clothing, shoes and accessories. Their brands consist of styles you can call your own.

img-Samuel Gustave

Samuel Gustave

2522 Eglinton Ave W, York

Gustave was founded to challenge traditional garment construction and amplify understated perspectives. The line was started by Samuel Gustave who graduated from the fashion techniques and design program at George brown college. His goal is to present untold stories that we are culturally related to and add experimental ideas to clothing. All garments are produced in our studio using end-of-the-roll fabrics.

Philian’s Fashion

Phillip Vassell’s start in the Fashion Industry was family based. Growing up in Kingston, Jamaica, his mother was a talented seamstress, creating designs for both men and women. During high school one summer, he noticed how busy his mom was and offered to help. “I suggested she teach me how to sew,” he says.

He progressed and started making his own clothes. His friends immediately noticed his style and asked where he purchased his clothes. That was his start! He remembers enjoying the income at a young age.

Phillip fondly recalls a fabric shopping trip with his mom and a particular trend that he liked at the time…pants with zippers in the back pocket. He asked his mom to make them for him, she agreed but did not have the time to include the zippers. That prompted him to ask for lessons to make his own pants.

A friend of his father was his first customer for pants. Recognizing his potential, he encouraged him not to under charge. Phillip then focused on design and his business was successful. He started sewing on his verandah and his brother joined in and is now a successful designer.

After moving to Canada in 1991, he rented a room and purchased a sewing machine. His Barber was a friend and his first customer here. “He asked me to make something for him and paid me $120 on the spot.” Phillip recalls. His custom-made track style suit was a hit and the orders came pouring in.

His new network added to his Canadian journey. He designed custom shirts working for a friend’s retail store, Dynasty Fashion. Then while working from home, the aunt of his first Canadian customer…the barber, encouraged him to register the business. That was the start of Philian Fashion Design, located in Little Jamaica at Eglinton Ave W and Dufferin. After a few years the building was scheduled for demolition, and he moved to 1613 Eglinton Ave W (now the secondary entrance of the Oakwood LRT). Outgrowing that space he moved to his current location, 1600 Eglinton Ave W.

Phillip has a variety of clients, all with different needs. During the early years he considered specializing in men’s fashion but never did, as he always felt he would be excluding his female customers. Catering to original designs as well as his customers’ ideas, he has maintained a successful business.

“My mom was my main mentor and sadly she passed in February 2022. My goal was always to make her proud, “ he shares. “My upcoming line is dedicated to this special lady.”

Philian (The name of the company was derived from Phillip and his brother Ian…Phil -Ian.

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