Vanja Vasic is the founder and Executive Director of Toronto Alternative Fashion Week (also know as Fashion. Art. Toronto. or F.A.T.) The annual four-day, multi-arts event promotes emerging designers while bringing together national and international visual artists, musicians, and performers. Here, we chat with Vanja about personal style, the importance of alternative fashion, and F.A.T.’s success.
What was your personal style in high school?
I had really short hair and pins and Nirvana shirts and things like that. In high school I was very grunge.
Is alternative fashion commercially viable?
We’re trying to get fashion recognized as more of an art form and not just a commercial entity. We get funding from the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council for the art portion of the festival: the music and the photography and video and performance, but fashion is not really funded.
How is F.A.T. different from Toronto’s LG Fashion Week?
F.A.T. is a completely different story. The idea is to make fashion more inclusive, more engaging, more fun, about ideas, and about different concepts to bring in the conceptual side of fashion what fashion will mean in relationship to culture and to the environment. F.A.T. is very one of a kind. When we started five years ago we were pretty much the only festival in the world that had this concept. Now, I’ve started seeing a trend around the world where people are creating multimedia festivals that incorporate fashion. With F.A.T. it’s more of an experience.