JAAN CHOXI is a Toronto-based luxury menswear label that is set to launch at World MasterCard Fashion Week tomorrow. The designer, Canadian-born creative director Sajan Choksi, will focus on showcasing the style and energy of his city, Toronto, through "modern suiting."

 
We caught up with the designer as he preps for his big show to get a sneak peak into the debut collection and find out what makes the designer tick.

When did you first decide you wanted to be a fashion designer?
 
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated by the world of fashion. My parents were quite fashionable, growing up in the '70s, and they would make sure that I was always dressed to the nines. While other kids were in shorts and t-shirts, I was wearing a checkered sport coat, bell-bottom trousers and a turtleneck — and we were at Wonderland! 🙂 I attended private school, where we had to suit up every day, and so it was innate for me to feel comfortable in suiting. Once I was able to start travelling on my own or even exploring the different parts of Toronto, I was exposed to so many cool, stylish people and places, and I felt that need for more — to somehow be a part of the fashion scene and perhaps show the world my style, my creativity.
 
Who have been your fashion influences over the years?
 
Over the years, my style icons have definitely influenced the way I dress and how I feel about fashion. Early on, I was always drawn towards the fashion of the late '70s and early '80s. Looking at images of Bruce Lee, Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson, it was a really glamorous and dynamic time, and the clothing was super cool. These guys were in it to break the rules and change the game, and that’s something that’s always been a driving influence for me. In my youth, I thought the fashion of actors like Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp were trendsetting and distinctive — their clothing in films like Spy Game and Blow, respectively, really resonated with me. More recently, I admire the style of David Beckham, Tom Ford, Justin Timberlake, Chris Pine and Michael Fassbender, just to name a few.
 
What can we expect from your debut collection (colours, fabrics, style)?
 
For my debut, I really wanted to showcase the essence of what Toronto style means to me. This season, JAAN CHOXI will showcase luxury, high-quality menswear with impeccable cuts and notable textures, ranging from full suits to leather overcoats in a palette of fall/winter shades. The focus of the current ready-to-wear collection is modern suiting, and I’ve used a spectrum of high-quality fabrics, ranging from beautiful Italian wools to Japanese leather, along with luxurious furs and rich, fine silks. The colour scheme that my collection focuses on closely parallels the ever-changing and cooling colour landscape of the Toronto fall/winter season. The style and tailored cut of the collection are sharp and contoured yet still highlight the appeal of the masculine form. Overall, I think it’s pretty badass, but I could be biased.
 
Can you tell us a little bit about your creative process?
 
I don’t think I have a set creative process. It’s something that just happens, really. I tend to do a lot of reading and collect a lot of ideas and images and get inspiration from what I see, then try and experiment with looks from there. Wait, is that a process?
 
Can you show us a sneak peak? 

 
That's all you get, folks. See the full collection on Friday, March 27, at 4:00 P.M.

What has been your inspiration for this new collection?
 
Going back to the late '70s and early '80s again, I’ve been inspired by the glam rock of the era. More specifically, the sharp cuts of the suits and tuxedos, to the plush furs and silks paired with rockstar leather — I really wanted to take these visual styles and revive and modernize them with the youthfulness and energy of our city — and I hope that this shines through in my collection.

Has your South Asian heritage played a part at all in your creativity?
 
Most definitely. It’s an innate part of me, whether I am consciously aware of it or not. The JAAN CHOXI brand name is a playful derivative from my own name — Sajan — meaning "lover" in Hindi. The word jaan means “life,” so the JAAN CHOXI line is reflective of the wearer’s “love” of life and mindset to experience everything that it has to offer. Fashion has always played a prevalent role in our culture, within film and music as well as our life events. We, as South Asians, love to celebrate and enjoy life, and the inspiration in creating the JAAN CHOXI brand was to celebrate the love of the human spirit and to capture that in every aspect of life we live. The line is ultra-stylish and fun, and my goal is for JAAN CHOXI clothing to be a part of people’s beautiful moments in life.

Sajan's innate design sense was forged by working with master tailor Don Fabien Lee, who taught Sajan about using high-quality materials, superior craftsmanship and fresh design. JAAN CHOXI clothing is made in Canada and will be sold through its online store — jaanchoxi.com.

    Monika Bhondy

    Monika Bhondy

      Author

      Monika is one of the original members of the ANOKHI dream team and a true jack of all trades. She currently holds the title of Style Editor and is a self-professed style junkie, constantly analyzing the trends from the world's runways to the best buys on the street. She recognizes what is h...

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