words+pictures/ MEGAN SIBLEY


The designs of Zargara Label are pieces of art in and of themselves. They toy with the power of texture, and dangle dreamy silhouettes that reinvent classic shapes. The clothes of Season Five at the ‘Be Your Own Kind’ show did just this.

In the dim lighting of a stoned-walled, warehouse-esque venue, Zargara models walk the runway in three distinct groups; Beauty, Self, and Beast. Each one, accompanied by slides of Zargara’s own original artwork, is a component of the Season Five collection. They all contain five intricately constructed designs, and they all tell an evocative story of emotion and metaphor that seeps through the seams of each garment.

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In a word, the new collection captivated the audience, with bold lines, courageous detailing, and a monochromatic colour scheme that begged you to watch. This was to be expected.

But I’d like to talk about the less obvious but equally grand success of the evening; the seamless and graceful execution of an event that united Ottawa’s streetwear community.

For a relatively new boutique in the heart of downtown Ottawa, Zargara’s reach is long and stumbling over itself to keep up with the dizzying pace. The ‘Be Your Own Kind’ event proved just that. While moderately full just minutes after the doors opened, the stream of supporters flooding through the entrance never really slowed down. Yeezy’s and BAPE masks and bombers as far as the eye could see. 

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We all like to complain about the state of Ottawa’s fashion scene. People in the industry are often found discussing how our city is strictly ‘political’ and any attempt at hammering through the thick concrete of skirt suits and briefcases would be hopeless.

But it seems that Amir Zargara is trying anyway. And, it seems to be working.

With his brand as his namesake and a passion for art and style innovation, the young designer is chipping away at Ottawa fashion’s icy exterior. If the hundreds of people that showed up to his fashion show is any indication, Zargara must be doing something right.

It has to do with the fact that Zargara has created somewhat of a posse-a group of streetwear lovers who previously had no other outlet to express this love. But here’s the kicker: everyone is invited. You’d think that such a fashion army would hold some kind of exclusivity, but Zargara has mastered the art of being himself. And that means bear hugs and big smiles and personalized greetings for everyone he runs in to. It means direct messages and Instagram follows, and homies in every nook and cranny of the city.

Zargara has built a sense of community for the young trendsetters of Canada’s capital. He has created a family atmosphere that brings people to his events not only so they can show off their fits, but so they can feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

So a round of applause for Zargara. Not only for a night that skillfully showcased new artists and new music and new trends, but for allowing streetwear junkies to belong. Cheers to the beginning of a movement.



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