I’ve known Michael Jafine since 2016, and let me tell you something, this man eats, breathes, and sweats fashion. Michael and I met in NYC, he had just finished his bachelor’s in Fashion Design at Parsons The New School for Design as well as his internships at Proenza Schouler, The Row, to name a few, and was working as an Assistant Designer. From the moment we met, I knew he was very passionate about what he did. He had tons of fashion books in his Brooklyn apartment and a mannequin with his latest fashion designs displayed.
Michael grew up in Toronto in the Forest Hill neighbourhood, a well-known area to the Jewish Community. One of my favourite stories he told me about his childhood is how he started to draw pretty girls in dresses as a kid, not knowing why or where it would lead him later in life. It was very clear that he always had a knack for putting looks together and creating a wearable and contemporary piece of art.
Fast forward a few years, we decided to move back to Toronto to start a new life together, and that’s when a lot of Michael’s visions started to come to life. With the unprecedented pandemic in 2020, Michael was forced to create his own avenue of creative expression and thus followed the conception of his own label JAFINE. During a time where a lot of us were locked and creatively stunted, JAFINE helped a lot of our pent of creative energy to be released. Michael created the designs and I helped photograph them. We became a power duo, and new faces to the fashion industry in Toronto. It wasn’t long before he caught the attention of AHIRI.
From the inception of the brand, to which he is now head designer for, Ahiri has been an incredible opportunity for Michael to share his Creative DNA. From the “Butterfly“ Dress to the “Genevieve” Dress, Watching him unfold his creative potential has been incredible, and it goes without saying this man is truly inspiring and a testament to what hard work, passion, and tenacity can do.
-Written by Jampol Taborda Ahiri
Which ‘hood are you in?
Central Downtown Toronto
What do you do?
I am a Fashion Designer, Photographer, Stylist, and Artist. My designs have been published in Elle Canada, Fashion Canada, The Kit, Globe & Mail. My personal focus is on luxury womenswear, creating unique well-crafted pieces that transcend trends and make strong fashion statements. At Ahiri, I design accessible womenswear which is sold online. I like to incorporate all of my art and design skills into all of my projects, whether it’s designing a collection, photographing a campaign, or styling celebrities/talent for film & tv.
What are you currently working on?
I’m always working, whether it is on my new collection as Head Designer for Ahiri, completing custom couture creations for my personal clientele, producing fashion editorial campaigns, even photographing them as well, it’s never a dull moment and always busy!