Thursday, August 18, 2011

BOJANA SENTALER: Exclusive Interview


Occupation: Fashion Designer
City: Toronto, Canada

FASHION STUDIO: How did you get interested in fashion?

I always loved fashion. I was lucky to have been able to travel around the world and that is how I became firsthand knowledgeable about the different fashion trends and styles. When traveling, I always reserve a few days for shopping and just browsing fashion stores. I also love people-watching. Wherever I travel, I love to sit in a café and just admire street fashion and different cultures. 

FASHION STUDIO: What was the inspiration for your first collection?

The inspiration for my very first collection was the long Canadian winter season and an obvious lack of colour and elegance in winter garments. It is a challenge for Canadians to follow fashion in the winter and stay warm at the same time. Especially since our winters last for so long, the typical black and heavy wool coat can be depressing. With the launch of the first SENTALER outerwear collection, my goal was to make women look fashionable and feel beautiful while still keeping warm and protected from the harsh winters. 

FASHION STUDIO: What kind of fabrics do you use for your designs?

The main fabric I use for my designs is alpaca. After some research, I discovered alpaca during my travels to South America and have fallen in love with its natural luster and sensual drape. It is so soft and light in weight yet so warm – perfect for my winter coats.

FASHION STUDIO: Could you reveal a little bit about your future collections?

I have so many ideas for my future collections. Every year, my clients provide me with key information about what they like in my current collection and what they would like to see in the future. These are all details that I consider when designing my new collections. I will continue to demonstrate consistency with clean, simple and elegant silhouettes made of luxury fabrics. This is what SENTALER is about. I will however, add more one-off pieces with unique cuts and details that will be for those clients who are looking for something exceptional and very exclusive. 

FASHION STUDIO: What are the main challenges of your job?

I am very good at strategic planning, setting goals and making them reachable. However in the fashion world, plans ALWAYS change and sometimes there are obstacles that come along the way, which will make the goals unreachable. Therefore, the main challenge of my job is dealing with these changes, coming up with new strategies to reach my goals and always keeping a positive attitude and believing that it will all come together as long as I keep going. 

FASHION STUDIO: What is the brand's mission and how do you promote it?

SENTALER’s mission is to be the leading brand in luxury outerwear. We want women to think ‘SENTALER’ when they are looking for that special coat. We want women to feel beautiful. Our clients’ referrals are our best promotion. I believe that you will always trust your friend’s opinion about a product more than seeing it in an ad. 

FASHION STUDIO: How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style is clean lines and minimalistic palettes. A single color piece made of high quality fabric that is well tailored or that has a beautiful drape can look so elegant and beautiful. 

FASHION STUDIO: Who is your fashion icon?

Audrey Hepburn will always be my fashion icon. The modern version of my fashion icon is Victoria Beckham. I admire her style evolvement over the past 10 years. She understands how clothes should fit and best of all she knows how to mix high fashion and mainstream into making a beautiful outfit. She made me want every Roland Mouret pencil dress and Giambattista Valli dress she wore. And she made the clean and simple Christian Louboutin pumps and Hermès handbags on every woman’s wish list. 

FASHION STUDIO: Which decade do you consider most important in fashion?

60s was a fashion conscious decade – the Jackie O. era.

FASHION STUDIO: Which fashion designer do you admire? And why?

Up until recent it was Karl Lagerfeld as I loved the detail and silhouettes of Chanel’s collections. However, he has disappointed me a bit with his last two seasons. 

FASHION STUDIO: What are the best fashion spots in Toronto?

Yorkville and King West are fashion spots in Toronto. Also it is always fun going to Fashion Week and other fashion parties to see what people will wear. 

FASHION STUDIO: What would you say about street fashion in Toronto? How do people dress?

Street fashion in Toronto varies. You can see a well-composed and fashionable look and then you can see a sloppy look. This is different from Europe, especially cities in France or Italy, where self-image is part of the culture. People in Europe are more conscious about how they look and what they wear. However with more people travelling and seeing fashion trends in other parts of the world, more Torontonians are starting to develop a unique sense of style. 

FASHION STUDIO: Favourite fashion magazines...

Vogue, Fashion, Flare.

FASHION STUDIO: What will be in fashion in Fall/Winter 2012?

The 50s – 70s influence will continue to dominate in FW 2012/13. Plus, with the rapid evolvement of technology with enormous amount of data being exchanged on the internet and cellular networks, upcoming fashion trends will demonstrate ‘space’ and ‘the futuristic look.’ Also, the theme of ‘land’ will be big in FW 2012/13. And the colour BLUE! 

FASHION STUDIO: Your favourite evening look? My favourite evening look is a single-color silk dress that has a natural drape paired with nude pumps and an envelope clutch. It looks so effortless yet so beautiful. 

FASHION STUDIO: Your definition of elegance... 

My definition if elegance is a simple look using high quality, luxury fabrics and perfect tailoring. 

FASHION STUDIO: How to develop personal style?

Developing personal style is primarily about identifying who you are and how you would like to be perceived by society. Things to consider are your occupation, lifestyle and occasion that you need to dress for. What message do you want to give out? Then you should see what inspires you.

Flipping through fashion magazines is great as you can learn on what colours go together, how to layer clothes, a unique way to tie a belt, a stylish way to wear a scarf, what fabrics look good together etc. You need to know your body and what silhouettes complement it and put emphasis on your assets. Also understanding the proper fit of clothes is very important. 

FASHION STUDIO: Best dressed celebrity...

Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss.

FASHION STUDIO: What are the 5 essential items that every woman should have in her wardrobe?

I think it is smart for every woman to invest in items that rely on cut and quality and that will be worn a lot. Here are the 5 essentials: 

  • A classic, good quality and warm coat, i.e. Sentaler
  • Properly fitted LBD (little black dress) 
  • Well-cut jeans that give a good shape of the bottom and make you feel sexy, i.e. J-Brand.
  • A classic, high quality handbag that will complete any outfit. The Alma Louis Vuitton is great in Epi black leather. I am not a big fan of logoed bags as they could be too designer-designer.
  • Good quality nude pumps by Christian Louboutin, Brian Atwood or YSL. They look good with every outfit and elongate the legs.

FASHION STUDIO: Your favourite quote...

“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” – Coco Chanel

FASHION STUDIO: What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working on the FW 2012/13 collection. And I am working really hard on setting up Sentaler Online Boutique, which we are planning to launch this fall! :) 

FASHION STUDIO: How about your future plans? What else would you like to achieve?

My future plans are to keep developing the Sentaler brand and eventually enter new markets. I would love to get into designing accessories that complement my coats.

By Eva Fydrych

All photos courtesy of  Sentaler


By Appointment Only
555 Richmond St. W., Suite 110
Toronto, ON M5V 3B1

+1 416 238 7480

Sentaler Fall 2011 Shoot: BEHIND THE SCENES


  1. Sustainable Vs Disposable

    Congratulations Bojana! Sentaler is not only luxurious and beautiful, it is also sustainable.
    Your models and your interview said it all and I would like to comment briefly the opposite, the disposable fashion.

    Disposable fashion strips us of our substance and hurts our environment. It does not make us feel better and it may not even make us look better; to the contrary, it creates inconsistency, overload and waste.
    We are blamed for being consumer society and rightly so. We buy more than we need and we dump it. But wait! We are not the only one to blame. It is not only consumers who dump stuff. The produces and retailers do it as well; they dump the products they cannot sell, and try hide it from the public.
    Please see an article by Andrea Chalupa where you can find a good story and links to research further.
    The products are not sold because we cannot buy or, even better, we do not want to buy. So why is there such a humongous surplus? What about the economics principle of supply and demand? It seems that it serves for price determination only.
    So, let me get back to disposable fashion which contributes to textile waste which in USA in 2009 piled up to 12.7 mil tons, according to EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). And staggering 84% of unwanted clothing ends up in landfills. Balance of 16% goes to donations, resell to developing countries and recycle.
    Disposable fashion is a wasteful use of natural resources, from the beginning to the very end of its short life.

    Jasmine Demin

  2. Hi Jasmine,

    Thank you for your input.


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