PROFILE: Fashion student Hafsa Iftikhar

IWD profile_HafsaIftikhar

As Hafsa prepares to graduate from the Fashion Techniques and Designs program this spring, she's also busy getting ready to launch an online store for her own brand,

"My first collection for the brand will be presenting stories from my visual diaries that date back to my university days in Pakistan from 2008-2012," she explains. "As an immigrant, people always ask me several questions about life in Pakistan, so I am really excited to share some of these precious memories using fashion and graphic prints as my medium."

Research on adaptive garments

When Hafsa came to Canada and started researching how to complement her university education, she was drawn to the hands-on curriculum offered at the School of Fashion Studies. And she's gaining practical experience through applied research.

Hafsa is a member of the George Brown team working with the University of Toronto's Occupational Therapy department to create garments for stroke survivors with partial paralysis. The goal is to develop clothing that is both functional and fashionable.

"We are interviewing stroke survivors, observing how they dress and after analyzing the data we have collected getting their input in designing the adaptive garments," she explains. "We want these garments to be inclusive so that everyone can wear them."

A collaborative approach

The excitement of this project lies in the fact the she's not designing for the research subjects/participants but with them.

"The other interesting part is the collaboration we have with a completely different field (occupational therapy)," she said. "It has been a learning experience and exciting working on accessible designs with the U of T team."