Joeffer Caoc | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Joeffer Caoc

Joeffer Caoc, fashion designer (b at Valenzuela, Philippines, 15 Nov 1971). Joeffer Caoc moved to Canada at the age of two with his civil engineer father and seamstress mother.

Joeffer Caoc

Joeffer Caoc, fashion designer (b at Valenzuela, Philippines, 15 Nov 1971). Joeffer Caoc moved to Canada at the age of two with his civil engineer father and seamstress mother. He decided to pursue a career in design and enrolled in Toronto's RYERSON UNIVERSITY Fashion Design program, where he received the City of Toronto Graduate Award (1993) upon completing his studies. Following his final presentation at the institution, Caoc was approached by leading womenswear designer Lida BADAY, who appreciated his modern sensibility with fabric. The young designer became Baday's in-studio assistant and in that position was exposed to the operations of a successful fashion label (1993).

In 1995, at the age of 24, Caoc stepped away from the Baday label and launched "Misura" at the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI). The institution supported the young designer through the development, production and financing of his first runway collection. Following strong reviews from press and buyers, Caoc committed to continuing his line with aspirations of achieving national commercial success. In order to finance his label and its operations, the designer taught at the International Academy of Design.

As sales steadily increased and Caoc gained recognition across Canada, his pieces also caught the attention of Belinda Stronach, a notable Canadian businesswoman and politician. In 1998, Stronach invested in the designer's label and established Misura Inc., a womenswear manufacturing firm. The partnership propelled Caoc's label into new markets, which included top stockists throughout the US. By 2002, the designer's staff grew to 20 and sales offices were opened in New York and Toronto. However, in May of 2002 Caoc and Stronach parted ways, which left the designer with immense responsibilities to maintain his business.

In 2005, marking the 10-year anniversary of the label, Caoc closed Misura and launched the "Joeffer Caoc Collection." His renewed brand garnered positive responses, most notably received from his NAFTA Fall/Winter 2005 show in New York. With increasing popularity, Caoc announced his partnership with Lynn Posluns, former president of the Fairweather retail chain, in 2007. In 2009, the Caoc and Posluns partnership amicably ended, and he became the majority owner of Joeffer Caoc Inc, a privately held company. His line remains in specialty boutiques across Canada and in leading retailer The Bay.

In 2010, Caoc developed a short fashion film produced by notable photographer Christopher Wadsworth which blended the designer's Fall/Winter 2010 collection with art and dance. Later that year, Caoc partnered with discount retailer Winners to reintroduce "Misura" to the market. The collection, which continues to be produced, draws from his archive of old designs and is produced with distribution across Canada.

Over the course of his career, Caoc's designs have been worn by many fashion and entertainment notables, including Nelly Furtado, Coco Rocha, Daria Werbowy, Jeanne Beker, Jacqueline Bisset, Angela Bassett and Jill Hennessy.

Joeffer Caoc has been recognized for his contributions to the fashion industry with several awards including the Canadian Designer of the Year award (1995, 1997, 1999) and the Ryerson Graduate Alumni Achievement Award (2000). He was included in Maclean's magazine's "Top 100 People to Watch" (2000). The designer also supports several charitable organizations including Fashion Cares and the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

Caoc continues to present two collections per season with ready-to-wear designs that remain inspired by architecture, fluid shapes and an overarching sense of modernity.