Studio NAFA

Established in 2007, Studio NAFA is the first of its kind in North America. Using a unique combination of student design competitions, worldwide outreach programs, and creative workshops, Studio NAFA aims to pair the creativity of today’s youth, with the strength, wisdom and skill of current-day furriers, practicing an age-old craft.


Studio NAFA provides participants the opportunity to work with top quality North American and European ranch mink and fox as well as an exceptional collection of North American wild fur. In addition, under the leadership of its talented and knowledgeable instructors, Studio NAFA participants are encouraged to experiment with fur techniques and textiles in an open and collaborative environment.


To contact Studio NAFA click HERE.

Class of 2016
Student Inspiration
2016 Workshop

The curriculum at Studio NAFA targets several different groups—design students, designers as well as design teams from a varied range of industries (trimming, apparel, interior design and fashion accessories), and fur technicians.

Student Curriculum

At Studio NAFA we encourage students to share, brainstorm and collaborate with one another. Through hands on workshops, participants are guided by Studio NAFA instructors to experiment with fur, mixing fur with textiles and other products, learning and altering techniques—all within an open and collaborative environment.

Designer Curriculum

Our curriculum for senior designers and technicians focuses on learning at a Master’s level and is challenging for even the most experienced furrier. We are also delighted to custom design a curriculum for brands and companies who need help on how to integrate the many beautiful NAFA products into their existing collections.



Lumin Yao, Managing Director of Studio NAFA

lumin-yao-8218Lumin Yao is an MBA graduate with a double major in Marketing and Arts & Media from Toronto’s Schulich School of Business at York University. Following her graduation in 2002, Lumin began her career at NAFA as a Marketing Representative in Beijing, China. During her time in Beijing, Lumin travelled extensively throughout China gaining invaluable firsthand experience about the Chinese fur trade and assisting at a variety of NAFA promotional events.

In 2007, Lumin moved back to Toronto to assist NAFA executives in the overall planning of NAFA’s marketing campaigns in China and other major markets worldwide.

Today, Lumin is the Managing Director of Studio NAFA. Promoted to this role in 2013, Lumin is responsible for the detailed coordination and facilitation of all NAFA sponsored student design competitions and student fur workshops worldwide.

Most recently, Lumin developed a series of customized workshops for fur and fashion designers alike. These unique workshops provide designers the opportunity to learn more about NAFA’s rich collection of furs as well as the latest design trends and techniques in the fur industry.

Passionate about NAFA and its high quality furs, Lumin is eager to share her knowledge and love of fur with the people of the world.

Farley Chatto, Toronto Deisgner

farleyFarley Chatto is a Toronto-based designer with a global clientele, renowned for his eponymous line of haute couture menswear, first launched in 1988. Over the course of more than 25 years in the fashion and design industry, he has dressed notable celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Noth, Drake, Elton John, and George Clooney. Chatto teaches at Ryerson University in Toronto and he is also the in-house designer at Four Seasons Fur Co. where he works with customers to design and develop their furs. The designer has two fur fashion lines, Farley Chatto & My Wild by Farley Chatto.

John Kahagias, NAFA Senior Fur Technician & In-House Furrier

john-9189John Kehagias is a Senior Fur Technician and Consultant with Studio NAFA, as well as a Production Supervisor with NAFA. John has over 35 years of extensive experience in the fur industry, having been trained from an early age by his father, a furrier in Kastoria, Greece. John spent many years in Kastoria gaining knowledge and experience in running a fur manufacturing business, and later, he owned and operated his own fur retail store in Toronto.

John has extensive experience in manufacturing and creating fur garments with dressed fur skins, including coloring, matching, cutting, sewing, blocking, working with patterns, and maintaining quality control.  This experience has been enhanced in his work with raw fur skins at NAFA, where he works in a supervisory role, overseeing napping, grading, live grading, coloring, closing, and quality control.

Class of 2016


Xuanxuan Li (Qingdao, China)

xuanxuan-li-9730School: Parsons the New School for Design

Inspiration (What inspires you? What inspired your Studio NAFA project?): The looping and reversible technique inspired my design. I wanted to create contrast between 3-dimensionality and flatness, and at the same time I wanted my sample to be reversible.

What’s next for you? I will continue my studies and exploration of fur techniques.



Lu Rui (Nanking, China)

lu-rui-9726School: Lu Xin Academy of Fine Arts

Inspiration (What inspires you? What inspired your Studio NAFA project?): My Studio NAFA project was inspired by Chinese fans. My pattern combined long hair beaver, dyed red, grey and white mink as well as white and beige leather. I used intarsia and skin-to-skin techniques to create the look of a traditional Chinese fan.

What’s next for you? I am graduating next year and preparing for my undergraduate thesis collection.




Sun Ming (Beijing, China)

sun-ming-9712School: Zhong Yuan University of Technology

Inspiration (What inspires you? What inspired your Studio NAFA project?): My Studio NAFA project was inspired by Dream Catchers. I used light and medium tones of grey mink, purple-dyed coyote and a little bit of PVC fabric to create my sample. The techniques I used were weaving and skin-to-skin.

What’s next for you? I am going back to Beijing to continue working as a design assistant for Ziggy Chen.




Gu Lei (China)

gu-lei-9714School: Central Academy of Fine Arts

Inspiration (What inspires you? What inspired your Studio NAFA project?): My Studio NAFA project was inspired by paper folding. I used grey fox and beaver, employing  the letting-out and intarsia techniques to create contrast between solid and transparency. I also combined folded transparent PVC fabric and fur to show three dimensionality of the paper folding.

What’s next for you? I am preparing for my master degree next year.




Yu Sze Ki (Hong Kong, China)

yu-sze-ki-9716School: Hong Kong Design Institute

Inspiration (What inspires you? What inspired your Studio NAFA project?): My Studio NAFA project was inspired by architecture. I saw a photograph depicting a long-styled building and a futuristic building. I used the photograph to  study the lines, colors, and the construction of buildings. Using fox, mink, muskrat and silk, I created contrast between the solid and transparent fabrics, colors and textures.

What’s next for you? I am currently working towards my undergraduate degree. I have two more years before graduation, but maybe I will try and use fur, the techniques and the skills I have learned at Studio NAFA to complete my final graduation project.




Enyu Uchimura (Tokyo, Japan)

enyu-uchimura-9718School: BUNKA Fashion College

Inspiration (What inspires you? What inspired your Studio NAFA project?): My Studio NAFA project was inspired by a flower I saw while walking through Toronto at night. I was inspired by the roundness of flower and the sharp edges of the square buildings surrounding it. I conceptualized my project as I was working on it because I like to feel free while I am drawing and creating. I would like to expand upon the patch of material I created to make luxurious clothes.

What’s next for you? I want to establish a brand in the future. When I am older I would also like to have a shop that sells hand-crafted clothes.




Kyung Ji Oh (Yangju, Korea)

kyung-ji-oh-9738School: Dongduk Women’s University

Inspiration (What inspires you? What inspired your Studio NAFA project?): I live in two worlds, stopped time and nonstop time. Traditional structures around the world, old masterpieces such as paintings, music, and literature, as well as historical photos inspire me from the world of stopped time. In contrast to this, I am inspired by elements of today’s nonstop society, such as movies and videos, especially historical dramas. I like to be able to compare how ordinary things in the world of stopped time are changed into fresh, new ideas in nonstop time.

What’s next for you? I am going back to university and preparing for graduation.



Eunyoung Choi (Seoul, Korea)

eunyoung-choi-9736School: Konkuk University

Inspiration (What inspires you? What inspired your Studio NAFA project?): I am inspired by movies, walking down the street and taking pictures. I like to see photographs and use the emotions they evoke as the inspiration for my designs.

What’s next for you? Graduate college and pursue employment.




Stavrina Katavelou (Thessaloniki, Greece)

stavrina-katavelou-9734School: AKTO College, Midddlesex University London

Inspiration (What inspires you? What inspired your Studio NAFA project?): My inspirations come from nature. I love everything about nature. How simple it is, but also the way in which it is so beautiful and unique without even trying.

I also love art. I am a fan of the Abstract Expressionism Movement, Jackson Pollock and the dripping technique. I love mixing bright colours together in my designs.

I am also inspired by Jazz music. I love the sound and the feeling that Jazz evokes.

What’s next for you? I just graduated college so I think this is the best time for me to travel. I am excited to see new things and find new inspiration. I am also interested in working in the fashion world. I love designing and creating new ideas.




Maria Zepou (Athens, Greece)


Pauteiou University of Social & Political Sciences, Public Administration

Pansik Scuola Dimoda

Inspiration (What inspires you? What inspired your Studio NAFA project?): My inspiration can come from anything, anywhere, anytime but my favourite way to get inspired is by art, nature and people’s cultures. I love to explore new things, play with them and see how I can use them in my designs. I especially love travelling to other places and countries because I can see new colours, music, people, traditions and lifestyles that can inspire an entire collection.

What’s next for you? I love fashion and that is why I studied fashion design. For me, it is a dream to work in the fashion industry and because of my economic studies (administration management, marketing) I would love to work in the fashion management (or buying) side of a fashion brand or a fashion house.




Anna Nawrocka (Krakow, Poland)

anna-nawrocka-9722School: Cracow School of Art and Fashion Design

Inspiration (What inspires you? What inspired your Studio NAFA project?): I am inspired by everyday life, books, the history of fashion, and modern art. I also like looking at small communities like tribes with unique culture, patterns and clothes. On the other hand, I love using geometry and mathematical formulas to create complex patterns – like 3D sculptures.

What’s next for you? I will graduate from Cracow School of Art and Fashion Design this year. I want to gain experience working for a fashion company as a designer. I want to learn more about the whole production process and how the fashion business is working in practice.




Letytsiia Kovalova (Kherson, Ukraine)

letytsiia-kovalova-9720School: Kiev Nation University of Technology and Design

Inspiration (What inspires you? What inspired your Studio NAFA project?): A source of inspiration for me is the mountains. When I flew to Canada I was looking out the window of the airplane and admiring the beauty of Canada’s mountain peaks. It was fascinating. I was impressed by their massive elevation even though they were shrouded in a haze of fog. I especially liked the incredible visual effect they created when the mountains were reflected in a lake as though the surface of the water was a mirror. It seemed as though the mountains were transparent and weightless, so I decided to create a pattern that would reflect this effect.

What’s next for you? I want to use the knowledge I gained at the Studio NAFA workshop to create clothes for the REMIX 2017 competition.




North America

Katerina Kuzheleva (Toronto, Canada)

tranouli-evaggelia-9732School: Ryerson University

Inspiration (What inspires you? What inspired your Studio NAFA project?): I am inspired by the art of couture sewing, costume history and visual arts. I also draw inspiration from what is happening in the world around me such as social trends, pop culture, science and technology. I try to incorporate a respect for the past and excitement about the future in my designs.

What’s next for you? I will be going into my 4th year at Ryerson and will be working on my final collection.




South America

Melisa Higa (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

melisa-higa-9724School: Universidad de Buenos Aires

Inspiration (What inspires you? What inspired your Studio NAFA project?): I usually get the inspiration for my designs from everyday life. In my opinion anything can be a source of inspiration. For example, the world that surrounds you, who you want to be and what you have seen can all determine your ideas and the way you express them.

What’s next for you? I am starting a new project with a friend from school. We are designing streetwear in Argentina. Our brand is called CHAD.




Student Inspiration

Sun Ming (Beijing, China)

Enyu Uchimura (Tokyo, Japan)

Kyung Ji Oh (Yangju, Korea)

Stavrina Katavelou (Thessaloniki, Greece)

Maria Zepou (Athens, Greece)

Anna Nawrocka (Krakow, Poland)

Melisa Higa (Buenos Aires, Argentina)


2016 Workshop

Below is a collection of photographs highlighting Studio NAFA’s 2016 workshop. The annual student workshop was held from August 8-12 at NAFA’s headquarters in Toronto, Canada. This year, NAFA hosted 14 students from 9 different countries and regions, including Ukraine, Korea, Japan, Poland, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Greece, Argentina, and Canada.