Justina McCaffrey Bio
She has been called an icon, a hero, a trail blazer, an innovator, a leader, a champion, and a Canadian National Treasure.
She is a TedX speaker, a published writer/columnist, a prolific media personality, cultural figurehead, who not only performed Kirov’s Swan Lake (corps de ballet) in NYC at 38 years old, but also ran a fierce campaign to become a Canadian Member of Parliament all the while advocating for the restoration of the garment industry in North America.
She has dressed numerous celebrities and socialites across the globe. She has been celebrated in Italy as the only North American representative for His Holiness St. John Paul II’s Fashion Jubilee held at St. Peter’s Square and designed and created a pluvial cope for the Pontiff himself that now resides in the Vatican archives.
Justina was born in Winnipeg, Canada. She is a manufacturing graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles California.
As a student at FIDM, Justina consistently won the Entrepreneurial Award from the career and technical student organization – DECA Inc., and not only represented FIDM, but the entire state of California two years in a row. The second year she claimed the International Entrepreneurship award for her clever vertically integrated business plans.
As a professional she was chosen eight years in a row to receive Canada’s Matinee Fashion Foundation Grant that was awarded based on the legitimacy and realistic nature of her entrepreneurial growth strategies.
She has consistently shown her collection at NY International Bridal Market, showcased her collection at Barcelona Bridal Market, Chicago Bridal Market and Las Vegas Bridal Market, and most recently showcased a lingerie collection at Paris Fashion Week.
She has partnered with dozens of retailers notably Neiman Marcus, Kleinfeld Bridal, and Japan’s Novarese in creating exclusive capsule wedding and Ready-To-Wear collections and thus claiming the number one position of units sold in the history of Kleinfeld Bridal and the number one dress in Japan in 2014. She furthered her brand with an exclusive collection of lingerie and sleepwear for Marshall Field department store.
Throughout New York’s fashion industry she has been known as a salable artist who has consistently created compelling independently produced runway shows and classical video novellas of collaborative artistic efforts with cultural groups such as The National Ballet of Canada, New York’s Metropolitan Opera’s Children’s Choir, Les Grande Ballet Canadiens, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Alberta Ballet, Atlantic Ballet, Thirteen Strings, and numerous artists, composers, and choreographers.
Justina McCaffrey was chosen for the Best Dress category on a feature edition of NBC’s Today Show, has been a three-time Valentine’s Day guest on Regis and Kelly as well as a celebrity judge on the hit reality TV series, Project Runway Canada. She was the only fashion designer to ever be featured as the cover story of The Globe and Mail’s Report On Business Magazine as well as the cover story of City Women Magazine.
Justina McCaffrey has been the keynote speaker to dozens of events including The World Youth Alliance Bay Street Event, World Youth Day Forum, Fashion Institute Conference in LA, The Women Beauty and Image Event in DC,
as well as speaking alongside Oscar de la Renta at the Beauty and Culture event in NYC, and the Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana.
A favorite of Hollywood, as well as a published writer with regular columns in The Huffington Post and Ottawa Life Magazine, Justina is currently collecting her memoires in an anthology for an upcoming publication.
Other media venues that Justina McCaffrey has been featured in have included:
TOWN AND COUNTRY WEDDINGS
REAL SIMPLE WEDDINGS
NBC CANADA AM
CBC THE NATIONAL NEWS
SALT AND LIGHT TV
FASHION MAGAZINE ITALIA
NEW YORK TIMES
MARTHA STEWART LIVING
NEW YORK MAGAZINE
BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS
NEW YORK POST
GLOBE AND MAIL
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
COSMO BRIDE (CHINA)
FASHION MAGAZINE CANADA
LOS ANGELES WEDDINGS
GAZZETTA DI PARMA
CORRIERE DELLA SERA
L’ECO DI BERGAMO
WEDDING DRESSES MAGAZINE
ELLE MARRIAGE MAGAZINE
GRACE ORMONDE WEDDING STYLE
ENCHANTED BRIDES MAGAZINE
MODERN LUXURY MAGAZINE
OTTAWA LIFE MAGAZINE
Owner Kleinfeld Bridal Salon, Manhattan, New York
"Under her design direction, Justina Mccaffrey Collection produced dresses which became the best selling styles at Kleinfeld. Her extraordinary creative ability has led to her developing many inspirational trends for the bridal market. The styling of her media campaigns has been outstanding with successful results. The brides have a very positive reaction to the vision that she has created. Her creative ability shines through in everything that she does. There is a tremendous amount of time effort and thought that goes into each show that she puts on for the bridal market in New York, which occur(s) twice a year."
Co-Owner/CEO Kleinfeld Bridal
Justina designed a gown called Alexia II which was Kleinfeld's best selling wedding gown since 1999.
Editor-In-Chief - Fashion Magazine
Justina is not just Canada's top bridal designer, she is one of the very top couture bridal designers in the world. Her talent as a designer is world-class and her vision of bridal wear is completely unique. With respect to her vision, she has no equal. Few possess her exquisite level of taste, her ability to deliver consistently unique designs, her high level of professionalism, and her devotion to perfection. Justina has also proven to be gifted at a creative direction for her brand, producing exquisite advertising and marketing campaigns, and breathtaking fashion shows, held during New York Bridal Week. Justina is widely regarded as one of Canada's most gifted designers.
Fashion Director BRIDES Magazine.
Justina is in the top tier of wedding dress designers and sells hers in America. Justina was the pioneer in creating the romantic ball gown with the famous "pick up" skirt; a huge trend that stayed around the last 10 years. Her choice of unusual French laces are unique and make her dresses stand out from the other designers. We have photographed her gowns over the years and they always make for the most beautiful editorial pictures in BRIDES Magazine.
Wife of the former Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Justina is creative and her designs are modern and wearable. Her dresses are treasures and are timeless.
Creative Director - Fashion & Beauty - Inside Weddings Magazine
Justina is not only a very talented bridal designer, she is original, unique, and definitely thinks "outside the box". Her dresses are impeccably made and show how mindful she is of putting her name on the label of an original design made with great care.
Karen Kain - C.C, LL.D., D.Litt., O.Ont.
Artistic Director - National Ballet of Canada
Justina has been a wonderful asset to the National Ballet of Canada as a patron and as an advocate for the company. But of course, her greatest strength is her outstanding talent as a designer.
political editor of Maclean's Magazine, 5 time winner of the National Magazine Award and a multiple winner of other awards such as the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize, the John W. Dafoe Award, and the National Newspaper Award. He is also a frequent commentator on television and radio.
I have known Justina McCaffrey for 15 years in her capacity as the most prominent and respected Canadian wedding designer. I make it my business to know leaders in their fields in Canada, and when I arrived in Ottawa it was simply impossible to overlook Justina's contribution to the world of fashion. Her reputation in the fashion field is sterling, and as a designer of wedding dresses, she's simply unparalleled. I have seen several of her shows and, perhaps more important, watched most of my friends get married in her dresses. Her clients include leaders in business, politics, and the arts. Justina's reputation and work are hardly confined to Canada. I consider her one of the most important bridal designers in North America. She has received extensive coverage and acclaim in the United States, both in an industry publications and in mainstream media, television, and movies. Not only do I believe she will continue to make a great contribution to the industry, I believe it's more accurate to say her peak of creativity and productiveness lies ahead for her."
Argeo Paul Cellucci
US Ambassador to Canada - 2001 - 2005, Governor of Massachusetts - 1997 - 2001
Justina impressed me immediately as an articulate, passionate, knowledgeable, and creative businesswoman. In 2003 she designed my daughter Anne's bridal gown - an elegant and strikingly original design. Justina and Anne worked closely throughout the year-long design process. Anne came to greatly admire Justina's creativity, work ethic, international vision, and joyful spirit. Our family's friendship with Justina has continued through the ensuing years.
Former Editor in Chief - Globe and Mail
Justina is not just an incredible talent, she's a tremendous person. The same high standard she applies to her work also guides her in her personal life.
Former US Ambassador to Canada
I came to know Justina when I served as U.S Ambassador in Ottawa. She was a bright, diligent young entrepreneur at that time. Since then Justina has matured into creative talent and accomplished professional. Justina McCaffrey is a designer of extraordinary ability, and one of the outstanding talents in the field.
Former Trade Commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in New York, and former professor at FIT.
Justina McCaffrey is an exceptional creative talent and arguably the most-renowned fashion designer in Canada. What makes her success so extraordinary is that her home market remains negligible in comparison to the over 90% that derives from bridal specialty stores across the USA.
Writer - Hello! Magazine
Justina McCaffrey is at the top of her game, one of, if not the most successful and highly sought after couture bridal designer in the country. She designs the dresses for high society figures, Canada's first ladies, celebrities, athletes, and the everyday woman who wants to walk down the aisle on their wedding day feeling and looking like a princess of magical proportions. Her attention to detail and enthusiasm for the task, not to mention the beauty of the design were all examples of her unrivaled professionalism.
CEO of Frantic Films
Justina is most certainly one of Canada's pre-eminent wedding dress designers and is known worldwide for her extraordinary talents. I have no doubt, Justina McCaffrey is a designer of extraordinary ability, and one of the world's most outstanding talents in the field.