03/17/2014 11:38 EDT | Updated 05/17/2014 05:59 EDT

Sunny Fong turns to crowdfunding to help bolster expansion of VAWK label

TORONTO - Sunny Fong said he has a better grasp of the crowdfunding concept after reaching out to Internet donors to help expand his VAWK label.

The Toronto-based designer who won Season 2 of the TV design competition series "Project Runway Canada" has dressed notable names like pop star Katy Perry and Canadian actress Elisha Cuthbert.

In a short video posted on his Indiegogo fundraising page, Fong spoke of the goal to "take VAWK to another level," appealing for assistance to stage his Toronto's World MasterCard Fashion Week show as well as help to launch his label's first online store.

"As a designer, we all suffer the struggles of trying to make it in Canada because the industry is so small," Fong said backstage following his runway show on Monday. "It was just a suggestion from a friend: 'Oh, why don't you try it just to get a grasp of what your grasp is in the market?'"

Fong said he sold tickets to his show and used that as a platform to generate additional funds. At the end of the two-week online campaign, he fell far short of his posted $30,000 goal, raising $2,930.

"It's my first campaign, when I did it, I really didn't know much about doing it," Fong said candidly. "I think I have a better grasp. Maybe (I needed) more preparation and a better push."

While he's taking a break from online fundraising, Fong said the need for assistance to help bolster his brand remains ever-present.

"I need the support. It's yards (of fabric), it's the craft, it's fashion."

On the runway, Fong unveiled a luxurious collection comprised almost exclusively of black garments. Slick outerwear pieces — moto coat, biker jacket and varsity bomber — offered a decided contrast to the long, fluid sheer shirts and sweeping, flowing dresses featured in the range.

Fong said his intention was to have fun with the collection.

"I wanted to do something that was more street style-inspired, but then throwing in a Middle Eastern flavour into it."

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