Meet The Designer: GFDI

Read on for a look into Tori Cafarella’s goth-alternative brand, GFDI, which showcased this past F/W22 Vancouver Fashion Week.  We dive into her newest collection, and discuss how her love for alternative fashion spurned!

Tori Cafarella is the designer for her brand, GFDI, which focuses on alternative clothes and accessories.  In this season’s collection, Cafarella incorporates reflective techwear, bright chains and other alternative staples to create multiple eye-catching apocalyptic-inspired designs.

What inspired your brand?

Well, originally it was under a different name and I was supposed to showcase in Vancouver Fashion Week the year of the pandemic.  With it being canceled and everything, I had no creativity left over. I would have an idea and it wouldn’t work out. GFDI came about as a joke name, and then it just stuck because it became everything I wanted my brand to be.  

GFDI stands for “God Fucking Damn It”, because everytime I had the new idea and wanted to do it, I was like “God fucking damn it, now I can’t do it!”

What inspired this specific collection?

I really like the darker side of everything, and then when I saw the reflective fabric, I thought, “This will be perfect in an almost apocalyptic techwear kind of line.” That was when I started with everything, and just putting the pieces together. I kind of do everything backwards.  I have to find the fabric and then I’ll create the designs. 

 What drew you to techwear and alternative fashion?

Just how big and bulky it is, and how you can do so many different things with it. With the reflective fabric, it can stay as the muted colors, but once you hit it the right way, it just shines.   

I actually grew up with my dad being in a heavy metal band, so anything with the goth aesthetic, the hardcore aesthetic, I was always around it.  That’s just how I’ve been dressing my entire life.  I love it.  My dayjob, when I’m not doing this, I build rocket parts for SpaceX.  That’s where a lot of the techwear kind of fits in with everything.  I actually have 2 yards of spacesuit fabric that I’m not supposed to have, and it took everything in me – I wanted to so badly, to line certain pieces with it, but every time I tried to cut it I was like “No, what if I need it for something else!” and then I just put it away.

 What do you hope for the future of alternative fashion?

I want it to be a little more accepted.  I’m not from Canada, I grew up in New York, and then moved to Los Angeles, so this is my first time being in B.C.  The few times I tried to dress up and be more gothy with it, I got the weirdest looks. I was like,“How do people do this?”

 What’s your creative process like?

Definitely fabric first.  I have to have a theme or thought in my brain, and then look for that fabric that matches with everything, and then I’ll just create the designs from there.  Because, if I try to create the design first, and find the fabric to match it, I’m not going to be as in love with it as if I had found the fabric first.  

What’s the vision of the future of your brand?

I’m hoping to include more clothing pieces into my shop.  Right now, it’s just accessories, hoodies and t-shirts.  I want to be able to create more like streetwear pieces for people to buy.

Thank you to GFDI’s Tori Cafarella for the candid interview, and fascinating look into techwear fashion! It was a joy to hear about your background with alternative style, and we are so excited to see you bring more of it into the world.

GFDI’s designs are available on, as well as on instagram at @gfdi_clothing. For more runway photos, check out @vanfashionweek on instagram.

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