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TFI News December 2008

Posted Friday, December 19, 2008

TFI News
A free fashion industry newsletter

Brought to you by:
Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI)
A dynamic non-profit organization offering made-to-measure business solutions for new & established fashion designers, entrepreneurs, professionals & students

Sponsored by:
TEDCO, Toronto Economic Development Corporation
City of Toronto Economic Development

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December 2008
Volume 16, Issue 8

Highlights:
1. The Retail Recession Survival Guide
2. TFI New Labels Competition Update
3. New Appointments To The TFI Board And Advisory Committee
4. Guilty Pleasures
5. Valli Girls at the ROM
6. Wanted: Silent Auction Items
7. Share Your News With TFI
8. Thank You Donors
9. Scene & Heard
10. Top Picks
11. Upcoming Events

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1. The Retail Recession Survival Guide
(Or, at least, as many recession-savvy tips as we could get)
by Doris Montanera

It was a relief when this report from market research firm NPD Group landed in my inbox recently: Economy No Deterrent to Holiday Shoppers. More than 60% of Canadians plan to spend as much on gifts this year as they did in 2007. And, good news for designers and fashion retailers: clothing tops the holiday gift-shopping list. It’s the number-one choice for over half of Canadians surveyed. Toys, books and movies were the next three, in descending order.

As for what kind of clothes they’ll buy, that’s the question.

There are two sides to spending, says Suzanne Timmins, HBC’s fashion director: There’s the need side. “I now need a new pair of black pants because I have holes in them.” Then there’s pure desire. “I think that when you desire something—whether in a good or bad economy—you’ll find a way to get it.” Everything in between, she says, falls through the cracks.

“At The Bay we have to be very price conscious and value conscious, but I’d like to get that ‘pop’ as well. That’s what we’re looking for. That’s why in David Dixon’s (runway show in October) I loved the porcupine dress. That’s fun. That’s different. We don’t need another bubble dress. The consumer is more conscious of price and style. She’s going to buy something but she’s going to buy one, not two.”

Even avid shoppers slow down. During a recent trip to New York Timmins says she bought two pairs of pants. “Then I panicked,” she says. “On the way to the airport, I made the cab stop at the store and wait while I returned one.”

During a recession, apparel usually gets hit. Men’s takes the first hit, then women’s, says retail consultant Karen Aboud of K.A.A. Business Solutions. Kid’s clothing sometimes doesn’t get hit at all. Unit sales in kids will often stay the same although the dollar sales will go down.”

Men buy basics and women replace fashion pieces with basics they can get more wear out of—but they accessorize it, with jewellery, bags, shawls or shoes.

“Women will buy that spectacular piece,” she says. “They have a bunch of parties. They’ll wear their black skirt and blouse from last year, but they’ll pick up new shoes to set it off. They’ll go for something special. They’ll buy a fun investment piece that makes them feel good.”

At Holt Renfrew, Barbara Atkin, vice-president of fashion direction, says buyers need to focus on smart pieces with longevity and value. There’s a Prada Sport menswear coat at Holt’s, for example, that’s high-performance, with a techno shell, zip-out parka liner and hidden pockets, she says. “It’s sleek, you can wear it over a suit or casually. It’s so well designed—it’s designed as two coats. It’s transformable.”

It’s this sort of focus on exclusive, multifunctional, seasonless dressing that has kept Toronto designer and retailer Franco Mirabelli in business for more than 20 years, despite starting his company just before one of the worst economic downturns seen since the Great Depression in the ’30s.

He sources fabrics that are exclusive to his store and will make a dozen or so limited-edition patterns just for his retail customers. “I’ll do more of that because my customer likes it,” he says. “That’s what I do to make myself stand out and be different.” He also offers added value, such as free alterations and significant gifts-with-purchase like handy tote bags.

Consumers are looking for value pricing, according to the NPD survey, but value doesn’t necessarily mean the most inexpensive. “Large merchandisers that offer value-pricing appear to be the primary destination for this year’s holiday shopper,” says NPD director Darrel Ryce in the press release. “While specialty stores hold their place and stature with purchasers, retail outlets that offer the most value for pricing will see the most consumer traffic.”

That is, while consumers may plan to spend the same amount, they want their money to go further. If they were shopping at Gucci, they still might go in and buy a few pieces, says Aboud, but might go elsewhere for the rest. Everyone will go down one price point.

It’s tempting to lower quality to lower prices. But, according to the experts, that’s the worst thing you can do. Tiffany’s, for example, has survived and thrived for more than 170 years as a luxury retailer. Its strategy and mission remains firm, says Canadian vice-president Andrea Hopson.

“We are not going to focus on lower-priced items or change the focus of our collections. At a period such as this, it’s important to remain true to our brand and we won’t create products that will undermine our brand and reputation. People need to know there’s consistency. We’re fortunate that everything we have is exclusive and special to us. Even if budgets don’t allow the same amount of spending, consumers will still buy; there will still be joyous events to celebrate.”

Again, it all comes down to sourcing the right items. If you get the right item, it will sell like crazy, says Aboud. “The argyle sweater, for example, is selling out. It’s new and it’s different. It’s seen as a basic even if it isn’t. Argyle goes in cycles and always comes back.”

But, she adds, buy now, wear now, will happen. Consumers will wait to pick up items until they absolutely need it. “We’re not at Great Depression levels. We just won’t have pay increases.”

Recession-Savvy Tips for Retailers:
* Keep inventories lean so you don’t have to discount. Buy better and less. If you think a product is borderline, don’t buy it. “Learn from Zara,” says Aboud. “Half the time the store looks empty.” Don’t order as much as you would have. If you guess that sales will be down 10%, try to cut orders by 15% of what you normally would have estimated.

* Basics, multifunctional or fun, unusual pieces will sell. Everything else will fall through the cracks. Stay in stock on basics and buy more often. And change special pieces more often, suggests Aboud. “Shopping is therapy so people will still shop.”

* Offer products or added-value services that aren’t widely available. For example, exclusive fabrics, gifts with purchase or free alterations. Layaway plans were created during the Great Depression. Sears just blew the dust off that old—and wise—idea.

* Don’t wait too long to mark down. If sell-thru is down 5% week after week, take another markdown. You need a 10% to 12% sell-thru. If sell-thru is 4% to 5% or less in a week, mark it down and get rid of it. “Canadian consumers love clearance. Small retailers wait until January or July and that’s wrong because you need cash flow,” Aboud says. “Get rid of this stuff so can afford next shipment.”

* Take all credit cards out there.

* Reduce expenses. Little things can shave off pennies, says Aboud. For example, turn on lights 10 minutes before the store opens instead of 30 minutes before. Turn them off right after the store closes, or turn off the back-end lights first, then the front after you’ve cashed out. “At The Bay, during the last recession, we changed all pencils to retractable ones and weren’t allowed to replace them unless it was approved,” she says. Retractable pencils were more expensive at the outset, but lead refills were cheaper. All printing had to be double-sided. Renegotiate cleaning contracts. Do you really need a cleaning service everyday or can you suffice with every other day? “We become blind to these expenses,” she says.

* Make sure windows clearly show what product you sell. Get your product in the window and displayed in a way consumers would wear it. Change windows as often as possible. “The average person goes into their favourite store once every 11 days,” says Aboud. (If they’re younger, they shop more often.) “Change windows as often as possible—at least every other week. And change where you put products on racks. For example, if they were in the back, bring them up front.”

Look for the Designer Recession Survival Guide in the next issue of TFI News.

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2. TFI New Labels Competition Update

Four semi-finalists remain in the competition after round one of the TFI New Labels judging session held Monday, December 8th. The fab four were picked by this year’s judges: Nathalie Atkinson, fashion writer, National Post; David Dixon, designer; Cheryl Hickey, host, ET Canada; Teresa Isabella, design director, YM Inc.; Plutino Group stylist Peter Papapetrou; Rita Silvan, editor-in-chief, ELLE Canada; and PJ Tarasuk, talent manager, Global TV (alternate for Cheryl Hickey).

The four semi-finalists include Thieves by Sonja den Elzen, Cheryl Gushue of GushueSwim, Jody McMillan of Jody Leigh and Faren Tami of Faren.

Founded in 2006, Thieves by Sonja den Elzen is designed with a focus on sustainability and ethical practices. Fabrics include hemp blends, tussah silks, organic wools, organic cottons, Lyocell, bamboo and soy. Separates incorporate subtle asymmetry with clean lines and classic cuts. The theme of den Elzen’s fall 2009 collection is inspired by modern nomadic tribes that move across northern Europe. Armored against the cold and other elements, the tribes move across harsh winter lands towards lush summer forests. Left: Illustrations by Thieves

GushueSwim is a designer beachwear collection from designer and professional makeup artist Cheryl Gushue. The Seneca College grad offers a customized approach to beach dressing allowing clients to mix and match tops and bottoms in order to achieve the most flattering fit. For fall/resort 2009, Pucci prints from the 1960’s provide inspiration for the line. Perfect for the chic jetsetter, the GushueSwim collection is accessorized with detachable jewelled pieces to wear on a suit or on their own. Right: Harper’s Bazaar cover featuring GushueSwim

George Brown College fashion design alumna Jody McMillan creates contemporary womenswear for busy professionals. The Jody Leigh collection for fall 2009 is inspired by photos of her grandparents from the 1940’s. The collection features softly tailored separates with subtle military references as in the metal button trim, patch pockets, flaps and tabs. Right: A photo of Ken & Jackie McMillan, Jody’s grandparents.

FAREN by Ryerson grad Faren Tami was inspired by the Futurism art movement which occurred at the beginning of the 20th century. Taking cues from various art mediums, Faren manipulates and combines different silhouettes, experimenting with geometric and angular forms in her pieces. Fabrics featured throughout the collection of women’s separates include eco-friendly and re-worked, recycled materials. Right: Inspiration board by Faren Tami

The designers need to survive through two more months of in-depth judging where innovation, quality, fit and styling will be assessed. The final evaluation takes place on April 23, 2009 when ELLE Canada hosts the New Labels fashion show and gala fundraiser in support of the Toronto Fashion Incubator. The winner of the competition, who will receive a prize package valued at more than $25,000, will be announced at the conclusion of the gala evening. Tickets to the gala are $50 for general admission; $255 for an individual VIP ticket; and $2000 for a table of ten. Check for online availability at www.elleshow.ca.

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3. New appointments to the TFI Board and Advisory Committee

On November 19, 2008, the Toronto Fashion Incubator Board of Directors elected Aaron Mogadam, CA and founder of Diemention2 Growth Management Inc., to the TFI Advisory Committee. Diemention2 Growth Management is a comprehensive financial services company whose European and Canadian clients include small businesses and start-ups in the entertainment, fashion and oil and gas industries. Kathy Cheng, Wing Son Garments Ltd., and Lynn Posluns, Cedarpoint Investments Inc., were elected to the TFI Board of Directors. Both Kathy and Lynn had presently been serving on TFI’s Advisory Committee.

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4. Guilty Pleasures

Fashion meets food at Guilty Pleasures—TFI’s fun and fabulous annual shopping experience at The Drake Hotel on February 7, 2009. Enjoy brunch, take home a complimentary issue of Flare magazine and peruse two floors of racks and tables of TFI accessory and apparel designers. The sale will be open to the public from 2pm - 5:30pm. For exhibitor rates and information, contact TFI at 416-971-7117 x 21 or 31. To buy brunch tickets, contact The Drake Hotel 416-531-5042. The Drake Hotel is located at 1150 Queen St. W., Toronto.

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5. Valli Girls at the ROM

On November 13, 2008, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) played host to the North American premiere of Paris-based designer Giambattista Valli’s spring 2009 collection. The exclusive event gathered together ROM supporters for a gala fundraiser in support of the museum’s Burnham Brett Endowment for Textiles and Costume. Frothy feminine confections, offered in various shades of nude and valued at pre-recession prices of $90,000 a pop, were each hand-crafted from a thousand meters of silk tulle. The 300 guests raised a net donation in excess of $150,000, the largest amount raised to date by the Material Ball event. Below, images from Giambattista Valli’s Toronto show. Photos: Jeff Speed Photography. Copyright 2008 Royal Ontario Museum.

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6. WANTED: Silent Auction Items

Need brand exposure to let customers, media and others know that you exist?
Donate a silent auction gift for an upcoming TFI fundraiser and get your brand in front of an audience of hip young influencers, media and industry VIPs! An opportunity like this is worth thousands of dollars in exposure and potential sales!

We are looking for restaurant gift certificates, spectacular accessories and special experiences for men and women valued at $100 retail or more.

Click here for more details about how to take advantage of this opportunity.

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7. Share Your News With TFI
Do you have a story you would like to share with like-minded, fashion-loving people around the world? We’re always looking for stories on new store openings, exciting updates from our members and the rest of the fashion community. Send your submissions or press releases to gail@fashionincubator.com.

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8. Thank You TFI Donors
Thank you to our donors for your support of our non-profit organization. Your financial contribution enables TFI to carry on its important work of encouraging job creation and economic development in the community. This month we recognize the following contributors for their kind donations to TFI: Vanja Vasic and Guy O'Sullivan.

Donor Categories: Contributor: $50 and under; Supporter: $50 to $100; Benefactor: $100 to $500; Patron: $500 and up. If you would like to make a donation to TFI visit TFI Shop.

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9. Scene & Heard

La Senza Founder Passes
Laurence Lewin co-founded La Senza died mid-November in Montreal as the result of lung cancer. Lewin started the lingerie empire in 1990. It now has more than 700 stores worldwide. The company was acquired by Limited Brands in late 2007, the parent company of Victoria's Secret. Lewin remained its president and COO.


Spring/Summer 2010 Trend Books Now At TFI
The latest women’s wear trend book from Promostyl has now arrived exclusively for TFI members. Get inspired by booking your time in the TFI Resource Centre. For an appointment, contact 416-971-7117 x 21. Be sure to sign up for TFI’s Spring/Summer 2010 Promostyl seminar taking place on January 20, 2009. Refer to this issue’s Upcoming Events for more details and the date announcement. To learn the additional benefits of being a TFI Member, visit www.fashionincubator.com/our_members/become_an_outreach/index.shtml.

The Runway Is Open
The rumblings during L’Oreal Fashion Week in October about a new title sponsor finally have settled. Mid-December LG was officially announced as the title sponsor of Toronto's Fashion Week, beginning in 2009 for the FDCC’s 10-year anniversary. IMG Sports & Entertainment Canada will be the events’ exclusive partner for sponsorship, sales and client services and L’Oreal remains on board as presenting sponsor. “2009 marks an incredible milestone for the FDCC. It will not only be our 10th anniversary, but in the fall we will host our 20th fashion week in Toronto,” said Robin Kay, president of the Fashion Design Council of Canada and executive director of LG Fashion Week. “We can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by welcoming new partner LG Canada to our family. LG’s presence at this fall’s Fashion Week events was fabulous, and we’re looking forward to many outstanding seasons with them.” LG Fashion Week is set to take place from March 16 to March 21, 2009. Designer information and applications are available now by contacting Brooklyn Brownstone at brooklyn@fdcc.ca.

Montreal Fashion Week
The fall/winter 2009 ready-to-wear Canadian collections will be taking place from March 2 to 5, 2009, at Bonsecours Market in Montreal. The application deadline for designers is January 23, 2009. New participants are required to send their samples before January 26 to the selection committee. For further information, contact Arianne LaSalle at 514-876-1499 x 231, 866-876-1499 or visit the website at www.sensationmode.com.

The VIA Rail Challenge
The Fashion Design Council of Canada (FDCC) and VIA Rail Canada recently announced details on their Canadian design challenge. The contest is for the design of a fresh and exciting restyling of the VIA Rail uniform for station and on-train employees. The winning design will be announced and revealed to the media, industry and at LG Fashion Week in Toronto in March 2009. The winning designer will receive $10,000 in VIA Rail travel credits and national exposure and publicity starting with a public appearance at the awards ceremony. Production and manufacturing of the men’s and women’s uniforms will be done through VIA Rail. The contest is open to all Canadian designers. For information and details for entry contact the Fashion Design Council of Canada at info@fdcc.ca or 416-922-3322.

Going Green
Thanks to the support of the Government of Canada, TFI will be developing a how-to guide for small- and mid-sized fashion entrepreneurs who want to incorporate green tactics and production methods into their businesses. The guidebook, which will be available online by July 2009, will include a resource index listing eco-friendly suppliers, contractors and support organizations. Consulting firm Creative Research Unit in Vancouver will spearhead the project.

Philip Sparks Opens New Toronto Showroom
Menswear designer Philip Sparks opened of his new showroom on Saturday, November 29, with an intimate media reception. Located in the historic Burroughes Building at 639 Queen St. W., the fifth floor studio will be open to the public every Saturday between noon and 6pm beginning December 6. Select pieces from Sparks’ fall 2008 collection of coats, suiting, accessories and footwear are available. Visit www.philipsparks.com to learn more about the designer.

The New Lundström Brand
Eleventh Floor Apparel and Canadian designer Linda Lundström unveiled the new Lundström brand to media at the offices of public relations agency Cohn & Wolfe. Eleventh Floor Apparel purchased the rights to the Lundström name two months after Linda Lundström filed for bankruptcy on January 31, 2008. The new line will be available in spring 2009, with the new website launching February 1, 2009.

A Comrags Retrospective
Design duo Joyce Gunhouse and Judy Cornish celebrated 25 years in business with their Comrags line at the end of November. For two weeks artifacts from the line were exhibited in store, with items dating back to the 1980s, each marking a significant event in the line’s history. The Comrags store is located at 654 Queen St. W. in Toronto. Fans of the line can post their own memories of it on the Comrags Facebook page at www.facebook.com/inbox/?ref=mb#/pages/Comrags/12794292538?ref=s.

TNA Opens First Eastern Flagship Boutique In Toronto
Vancouver-based lifestyle brand TNA opened its first eastern Canadian flagship boutique at the Toronto Eaton Centre on Saturday, December 6,. The new 2,700-sq.-ft. store—the brand’s largest to date —features surreal nature-based photography, custom-made animal creatures and a hand-painted mural created by TNA’s in-house artists. A custom in-store photo booth allows customers to take images to share with friends and family. TNA started in Vancouver in 1998 and has been carried exclusively at Aritiza. For more about TNA or info about the store, check out www.tna.com.

Andy The Anh Launches His First Toronto Boutique
Andy Thê-Anh, one of Canada’s most prominent designers, celebrated the opening of his first Toronto store, located at 83 Yorkville Ave. This is Thê-Anh ‘s third location; the other two freestanding boutiques are in Montreal. Andy Thê-Anh collections are sold across Canada, United States and Europe. For more information, visit www.andytheanh.com.

SickKids Foundation Hosts CHANEL Fashion Show
For the first time in 10 years, CHANEL staged a major runway show in Canada on November 27 at Heritage Court, Exhibition Place. The show featured its latest cruise collection by reproducing the luxury retailer's show held in Miami-South Beach in May. The evening included a dinner, live auction and the fashion show. Proceeds from the first-time fundraiser benefited HealthyKids International (HKI), a SickKids Foundation initiative dedicated to improving children's health care around the world. Visit www.healthykidsinternational.com for more information.

The Artist Project Toronto Returns To Liberty Grand
The Artist Project Toronto, a four-day exhibition and sale of contemporary fine art, will take place from March 5 to 8 at the Liberty Grand. The independent art fair will bring together a juried selection of established and emerging artists. Created by MMPI Canada, the group behind The One of a Kind and The Interior Design shows, the exhibition expects 150 independent artists, approximately 85 per cent of which are from Canada. Regular admission is $10 ($12 onsite) for adults and $8 for seniors and students, with the Opening Night Preview admission being $23 ($25 onsite). A portion of opening night proceeds will be donated to SKETCH, a charitable organization that creates art-making opportunities for street or homeless young people or those who are considered to be at risk (www.sketch.ca). More information about the event can be found at www.theartistproject.com.

Janet Hill Closes Business
After sales trips to Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Hawaii, TFI member Janet Hill has decided to close her business. “With the economy the way it is, even with a beautiful line and sales reps, I was not able to make a go of it,” she says. No word on Janet’s future plans.

Magnolia Sprouts Up On Eglinton
Toronto’s Eglinton Avenue recently blossomed a new store with the launch of Magnolia on November 13. The new boutique carries a selection of dresses, pants, tops and accessories, including Canadian designers Izzy Camilleri, Lucian Matis and Arthur Mendonça’s final collection. Prices range from $105 for tops to $1,150 for jackets. Magnolia is located in Unit 2B at 333 Eglinton Ave. W. in Toronto. Customers can also shop online at www.magnoliaonline.ca.

DIESEL Presents StyleXchange New Store Launch With Lady GaGa
Montreal-based fashion boutique chain StyleXchange launches its 7th location in Canada on December 15, 2008 at the Promenade Shopping Centre in Thornhill with Diesel Clothing, ONEXONE and international superstar artist and fashion icon Lady GaGa. The launch marks the 8th year anniversary for the Canadian chain. Founder Mark Batchoun sees this launch as a much-needed addition to the StyleXchange family, stating, "Our Montréal stores have done enormously well in the Québec market. The Yonge Street store has successfully built up a reputation as the iconic 'go-to' destination within the right fashionista circles in Toronto. Launching a second Ontario location at Promenade Shopping Centre was a no brainer." Ten percent of the launch week's sales will be donated to ONEXONE, a Canadian charity making a difference in the lives of children globally. Self-proclaimed pop artist Lady Gaga will be in store for a live appearance and autograph signing. The launch event takes place from 1 – 4pm on December 15. For more information, visit www.stylexchange.com.

Wish, Gardening Life Magazines Close
St. Joseph Media, publisher of Toronto Life, FASHION magazine and Canadian Family recently announced the folding two lifestyle titles: Wish and Gardening Life. Both magazines will cease publication with their December issues. The staff was not retained.

Trove Opens Second Location
Popular Annex store Trove opened a second location on November 20 at 2264 Bloor St. W. Run by mother-daughter team Barbara Scriver and Carolyn Eby, the new 2,000-sq.-ft. space has a similar design and colour scheme as its original, using antique and reclaimed cabinets and jewellery cases. “The new space allows us to expand our vision of bringing quality, hard-to-find fashion to Toronto. We can’t wait for the doors to open!” said owner Eby. Trove’s original space is located at 791 Bathurst St., just south of Bloor. Visit www.trove.ca for details.

The Runway Boutique Opens In Yorkville
On November 21 The Runway Boutique opened its doors at 112 Scollard St. with an in-house red carpet runway. The boutique carries some of the hottest designers from around the world, including Lara Bohinc, Matthew Williamson and Aurelio Costarella. Owner Odelia Culley decided to leave her investment-banking career to open the boutique. For more information, visit www.the-runway-boutique.com.

Barbie™ Turns 50 And More Fashionable
In celebration of 50 years, parent company Mattel Inc. is lining up various partnerships with designers to market Barbie as a fashion brand. The company is planning a runway show during New York Fashion Week in February 2009 with 50 fashion designers who will produce life-size outfits inspired by the iconic doll and a new line of beauty products with tongue-in-cheek names like ‘All Doll’d Up” and ‘Plastic Smooth”. Mattel Canada has partnered with five key Canadian brands to celebrate her anniversary. Canadian designer and TFI president David Dixon will debut the first co-branded Barbie women's apparel line in Canada at Toronto Fashion Week in March 2009. The Barbie by David Dixon collection is influenced by modern and vintage styles in Barbie's signature shades of pink, black and ivory (reminiscent of the black-and-white patterned swimsuit worn by the Original Teenage Fashion Model™ Barbie® Doll from 1959). The collection will be in stores fall 2009. Barbie by Cake will launch exclusively at Sephora on March 1, 2009, with a range of 50 scents created by Canadian beauty line Cake Beauty. Canadian footwear retailer Town Shoes has created a collection of Barbie designer footwear and handbags set to hit stores nationwide in February 2009. Fusing Barbie’s style and Canadian jewellery, designers Foxy Originals have created a fun and modern line. In fall 2009, Glenn Dixon, interior design host of the W Network's Take this House and Sell It, will launch Barbie by Glenn Dixon, a collection of furnishings, linens and home accents. Visit Barbie.ca for more information on upcoming events and anniversary details.

Drake Hotel Opens General Store
The duo behind local clothing label Shared, Carlo Colacci and Joyce Lo (former TFI resident and Wolves designer) collaborated on the design and direction of The Drake Hotel General Store, located adjacent to the hotel at 1144 Queen W. The store opened November 22 and features an eclectic range of fine goods and goodies with a sense of whimsy and melancholy. The 350-sq.-ft. interior features reclaimed wood cabinets and mismatched tables sourced locally throughout Ontario, and set upon a vintage-inspired custom diamond-patterned floor. It carries many items that you would find in a traditional general store, but with a twist: tortoiseshell toothbrushes and black toilet paper can be found alongside unconventional items like Marie Antoinette action figures and Mexican good-luck packets. The store will also showcase a monthly art wall featuring affordable art, primarily from local artists. Visit www.drakehotelgeneralstore.ca for more information.

Art And Commerce Unite At New Gallery
Located beside the Drake Hotel at 1142 Queen St. W., the Median Contemporary is the newest addition to the Queen West gallery district. The gallery, which opened on December 4 with guest artists Mat Durrant, Markus Heckman and Peter Todd, will function as both an exhibition space and a work studio, allowing for interaction between artists, their craft and the public. Owned and operated by Kal Mansur and Rui Pimenta the gallery will showcase pieces incorporating new materials and new media including light- and sound-based art, kinetic art and video installations. “It is our goal to provide a supportive atmosphere in which creative and critical dialogue can occur and professional development can be encouraged,” said Pimenta. For more information, visit www.mediancontemporary.com.

Shoppers Drug Mart Launches Murale
Shoppers Drug Mart opened its first stand-alone beauty and wellness store, Murale, in Ottawa late November, with the second opening in Montreal on December 7. Shoppers plans to open between five and seven more locations in Canada next year. The Murale name has been registered outside Canada which would allow for possible expansion into other countries.

Ewanika Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary
Toronto-based designer Trish Ewanika celebrated the 10-year anniversary of her womenswear label Ewanika, in late November. Her collection is housed at her self-titled College West boutique, which also carries a selection of accessories and knitwear. Ewanika is located at 490 College St., west of Bathurst. For more information, visit www.ewanika.ca.

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10. Top Picks

www.ecotextile.com
Ecotextile News is a new business-to-business magazine dedicated to the production of sustainable and ethical textiles and apparel.

www.stylecaster.com
A new website slated to launch January 2009 has gone live with four videos and a soft-launch blog to introduce readers to its concept. The site bills itself as an Influence Network site, like social networking but instead of getting friends you get inspiration.

www.fashion-networks.net
The new niche social network dedicated to followers of fashion.

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11. Upcoming Events

December 24, 2008 – January 4, 2009
TFI Holiday Hours
We’re taking a break to enjoy the holidays! Please note that TFI’s administrative office will be closed December 24, 2008 through January 4, 2009. We wish you all the best in 2009 and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

January 12, 2009
TFI Members Meeting
285 Manitoba Drive, Toronto. TFI members are invited to attend our monthly meeting. Network, share ideas and meet new people at our lively and informative get together. Register online at at TFI Shop. Seating is limited.

January 13, 2009
Meet Arie Assaraf, TNT Boutiques
285 Manitoba Drive, Toronto. Here’s your chance to meet the owner and buyer of TNT, The New Trend, a high-end designer boutique with three locations in Toronto and Montreal. Are you a women’s or men’s wear designer whose products are perfect for TNT? Find out what sells in his stores and why he looks for designers with a unique “voice”. Pre-register online at TFI Shop.

January 20, 2009
Promostyl Spring/Summer 2010 Trend Forecast Presentation
Metro Hall, Toronto. TFI and Promostyl present the colours, styles and leading trends for women’s wear. Tickets to this exclusive TFI members-only seminar are available online at TFI Shop. Pre-registration is required. For more information, contact TFI at 416-971-7117.

February 7, 2009
Guilty Pleasures Fashion Brunch & Sale
The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W., Toronto. Brunch 9:30am - 1:30pm. Public sale 2 - 5:30pm. Fashion meets food at this fun and fabulous annual shopping experience held at The Drake Hotel. Enjoy a delicious brunch, take home a complimentary issue of Flare magazine and peruse two floors of racks and tables of TFI accessory and apparel designers. The sale will be open to the public from 2pm – 5:30pm. For exhibitor rates and information, contact TFI at 416-971-7117 x 21 or 31. To buy brunch tickets, contact The Drake Hotel 416-531-5042.

March 2 – 5, 2009
Montreal Fashion Week
Bonsecours Market, Montreal. Fall/winter 2009 collection from ready-to-wear Canadian designers. For more information, visit www.sensationmode.com.

March 5 – 9, 2009
Trends The Apparel Show 2009
Northlands Park Agricom, Edmonton, AB. Trends The Apparel Show is the first event of its kind in Canada that involves the participation of agents representing mens, ladies, children, sports, street, work and western wear. Organized by Alberta Mens Wear Association. For more information call 780-455-1881.

March 14 – 17, 2009
Ontario Fashion Exhibitors (OFE)
Toronto Congress Centre. Fashion trade retail event for fall/winter 2009. For more information, visit www.ofeshows.ca/welcome.php.

April 23, 1009
The ELLE Canada New Labels Gala
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto. ELLE Canada hosts a fashion gala featuring the finalists of the TFI New Labels Fashion Design Competition. Enjoy the not-to-be-missed runway show, a silent auction featuring amazing prizes, delicious cocktails & hors d'oeuvres, a VIP dinner, an ELLE Canada goody bag filled with beauty products from P&G Beauty and all of this while schmoozing with celebrities and shopping at fantastic vendor booths! Net gala proceeds will benefit the non-profit TFI. Tickets to the gala are $50 for general admission; $255 for an individual VIP ticket; and $2000 for a table of ten. Check for online availability at www.elleshow.ca.

April 24 – 26, 2009
The ELLE Show
Metro Toronto Convention Centre North Building, 255 Front St. W., Toronto. Following the opening night gala on April 23, the event opens to the public for three days of consumer fashion shows, health and wellness seminars, celebrity speakers, fashion how-to workshops and the ELLE Café. For more information about vendor booths and show tickets, visit www.elleshow.ca.

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CONTACT US
Editor-In-Chief, Susan Langdon
Managing Editor, Gail McInnes
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© Copyright 2008 The Toronto Centre for the Promotion of Fashion Design (Toronto Fashion Incubator, TFI). No part of TFI NEWS may be copied or duplicated in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Toronto Fashion Incubator.

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