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September/October 2014

Posted Wednesday, October 15, 2014

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:
City of Toronto Economic Development

September/October 2014
Volume 22, Issue 5

1. Enter The SpongeBob Design Challenge
2. You Can Win $25,000 In TFI New Labels 2015
3. World MasterCard Fashion Week Spring 2015
4. Scene & Heard
5. Thank You TFI Donors
6. Top Picks
7. Fashion Calendar

1. Enter The SpongeBob Design Challenge
Enter the SpongeBob Design Challenge for a chance to WIN $10,000! Open to Canadian designers who produce womenswear, this new, exciting, national competition, held in partnership with the Toronto Fashion Incubator, challenges designers to create an haute couture, red-carpet gown inspired by the animated character. Submit your full-colour fashion illustration and application by November 14, 2014, to TFI. Be sure to download the application and free designer tool kit available here to help you with your creation. A panel of judges will determine the winner on May 4, 2015, at the TFI New Labels® gala.

If you're a Canadian womenswear designer who has been in business three years or less, you could win $25,000 CASH from Suzanne Rogers and a feature in Flare magazine! TFI New Labels® is a prestigious, national, fashion design competition and exciting runway show developed and managed by the Toronto Fashion Incubator. Applicants must be Canadian citizens or are able to legally work in Canada. Since 1992, TFI's New Labels® Fashion Design competition has launched the careers of Canada's top talents such as David Dixon, Sid Neigum, Sarah Stevenson, and 2014 winner Miriam Baker. Deadline to enter is November 25, 2014. For more details and to download the application, click here.

3. World MasterCard Fashion Week Spring 2015
From October 20 to 24, 2014, World MasterCard Fashion Week makes its return for the spring 2015 season at David Pecaut Square. This season’s roster of fashion shows includes Canadian favourites like Bustle, SOIA & KYO, Matthew Gallagher, Rudsak and Pink Tartan. New designers to this year’s line-up include Hayley Elsaesser, Rani Kim, Som Kong, Huntress, Rudybois, and Elan & Castor. The week kicks off with an invite-only fashion gala on opening night, hosted by Joe Fresh. Later in the week, the Toronto Fashion Incubator presents its seasonal Press & Buyers Brunch trade show for retail buyers and media (October 22 and 23), and on October 22, the DIScONNECT Fashion Film Festival kicks off at the Bell TIFF Lightbox. The Festival challenges filmmakers to create one- to five-minute short films exploring fashion trends. Fashion Saturday Presented by BMO returns for another season on Saturday, October 25. This consumer event will offer the public runway highlights from the spring 2015 collections shown earlier in the week. Guests will also enjoy a trends presentation, hair and makeup installations, an opportunity to shop at the designer pop-up market, sample VIP-style food and drinks, and much more. Tickets to the three sessions (1pm, 4pm. and 7pm) are available for purchase online. Student rates are also available. The full calendar can be found at

4. Scene & Heard

2015 CAFA Finalists Announced
At Toronto's Spoke Club on October 14, organizers of the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards (CAFA) revealed a list of finalists for the second annual award. On January 31, 2015, awards will be handed out in a number of categories including emerging, accessories, womenswear and menswear designer of the year, outstanding achievement honours plus two new categories: emerging accessory designer and blogger of the year. Kudos to TFI members and alumni who made the cut: Sid Neigum, Jenny Bird, Jon De Porter, Greta Constantine, Smythe and David Dixon. Ex-pats Daria Werbowy, Jessica Stam, Erdem, Steven Tai, Tommy Ton and Thomas Tait are also up for awards. Co-founder Brittney Kuczynski announced the launch of the Canadian Fashion Fund, an initiative to raise investment capital to assist Canadian designers. The 2015 CAFA Awards will take place at The Royal York on January 31, 2015 in Toronto. Tickets are available at

Meet TFI's Newest Mentor
The Toronto Fashion Incubator is very pleased to announce that Ruth Ann Lockhart has joined our roster of experienced fashion business mentors. Ruth Ann brings 30 years of fashion business experience in the areas of merchandising, pitching & dealing with buyers, determining suggesting retail price points and how to edit a line. During the 1980's, Ruth Ann owned fashion-forward boutique Atomic Age on Queen West that brought renowned international designers such as John Galliano, JPG and Marc Jacobs to Toronto for the first time. Through her store, she also championed a new generation of Canadian fashion talent from Comrags and Pam Chorley to Loucas, Bent Boys and many more. From 1990 onwards, Ruth Ann worked in various capacities at Holt Renfrew from private label development, developing purchase and sales plans, buying, negotiating with vendors and organizing planned marketing events, eventually working her way to VP womenswear. Ruth Ann also served on TFI's Board of Directors for many years in the 1990's. "I have met with literally 100% of vendors and designers, large and small, over the years and understand many of their challenges, said Lockhart. "It is for this reason I hope I can be of some assistance to TFI." Thank you Ruth Ann! We're delighted to welcome you to TFI! TFI members receive 120 minutes per year of free consultation time with any of TFI’s business mentors. To make an appointment, contact Nina Facciolo or call 416-971-7117 ext. 21. For a list of TFI’s mentors, please visit

Disgraced Designer Makes A Comeback
John Galliano, the disgraced former head designer of Christian Dior, has been hired as creative director of Maison Martin Margiela to oversee all Margiela lines including the couture and ready-to-wear collections for men and women. The designer has been laying low since his anti-Semitic tirade three years ago, however, he has been slowly making his re-entry into fashion. Last year Galliano served as guest editor for British Vogue and worked for a season at Oscar de la Renta.

Shop The Neighbourhood: A Local Shopping Initiative To Support Small Businesses
Shop The Neighbourhood is a national campaign launched by Yellow Pages to promote local shopping in support of small businesses. On Saturday, November 29, Canadians will be encouraged to make a local purchase and take advantage of exclusive event-day deals offered by businesses in their neighbourhood. Cities taking part in this initiative include Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa. Getting involved is easy! Businesses can register and submit a deal at and then be eligible to win $2,000 offered by Yellow Pages. Funds can be used towards infrastructure and improvements to your business. Consumers can celebrate small businesses and support their local economies by shopping local on November 29th.

Joe Fresh Exits The Runway
The Twitterverse was abuzz October 15 with the announcement that Canadian retail chain Joe Fresh would not be showing its spring 2015 collection at World MasterCard Fashion Week this season. Instead, the company will host an opening night party to launch the newly created Joe Fresh Fund, a program that will support emerging Canadian designers. Details about the Fund and how to apply are expected to be revealed on October 20.
Image: Joe Mimran (centre) with TFI group

The White House Hosts #FashionEdu
America’s first lady Michelle Obama hosted a Fashion Education Workshop for 150 students at the White House earlier this month. Students attending the day-long event attended several seminars featuring speakers such as Narciso Rodriguez, Zac Posen and Diane von Furstenberg on topics such as the business of fashion, wearable technology, entrepreneurship and fashion journalism. “When it comes to the fashion industry, so often people think it’s all about catwalks and red carpets and who wore it best, and whether some famous person wore the right belt with the right shoes,” said Mrs. Obama. “But the truth is that the clothes you see on the magazine covers are really just the finished product in what is a very long, very complicated, and very difficult process.” A cocktail party wrapped up the event. Mrs. Obama has been an ardent supporter of America's fashion industry, using her profile to promote and boost the careers of new designers.
Image: Courtesy of

Fashion Crimes
At Santa Monica and San Jorge prisons in Peru, inmates are busy working on their second collection of a cooperative fashion line named Project Pietà. Within the confines of the gritty, concrete walls, 30 men and women work with locally sourced cotton, alpaca and wool to create hoodies, tops and t-shirts featuring embroidery, silk screening and leather work. The line is available for purchase at

Coco Rocha Launches New Book
Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha, often called “The Queen of Pose”, is launching her first book, Study of Poses, on October 28th. The book is a compendium of 1,000 poses and is published by French designer Jean Paul Gaultier. Rocha has modeled for many of the world’s most prestigious brands including Chanel, Dior, YSL, Balenciaga, Lanvin and Zac Posen and she has graced the covers of international publications such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W Magazine, i-D, and Dazed & Confused.

Cashmere® Bathroom Tissue Couture
On September 30 at The Carlu in Toronto, 15 emerging Canadian designers revealed their one-of-a-kind couture gowns made entirely from Cashmere® bathroom tissue. Standouts from the collection included Sarah Nicol's frothy textured gown worn by Cityline host Tracy Moore and Duc C. Nguyen's simple, asymmetric, sculptured creation. The White Cashmere Collection is an annual showcase of gowns in support of breast cancer research. Consumers are invited to Vote Couture for the Cure on Facebook for a chance to win weekly prizes and a chance to win a trip to New York City. Plus, for each vote made, Cashmere® Bathroom Tissue will donate $1 to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

5. 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 thank Contributor Ian Landriault for his very kind donation. If you like reading TFI News, please make a donation to our non-profit by clicking here. Donor categories: Contributor, $50 and under; Supporter, $50 to $100; Benefactor, $100 to $500; Patron, $500 and up.

6. Top Picks
Register your company on this free site to gain exposure to consumers who are looking for locally made products
Short-term rental and activation space
Looking for an investor? Learn how to valuate your company

7. Fashion Calendar


Ongoing to October 30, 2014
An exhibition observing contemporary Japanese fashion and design at The Japan Foundation, 131 Bloor St. W., Toronto.


Ongoing to January 25, 2015
Fashion Follows Form is on display the Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume at The Royal Ontario Museum. The exhibit features adaptive clothing by designer Izzy Camilleri.


Ongoing to June 30, 2016
This fascinating exhibit takes a look at what women, and men, endured for the sake of beauty and fashion.

New York

October 19 - 21, 2014
An international exhibition featuring every category of children's clothing from newborn to age 12, layette items, fashion accessories, footwear, toys and gifts


October 20 - 24, 2014
Spring 2015 runway shows featuring emerging and established Canadian designers


October 22 - 23, 2014
A not-to-miss boutique trade show featuring 20 select Canadian apparel and accessory brands. Exhibitor applications will be available in July 2014.


October 23, 2014
This annual event for entrepreneurs takes place from 9am to 5pm at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre


October 23 - 26, 2014
Catwalk 2 Closet (C2C) is an innovative new consumer show selling samples and overstock from designer and high-end labels at wholesale or better prices. The inaugural show takes at The Direct Energy Centre in Toronto.


October 24 - 26, 2014
Over 40 Canadian and international designer runway shows during this three-day event


October 25, 2014
Learn how to use Photoshop


October 28, 2014
Get hands-on direction in this intensive workshop where you'll learn how to create a WINNING TFI New Labels collection. Class size limited to 8.


November 3 - 4, 2014
The first conference of its kind in Canada, bringing together the apparel industry, communication professionals, NGOs and academia to discuss global social and environmental challenges


November 8 - 9, 2014
Learn how to create digital fashion and costume illustrations


November 14, 2014
CANADIAN DESIGNERS: TODAY IS THE DEADLINE to apply for a chance to win $10,000


November 24, 2014
Presented by Shay Lowe from Shay Lowe Jewellery Design, this session will help new jewellery designers make and grow sales


November 25, 2014, 3pm
Enter before NOVEMBER 25th for YOUR chance to win $25,000 CASH AND A FEATURE in FLARE magazine!


March 8 – 15, 2015
A new trade show that brings together a curated selection of exclusive fur and fashion labels with the high-end specialty boutique and fur salon in mind

Interested in having your event posted? Send your submission with a minimum of 14 days notice to

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Editor-In-Chief, Susan Langdon
Senior Editor, Doris Montanera

© Copyright 2014 The Toronto Centre for the Promotion of Fashion Design (O/A 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. This publication is distributed for information purposes only and with the understanding that TFI is not responsible for the results of any actions taken by any person in reliance on such information, nor for any errors or omissions contained herein. TFI expressly disclaims any and all liability arising out of the use of this publication or any part thereof by any person.

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