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Merry Christmas Everyone!

Happy Holidays from all of us at TFI!
Wishing you all the best for 2011,

Susan, Nina & Heidi

Fashion Calendar event update

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
While at home with a cold this week, I managed to update our listing of fashion trade and consumer shows in our online Fashion Calendar. Whew! Three pages of exciting events. 

While not complete, I'll keep updating the Calendar as events roll in. Know of a major fashion event or show coming up in your town? Send me the details (with at least 30 days notice) and I'll do my best to get it posted in time.

Dec TFI News is Now Online

Check out the latest issue of TFI News, now online here

Find out who the five 2011 TFI New Labels semi-finalists are, who won the 2010 P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards and read up on other industry news.
Happy reading!

Holiday Greetings from TFI

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
I cannot believe it's December 17th and that it's been 3 weeks since I returned from Australia!  I've been busy catching up and I suspect that all of you have been busy preparing for the holidays.

If you're remaining in town, why not make an appointment to use the TFI Resource Centre and review our latest trend book from Promostyl. While it's currently winter, Promostyl has already forecasted what retailers will be buying and what consumers will be wearing for Spring 2012. Why bother when you haven't finished your fall line yet? Well, by looking ahead, you can see which fall trends will carry through and evolve into the next season. Why invest in a particular colour if it's going to be out the next season? People don't buy that way anymore; consumers build on what's already in their closets. 

So give us a call and book your Promostyl time. We'll be open December 29th and 30th from 9 - 5 (closed 12 - 1 for lunch daily) and from 9 - 12 on December 31st. 

Our number: 416.971.7117 x 0
If we don't see you here over the holidays, we wish you all the joys of the season and continued success in 2011!

Susan & TFI
ps You can read my market summary for Australia in the next issue of TFI News which will be published the week of December 20th.

Are YOU the next Canadian Design Star?

Susan Langdon susanattfi New Labels applications available at http://bit.ly/lxvhN @FLAREfashion RU the next Canadian design star? We're the new media sponsor for TFI's New Labels!

LG Fashion Week is Online

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
Last night, I was torn between meeting an important deadline and attending the shows at LG Fashion Week. As much as I enjoy the energy of a live event, not to mention seeing friends & colleagues again, work won out.

Halfway through meeting my deadline, I decided to try out the live streaming on the LGfashionweek  website to see the LINE show. Logging in was extremely fast and simple, and the online view was actually way better than from my runway seat. When I watch a show, I like to see the whole outfit including the shoes. There are 2 webcams so you get two views of the runway, and the clarity is excellent.

From my desk, I had an unobstructed view.  No crowds, no confusion looking for my seat (only to find some one had stolen it!); pure pleasure. Best of all, it's FREE! 
If you haven't tried it, I encourage you to log in at http://bit.ly/baDB44

CABI Conference

Guest blogger; Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
This is one crazy week! You know that old saying "when it rains, it pours"? That's my upcoming week.

This year, I'm part of the organizing committee for CABI, the Canadian Association of Business Incubators, because the annual conference is taking place in our fair city at the King Edward Hotel. Today I gave a brief presentation on forming strategic partnerships and tomorrow, Ben Barry and I talk about the TFI (Ben is also scheduled to give the keynote speech at the lunch tomorrow).

But at the same time, tomorrow we set up and hold our first-ever TFI Designer pop-up shop sale featuring 19 exciting new brands. The sale is on from 3:30 - 7:30pm at TFI, 285 Manitoba Drive so be sure to drop by and support Canadian designers. Some designers will be previewing their spring 2011 collections and will be taking pre-season orders - it's a great way to plan your wardrobe ahead of time.

Before the night is over, the pop-up shop converts to our annual Press & Buyers Breakfast event where we'll greet and host approximately 100 media, retail buyers, celebrities and industry influencers. 

And while the Breakfast will be over by noon, my staff and I are looking at another long day as we will be visiting Integral House, the venue for our new fundraiser taking place November 9th. It's a stunning 18,000 sq.ft. private home in Rosedale that overlooks the Rosedale ravine. Tickets for the event are on sale now at TFI Shop and only a limited number of tickets are available. 

Wish me luck (and lots of coffee) to get me through the week :)

My Fashion Focus

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by Hannah Yakobi, a talented journalist, who wanted to do a feature on me. Please check out the article at http://bit.ly/a3Yb0D where I share my top 5 tips for new fashion entrepreneurs. Hope you enjoy it!

This week at TFI

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
It was a crazy busy but productive week! We held our quarterly member's Meet & Mingle night on Tuesday and almost 40 members attended. An excellent mix of Outreach and Residents met with Amy Verner, fashion writer for the Globe & Mail, publicist Clara Northcott and event management expert Gail McInnes to gain tips, advice and to network. My assistant Nina Facciolo provided WGSN demos and explained how to request TFI mentor appointments and I answered a ton of questions to do with sales, hiring sales reps and approaching retail buyers.

Then last night, Carly Stojsic from WGSN gave an INCREDIBLE presentation on consumer buying trends for 2012, Fall/Winter 2011/12 trends and a recap of Spring/Summer 2011 trends. In 90 minutes, Carly shared a wealth of information that was as inspiring as it was fascinating. 

We are now preparing for our annual TFI Press & Buyers Breakfast and first-ever pop-up shop. Please support TFI members on October 4th from 3:30 - 7:30pm at our pop-up shop taking place at 285 Manitoba Drive, Exhibiton Place. You will find some fabulous fashions and gifts and also get a sneak peek at spring 2011.

Chanel detail from The Online Museum at FIT

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
In addition to searching FIT's online archive of designer creations, I discovered that you can ZOOM in on garment details to get a really good look at finishes and construction. 

Here is a close up of a stunning nude-pink chiffon Chanel dress from 1925. When you zoom in, the details remain clear. You can also move your cursor around to zoom in where you want. Incredible workmanship, timeless style. You could wear this dress today.


The Online Museum at FIT

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi

If you're like me and love to view and study designer fashions, check out the online costume archive from The Museum at FIT here http://fashionmuseum.fitnyc.edu/code/emuseum.asp.

I typed in "Rodarte" in the search engine and discovered this dress from the spring 2007 collection. Details about the fabric (white organza, silk tulle, and feathers) and designers are provided.

What a FABULOUS resource for designers, stylists, students and anyone with a love for fashion. I'm going to bookmark this site for sure.

Meet KEY retailers and media

If you haven't received an application for TFI's annual Press & Buyers Breakfast event, NOW is the time!

Sept 8th is the Application Deadline for TFI's Press & Buyers Breakfast

Meet KEY media & retailers ONE-ON-ONE
at the best and brightest event of the season!

  • Generate sales & publicity leads!
  • Gain immediate feedback from retail buyers and fashion press
  • Present your collection in a LOW-RISK, COST-EFFECTIVE event
  • NEW! Make direct sales to the consumer & earn CASH

    It’s easy to apply! Just email TFI requesting an application. Complete the application and send it in with the required information to the TORONTO FASHION INCUBATOR by September 8, 2010

TFI's Press & Buyers Breakfast takes place on October 5th with a Bonus Pop-Up Shop on October 4th

July/August TFINews

Looking for industry news and events?

Catch the latest issue of TFI News: July/August 2010 is now online 

Our Members are Happy Campers

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
Last week we received two FABULOUS emails from TFI members thanking us for our help.

Jennifer Borgh from Jennifer Borgh Events said:
"My meeting the other day with Amy Verner (TFI mentor) was amazing. After using her ideas I got my event into the Toronto Star this week! Annnd, we got on Global News last night...they must have gotten the story from The Star!"
Here is a link to Jenn's story in the Toronto Star: http://bit.ly/beVH1e

And Ana Niculae, designer of Imperfect Indulgence, said:
"Last time I attended one of your seminars I received a great piece of information regarding a movie that will be filmed in Toronto (“The Vow”); I took the opportunity and sent my  look book to the costume design team. They responded right away and today we shook hands on a few products that will be worn by the main characters. I am sending you this message because I want to thank you so much for the opportunity you made me aware of; your work is invaluable in helping new designers come to light! "

Thank you ladies! It's GREAT to hear of the success you've generated with TFI's help.
Members and alumni, if you've also celebrated a success thanks to TFI's help, I'd LOVE to hear from you. Please email me so I can share the great news. Thanks!

2 Full-time positions available

Looking for work?  If you're smart, articulate, reliable and have superior keyboarding & communication skills, we want to hear from you!  

to view posted job descriptions for Administrative Assistant & Senior Sales Manager (Business Development Manager).

Both positions are available for immediate placement.
No agencies, no phone calls or faxes please.

MONDAY, JULY 19, 2010
Calling All Fashionistas! 2 Days Left!

If you're talented, love fashion, want to be your own boss AND want to have a chance to WIN $1000 CASH, sign up for one of the last two Passion for Fashion info sessions. You must attend one of these sessions in order to qualify so don't delay! 

Dates: July 20 and July 27thLocation: Youth Employment Services, 555 Richmond St. W., Toronto
Website: http://www.yes.on.ca/get-informed/yes-programs/passion-for-fashion/
Register online or call fashion@yes.on.ca 

Below, 2010 winner Stephanie McNeil (in yellow) with PFF organizers & judges 

MONDAY, JULY 19, 2010
TFI New Labels Storm the Runway

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi

If you haven't checked out the August issue of ELLE Canada, be sure to pick up your copy today! There is a one page feature on Anastasia Lomonova, the winner of TFI's New Labels comptition which was held in April.

Online here http://bit.ly/cjwqQs  are profiles of the other finalists: House of Groves, Paris Li, Birds of North America and Diepo.

SUNDAY, JULY 18, 2010
Back at work

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
The cast remains but tomorrow I'll be back at TFI full-time. Sure, I still can't keyboard all day yet, but I'm anxious to get TFI back on track and eager to see all of you again. If you haven't done so already, be sure to sign up for our next 2 seminars and for the free members-only Meet & Mingle.

Find our more by visiting TFI Events.

See you soon!

An Update

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
Hi there, it's long lost me. I still have my cast (on until end of July) and am still finding it challenging to do things and get around. But the good news is that I can feel my wrist healing and I'm looking forward to July 26th when I HOPE this cast is removed.

I've been on sick leave for about 4 weeks now and the R&R has been good for me. It had been about 5 years since I took a vacation so this break from work was long overdue. Things happen for a reason I guess. Anyway here's an update on a few things:

My beloved cat Keatsie passed away on June 16 from tongue cancer. He had gotten to the point where he couldn't even swallow water because the tumor had grown so large. Even with pain meds, I could see he was suffering so as difficult as it was, I took him to the vets for a final visit. I picked out a lovely urn and now he rests at home where he belongs. I question if I did the right thing; it's such a terrible decision to make and I miss him so much. His little sister, Jilly, also misses him. 

On the good news front, while I was away from work TFI held 2 Passion for Fashion orientation sessions for youth who are interested in entrepreneurship. If you missed them, there are 2 more info sessions on July 20th and 27th at the YES office located at 555 Richmond St. West in Toronto. And guess what? The new PFF coordinator is none other than our favourite gal about town, Gail McInnes! Congrats Gail! 

TFI also held a textiles, customs and shipping seminar in June despite the universe trying its best for us to cancel the session at the last moment. Half of the presentation team was unable to arrive due to an urgent personal matter but Anne and Karl Froehr of KB International, a textile agency, were real troopers and delivered the entire seminar on their own. 

Coming up this month, we're holding 2 seminars: 
July 22 Find out how to improve your press kit, meet a celebrity stylist and find out how to get your products on stars at the Oscars and Emmys

July 27
Don't have a crystal ball at home? Discover the trends for fall/winter 2011. I know it feels like 40 celsius outside, but this is the time to do research and see what's new. Plus, this seminar won't ever repeat so don't miss out on this amazing opportunity. 

I hope to make it to both of these amazing presentations; even after 30+ years in the fashion industry I still find something new to learn at each seminar we present. If you think you know it all, or feel that you've "outgrown" TFI, I feel sad for you my friend. Life is all about learning; becoming smarter and better than who you are today is a never-ending process. 

Hope to see you soon.

TUESDAY, JUNE 15, 2010
Out of Commission

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that I fell and broke my right wrist Thursday night. I had just arrived home after our fabulous seminar at TFI on Business Agreements with lawyer Sabrina Fiorellino from Cassels Brock Blackwell LLP.

I am now just able to use the fingers on my right hand (yes, I'm right-handed) but have no strength in my fingers. It is a huge challenge trying to do everyday chores like opening jars, flipping open Tylenol bottle caps and putting on makeup. I'm not even able to drive (did you know it's against the law to drive with a cast?).

So I'm taking advantage of this forced vacation to rest and bond with my cat Keatsie who is dying of cancer. I honestly did not think he would make it until June; the vet gave him 2 weeks to live at the beginnng of March. I will cherish our last few days together and I'm grateful to have received this opportunity.

I guess there truly is a silver lining behind every grey cloud.

If you feel challenged, I hope that you discover your silver lining too. Believe me, it's there.


Vote for your favourite design before June 5th

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
I just received an interesting email from pr firm High Road Communications.

Five traditional northern sewers from Pond Inlet and Iqaluit in northern Canada were invited to submit custom designs for Canada Goose jackets, done in traditional native styles. Vote for your favourite design before JUNE 5TH here: http://bit.ly/arlSip 

The winner will receive a trip for two to our beautiful capital city, Ottawa.
It's a unique contest for a group that doesn't get much attention from the rest of Canada so please vote and help spread the word. Thanks!

Here's your chance to get legal advice

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi

A lot of times people ask for my advice because they've run into problems:

-A contractor didn't deliver their goods on time and now the store is threatening to cancel their order
-A retailer has returned all of their goods without cause
-A retailer hasn't paid them and it's been 180 days
-Someone is interested in investing in their company but they don't know what to do next
-One partner is doing more work than the other

Find out what your legal rights and responsibilities are! Whether you're entering an agreement, have already signed one, or are deciding if you need one at all, you cannot afford to miss this informative seminar:

JUNE 10, 2010
- Sabrina Fiorellino

LEARN about your rights and responsibilities BEFORE signing on the dotted line!

Sabrina Fiorellino from Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP will be at the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) for one night only to answer your questions about entering into business agreements and partnerships. Learn about potential issues before they happen or what you can do now to solve an immediate situation.

Sabrina Fiorellino, is an Associate at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP in Toronto. Sabrina has a specific interest in the fashion industry and she has assisted in connecting industry players and drafting and negotiating exclusive distributorships, agency, retail and other agreements for numerous luxury brands as well as start-up designers.

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

5:30pm Doors open for Coffee & Networking
6:00pm Seminar Presentation with Q&A

Toronto Fashion Incubator
285 Manitoba Drive, POD 3, Exhibition Place, Toronto

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW online at www.fashionincubator.com/shop
This seminar will not repeat so don't miss out! Space is limited.

For more information, please visit

TUESDAY, MAY 18, 2010
Nina's Anniversay

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
What an exciting day!  It's Nina's three-year anniversary at TFI! As many of you know, Nina Facciolo is my wonderful assistant and I would be lost without her. The good news is that she's staying on. The bad news (for me) is that she is being promoted to Marketing Assistant. 

I guess this means that I'll need to find a new assistant so if you're in the market for an exciting, challenging but rewarding career in office administration, working at a non-profit, be sure to apply!  The job description will be posted in Call for Entry on the TFI website very soon. 

Don't worry, I'll remind you when the posting is up :)

MONDAY, MAY 17, 2010
New Labels 2010 post event wrap-up

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
I can't believe three weeks have gone by since the ELLE Canada benefit for TFI! The days and nights have flown by....where did they go?  

For a recap of the night's festivities, check out the latest issue of TFI News, online now  however you've probably already heard that Montrealer Anastasia Lomonova took home $10,000 CASH courtesy of Barbie and that she will be appearing in a future issue of ELLE Canada magazine in a $25,000 editorial spread

The other four finalists, all did very well and the judges had a very tough time deciding on this year's New Labels Fashion Design winner. 

Here's a snapshot of the contenders:

Jennifer Waters from House of Groves showed an impeccable collection of lady-of-the-manor tailored dresses, separates and coats. Her stylist, Dwayne Kennedy from the Plutino Group, did an AMAZING job!  Dwayne also styled Thieves' New Labels collection last year and also did a phenomenal job. He is definitely ONE to watch!

Kristin Poon and Justine Diener of Diepo showed sultry lingerie-inspired looks for day although I'm not sure if I could get away with wearing this at TFI :)
Talk about sexy and hot! Broken down though, pieces could be worn with casual or career separates; imagine the sheer ivory tunic over a long tank & leggings or the black sheer camisole under a grey flannel jacket.

Hayley Gibson of Birds of North America showed a sweetly morbid collection of cotton dresses and separates accessoried with bowler hats and gauze chin straps. Why morbid? Gibson was inspired by teenage roadside deaths and the gaudy momentos left behind.

Paris li showed a bold-shouldered designer collection that was mainly black and grey with accents of fur and patent leather. Hard-edged, sexy and very 80's-inspired looks marched down the runway to the Eurythmics "Sweet Dreams are Made of This". Very fitting! 

Thank you to all of you who bought general admission and VIP tickets to support the fundraiser for TFI. We HEART you!  At the end of the day, almost $35,000 was raised for our non-profit, and we have you to thank. Hope you can join us next year!

SUNDAY, APRIL 25, 2010
New Labels 2010 And The Winner Is...

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi

Whew! Another fabulous TFI New Labels Fashion Competition & runway show is over for another year and what a fantastic event it was!

Last night at The Carlu, five talented new designers competed on the runway for a prize package worth $35,000 including $10,000 cash from Barbie. Charismatic emcee Anne-Marie Mediwake from CBC's News Now charmed the audience in her stunning David Dixon frock while counting down the Top Ten list of 1987, the year TFI was founded.

Each designer showed a spectacular collection of 9 outfits plus 3 Little Black Dress Barbie-inspired dresses. The judges had an extremely difficult time making the decision however at the end of the evening Montrealer Anastasia Lomonova was declared the winner. Lomonova's all-black collection of pleated, draped and sequinned dresses which were accessorized by black lace bodysuits and tall turban hats, all made by Lomonova, were fresh, dramatic and innovative.

Photo: Paul Toogood Photography

Picture Yourself on the Famed Ka'anapali Beach in Hawaii!

At the ELLE Canada Benefit Fundraiser for TFI on APRIL 24TH

Ahh! Hawaii...hot, sunny weather, palm trees and clear blue skies
Can't you just see yourself on the Famed Ka'anapali Beach in Hawaii?


On April 24th at The Carlu, come to the ELLE Canada benefit fundraiser for the Toronto Fashion Incubator for a CHANCE to WIN a MAUI PRIZE PACK valued at almost $6,000!

The Maui prize package includes a six-night renewal retreat at the four-diamond Westin Maui Resort and Spa with ocean-view accommodations for two, dinner under the stars at Tropica Restaurant & Bar overlooking the Pacific and a 50-minute lomi lomi massage for two at the award winning Heavenly Spa by Westin. Also included is a 32” Salsa-Air multi-wheel luggage case from Rimowa

General admission cocktail tickets to the ELLE Canada benefit fundraiser for the Toronto Fashion Incubator are just $55 and includes:

 7pm Wine reception with delicious hors d'oeuvres
 9pm TFI New Labels Fashion Show & Design Competition

Get your tickets NOW at www.elleevent.com

Event tickets will not be sold at the door

MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2010
New Labels Fashion Show at The Elle Gala
April 24th - Will I see you there?

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
Six days from now, we'll be raising a glass and cheering on the 5 FINALISTS in the TFI New Labels Fashion Design Competition. WHO is going to win $10,000 CASH from Barbie and a $25,000 editorial package from ELLE Canada???

Will it be Anastasia Lomonova, Jennifer Waters from House of Groves, Justine Diener & Kristin Poon from Diepo, Hayley Gibson from Birds of North America or Paris Li?

The designers need you to cheer for them as it WILL influence the judges
So please buy a ticket, support our New Labels designers and support TFI!

LOOK AT WHAT $55 GETS YOU! •delicious wine reception
•hors d'oeuvres
•a chance to win a trip to Maui
•TFI New Labels® Runway Fashion show
•ELLE Canada goody Bag

The evening will be emceed by the always charismatic Anne-Marie Mediwake (Anchor, CBC News Now)
The Carlu, 444 Yonge Street, Toronto
Saturday April 24th, 2010, 7PM General Admission Cocktail, 9PM New Labels® Competition & Fashion Show

Support new Canadian fashion talent and witness the competition's exciting finale. A portion of the net proceeds from this star-studded fundraising gala will benefit the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) a non-profit, community-based, small business centre that provides critical support to fashion entrepreneurs.

Get your tickets now at www.elleevent.com for the TFI Cocktail $55
(please note that tickets will not be available at the door)

See you there!


How important are sales to you?

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi

If making sales and being better prepared for your next sales appointment are important to you, you absolutely MUST attend TFI's next two seminars. Both seminars have been designed to help you improve your sales. So rather than worrying and complaining about your poor fall sales, do something about it!  Get yourself to TFI on May 10th and May 19th and learn how to improve your sales by doing research, learning and being better prepared.

For details about the May 10th seminar with Michel Cote on optimizing your results, click here.

For details about the May 19th seminar with Janet Evans and Alan Teng on what buyers are looking for in a competitive market, click here.

How Glee can inspire you

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi

Glee is one of my favourite shows for many reasons but one of them is because of the actors. They can sing, act and dance; not to mention inspire all of us to want to do the same!

But the actors didn't get there without a lot of practice and auditioning experience. Talent you say?  Sure, of course. And luck? Absolutely. But being prepared for that important audition made all the difference in the world.

So if you're trying to get into some stores and are being faced with rejection, maybe you need to prepare yourself better. Learn everything you need to know about the store, know what lines and what price points they carry. Know exactly which other brands your line is going to hang with.

And maybe you need to practice your sales pitch too; it's basically an audition after all. How well do you know your line? Your pricing? How would you reply if a buyer said, "I hate plaids" and your line is all plaid?  What would you say if a buyer said, "It's not for me."  Being prepared with the right comeback reply, one that persuades the buyer to take a second look and maybe place an order, takes practice, practice and more practice.

So go back to all of those retailers who turned you down this season sight unseen, and ask them for 15 minutes of their time to review your line & to hear your pitch. Ask them for their professional advice. It's not that busy this time of year and even so, while not everyone will see you, every time you get a chance to "audition", you're going to learn, get better and improve.

One more thing...if you get an appointment, please be respectful of the buyer's time. If you ask for 15 mintues, make sure you don't take more time than that. Otherwise it's not respectful and you may not get another chance.

MONDAY, MARCH 29, 2010
In the neighbourhood? Drop by and enjoy a free coffee

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi

Hey TFI Members,

Rest Your Fashionable Feet at TFI! As you all know this year LG Fashion Week is taking place at the Allstream Centre on the Exhibition Grounds (CNE Grounds), which is the home of Toronto Fashion Incubator.  We are located just a 5 minute walk North-West of the new Allstream Centre (see map below).

The P&G Beauty Members Lounge is the perfect place to kick back and relax your stillettoed heels while enjoying a free coffee provided by Krups.  Make TFI's home your place of relaxation and bring your laptop to access free internet. Make an appointment to access the resource centre during your stay; you can access WGSN.com, and Promostyl in addition to the hundreds of business files we have on hand.

We also have free Wrigley’s 5 gum as a treat!

Call us ahead of time or just drop in during business hours. (Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm, closed 12noon-1pm)

**Please note there is a limited capacity, first-come, first-served.**

This opportunity is available for TFI Members only; renew your membership today! Call Nina at 416.971.7117 x 21 to find out about our current promotion too!

TFI Corporate Sponsors:
City of Toronto, P&G Beauty, Wrigley's 5, Reliable, Rowenta, Krups

SUNDAY, MARCH 28, 2010
SAVE money and win FREE stuff

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi

We all love to SAVE money and win FREE stuff, right?

Take advantage of a $10 discount on your TFI Outreach membership and have a chance to win a Rowenta Precision Valet Garment Steamer * valued at $199.99!

It's easy, all you have to do is join or renew your TFI Outreach Membership by April 1, 2010 by calling 416.971.7117 or drop by TFI's office during our office hours (Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm, closed from 12noon-1pm)

TFI's Office is located on the Exhibition Grounds @ 285 Manitoba Drive, Exhibition Place, POD 3, Toronto. For directions and to print a map please click here.

TFI Corporate Sponsors:
City of Toronto, P&G Beauty, Wrigley's 5, Reliable, Rowenta, Krups

*The winner of the Rowenta Steamer is responsible for pickup or arranging a courier to claim their prize.

MONDAY, MARCH 22, 2010
TFI offers FREE legal advice!

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi

We have FANTASTIC news for all TFI members!

na Fiorellino (above) an associate lawyer in the Business Law Group and the Fashion Industry Practice Group at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, is generously volunteering her time to be a TFI on-site mentor!

Sabrina's experience includes conducting research on intellectual property and fashion law issues, assisting with various aspects of merger and acquisition transactions involving both public and private companies and drafting a variety of commercial agreements. Sabrina has a specific interest in the fashion industry, and she has assisted in connecting industry players and drafting and negotiating exclusive distributorships, agency, retail and other agreements for numerous luxury brands as well as start-up designers. She also practices in the areas of entertainment, not-for-profit and franchise.

Need advice on partnership or shareholder agreements?  Ready to sign a new lease? What about sales order agreements or licensing arrangements?  Sabrina's available to answer any fashion-business or general business question!

TFI Members: To make an appointment with Sabrina, download, complete and return the Consultation Request form located at the bottom of this page http://bit.ly/9mSY7Y.

Not a TFI member yet? Join today and don't miss out on fantastic exclusive opportunities like this and more. Click here to make a wise investment in your fashion business.

Win Tickets to LG Fashion Week from TFI!

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi

Wanna hang out with industry Fashionistas?
LG Canada is hooking up Toronto Fashion Incubator with a pair of GA tickets to Toronto's most fashionable event - LG Fashion Week. For all you fashionistas, these passes include entry into the Fashion Environment and access to all afternoon fashion shows from Monday March 29 to Thursday April 1, 2010.
We are giving away one pair of General Admission tickets to one lucky person now!

Just be the first person on Monday, March 29th to join or renew your TFI membership in person at TFI, 285 Manitoba Drive, Exhibition Place. We're open from 9am to 5pm (closed 12 to 1 daily).
Check out the LG Fashion Week show schedule at www.lgfashionweek.ca.
LG Fashion Week is a 19 plus event.

My New Hot Barbie

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi

Mattel Canada sent me a gorgeous Asian-inspired Barbie to style for LG Fashion Week. One of 12 stunning dolls, part of the Barbie Basics collection, mine has sleek black hair, perfect red lips and of course that famous Barbie figure.

The pressure is on; I'm supposed to dress up her little black dress. You'd think it'd be easy for a former fashion designer like me but it's been 16 years since I last designed and styled an outfit!

Think it's easy? Style Barbie & earn a chance to win your own LBD, created by the winner of the TFI New Labels competition. Click here for details.

Be sure to catch the 5 TFI New Labels finalists and see what they did with their Barbie-inspired LBD collections at the ELLE Canada fundraiser for TFI on April 24th

The Fashionista's Den Winner

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi

On Thursday, March 11th, TFI hosted a youth awards night where one lucky youth aged 16 - 29 from one of Toronto's priority neighbourhoods won an amazing prize package valued at over $10,000.

Stephanie MacNeil was named the winner of the first-ever Fashionista's Den Competition! Stephanie won $1,000 cash, a one-year TFI Outreach membership and 50 hours of fashion and business mentoring.

The competition was the culmination of a six-part, free, fashion entrepreneurship program presented by TFI & Youth Employment Services YES called A Passion For Fashion.

Wish us luck! We're applying to the Province of Ontario for another grant to continue the program in 2010 - 2011.


Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi

What a way to start a fabulous ALL-CANADIAN weekend! Five fabulous fresh faces will face the New Labels runway on April 24/10 at The Carlu.

They are:

Justine Diener & Krisin Poon, Diepo
Hayley Gibson, Birds of North America, Montreal
Paris Li, Toronto
Anastasia Lomonova, Montreal
Jennifer Waters, House of Groves

CONGRATS ladies! One of you will win a prize package valued at $35,000 including $10,000 cash from Mattel Canada!

Wanna find out who wins? Come to the New Labels runway showdown at the ELLE Canada benefit fundraiser for TFI on April 24th. Tickets on sale now at www.elleevent.com

Phenomenal! GO CANADA!

Gust blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi

Feeling REALLY PROUD to be CANADIAN!!! The hockey game between Canada and the US was a nail biter from the start but we WON! And my cousin's husband won a bronze for the Canadian men's bobsled team so now we have an Olympic medalist in the family!

Something to Tweet About

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi

Thank you Flare.com! What a lovely surprise to discover that one of Canada's leading fashion magazines read and enjoyed TFI's new Social Media guidebook:

"Suddenly, a tweet can be worth a thousand words, its impact lasting.  Sensing the potential for interaction with customers and new audiences, today’s brand-savvy fashion entrepreneurs are embracing social media at a clip rate.  From Twitter’s quick fix to Facebook’s fan pages, socializing will never be the same.  A new guidebook from TFI (Toronto Fashion Incubator) provides useful tutelage on the subject.  Intro To Social Media: A TFI Guidebook for Fashion Entrepreneurs breaks down how to make the most of the new media with plenty industry examples.  We particularly appreciate the etiquette chapter, a finishing school for the online social set. " - Flare.com

You can get your copy for $30 through TFI Shop

Meet LABEL, TFI's newest Residents

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
Facebook: Susan Langdon
It's always a pleasure to welcome fresh faces at TFI and earlier this month, design duo Shawna Robinson & Natalie Sydoruk of LABEL moved into studio 3. Shawna, with a background in retail management and buying, and Natalie, a former model and costume designer, started their business in 2007 born out of their mutual desire for quality clothing that fit their respective lifestyles.

LABEL is a clothing line that critiques the fashion industry’s tendency to attach wealth and status to luxury brands. The garments resist the urge to define its wearers, but instead invites the wearer to define the clothing. By reinventing the basics, LABEL inspires and encourages creative styling and wardrobe play which can be easily and affordably incorporated into a busy woman’s lifestyle.

Natalie and Shawna are deeply committed to creating clothing from an ethical standpoint, utilizing, wherever possible, organic, renewable or reclaimed fibers for their garments. All production is by local contractors, with t-shirt designs drawn and printed by hand.

Check out the LABEL website and TFI profile

Looking for a job in the fashion industry?
We've got a seminar just for you!

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
Facebook: Susan Langdon

Have you always wanted to work in the fashion industry but don't where to start or what connections you need?

TFI mentor Clint Scott has spent the past 12 years in recruitment, working with leading companies, locally and internationally. His passion and dedication has inspired him to coach hiring managers and partner with his clients to ensure they hire the best available talent for their needs.

Come to this seminar to learn about:

* The types of positions available
* Reasonable expectations for a new fashion grad
* Career path opportunities to and from other industries to fashion retail
* Who you already know
* What companies look for in a new recruit
* How to best prepare yourself
* Next Steps

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

5:30pm Doors open for Coffee & Networking
6:00pm Seminar Presentation with Q&A

Toronto Fashion Incubator
285 Manitoba Drive, Pod 3, Exhibition Place, Toronto

TFI Students: $20.00 + GST = $21.00
TFI Members: $35.00 + GST = $36.75
Non-Members: $60.00 + GST = $63.00
Available NOW online at TFI Shop

SPACE IS LIMITED and this seminar will not repeat so don’t miss out!

TFI is hiring!
Business Development Manager Wanted

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
Facebook: Susan Langdon

TFI is hiring a FT Business Dev Manager
If you're passionate, driven, an over-achiever and fantastic at sales & marketing, TFI wants you! Apply before Feb 25th with a cover letter & resume. Click here for details such as work experience and criteria:


We thank everyone for your interest but please, no agencies or inquiries. We will contact all short-listed candidates after Feb 25th.

It's Social Media Week!

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
Toronto is hosting its first Social Media Week and you're invited! Check out the schedule of events http://smw-toronto.sched.org/

This Fridiay at 10am, yours truly will be speaking at The Spoke Club with Lisa Tant, editor-in-chief of Flare magazine; Alexandra Palmer, senior curator of Textiles & Costume at the Royal Ontario Museum and Cherie Federau, owner of Shrimpton Couture, about style, social media and seismic shifts in fashion. 

I'll be launching TFI's latest guidebook, Intro to Social Media, a guidebook for fashion entrepreneurs, and sharing some of our research findings.

Hope to see you there!

Elizabeth Grant donation

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
Check out this gorgeous Elizabeth Grant tote bag filled with skin care products for our silent auction at Guilty Pleasures on February 6th

Drop by The Drake Hotel on Feb 6th from 9am - 4pm (open to the public, FREE) and place a bid to win this outstanding gift!

Recycle your old sweater

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
Came across a Tweet from @promostyl_US today about a service where you send your old fave sweater to somebody's mom who creates a scarf from the wool. Check this out http://www.rekn.it/

LOVE this idea because it encourages recycling AND it's innovative and entrepreneurial. Can you think of your own unique service to add onto one you have or to start? Bet you can!


Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
Great way to start the day!  Many thanks to Jorge Midence of Midence Oliu Millinery for making a #guiltypleasures silent auction donation! He promises a gorgeous, hand-made couture creation & we can't wait to see it!


New Labels judging # 3

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanat tfi

TFI's New Labels Fashion Design Competition is now in its 3rd judging phase with just 2 more rounds to go.

Today, five semi-finalists faced the judges with 6 new outfits. The designers also had to bring back 3 corrected Little Black Dresses from the Dec 17th session so that's 9 outfits in total due today.

The judges had to decide if all 5 would advance to round # 4 (Feb 26th); a very hard decision to make!  Here's a photo of the 5 designers waiting to hear who is in and who is out http://twitpic.com/z8t30.

The good news! All five made it to the Feb 26th round! Congrats to all!

Free list of government programs

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
My colleague from Industry Canada sent me a select list of government programs available to Canadian apparel companies. Take a look to see if there is support available to you http://bit.ly/7N1526

Guilty Pleasures Event Feb 6th

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
Hi everyone, hope you had a nice weekend. We have 2 final silent auction gifts that you might be interested in:

Spynga has donated a gift card for 10 classes  good for any weekly yoga, cycling, Spynga or bootcamp class (valued at $150.00 with no expiration date) and we also have a $250 gift certificate from Prettysweet Custom Cake Creations good towards a custom cake valued at $500 or less. 

Hope you're able to drop by The Drake on Feb 6th from 9 - 4 and bid on these great gifts! 100% of the proceeds from the silent auction will support TFI and the community programs we offer such as free educational tutorials and the free Passion for Fashion program which targets youth living in Toronto's priority neighbourhoods.

More silent auction gifts for Guilty Pleasures

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
Many thanks to all of our generous silent auction donors and to my colleagues for reaching out to your contacts. Within ONE WEEK we managed to secure 20 FABULOUS gifts for our silent auction at The Drake Hotel on Feb 6th.  Be sure to drop by between 9 am - 4pm and check out the auction and Guilty Pleasures designer sale.

Here's a list of our most recent donations:

Jamieson Laboratories donated a $200 Women's healthy living gift basket http://bit.ly/7MLluF

Joe Fresh Style sent gift bag of Joe Fresh Beauty Cosmetics http://bit.ly/3qd3uJ bid on it Feb 6 9am-4pm

● The Nature Clean Gift Basket features non-toxic, natural & enviro-friendly products! http://bit.ly/7sWPYP 

● Just in time for Valentine's Day, Triumph International Canada sent a corset, matching bra & thong $400 WOW! http://bit.ly/8JBa93

Sassoon Salon donated a $100 gift certificate & gift basket featuring Wella hair products http://bit.ly/4xPDuD

● And Nexxus Hair Care Products donated $150 of fabulous products  http://bit.ly/7b24uC 

● A $500 Conair Beauty & Styling Pack http://bit.ly/5rFw9O

Linda McInnes from Steeped Teas donated a gift basket filled with delish & organic teas http://bit.ly/8MNHYc

● Stunning Swarovski crystal/sterling necklace from Katherine Song http://bit.ly/7wk0fQ

$200 gift certificate from Spanner http://bit.ly/5w9aZ9 

Hope to see you at Guilty Pleasures on Feb 6th at The Drake!

Another great donation for our Guilty Pleasures Silent Auction

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
Many thanks to Camilla Jorgensen of MICALLA for donating a Swarovski crystal necklace valued at $800 for TFI's Silent Auction at Guilty Pleasures on Feb 6th at The Drake!!! 

What a FABULOUS prize to win! So far, that's the most expensive item that's been donated to our silent auction and I'll be really excited to see it.

Drake Hotel and Guilty Pleasures

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
DOH! It was late last night when I did yesterday's blog entry and I forgot one IMPORTANT silent auction gift. I mentioned we received 9 FABULOUS gifts and I forgot a highly coveted one.

The Drake Hotel is offering a Drake gift certifcate valued at $240 that includes one night's stay at the hotel and a $50 food + drink voucher. This is surely to be a popular item so be sure to drop by our event at The Drake on February 6th from 9 - 4pm to place your bid.

Just want to mention how wonderful it has been to partner with The Drake on Guilty Pleasures, now in its FIFTH YEAR Jasmine & Ashley are great to work with and the event just keeps getting better all the time.

Guilty Pleasures Silent Auction
Feb 6th at The Drake Hotel

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
WOW!  What can I say? I'm overwhelmed by all your love & support towards our 5th annual Guilty Pleasures designer sale & silent auction. In just ONE day, we received 9 confirmed donations for our silent auction and have 9 pending donations!  Since there's space for only 20 fabulous gifts, our work is almost done!

Many, many thanks to TFI News managing editor Gail McInnes and TFI Advisory member Laurie Sakamoto for reaching out to everyone! 

Be sure to drop by The Drake Hotel on Saturday, February 6th from 9 - 4 and place your bid in the silent auction on these outstanding items from our FANTASTIC donors (to date).  100% of funds raised in the silent auction will go towards community programming offered by our non-profit organization:

Airplus gift basket valued at $150Make old shoes fit like new again, stay comfortable and feel great with innovative new products from Airplus by Implus Footcare LLC, a leader in innovative footcare solutions

Benefit Cosmetics gift basket valued at $300
San Francisco based Benefit Cosmetics is known for irreverent beauty products, quirky packaging and two crazy twins for company founders.  This Benefit Babe Beauty Basket is filled with the latest & greatest including a complete set of the Crescent Row fragrance collection

Bijouxbead one-of-a-kind necklace valued at $300This gorgeous necklace is donated by local jewellery designer Darlene Martin 

Feathered by Blair Nadeau Lady Victoria cocktail hat valued at $175The highly coveted, black sequinned, Lady Victoria cocktail hat features a pleated raw edged ruffle, black zippered rose embellishment with Swarovski crystals

Jennifer Borgh Events Wedding & Honeymoon Planning $200 gift certificate
Planning a wedding or special event? Certified wedding and event planner Jennifer Borgh can help! Ask anything about your special event including ideas, venues, etiquette and more

Magnolia Boutique $250 gift certificate
Be sure to bid on this fabulous prize which can be redeemed at Magnolia on Eglinton West in Toronto. This stylish boutique features lots of Canadian designers and favourite brands.

Secret Hosiery gift basket valued at $150
Secret Hosiery encourages women to add excitement to their wardrobe with flirty, fun styles & bold colours that are perfect for every occasion and mood. Secret Hosiery adds elegance and flare to your everyday legware

Three's Company Jewellery semi-precious ring & knitted purse valued at $150
Bid on this item and get 2 fantastic gifts! An amethyst stone on a sterling silver setting (size 7) and a large, grey popcorn-style knitted purse with faux-leather braided handle and zip closure

I can't wait to tell you about our other exciting silent auction gifts to be confirmed soon! 

Happy New Year!

Guest blogger: Susan Langdon
Twitter: susanattfi
Hi everyone & Happy New Year! 
I hope you enjoyed the holidays and spent some time with loved ones. Because of course it's not really about what you got, gave or how many, it's about sharing precious moments with your friends, family and relations. 

It's also a good time to reflect back on 2009 and to think ahead to 2010.  On that note, I'm happy to share with you a newsletter I received from Promostyl, a world-leader in trend forecasting: http://bit.ly/6oByKj

I apologize for sending this to you now but I was off work for the holidays, spending time with my sister and mother in Ottawa. Nevertheless, perhaps you can grab some great ideas from Promostyl for the holiday season in 2010. Nothing like planning ahead!

Oh yes, almost forgot!  At TFI we have the Spring/Summer 2011 Promostyl trend books in the Resource Centre now so if you haven't dropped by to see it yet, be sure to call Nina and set up an appoinment. We're also planning a SS2011 Promostyl seminar for late February; keep checking this blog for further updates.


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