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January/February 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


January/February 2014
Volume 22, Issue 1

2. PBB Application Deadline January 28, 2014
3. TFI's Search For The Best & Brightest
4. Indulge Your Guilty Pleasure February 1, 2014
5. TFI Welcomes New Business Mentors
6. Thank You TFI Donors
7. The Future of Fashion: Wearable Technology
8. Scene & Heard
9. Top Picks
10. Fashion Calendar


Six semi-finalists in the Toronto Fashion Incubator's 2014 New Labels® Fashion Design Competition remain after the January 14, 2014, judging session. Judges reviewed garments for fit, quality, innovation, line consistency and interpretation from sketch to actual piece.

Designers Muhammad Alamgir (L'Momo), Miriam Baker (Alice Azur), Ashley Boutchér (Nomad of the Sun), Lois Van Koughnet (Lois Laine), Christopher Paunil & Chalo Barrueta (Christopher Paunil Designs), and Laura Siegel (Laura Siegel Collection) square off two more times, February 13 and March 31, before four runway show finalists are decided. This year's grand prize winner will win $25,000 for Most Promising New Label presented by Suzanne Rogers, a full-page feature in Flare magazine and production of a lookbook for the winning collection, provided by CoverGirl and Pantene.

SAVE THE DATE: MAY 5, 2014! Tickets for TFI's New Labels® Fashion Show & Party go on sale soon. Don't miss one of the best events of the year! Network with industry influencers and the city's tastemakers while enjoying cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Net event proceeds will benefit the Toronto Fashion Incubator, a non-profit organization offering services and training to new and emerging fashion entrepreneurs.

Established in 1992 as Canada's original, nationwide search for emerging young designers, TFI New Labels® has launched the careers of many of Canada's best design talents. The competition runs over six months where the hand-picked group of semi-finalists will meet and interact with a prestigious panel of judges from whom they gain valuable knowledge about developing a successful line.


2. PBB Application Deadline January 28, 2014

It's not too late to send in an application to participate in TFI's fall/winter 2014 Press & Buyers Brunch taking place March 19 to 20, 2014 at World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto. Click here for an application and send it to TFI by noon, January 28, 2014. If you're interested in meeting retail buyers and fashion media, this juried trade show is for you! Look at what buyers and press are saying about the event:

"I've been attending this breakfast for several years now and I feel that every season gets better and better. I love meeting the designers in person; it helps me connect with the brand better, which in turn helps me sell the brand in a more meaningful way to my clients. I've picked up a few new designers at this event and will surely continue to do so. It's always a well edited selection of designers which makes my job even easier."
Michelle Germain, Shopgirls

"We love that the event was held onsite at the tents this season (so convenient!) and obviously the brunch concept is super fun."
Nancy Won, FASHION magazine

"I thought that the brunch was a great chance for us to meet and see some interesting young brands up close and personal. I've already featured one item from the brunch in our January issue so far."
Truc Nguyen, Flare magazine

"The TFI Press & Buyers Brunch was a wonderful way to connect directly with many who weren't able to show on the runways, as well as with some who did show... It also helped that the event was an option on either of two days as I think with many, as with myself, that one of the days may not have been possible to attend that particular morning."
Heather Toskan, Sun Media

Don't miss out on this affordable opportunity to showcase your work at fashion week. Last season's event reached an audience of over 80 million.

3. TFI's Search For The Best & Brightest


Do you have what it takes to be the best and brightest? If you have a new fashion business that's less than three years old and you're based in Canada, enter TFI's #TFIBestandBrightest. Search for a chance to win FREE studio rent at TFI for six months!

You can be an apparel or accessory designer, a fashion stylist, fashion blogger, online retailer...just about any kind of fashion entrepreneur!

First prize: 6 months FREE rent in your private studio at TFI
Second prize: 3 months FREE rent in your private studio at TFI

About your private studio at TFI:
* It's in a creative, inspiring space where you can work and network with like-minded peers in the fashion industry
* You'll share our common areas (kitchen, washrooms, lounges and meeting space)
* You'll have 24/7 access to launch and grow your business

Prizes include base rent, utilities, property tax, maintenance and building insurance (for common areas), one-on-one mentoring from TFI’s executive director Susan Langdon and a chance to extend your stay at TFI for up to three years.

Contact TFI for information and an application.

4. Indulge Your Guilty Pleasures February 1, 2014

A few tickets remain for Guilty Pleasures, where designer fashion and food collide to create a fun and fabulous day of shopping and dining. Held during the City of Toronto's Winterlicious culinary festival, this year's Guilty Pleasures will boast double the number of apparel and accessories vendors on two floors at The Drake Hotel. Consumers will enjoy huge savings on designer goods, an informal fashion show and a chance to win great silent auction items. There will be plenty of freebies for stylish guests such as complimentary mini-manis at the Sekai Nail Bar, makeup touch-ups at the Green Beauty Bar, styling tips from the pros at La Closette and free giveaways from Carmex, the celebrated lip balm which is now available in Canada.

For the 10th consecutive year, the event is co-hosted by the TFI and The Drake Hotel. Doors open to the public from 2pm to 4:30pm. Tickets for the brunch are available by contacting 416.531.5042.

Featured designers at Guilty Pleasures 2014 include:
Abel Munoz - Arctic Ice Jewels - AYLA - Bernice & Barclay - Designs By Nature Gems - DIA Collections - Diane Kroe - Emidesh - Encircled - Hilary MacMillan - Hortense Salvatore - Imperfect Indulgence - Karoo - Killigrew - Laborde Designs - Ladiez Room - Laura Siegel - Liana Marie - Local Buttons - Masha Apparel - Miranda Designs - Mizdragonfly - Monikova - Psalms 91:1 Accessories - Reyna Amure - Sakina Jewellery - Sasa Design - Sensuelle et Chic - Simple Smiles &Co.

This is a City of Toronto Winterlicous featured event.

5. TFI Welcomes Two New Business Mentors

TFI is pleased to introduce two professionals to its roster of volunteer business mentors. Annika Friesen (near right), staff accountant with KPMG LLP, has a background in cross-cultural knowledge from over 30 countries and a passion for specializing in fashion. Annika can help you edit your business plan, provide accounting/financial advice, and help you to bring it all together.

Carmen E. Martinez (far right) is an international marketing, licensing and sales professional with a deep understanding of retail channels. She has an extensive and successful track record building brands through products and experiences. She has hands-on experience in international markets, including North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. With a focus on marketing and sales strategy, Carmen can advise on strategic partnerships with brands or retailers that will maximize your brand exposure and reach, as well as provide advice on making cold calls and how to follow up, and reach new clients locally or internationally.

To make a private, one-on-one mentor appointment with Annika and Carmen, please contact TFI.

6. 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 contributor Rivini Designs and Guilty Pleasures silent auction benefactors: The Drake Hotel, Umbra, La Closette, Green Beauty, Thomas Sabo, Miranda Designs, Killigrew, Shop for Jayu, Psalms 91:1 Accessories, Secret Legwear, Simple Smiles & Co., Laura Siegel and Imperfect Indulgence.

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.

7. The Future of Fashion: Wearable Technology

According to Techhive.com, an online tech product review site, wearable technology will balloon into a $19-billion USD market in the next four years. The NPD Group, a consumer tracking and analytic service, states that 52% of consumers say they’ve heard of wearable technology devices such as smart glasses, smart watches and wearable fitness tracking devices, and that one in three is likely to buy one.

With such impressive growth forecasted, it's no wonder creative universities have established hubs where wearable tech start-ups can be nurtured and groomed. In Toronto, OCAD university's two-year creative incubator and Ryerson university's newly launched Fashion Zone offer space and support to a handful of emerging businesses.

Two Toronto-based companies focused on hi-tech soft goods include Social Body Lab and Knixwear. Nudgeables is a line of accessories developed by Social Body Lab that sends a silent signal or "nudge" to a partner to communicate "I'm thinking of you" or "Save me from this conversation" (when you're stuck in a conversation with someone and can't escape). Knixwear is a line of women's underwear that features Fresh Fix Technology™, a thin yet super absorbent gusset that wicks away moisture and naturally eliminates odor, keeping the wearer feeling fresh and dry all day long. The company's first production run was financed by raising $60,000 through crowd-funding site Indiegogo becoming the most-funded Canadian fashion product on the site and attracting an order from the Hudson's Bay Co.

For those interested in mingling with fashion-tech-minded souls, meet up groups like the Toronto Wearables offer a monthly lecture series for people interested in wearable technology, fashion, wearable electronics, soft circuits, electronic textiles, emerging materials, and other creative and innovative approaches to things that live on the body. This meet up is a gathering for artists, fashion designers, industrial designers, textile enthusiasts, engineers, researchers, students, and anyone interested in these emerging and intersecting fields.

8. Scene & Heard

Flare Refresh
Editor Miranda Purves is leaving Flare magazine at the end of January 2014. A search for her replacement is underway. Purves will be returning to the United States where she had been working for several years at Elle US. Her replacement on TFI's New Labels® judging panel has not yet been announced but is widely believed to be fashion director Tiyana Grulovic. In related news, Flare will be celebrating its 35th anniversary year in 2014.

Kleinfeld Bridal Salon Features TFI Members & Alumni
TFI extends huge congratulations to TFI members and alumni who will be featured in the new 20,000-sq.-ft. Kleinfeld Bridal salon in the Hudson's Bay store in Toronto. Belts and head pieces by accessory designer Erin Fitzpatrick will be on display alongside gowns by Christopher Paunil (see red gown below left), David Dixon and Greta Constantine. To promote the salon's May opening, select gowns were showcased in windows along Queen and Bay streets in early January.

WS&Co. On The Move
Garment manufacturer WS&Co., recently moved to new headquarters located at 138 Nugget Ave., in Scarborough, Ontario. The space, double the size of its last location, will allow the company to expand its services such as in-house dye and special-wash treatments, apparel sampling and bulk production. WS&Co. is a full-service garment manufacturer that employs approximately 100 Ontario workers. The phone number remains 416.754.9800.

FGI Toronto Honours Former TFI Chair
Luxury goods publicist and events organizer Mary Symons (above left) was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award from Fashion Group International Toronto on January 21, 2014. Mary began her career as a fashion model based in Paris. While there, she worked with leading fashion houses in Europe, Canada and Asia. Upon returning to Canada, she entered the field of media and public relations, eventually starting her own business, Mary Symons Communications. A graduate of Havergal College and McGill University, Mary serves on the Bata Shoe Museum board and is past chair of the Toronto Fashion Incubator Board of Directors. Photo: CDaily.ca

Retailers Hit By Toronto Ice Storm
On December 21 and 22, the city of Toronto and surrounding areas were hit with an unprecedented ice storm that knocked out power to over 400,000 residents and businesses. This was bad news for last-minute holiday shoppers as public transit, roads and some shopping malls were shut down due to a lack of electricity. According to the Financial Post, December is typically the make-it-or-break-it month for apparel and gift retailers as holiday purchases represent about 20% of a store's annual sales. The impact of the catastrophic weather lies ahead in 2014 when time will tell which retailers were able to weather the storm or not.

Book Time To Access WGSN
Online trend and market forecaster WGSN's (Worth Global Style Network) latest consumer forecast is out. Reports for 2015/16 highlight the key consumer priorities and tribes as they relate to the forecaster's seasonal macro trends. This season’s overriding theme is Creative Data. Discover how this information will affect consumer behaviorism and how you can adopt and respond in your product offerings. Access WGSN in the TFI Resource Centre by booking an appointment with TFI.

Canada Goose Eyes Asia
In December, Canadian outerwear brand Canada Goose announced that it was eyeing a market expansion into subtropical Asia and South Asia. Despite the warm climate, company president Danny Reis told CP24, "Cold is relative. Tokyo is our best market in Asia and it never goes below zero". The expansion could include new product offerings such as watches, duvets and sports-related merchandise. The 55-year-old Canada Goose company, founded by Reis's grandfather, employs more than 1,000 workers in Toronto. The firm will move to a 94,000-sq.-ft. facility in Toronto that nearly doubles its footprint and will increase its production capacity. The new location will house a private gym, open-concept work space and a large cafeteria. Read more: http://bit.ly/18IlM2K

David Dixon Joins Fanshawe College's Fashion Design Program
Celebrated Canadian designer David Dixon has been appointed Fanshawe College's Designer-In-Residence. The position gives the college's fashion students the opportunity to be mentored by Dixon throughout the development phase of their spring 2015 collections. Included in the "power-mentorship" which began in January, was a fabric-buying trip with Dixon to New York. The announcement was made on January 23, 2014 at the Bond Place Hotel. The students will present their spring collections at 8:00pm on April 12, 2014 at Museum London in London, Ontario. Tickets are available at www.grandtheatre.com.

Nordstrom Replaces Sears
American retailer Nordstrom is confirmed to take over 200,000 sq. ft. at the Toronto Eaton Centre, marking an impressive move into the Canadian retail landscape. Nordstrom will replace the existing Sears store at Yonge and Dundas, a bustling downtown destination. The location is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016 alongside the opening of eight to 10 other stores in malls across the country such as Yorkdale, Sherway Gardens, Rideau Centre, Chinook Centre and Pacific Centre.

Forty & Fabulous
Designer Diane von Furstenberg's infamous wrap dress is turning 40 in 2014 and to commemorate the iconic design, a retrospective exhibit of von Furstenberg's dress and its evolution will be on display in Los Angeles at the historic Wilshire May Company building, former home of the May Co. department store and future Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. The exhibit includes photos, sketches, samples and memorable magazine covers such as the 1976 Newsweek cover featuring a 20-something von Furstenberg. After decades off the market, the dress was re-launched in 2009 and is now sold in 55 countries and 1,500 points of sale.

Members Mingled & Met
Over thirty TFI members braved the bitter cold to meet, socialize and network at TFI's private members-only Meet & Mingle night on January 21st. Also attending were TFI mentors Catalin Asody, David Dixon, Sabrina Fiorellino and Gail McInnes. Sign up today for TFI's next Meet & Mingle Night on May 12th, 5:30 to 7:30pm at TFI. Bring a friend for $10; FREE for TFI members.

9. Top Picks

A free listing of U.S. showrooms

Top 10 Canadian retail stories of 2013

FashInvest is your daily resource for emerging business and investment activity in the fashion, apparel, branded goods, and fashion-tech industries

Fashion Industry Report: Strengthening NYC's Fashion Wholesale Market
"Strengthening NYC's Fashion Wholesale Market" is a 2009 NYCEDC study that examines the NYC fashion wholesale industry and pinpoints opportunities for the industry to strengthen its competitive position

10. Fashion Calendar

Q&A with Flare's fashion director Tiyana Grulovic
January 28, 2014
Find out about career opportunities in fashion and media

Guilty Pleasures at The Drake Hotel
February 1, 2014
A sinfully fabulous consumer sale at The Drake Hotel

CAFA Awards
February 1, 2014
An inaugural gala celebrating Canadian arts and fashion

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
New York
February 6 - 13, 2014
Fall 2014 designer collections

London Fashion Week
February 12 - 16, 2014
Fall 2014 designer runway shows

Premiere Vision Paris
February 18 - 20, 2014
International textile trade show

Milan Fashion Week
February 19 - 25, 2014
Fall 2014 designer collections

Paris Fashion Week (Mode à Paris)
February 28 - March 3, 2014
Fall 2014 designer collections

WEAR (World Ethical Apparel Roundtable) Conference
March 3 - 4, 2014
A two-day conference focused on sustainability in the fashion industry

World MasterCard Fashion Week
March 17 - 21, 2014
Fall 2014 runway shows from Canadian designers

TFI's Press & Buyers Brunch at WMCFW
March 19 - 20, 2014
Meet media and retailers at this not-to-miss boutique trade show held at World MasterCard Fashion Week.

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

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 new store openings, exciting updates from our members and the rest of the fashion community. Reach over 5,000 unique subscribers by sending your submissions or press releases to info@fashionincubator.com.

To subscribe or unsubscribe to TFI NEWS please email us or call 416.971.7117 x 21.

For a list of TFI members look through Resident Profiles and Outreach Listings at www.fashionincubator.com/our_members/index.shtml.

Get Listed!
Promote your company’s services in the Resources section of TFI’s website, www.fashionincubator.com, to a young and fashionable group of influencers and early-adopters. Are you a contractor, patternmaker, fabric supplier or retail store? Are you looking for new clients and FREE marketing exposure? Simply download the appropriate form here and send it to TFI. There is NO cost to participate; this is a free service to the community provided by the Toronto Fashion Incubator. Fashionincubator.com attracts over 7.5 million visitors per year.

TFI NEWS is a FREE industry newsletter publication sent to all TFI members and to those who request it. Please forward this newsletter to other interested individuals and help spread the word! Information is intended for interactive and information purposes only. Submissions and feedback are welcome from all and should be sent to TFI.

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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