A free fashion industry newsletter
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Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI)
A dynamic non-profit organization offering made-to-measure business solutions for new & established fashion designers, entrepreneurs, professionals & students
City of Toronto Economic Development
Volume 18, Issue 4
1. TFI Press & Buyers Breakfast Spring 2011 Applications NOW Available
2. Pop-Up Power
3. Upcoming TFI Events
4. Share Your News With TFI
5. Thank You Donors
6. Scene & Heard
7. Top Picks
8. Upcoming Events
1. TFI Press & Buyers Breakfast Spring 2011 Applications NOW Available
Every year, the Toronto Fashion Incubator presents its popular Press & Buyers Breakfast, an amazing meet-and-greet event for new and emerging apparel, accessory and other fashion and design entrepreneurs. For TFI members, it’s a once-a-year exclusive opportunity to meet important retailers and fashion press to establish and develop valuable business contacts. This cost-effective yet priceless promotional marketing event offers space to only 20 top talents.
Some of the many benefits waiting for you:
* Gain important industry contacts to grow your business
* The juried process ensures your brand is featured alongside other top talents
* TFI does all of the pre-event work, making it fast and easy for you to participate (including event invitation creation and distribution, event publicity and media relations, handling RSVPs, event management, recruiting volunteers)
* Enjoy complimentary continental breakfast catering
* Participants get a post-event list of media, buyers and VIP attendees
Application deadline is September 8, 2010, so click here to request a TFI Press & Buyers Breakfast application.
2. Pop-Up Power
Far from being over, this trend is heating up
By Stefania DiMascio and Doris Montanera
Mackage, the luxurious Montreal outerwear manufacturer, dipped its toe into the American retail market last fall. It found an empty space in New York’s Meatpacking district, stocked it with its complete collection of men’s and women’s leathers, trenches, wools and down jackets, and opened the doors.
Previously the brand was available in select, high-end U.S. retail locations. Marketing director Elisabeth Lepage said that “motivation” was the main reason it decided to open the pop-up.
The shop, which debuted during New York fashion week and remained open for the rest of September, generated such positive response and press, the brand opened another one six weeks later, this time in SoHo. “We are achieving the same type of success, if not more than we had with the first boutique. It’s a good way to analyze the market and measure opportunities in other countries before building a permanent store.”
Less than a decade ago, the idea of pop-up stores was solely attached to Halloween and Christmas specials. And, although, WWD declared the pop-up dead, in Canada it’s still a kernel that’s heating up like popcorn and bursting out all over.
The definition of a pop-up store is simple: find a vacant spot in a mall or street location, decide how long you want to be in that location and negotiate a flat fee with the landlord. These stores increase traffic to the area. With last year’s recession it worked out to be a win-win situation.
A Growing Trend
From Louis Vuitton and Emilio Pucci to eBay and The Gap, retailers are taking a chance on these stores to test new markets and new products at a lower cost. The cost of owning and operating a pop-up ranges and can run anywhere from less than $20,000 to $200,000.
Vertical retailer Preloved opened two pop-ups this summer. The first, in Toronto, was to test a new retail area and expose its brand to potential new customers. The second, in Montreal, replaced an existing boutique that had closed.
Aromachology popped up at The Bay’s flagship store during the holidays. It also made appearances inside the Four Seasons lobby and Henri Bendel in NYC. Aromachology co-founder Kristen Menkes says that pop-ups help grow a client base geographically with minimal overhead costs, allowing them to see where the potential long-term growth will be.
Holt Renfrew took over King West’s fashion condominiums in Toronto and opened its first pop-up store this past December. A week prior to opening, Holt’s created a buzz by “magenta-izing” the city using a team of girls and guys to spread the word throughout the city.
“We did not use the Holt Renfrew name as we wanted to test without preconceived judgment on what the brand stands for,” says Barbara Atkin, Holt’s vice president, fashion direction.
Merchandise was not segmented into men’s and womenswear; instead it was displayed together creating a unisex look. Brands ranging from Alexander Wang to Butter London Nail polish were picked to go in sync with the demographics of King West.
“We wanted to test an ‘accessible’ shopping experience with an androgynous loft-like feeling….We wanted to break down the barriers knowing that pure design does not speak to any particular gender,” says Atkin. “If a garment speaks to you emotionally and you want it then it doesn’t matter what gender it was designed for.”
The purpose for the pop-up was to branch out into a new neighbourhood that Holt’s currently doesn’t do any business in and reach a new customer. The experiment was successful and Holt’s learned a lot from its shop, says Atkin, which it has since incorporated into its existing assortments, with more accessible price points, as well as more “lifestyle” merchandising.
Band of Brands
Pop-ups are not just for big names with big budgets. Smaller designers are getting together and doing it too. “It was great,” says Jamil Juma, who was part of a recent designer-collective pop-up. “It was a way for us to reach out to another audience and show new people our collection in a way we could curate.”
Ten like-minded designers, with complementary (but not competing) collections, opened for 10 days in an empty store near Eglinton and Avenue Road in Toronto—an area where they are not as well known. They paid a little more than a month’s rent and bought temporary insurance. Hydro was already included. One of the designer’s had portable changerooms, which they borrowed. They centralized the cash register and hired a staff of three to run the store, which included managing the inventory and cash, as well as distributing payments to the designers.
Besides testing new locations and building their brands, they made money. “We had all new stuff, but one sale rack in the back,” says Juma. “In the end, if we take our costs out, we made 65% margin—and the costs were minimal because they were shared among the designers. Juma was selling about $500 daily.” A couple of designers also picked up new accounts from buyers who visited.
The pros are with a co-op the risk is minimized and 10 people promoted the events, says Juma. The con is that there is less creative control. They used simple rolling racks and hangers and chose a space that was white, bare and clean.
Last December, Los Angeles-based designers Chip and Pepper Foster (left) made a pit stop in Toronto’s Distillery District. They partnered with Lileo Boutique and opened a pop-up next door. For one week, consumers had a chance to buy items from the spring 2010 collection, as well as products from their Wet Wear collection and classic Chip and Pepper favourites made exclusively for the store. Chip and Pepper are pop-up pros, having opened temporary locations in Hollywood, Winnipeg, Vancouver and even Kenora, Canada.
Juan Carlos Gaona of Magnolia boutique in Toronto thinks the idea of collaborating with a retailer is great. “If designers and retailers can come to an agreement, we can grow [the brand] together.”
The pop-up phenomenon isn’t over, says Atkin. “Retailers will always be searching for new ways to attract and communicate with their customers.”
Now even virtual pop-up stores are popping up. U.S. discount chain Target and online shopping site Gilt Groupe collaborated on a three-day virtual pop-up in August that offered select items that will be carried in the chain this fall.
“We believe in the pop-up store idea; it is very popular in the fashion world at the moment because it creates a sense of exclusivity for consumers,” says Mackage’s Lepage. “Knowing that it is not going to be there forever, they feel an urge to buy the product.” For new designers and smaller brands, pop-ups give them an idea of whether it would be viable to open a stand-alone store. “It is an opportunity to get a direct feedback from clients in order to adjust or create the type of product they like.”
Dos and Don’ts:
* “The purpose of the pop-up store is for the consumer and knowing your target consumer inside and out is critical to its success,” says Atkin. “The pop-up shop concept should be based around the target consumer from initial inception, as everything from the location to the selection of merchandise to the way in which the merchandise is displayed will depend on the shopping concept being tested.”
* “If you have an agreement for exclusivity with a store, don’t open a pop-up within that area. You’re cannibalizing your business,” says Gaona.
* “If you plan to work with other designers, make sure you work with like-minded designers, who aren’t your competition, to maintain your brand image,” says Juma.
* “Be careful about mixing past and present seasons and deeply discounting items because people get confused and stop seeing the value of the garments,” says Gaona. “Keep them separate: sample sales as sample sales and pop-ups as pop-ups.”
* “Find someone to manage the event because you can’t sit there for 10 days,” Juma says.
3. Upcoming TFI Events
Get details on TFI's upcoming seminars, events and gatherings:
TFI Press & Buyers Breakfast Application Deadline
September 8, 2010
Don’t miss out on this popular once a year opportunities to meet fashion media and retailers face-to-face. Call today for your application, 416.971.7117 ext. 21.
TFI Members Meet & Mingle Night
September 21, 2010
Grab a coffee, network and chat about hot topics, people & places at this FREE members' event.
September 23, 2010
What’s the market predicting for 2011? Join us for an insightful trend report from WGSN.com, one of the world’s leading authorities on market intelligence.
TFI Pop-Up Shop
October 4, 2010
SHOP SHOP SHOP!
Support our local designers - ONE NIGHT ONLY 3:30-7:30pm
TFI's Press & Buyers Breakfast Event
October 5, 2010
Meet media and retailers at this not-to-miss event of the season!
Behind The Scenes with Canada's Top Designers
November 9, 2010
6:00pm A fashion fundraiser for TFI at Integral House featuring three of Canada’s top designers: Joeffer Caoc, David Dixon and Lucian Matis. Meet the designers and discover the behind-the-scenes drama of how each of their spring 2011 collections unfolded. For tickets and more information, call 416.971.7117 ext. 21. Generously sponsored by ACURA, Schwarzkopf and Wines from Portugal.
TFI Studio Tours
Call & Book a Tour!
Sign up for a brief tour of the TFI facilities and learn how membership benefits can help your business succeed. Call us at 416.971.7117 ext. 21.
4. 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 email@example.com.
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 recognize the following contributors for their kind donations to TFI: Benefactors: M.T. Meikle, Liza Amlani and Contributors: Latoya Herman, Mary Monforte, Arlene Kamalatisit, Ann Marie Cicuttini, and Adele Wechsler. 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 please click here.
6. Scene & Heard
Beautiful Style Plus Online
A new Toronto-based online store, Beautiful Style Plus, recently launched offering fashionable clothing for plus-sized women. Boasting a constant influx of new styles and sale items in sizes ranging from 14W to 24W and 1ZX to 7X, women can browse from designer looks from high-profile labels including Anne Klein, Calvin Klein, Jones New York, Ralph Lauren, Liz Claiborne, Michael Kors and Nine West, with many items on sale up to 60% off. “We understand the struggle to find brand name clothing that fit full-figured women,” said co-owner Toby Bongard. “Our goal is to provide an impressive variety of styles and sizes, making shopping effortless for our clients. We want them to feel 100% satisfied.” For more information, visit www.beautifulstyleplus.com.
TFI Welcomes Patouche
Kessa Laxton, designer and owner of Patouche childrenswear, is the newest Resident member of TFI's prestigious Resident Program. A graduate of Visual Arts at the University of Western Ontario , Kessa also holds an MA in Art History from the University of Toronto. Patouche, a collection of heirloom quality clothing & accessories for children, is sold at ABC Carpet & Home (US), Kol Kid, Planet Kid and at trade shows One of a Kind (Toronto), Bubble NY and Playtime NY. You can reach Kessa at 416.660.6462 and for more information, visit www.patouche.ca.
Rumoured To Be True
It’s unconfirmed, but rumour has it that Toronto fashion darling Arthur Mendonça is being backed by industry veteran Abby Becker of Becker Bridal Fashions. Could it be that after a two-year design hiatus the talented designer, a TFI alumnus, is busy preparing a spring collection?
Le Fin de Finn
Finn Boutique in Toronto’s tony Yorkville area closed quietly and suddenly in August. Phone calls went unanswered and the company's Facebook page has been taken down. Finn boutique was lauded by the fashion community as a big supporter of local talent carrying lines such as LABEL and Mercy. No other information was available at press time.
TFI Alumna Joins the McQueen Team
Former TFI Resident Pina Ferlisi has been named the creative director of Alexander McQueen's diffusion line McQ. Ferlisi’s resume includes the titles creative director at womenswear label Generra, executive vice president of design at Gap, and creative director of Marc Jacob's diffusion line Marc by Marc Jacobs and accessories label Coach.
JUMA Wins New Designer Competition
Former TFI Resident design team JUMA won ASC Public Relations Inc.’s inaugural “New Designer Competition”. The competition was launched in February and invited up-and-coming Canadian fashion designers to submit their label for consideration. JUMA was chosen based on “their talent, creativity, drive, and unique placement in the market.” JUMA was founded in 2003 by siblings Alia and Jamil Juma (right) and specializes in men’s and women’s contemporary ready-to-wear clothing and accessories. For more information, visit www.jumastudio.com.
Kate Mullin, formerly of the Artist Group, had been appointed the client promotions agent at artist agency Plutino Group. Mullin is also the co-founder of WOMENXWOMEN and has worked as a freelance publicist and creative director with Toronto-based fashion designers and artists. For more information, visit www.plutinogroup.com.
Changes at Rogers
Claude Laframboise, former editor-in-chief of Canadian shopping style magazine LouLou, is now the style editor of the magazine and Julia Cyboran, the content manager since 2006, has been promoted to director of multiplatform content, overseeing the print magazine, online and mobile areas of the magazine. Kate Daley has left her post as assistant style editor at Chatelaine. She is currently freelancing. No replacement has been named. Meanwhile at Hello! Canada Alison Eastwood, who has been serving as the magazine's deputy editor, has been named editor-in-chief replacing Ciara Hunt who is relocating to Boston.
Moon Launches at The Bay
Canadian design icon Alfred Sung (right) is back in action with a new, moderately-priced line for The Hudson's Bay Company. Priced to compete with Zara and Joe Fresh, ironically the line is backed by Saul Mimran, brother of Joseph Mimran, founder of Joe Fresh. The Moon launch took place on August 12th in Toronto's trendy Liberty Village with special guest Leigh Lezark, an American model and DJ. Moon was the name of Sung's original boutique which was located on Carlton Street in Toronto, the early 1970's.
Montreal Fashion Festival Awarded $39,000
The Montreal Executive Committee, which is responsible for economic development of the city, recently announced that it has awarded $39,000 in financial support for the 10th Montreal Fashion & Design Festival. The event took place this year from August 4 to 7 on avenue McGill College, joining forces with other major cultural events occurring during the same period. "Montréal acknowledges this unique festival and is proud to share its success. (Event organizer) Sensation Mode has attracted an increasing number of festival goers over the years. Combined efforts will help to promote the creative talent of our designers, retailers and manufacturers with Montréal consumers," said committee member Richard Deschamps. In 2009, The Montreal Fashion Bureau received $2.4 million from the Quebec government over a period of three years to promote Montreal as a fashion design centre. Funds have been used to invite international media to feature stories about the Montreal Fashion & Design Festival, to develop Fashion Map which helps to locate fashion designers at www.montrealcartedemode.com and to post street banners with the slogan “La mode Montreal se porte bien” in major fashion areas of the downtown core.
Fashion Magazine Editor Resigns
Long-time Fashion magazine editor Ceri Marsh – who is currently on maternity leave – recently resigned from her position. Marsh became editor in 2003 and was slated to return to her position in September. Instead, she has accepted a role on the editorial team of a soon-to-be launched online beauty and wellness magazine, The Kit, which will be edited by Doug Wallace of Wallace Media. Acting editor-in-chief Bernadette Morra (right), formerly of the Toronto Star, took over the position permanently. For a preview of The Kit, visit http://livedemos.texterity.com/thekit_demo/.
Sears Canada’s Modern Shop
Mid-June, Sears Canada opened its new Modern Shop on the main floor of the Toronto Eaton Centre flagship location at Yonge and Dundas. Featured in the new shop are top designer labels, including Guess, Attitude, Kensie, American Apparel and Buffalo. Customers were invited to the opening celebration on June 12 where the first 50 people to reveal a secret password received a $20 gift certificate to spend in the Modern Shop. Visit www.sears.ca/attitude for more information and to view Sears’ Attitude LG Fashion Week video.
White Cashmere Collection’s New Face
Meaghan Waller, winner of Canada’s Next Top Model 2009 (CNTM), is the new face of the seventh annual White Cashmere Collection 2010: Fashion with Compassion. An annual awareness-raiser for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF), the collection features Canada’s top established and emerging designers and their breathtaking BT (bathroom tissue) couture, all crafted in 100% pure, soft and luxurious Cashmere Bathroom Tissue, Canada’s best-selling brand. The collection also heralds the October return of limited-edition Pink Cashmere. Twenty-five cents from the sale of every package of Pink goes directly to the Foundation. This year’s White Cashmere Collection 2010 features an awesome cast of talented Canadian designers including Renata Morales; Zoran Dobric; Réva Mivasagar; RUDSAK; Orange by Angela Chen; Lilliput Hats by Karen Gingras; Ines Di Santo; Coccolily by Naana Tennachie Yankey; Aqua Di Lara by Reyhan Sofraci; Aime by Monica Mei; Paris Li; Pat McDonagh; Caitlin Power; Katrina Tuttle; and jewellery by Shay Lowe. For more information visit www.cashmere.ca.
Online magazine Fashion Weekly hosted its annual Fashion Camp from July 4 to July 29 on the University of Toronto campus. The one-month long training session targeted to aspiring fashion careerists featured various industry speakers including LG Fashion Week director Robin Kay and ET Canada field producer Angela Smith, field trips, assignments and an internship job fair. For more information, visit www.fashweekly.com/fashioncamp.
The Evolution of PROJECT
Missing from the New York July 2010 calendar, tradeshow PROJECT is restructuring and will be introducing a new show format for January 2011 through the guidance of industry veteran Andrew Pollard who co-founded the infamous lingerie store Kiki De Montparnasse and launched Diesel Jeans in Australia. “Sometimes tough decisions are needed to create radical change. PROJECT doesn’t do status quo and that’s what we feel is happening in the NYC market,” said Pollard, PROJECT president. “Our customer is our number one priority and we plan to drive innovation back into the market by creating something completely fresh and new for them.” PROJECT showcases some of the world’s top designer denim and contemporary brands, and attracts a great number of buyers and top-tier retailers. For more information, visit www.projectshow.com/.
Salon Celebrates One-Year Anniversary
Parlour Salon celebrated its one-year anniversary on June 16 with a cocktail reception and live art installation entitled “The Sound of My Hair” where models were styled on-site and shot by local photographer Joe Fuda. Over the past year, the Ossington Street salon has garnered much attention, doubling its staff and gaining a celebrity fan base, including American Idol’s Adam Lambert, STEREOS, Keisha Chante and Alexis on Fire. For more information, visit www.parloursalon.com.
7. Top Picks
Think of Pinterest as a virtual pinboard – a place where you can post collections of things you love, and "follow" collections created by people you admire.
Philip Sparks Fall 2010 Video
Philip Sparks fall 2010 film by Karl Richter (WeAreWendel.com). Music by Lodewijk Vos (LodevijkVos.com).
8. Upcoming Events
august 22 - 24, 2010
Trade show for contemporary clothing and accessories
SAM - Saskatoon Apparel Market
august 26 - 28, 2010
Wholesale rep trade show
Fashion Market Northern California
august 28 - 30, 2010
Clothing, jewellery and accessories market
Madrid International Fashion Fair
september 2 - 4, 2010
International and Spanish designer collections
september 4 - 7, 2010
The key international fashion trade show: women's spring/summer 2011.
LondonEdge & LondonCentral
september 5 - 7, 2010
Alternative fashion and streetwear trade shows
Trends The Apparel Show
september 9 - 13, 2010
Trade show for men's, women's, streetwear and more
Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week
september 9 - 16, 2010
Spring 2011 designer collections
Fashion's Night Out
New York & Cities Around The World
september 10, 2010
A global celebration of fashion!
Premiere Vision Paris
september 14 - 16, 2010
Textile trade show
Western Apparel Market
september 16 - 24, 2010
Sportswear and related products market
London Fashion Week
september 17 - 22, 2010
Provisional dates for spring/summer 2011 designer runway shows
D&A New York
september 20 - 22, 2010
Fashion trade show for womenswear and accessories: spring/summer 2011
D.C. Fashion Week
september 20 - 26
Spring 2011 collections
september 20 - 22, 2010
Designer fashion and accessories trade show
september 21 - 23, 2010
Fashion trade show for apparel and accessories
Milano Moda Donna
september 22 - 29, 2010
Women's ready-to-wear designer collections, spring/summer 2011
The Clothing Show
september 24 - 26, 2010
Shop from over 300 booths, showcasing independent designers
Canada's Bridal Show
september 24 - 26, 2010
Consumer bridal show
Ontario Fashion Exhibitors (OFE)
september 25 - 28, 2010
Canada’s premier fashion trade event
LA International Textile Show
september 27 - 29, 2010
Fall/winter 2011/12 textile show
Montreal Fashion Week
september 27 - 30, 2010
Spring/summer 2011 runway collections from top Canadian designers
Mode à Paris
september 29 - october 7, 2010
Ready-to-Wear spring/summer 2011
TFI Pop-Up Shop
october 4, 2010
SHOP, SHOP, SHOP & support local designers for ONE NIGHT ONLY
Interested in having your event posted? Send your submission with a minimum of 14 days notice to TFI.
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CONTACT TFI MEMBERS
For a list of TFI members, look through Resident Profiles and Outreach Listings at www.fashionincubator.com/our_members/index.shtml.
Promote your company’s services in the Resources section of TFI’s website, www.fashionincubator.com, to a young and fashionable, group of influencers. 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.
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
Contributor, Gail McInnes
© Copyright 2010 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.
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.