A fashion industry newsletter for innovative designers and small business entrepreneurs
Brought to you by:
Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI)
1987 - 2005
18 Years of TFI
Contact TFI at firstname.lastname@example.org
Volume 13, Issue 5
1. Sister-City Mayors Visit TFI
2. El-Khazen Joins the Pack
3. Matlo Makes It Big
4. TFI's Press Breakfast At The Drake
5. Funding Your Fashion Business
6. How To Maximize Sales
7. TFI Law Clinic Is Open For Business
8. Scene + Heard
9. Upcoming Events
10. Top Picks
1. SISTER-CITY MAYORS VISIT TFI
On May 24, 2005, the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) was honoured with a visit from Toronto Mayor David Miller and sister-city Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago. The visit included a chat with TFI Resident designers, TFI staff and board members, as well as a walk-through tour of the Incubator space led by Councillor Adam Giambrone, Ward 18, who is a member of the TFI Board of Directors.
"TFI has a proven track record of encouraging business and job growth in the fashion sector," said Giambrone. "Its success in fostering new fashion talent has helped to attract and keep designers in the city. The City of Chicago is very interested in achieving those same outcomes so a first-hand look at the TFI was an important stop to make."
[Left: Mayor David Miller has it all sewn up at TFI]
According to Giambrone, the visit to TFI was a hit with both mayors and their accompanying wives. Mrs. Daley, in particular, expressed a keen interest in the fashion incubator concept and was thrilled to learn that TFI Resident designer Arthur Mendonça sells to Marshall Fields in Chicago. "After the tour, at a Council meeting, both mayors spoke very highly of the Toronto Fashion Incubator. They were clearly impressed with the TFI organization and with its talented designers," Giambrone said.
[Right: Hannah Tikkanen of Wonderlust and Mayor Miller]
Fashion icon Jeanne Beker from FashionTelevision fame also attended the function and shared her knowledge of the TFI and its designers with the distinguished guests.
The Toronto Fashion Incubator, which was developed by the City of Toronto in 1987, has been encouraging small business growth in the fashion sector for the past 18 years. Through its success in nurturing new fashion entrepreneurs, TFI has contributed to the creation of thousands of industry jobs in Toronto and all of Canada.
[Above: Jeanne Beker of FT (second from left) with TFI Board members]
2. EL-KHAZEN JOINS THE PACK
Nada El-Khazen is the latest fashion designer to join the prestigious TFI Resident Program. El-Khazen, a former finalist in the 2004 TFI New Labels® fashion design competition, is a graduate of the International Academy of Design. She looks forward to daily networking opportunities with other TFI residents such as Arthur Mendonça, Hannah Tikkanen of Wonderlust, Wendy Wong from House of Spy, Jamil and Alia Juma of Juma, Tina Cho of Partina and Hyung Chu Ju of Edward Chu.
"Being a TFI resident has always been a goal of mine," says El-Khazen. "I am excited to be a part of the unique community and support network offered by the TFI and Susan Langdon. It is an invaluable resource to help any designer starting out in the industry. Anyone who is serious about succeeding in the fashion industry should be as active with the TFI as possible."
With two additional studios rented by Mendonça and Wong, and one studio temporarily rented by couturier Mark Belford, El-Khazen's residency brings the TFI to full capacity. Contact Nada at 416-971-7117 x 24 or at email@example.com. [Above: Knit dress from spring 2005]
3. MATLO MAKES IT BIG
Congratulations to TFI member Jason Matlo of Vancouver who won the Life Network and Oxygen Media's Making It Big televised, fashion-reality competition this year. As part of the prize, Matlo's spring 2005 collection was featured in a corner window at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York and he has been offered an internship with American designer Cynthia Steffe. The competition challenged designers to create an original cocktail dress for a typical Saks Fifth Avenue customer in two hours and using only 1.5 metres of fabric. Matlo designed an elegant '70s-inspired halter dress constructed of apple green georgette with a black eyelash chiffon overlay.
"The opportunity to receive critique and feedback from industry experts Linda Kaplan Thaler and Michael Fink was a big-break opportunity in and of itself," says Matlo. "Meeting the creative team at Saks Fifth Avenue and presenting the collection to the buying team has helped bring my brand into the international fashion arena. Having the collection in the window of Saks Fifth Avenue is.....thrilling!!!!!"
Matlo is no newcomer to success. He won a string of design competitions in the late '90s including the Smirnoff Canada Fashion Design Competition in 1998, which led to him representing Canada in the International Smirnoff Design Competition in Berlin, Germany, that year. More recently, Matlo was named the 2005 Designer of the Year by the Georgia Strait, Vancouver's local arts and entertainment weekly.
Matlo beat two others including Chloe Angus, an up-and-coming designer from Vancouver and TFI member and former TFI New Labels® designer Caroline Lim of Toronto. [Above: Matlo's window at Saks Fifth Avenue]
4. TFI'S PRESS BREAKFAST AT THE DRAKE
Apparel and accessories designers are invited to apply to participate in the Toronto Fashion Incubator's annual TFI Press Breakfast at The Drake. Enjoy a breakfast buffet and meet key media and retailers face-to-face at this fun and exciting networking event. Cost for TFI members is $350 per rack or table and cost for non-members is $500 plus GST. For full details, download the application form from the TFI web site at http://www.fashionincubator.com/happenings/entries/index.shtml. Deadline to apply is August 5, 2005. The invitation-only event, which takes place September 20, 2005, at The Drake Hotel, is only open to media and retail buyers.
5. FUNDING YOUR FASHION BUSINESS
Finally! We found a source of funding where young fashion entrepreneurs can get a $15,000 start-up loan and help from a mentor. If you're between the ages of 18 and 34, a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant, and your business is one year old or less, download a loan application from the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) website at www.cybf.ca.
*You don't need to put up any collateral
*The low-interest loan is repayable over five years
*If your business has been operating on a part-time basis while you went to school or worked full-time, you still qualify for funding
The Canadian Youth Business Foundation was founded in 1996 by CIBC and RBC banks and it is a national, charitable, volunteer-based organization.
6. HOW TO MAXIMIZE SALES
On June 13, 2005, TFI presented a seminar on "How To Maximize Sales" with guest lecturer Paula Shneer of Mix Consulting. With more than 20 years experience in the fashion industry as a professional sales rep, Shneer explained that the key to sales success starts in the planning stage by doing some necessary in-store research. She suggests designers answer two important questions before starting a line:
*What does the customer (or buyer) want?
*Why should the customer (or buyer) buy my line?
"It sounds elementary," says Shneer, "But I find that many designers can't answer those two questions confidently." In order to keep pace with what the market desires, Shneer advises designers to "do the stores" constantly. Visit your targeted stores early in the season and look at what the buyer has bought. Go back mid-season to see what has sold and what ended up on the sales rack. Determine why some garments went on sale by analyzing the fabric, colour, print and fit. Doing the stores is also a great way to discover what your competition is up to, how much it costs and why your goods are better.
If this is not your first season, analyze what sold from your line and why, as well as what bombed. Did you get any orders for repeats? Why was that style successful? Shneer says it's fine to repeat a style in a consecutive collection as long as the designer is aware of where that style sits in the trend cycle. Repeats will only stay fresh for a certain period of time.
Once the initial research is complete, the next step toward maximizing sales is through effective product development. Shneer advises designers to create a storyboard for the season that will provide inspiration and focus as the line unfolds. The storyboard is critical because it helps you plot your styles, colours and fabrics into "little stories" within a bigger story. Following the theme of the storyboard, develop your design illustrations in colour and then mix and match styles on paper to determine the versatility of the line. This is also a great way to select the sampling colour of each style, says Shneer. "Sampling in fabric is costly in both dollars and time," she warns, plus how you sample a line is "extremely important to generating sales."
The final step is to finish your line early and to get it in front of buyers when they have money to spend. Department stores start looking very early and if you're late with your line, you may have to wait another season. Never be afraid to call again and again to get an appointment or to get an order confirmation. This season's sales success will determine if you have a next season.
Great advice spoken by a pro. Contact Mix Consulting at 416-565-1397.
7. TFI LAW CLINIC - AUGUST 12, 2005
TFI members can get business law advice by making an appointment in the TFI Law Clinic. Open on August 12, 2005, at the Toronto Fashion Incubator, the clinic will be manned by law students from The Western Business Law Clinic in London, Ontario. Qualifying TFI members will gain access to small business legal advice on matters such as:
*Trademarks, Copyright, Intellectual Property Protecting
*Business Contracts (for your investor, sales rep, contractors etc.)
*Guarantees and Personal Liability
...and much more! Cost is only $20 per TFI member per appointment; all other legal costs are FREE! If you are bringing a guest to your appointment, there is an additional $10 + GST guest fee per person. TFI Law Clinic appointments are available from 10:00am to 3:00pm (closed between 12:00noon and 1:00pm). This exclusive opportunity is ONLY for TFI members who qualify for legal advice at this incredibly low cost. Appointments will take place in the Eveleen Dollery Showroom at the Toronto Fashion Incubator, 106 Dovercourt Rd. in Toronto.
The TFI Law Clinic will be staffed by students of The Western Business Law Clinic (WBLC) www.law.uso.ca/info-centres-progs/BusinessClinicAbout.html.
8. SCENE + HEARD
NOMINATE A RISING STAR
Fashion Group International (FGI) is seeking nominations for rising fashion stars in the categories of
Visit www.fgi.org/reserve/nominationform.pdf to download the application form. Deadline to apply is November 3, 2005.
CELEBRATE 30 YEARS OF STYLE AT FINISHING TOUCHES
In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Finishing Touches will host a series of in-store happenings from September 28 - October 2, 2005. It will be the ultimate pearl anniversay weekend with gift bags, giveaways and exclusive designer appearances. Kicking off the celebrations will be the Pearl Anniversary Soiree, a fundraising event for AboutFace. Top Canadian designers and longtime FT contributors will be creating special pearl-themed items for the Pearl Anniversary Soiree silent auction. For more info, visit www.ftouches.com. AboutFace is an international charitable organization that provides support for individuals with facial differences and their families.
HELP OUR FURRY FRIENDS
Fashion designers can help The Toronto Humane Society care for unwanted cats, dogs and other animals by donating these desperately needed items:
*wool yarn-needed for kitty blankets
*large scraps of heavy fleece (sweatshirt material)
*thick, quilted scraps-to make dog beds
Donations should be addressed to "The Animals" c/o Mya Bowers and delivered or dropped off at 11 River St., Toronto, ON, M5A 4C2, between the hours of 7:00am and 7:00pm. Regrettably, tax receipts cannot be issued for donated goods.
NEW SHOPPING MAG TO HIT THE STANDS
The premiere issue of Zi magazine will hit the newsstands on October 20, 2005. Watch for the Fashion Finds Shopping Guide, as well as commentary on fashion, beauty, culture, lifestyle ethics and more. Check out the website at www.zimagazine.com.
DATES ANNOUNCED FOR VANCOUVER FASHION WEEK
Unique, inspiring and a thoroughly West Coast experience, Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) takes place September 29 to October 2, 2005, at the Tinseltown International Village. The event will feature runway shows, exhibits and industry-specific seminars. For more information, visit www.vanfashionweek.com or contact Kirsti Stubbs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THANK S TO TFI DONORS
TFI would like to thank Bari Cohen and Carissa Kettlewell for making a donation to the Toronto Fashion Incubator. As a non-profit organization, every donation enables us to continue our important work in the community. If you'd like to make a donation, please visit TFI Shop. We would really appreciate your support!
FASHIONNORTH - THE LADIES' SHOW
Following the success of FashionNorth The Menswear Show this past February, Meteor Show Productions is launching FashionNorth The Ladies' Show, a trade event featuring fall/winter 2006 collections from Canadian womenswear producers. The event will take place in Toronto at The International Centre. For more information, contact info@FNLadies.com.
LIZ CLAIBORNE'S NEW RETAIL CONCEPT, YZZA
Liz Claiborne's launching a new retail concept this fall. Yzza, pronounced "ease-a", is aimed at youthful women aged 35-plus who want trend-driven fashion that fits her body. "The fashion industry has focused almost exclusively on younger demographic and, as a result, this woman's shopping experience-a woman who is very much in the majority-has been very disappointing," said president of retail, Walter Lamothe, in a press release. Yzza offers clothes that reflect her youthful sense of self and the reality of her maturing figure. The clothes, both career and casual, are cut with a more flattering fit, while still staying true to trend. The average price point is about $50. The first stores open this September in Toronto at Riocan Marketplace, 2181 Steeles Avenue W., in Kitchener at Sunrise Shopping Centre, 1400 Ottawa St S., and in Vaughan at Riocan Centre Colossus, 55 Colossus Blvd. A fourth location is opening in New Westminster, B.C., at First Queensborough, 805 Boyd St., in October.
9. UPCOMING EVENTS
d&a Los Angeles
August 12 - 15, 2005
Holiday/resort 2005 trade show featuring streetwear and junior contemporary apparel and accessoriess. For more info, visit www.designersandagents.com.
TFI New Labels® Fall 2006 Competition Launch
September 1, 2005
Mark the date! Ready-to-wear fashion designers living in Canada, who have been in business three years or less, can apply for this prestigious, annual fashion design competition, now in its 14th successful year. Check www.fashionincubator.com/happenings/entries/index.shtml to download an application form.
TFI Members' Networking & Brainstorming Meeting
September 10, 2005, 2:00pm
TFI members are invited to attend our monthly networking and brainstorming meeting. Meet new people, share ideas and get inspired! Sign up to attend this free event by contacting email@example.com. Space is limited so don't delay!
Sat, September 10
Thinking about joining TFI? Register for a tour and find out about the TFI Outreach and Resident programs. Tours start at 11:30am. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-971-7117 x 21 before September 8th. For groups of more than 6 people, please call in advance to make special arrangements.
L'Oreal Fashion Week
October 17 - 21, 2005
Spring/summer 2006 catwalk shows featuring Canadian designer collections. For more information, visit www.lorealfashionweek.ca.
10. TOP PICKS
Look for industry job opportunities, fashion internships, co-op placements and design competitions on the TFI website
A glossary of industry-specific terminology. Find definitions for various textiles, fibres, embroidery, dyeing techniques and more
Industry news and events from London, U.K.
TFI MEMBERS - KEEP US UPDATED
CHANGING YOUR ADDRESS OR EMAIL ADDRESS? Keep us updated so you don't miss out on important opportunities and notices. Contact TFI at email@example.com or call 416-971-7117 ext. 21 with your latest contact info.
CONTACT TFI MEMBERS
For a list of TFI members, look through Resident Profiles and Outreach Listings at www.fashionincubator.com/our_members/index.shtml.
The Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI), an innovative, non-profit, small business centre established in 1987, publishes TFI NEWS. TFI creates a sense of community among its members by delivering its comprehensive programs and benefits with an approach that is professional, passionate and nurturing.
TFI NEWS is a FREE newsletter publication sent to all TFI members and to those who requested 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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416-971-7117 ext. 21.
Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI)
106 Dovercourt Road
Canada M6J 3C3
TFI Office hours
Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm EST, closed noon to 1:00pm daily and statutory holidays. Now open the first Saturday of every month from 11:00am to 5:00pm by appointment only.
Directions to TFI
We're located on Queen Street West, one stop light east of Dufferin. Look for the TFI sign on the southwest corner of Queen Street West and Dovercourt Road in the West Queen West Arts + Design District. The Queen streetcar stops right at our corner.
© Copyright 2005 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.