A free fashion industry newsletter for innovative designers and small business entrepreneurs
Brought to you by:
Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI)
Toronto’s Non-Profit Small Business Centre
Developed To Nurture, Support and Promote New Fashion Entrepreneurs
1987 – 2007
Celebrating 20 Years of TFI in 2007
Contact TFI at email@example.com
TEDCO, Toronto Economic Development Corporation
Volume 15, Issue 2
1. Twenty Years of TFI
2. TFI ULTIMATE PLATINUM Celebrity Runway Show
3. Project Runway Canada
4. Protecting Your Business
5. Scene & Heard
6. Upcoming Events
7. Top Picks
1. Twenty Years of TFI by Doris Montanera
When Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago visited Toronto two years ago, he specifically asked for a tour of the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI). One year later, Chicago opened its own incubator. It’s modeled after the TFI. New Zealand’s two fashion incubators, in Auckland and Dunedin, also copy the Toronto model, as does the incubator in Detroit, while the ones in Dallas and L.A. simply borrowed the concept.
As a centre for the promotion of fashion design and supporter of emerging fashion design talent, the TFI broke new ground when it started two decades ago. It has been a leader around the world ever since.
“Emerging designers need advice. They need mentoring. They need information about business planning and marketing. When you learn business planning at school, it’s not relevant—it feels make-believe,” says TFI executive director Susan Langdon. “We provide the information in a low-cost, accessible way.”
TFI has an almost underground, global cult following. It’s listed on both professional and quotidian websites as an excellent resource for education and advice. Mayor Daley learned about it when he pulled together a focus group of young designers and asked them what they needed to help their businesses and what it would take to keep them in Chicago. They said build us an incubator like they have in Toronto.
The City of Toronto’s Economic Development office came up with the idea in the late ’80s as a way to stop the leak of design talent leaving the city, supporting the industry and offsetting the pervasive downsizing trend plaguing large manufacturers. The apparel industry was the second largest industrial employer in Toronto and a significant number of jobs and revenue were at stake. It decided the best place to lend its support was at the beginning, in the formative years of the business.
“Through the aid offered to new fashion entrepreneurs, we've helped to support everyone in the Canadian fashion industry, from fabric suppliers to local contractors, to large manufacturers who might have hired some of our talented designers, to retailers who buy Canadian design, to fashion weeks across Canada,” says Langdon. “We have helped keep jobs in Toronto and in Canada.”
Usually, only about one-third of businesses survive after their third year. TFI residents claim a 75% survival rate and its past and present members include notable Canadian fashion names such as Colette Harmon, House of Spy, Annie Thompson, David Dixon, Joeffer Caoc, Mercy and Arthur Mendonça.
That’s because the TFI provides access to subsidized studio space, high-end machinery, a resource centre with trend-forecasting books and supplier lists, archived web casts of industry seminars, business consultations with retail buyers, and online mentors, which include experts in various fields from customs’ brokers to marketing, PR and production.
“It would cost a designer, on average, $15,000 a year to get what we’re providing for $130 for an Outreach membership,” Langdon says.
Ultimate Platinum, the TFI’s upcoming 20th anniversary gala, is not only a celebration of the Incubator’s success, but also a fundraiser to support community programming offered by the non-profit. Government money has steadily decreased over the years, yet operating expenses have steadily increased. Today it is forced to raise about 50% of its operating expenses.
As well as being a showcase of this year’s TFI New Labels designer collections, Ultimate Platinum will also feature a runway show of 20 one-of-a-kind red carpet gowns modeled by Canadian celebrities, a wine reception and a silent auction. The package is designed to inspire and generate revenue to ensure TFI’s continuing operation.
“Just having a dream and talent isn’t enough. A new fashion entrepreneur needs to understand the marketing and cash flow ends of the business to survive. That’s where TFI can help,” says Langdon. “We’ve been doing it successfully for the past 20 years.”
Ultimate Platinum is being held April 17, 2007, at The Carlu. For more information see the TFI Ultimate Platinum story below. To purchase a $250 VIP ticket or $50 guest pass, visit www.fashionincubator.com or call 416.971.7117 ext. 21.
=========A message from ELLE Canada ==========
In the April issue of ELLE Canada, on newsstands now:
Read all about rebel designer Jean Paul Gaultier who is celebrating 30 stylish years in French fashion.
Overwhelmed by choices? Take our fashion quiz and find your designer-style match.
Jump over to www.ellecanada.com and check out more great features like:
Are you bold in blue like Gaultier or pretty in pink à la Michael Kors? Find out what your colour choices reveal about you!
We also sit down with sultry songstress Rihanna to discuss her latest venture into the beauty biz.
All that and more in the April issue of ELLE Canada. To subscribe visit us at www.ellecanada.com.
2. TFI ULTIMATE PLATINUM Celebrity Runway Show
On Tuesday, April 17, 2007, at The Carlu in Toronto, 20 Canadian celebrities from the world of film, television and music will walk the red carpet wearing one-of-a-kind gowns designed by Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) members and alumni.
This never-seen-before runway show takes place at ULTIMATE PLATINUM TFIXX07, an extraordinary fashion fundraiser that celebrates 20 years of the Toronto Fashion Incubator. Celebrity models include master of ceremonies Dina Pugliese; actresses Kristin Booth, Maggie Castle, Sitara Hewitt, Miriam McDonald, Tamara Podemski, Maxim Roy, Monika Schnarre and Tara Spencer-Nairn; singers Fefe Dobson, Sara Slean, Emilie-Claire Barlow and Amanda Wilkinson; and TV celebrities Erica Ehm, Mary Jo Eustace, Tanya Kim, Mary Kitchen, Tracey Melchor, Sarika Sehgal and Jacintha Wesselingh.
Dressing the celebrities are TFI members and alumni Joeffer Caoc, Farley Chatto, CinCyn, Rosa Costanzo, David Dixon, Doll Factory, Fashion Psychology, Sunny Fong, Franke, Juma, Karamea, Kity, Thien Le, Jason Matlo, Arthur Mendonca, Mercy, Katya Revenko, Crystal Siemens, Zoran Dobric and Ula Zukowska.
The evening kicks off at 7:00pm (6:00pm for VIPs). Tickets can be purchased at www.fashionincubator.com or by calling 416.971.7117 ext. 21. Guest passes can be purchased for $50, VIP tickets for $250 or tables of 10 for $2,000. In addition to the Ultimate Platinum runway show, the evening will feature an hors d’oeuvres and wine tasting reception hosted by Vin de Pays d’Oc, a VIP dinner, a silent auction of fantastic designer wares, the TFI New Labels runway show presented by ELLE Canada and an ELLE Canada gift bag including CoverGirl® and Pantene® products from P&G Beauty.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Toronto Fashion Incubator, an innovative, community-based, non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing, promoting and supporting new fashion entrepreneurs. TFI provides valuable educational programs and resources that help designers, new business owners and students to acquire useful business and marketing skills.
We are grateful to all our event sponsors who also include: The Carlu, City of Toronto Economic Development, TEDCO, Star! Daily, NOW, Fiji Water, Fashion Group International of Toronto, TD Canada Trust, Think Fashion, Canoe, Salon Daniel, The Idea Shop, E.L. Productions, OverCat Communications and Flipside Creative.
==========A message from P&G Beauty========
Want to help break the endless cycle of dry skin and eliminate the need to constantly reapply your moisturizer? Use Olay Quench Body Lotion with an Amino Vitamin Complex. The formula continually moisturizes for 24 hours and helps restore skin’s natural moisture barrier, leaving it looking naturally radiant.
Visit www.olay.ca for more information.
Olay is the #1 skin care brand in Canada and is part of the P&G Beauty family of brands that also includes Clairol, Pantene and CoverGirl. P&G Beauty is a proud sponsor of TFI and is the exclusive beauty sponsor of ULTIMATE PLATINUM TFIXX07 and TFI New Labels.
3. Project Runway Canada
The Emmy-nominated reality series Project Runway is coming to Canada
Project Runway Canada is an exciting new reality series that gives viewers a behind-the-scenes perspective into the creative process of fashion design. Twelve talented and hungry fashion designers are given the opportunity of a lifetime–a chance to break in to the notoriously exclusive fashion industry.
To earn this honour they must compete in a series of challenges that will determine who has what it takes to be the next “it” designer. The host heads a panel of industry insiders who will judge the talent and skills of the budding designers, while a mentor provides constructive criticism of their designs along the way.
In each episode one designer is eliminated, until the field is whittled down to only three finalists who will design a collection to show in front of Canada's fashion community. Ultimately one designer will claim a place in the spotlight, winning the top prize, which includes $100,000 to begin a fashion line and a feature spread showcasing the winning collection in the pages of a top Canadian fashion magazine.
If you’re interested, download the application at www.insighttv.com/newsprojectrunway.aspx. April 13, 2007, is the deadline to apply.
4. Protecting Your Business by Danielle Ker
Imagine this: you’ve started building your brand, designed your logo, invested in business cards and all of a sudden another company shows up on the market with the same name and logo. If you haven’t protected your business through trademarking, copyrighting or patenting, you may have wasted all your hard work and energy.
On Wednesday, March 7, as part four of the six-part P&G Beauty speaker series, Catherine Dennis, an intellectual property lawyer at Cassels Brock and Blackwell LLP, advised fashion entrepreneurs about the ins and outs of protecting their businesses. Some of the questions answered during the presentation were:
5. Scene & Heard
Silent Auction Donations Wanted
Get your brand before 1,000 design-savvy guests at the TFI’s ULTIMATE PLATINUM TFIXX07 Silent Auction taking place on April 17, 2007, at The Carlu. We’re looking for gorgeous accessories, restaurant gift certificates and fabulous gifts valued at $100 to $250 retail and more. Donors and products will be featured in the event program supplement and on the bidding forms. Please support TFI by making a donation. Proceeds will support valuable community programming offered by our non-profit organization. To make a pledge, please contact TFI.
We’re looking for enthusiastic, friendly and hard-working volunteers 19 years of age and older, of all career backgrounds, to help make ULTIMATE PLATINUM TFIXX07 a huge success. We can’t do it without your help! Develop fashion industry contacts, gain work-study and co-op hours, support an outstanding non-profit organization and be surrounded by glamorous celebrities and the industry’s elite at TFI’s gala fundraising event on April 17, 2007. Click here to download a TFI volunteer application.
CALLING ALL FASHION DESIGN STUDENTS!
National Design Contest
Rethink Breast Cancer wants to see your interpretation of the target tee. Enter the national design contest to win a $2,000 bursary and have your design showcased at the official Fashion Targets Breast Cancer launch party. The challenge: Design a unique “target” inspired T-shirt. Submission deadline: April 10, 2007. Submissions will be judged by well-known fashion/media personalities. For more details visit www.rethinkbreastcancer.com/design_contest
Design Competition POPS with Perrier
April 13, 2007, is the deadline for new fashion designers to enter the Perrier "Bubbling Under" Award for design. The challenge: Create the best design concepts based around the theme "POP". Five finalists from this competition will be showcased in installations and video presentations at the International Styles runway show presented by Gen Art, a non-profit arts and entertainment organization. Finalists will be judged during the event, which is slated to take place on May 23 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. The winner will receive a $10,000 cheque. For more details, visit www.usa.perrier.com/. Contest is open to emerging designers and fashion students in the U.S. and Canada.
TFI Welcomes New Industry Consultant
As of May 2007, TFI will be welcoming another enthusiastic volunteer industry consultant who will be providing consultations for TFI members. Alicia Gomez, retail consultant, has been working in the Canadian fashion industry for many years and is excited to share her knowledge and advice with budding new designers. From 1985 to 1993, Gomez owned and operated CAPRICHIO in London, Ontario, a successful fashion salon showcasing innovative Canadian designers such as Marie Saint Pierre and Comrags. During this time she developed an extensive network of Canadian designers and agents, acted as a designer consultant and promoted Canadian design through public education. Gomez’s areas of expertise are buying accessories and apparel, marketing, merchandising, fashion consulting, sales and administration. TFI members can meet with Alicia Gomez as part of their exclusive membership benefits. To book an appointment, contact TFI Admin.
Thank You TFI Donors!
This month, TFI gratefully acknowledges a generous donation from Catherine Lash, producer of The Wedding Show and president of The Wedding Company, www.theweddingco.com. A portion of ticket sales from The Wedding Show held January 12 to 14, 2007, was donated to the TFI. Catherine’s donation will be used toward the purchase of a new sewing machine for the TFI. TFI would also like to thank Marilyn Brooks, Ports 1961 and former TFI board member Jan Hill, for their kind donations.
Thank you for supporting TFI programs, services and resources; we couldn’t do it without your help. You, too, can give back to the community by making a donation to our non-profit organization through TFI Shop. Contact us today to find out how making a TFI donation will help you achieve your marketing objectives by reaching out to TFI members and to our community at large. Support the future of our industry.
6. Upcoming Events
TFI Holiday Closure
April 6, 2007
TFI Offices will be closed on Friday, April 6th for Good Friday. We will re-open and return to our regular business hours on Monday, April 9th at 9am.
April 12 – 15, 2007
The International Foundation of Fashion Institutes takes place in Toronto at Ryerson University and locations throughout Toronto. Keynote speakers, social events and a Queen Street crawl are included with the conference fee of $300. Register online at iffticonference.com.
ULTIMATE PLATINUM TFIXX07
April 17, 2007
The Carlu, 444 Yonge St., Toronto
Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI). This gala fashion fundraiser features the TFI New Labels runway show presented by ELLE Canada, a sumptuous VIP dinner, hors d’oeuvre and a wine-tasting reception hosted by Vin de Pays d’Oc. There will also be a silent auction of designer wares, the ULTIMATE PLATINUM runway show, featuring 20 one-of-a-kind red-carpet gowns designed by TFI members and alumni, and an ELLE Canada gift bag containing beauty products from P&G Beauty. VIP tickets are $250 or $2,000 for a table of 10. $50 for a guest pass. Get more information and purchase your tickets NOW at www.fashionincubator.com or call 416-971-7117 x 21.
Speak Easy Style
April 21, 2007
The Distillery District
An annual fundraiser for Windfall Clothing, a charitable organization that distributes new, surplus clothing to 90 social service agencies. To reserve your tickets please contact Alessia Pugliese by phone at 416-703-8435 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org $80 at the door,
$75 in advance or buy five and get one free!
Angel Hair for Kids Spring Gala
May 5, 2007
Pearson Convention Centre
2638 Steeles Ave. E.
Reception, dinner, entertainment, plus a live and silent auction. Tickets are $125 and available by contacting email@example.com.
May 15, 2007, 6:30 - 9:30pm
The Gladstone Hotel Art Bar, 1214 Queen St. W., Toronto
The U.S. is the largest single market in the world—and it's right next door. Even the most targeted niche market in the U.S. is larger than the entire Canadian market for jewellery. How do you get yourself and your work safely across the border and bring home the gold? The mysteries of NAFTA, customs and foreign trade shows—all will be answered. Cost: $75. VIsit www.metalarts.on.ca for registration information.
Le Marche Montreal Go-See
May 18, 2007, 10:00am – noon
24 E. Pine St., Montreal
It’s a new vendor go-see for designers of women’s clothing, jewellery and accessories, home décor, and bath and body care. Line up early; first come, first served. Bring samples and the lookbook of your spring/summer 2007 collection. Buyers will review your collection, you’ll get instant feedback about your line and you might even get an order! For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lemarchemtl.com.
Interested in having your event posted? Send your submission with a minimum of 30 days notice to TFI.
7. TOP PICKS
A design-it-yourselfer’s paradise! DIY how-to tips to create a brand, blog, website, gift wrapping ideas and tons more!
Find a list of graphic design, fashion design and photography competitions
Find inspiration in colour and historical references at this fascinating blog
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 x 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 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 TFI.
To subscribe or unsubscribe to TFI NEWS please email us or call
416-971-7117 x 21.
Toronto Fashion Incubator
106 Dovercourt Road
Canada M6J 3C3
Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm EST, closed noon to 1:00pm daily and holidays.
Directions To TFI
We’re located on Queen Street West in Toronto, 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.
© Copyright 2007 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.