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TFI News March/ April 2006

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

Sponsored by:
TEDCO, Toronto Economic Development Corporation

1987 – 2006
Celebrating 19 Years of TFI

Contact TFI at tfi@fashionincubator.com

March/April 2006
Volume 14, Issue 2

1. TFI New Labels® Event Highlights
2. L’Oreal Fashion Week Review
3. TFI TV Is Coming To You Soon!
4. Ten Designers Can Win UPS-Sponsored Shows At Bryant Park
5. fashcam, Hoax Couture And NAM Models Celebrate The ReelWorld Film Festival
6. Drive Your Future Design Awards LA
7. Attention Costume Designers: You Can Make It Big!
8. Two Great New Releases From TFI
9. Exporting Activities At TFI
10. Scene + Heard
11. Upcoming Events
12. Top Picks

1. TFI New Labels® Event Highlights

On March 22, 2006, at the much-talked-about fashion event of the season, designer Katya Revenko of Desperately Different (right) was named winner of the prestigious Toronto Fashion Incubator Fall 2006 New Labels® Fashion Design Competition presented by ELLE CANADA. Revenko competed against Fashion Psychology duo Beryl Bacchus and Patrick Larrivee, Karamea by Michelle Turpin and Las Valentias by Erin Keatch. Revenko was awarded The ELLE CANADA New Labels® Fashion Award valued at more than $25,000, including a $1,000 cash prize, a one-page editorial in ELLE CANADA, and a gift basket from Euphoria by Calvin Klein. Her collection will also be sold at trendy retailer TNT in Hazelton Lanes.

Over 800 fashion media, celebrities and tastemakers schmoozed at the sold-out charity event including Corner Gas actress Tara Spencer-Nairn (left) and Arrested Development star Jason Bateman. Tickets entitled guests to sip delicious wines courtesy of Vin de Pays d’Oc and nosh at the super-tasty Amazing Food stations. They also enjoyed ELLE CANADA sponsored gift bags filled with the newest beauty creams, rich chocolate, spa samples, M.A.C cosmetics, a full size Euphoria by Calvin Klein fragrance and more.

"TFI New Labels is an excellent stage for young designers with a strong point-of-view to showcase their work to the industry's top players. This year all the collections were powerful and it wasn't easy to choose the winner,” said Rita Silvan, ELLE CANADA’s editor-in-chief.

Desperately Different
Revenko’s inspiration for her winning fall 2006 collection came from iconic historic female figures such as Joan of Arc, Catherine the Great and Marlene Dietrich. “I like to inject a feeling of déjà vu into the clothes that bring back memories or references of different periods and historic figures,” she says. Each piece was well thought out and aptly named to reflect Revenko’s vision of women.

For instance, the Joan of Arc jacket provides an armor of sorts for the modern woman who, with the strong exterior, can nurture and protect her soft vulnerable interior.

Colours were dark and sultry, ranging from deep violet to charcoal grey and black. Unusual proportions and mixing of textures were bold and unexpected, showing a confidence that defies Revenko’s youth and experience. Wool tweed was blocked with velvet in a flirty swing coat or with sensuous silk charmeuse on an alluring, sunburst-pleated halter dress.

Las Valentias
Toronto designer Erin Keatch founded Las Valentias in fall 2004. Inspired by the Canadian wilderness and aboriginal iconography, her fall 2006 collection of mainly jackets and outerwear featured hues drawn from nature such as fawn, tree bark and forest green. Fabrics were all-natural as well—silk tussah and shantung, wool and cotton.

Keatch’s signature style is one that places as much emphasis on the inside of her jackets, as the outside.

Screen-printed linings and one-of-a-kind patchwork labeling show a love for detail and all things vintage. Las Valentias has been featured in the National Post and NOW magazine.

Fashion Psychology
Touted as the next D&G by Style magazine, this Montreal-based duo is quickly achieving success with their signature sexy, corseted looks. Now entering its fifth season, designers Patrick Larrivee and Beryl Bacchus were inspired by the life and passion of Mary Queen of Scots.

From being crowned at the age of six to being imprisoned for 20 years and later beheaded, she remained strong and ambitious to the very end. The spirit of this royal icon was depicted in a rich collection of corseted silhouettes in sequined brocades, plaids, denim, silk and lace.

The fall 2006 collection will be available in Montreal at boutique Intense, If and Salon Glam, and in Toronto at Anti Hero. Retail prices range from $200 to $1,000.

Karamea is a high-end womenswear label created by Michelle Turpin, a New Zealand expat who studied fashion at Auckland’s University of Technology. Popular with creative professionals and fashionistas (including Queer as Folk actress Thea Gill), Karamea is admired for its unique styling, fabrication and attention to detail.

For fall/winter 2006 Turpin presented a collection of expertly crafted day- and eveningwear retailing in the $80 to $500 range. Featured fabrics included silk chiffons, velvets and charmeuse, with light wools and satins. The line drew inspiration from the nomadic trade routes of the ancient Silk Road where travelers returned home from their journeys with fantastic treasures.

Launched at the Toronto Fashion Incubator Press Breakfast in September 2005, the label has received media coverage from Style, Fashion, Wish, the National Post and the Toronto Star.

Net proceeds from the event ticket sales and a portion of net proceeds from private shopping at TNT benefited the Toronto-based TFI, an innovative, non-profit organization that has been hatching talent for almost 20 years. With support from TEDCO (Toronto Economic Development Corporation), TFI is dedicated to nurturing designers and entrepreneurs entering the fashion community at its 6,000-sq.-ft. design and small business centre. TFI New Labels®, the Toronto Fashion Incubator’s signature showcase of up-and-coming talent, has been presented to buyers, media and trade since 1992.

”TFI is an incredible organization – from their dedication to supporting and nurturing new fashion entrepreneurs, to this amazing competition showcasing our top Canadian talent,“ said founder of TNT boutique and New Labels judge Arie Assaraf. “It was an honour to be a part of the fashion competition. I am thrilled to carry Desperately Different at TNT and donate a portion of the event night's sales to TFI.”

For the third consecutive year, ELLE CANADA was presenting and media sponsor of the fashion event. As Canada’s pre-eminent fashion, beauty, and lifestyle magazine, this 34th edition of the global family of ELLE titles is one of its most successful launches in history. ELLE CANADA is published 12 times per year by Les Publications Transcontinental-Hachette Inc. Other proud sponsors include Vin de Pays d’Oc, Euphoria by Calvin Klein, TEDCO, Hazelton Lanes Shopping Centre, TD Canada Trust, TNT, M.A.C, Salon Daniel, Beehive Design, Laven Industries and Amazing Food Service.

Please contact FAULHABER PR at 416-504-0768 or email info@faulhaber.ca for all media inquiries.

For more event coverage and photos, check out
www.torontostreetfashion.com and www.jakandjil.com

2. L’Oreal Fashion Week Review by Doris Montanera

On the surface, L’Oreal Fashion Week appeared polished. The March fall 2006 edition was one of the best yet.

The shows ran on time—at least for fashion time—and, for the most part, they were worth sitting through. There was an ample media contingent if the crush in the media lounge around dinnertime was any indication. About 530 registered, and included TV crews from Entertainment Tonight Canada and CBC, as well as a German fashion journalist and Sportswear International’s New York bureau.

Approximately 150 buyers—invited by designers or registering themselves—attended, including a U.K. sales agent who planned to pick up a couple of lines. And paparazzi draws like actress Taryn Manning, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Wendy Crewson and Emily Hampshire, shone their star light over the front row.

Nitty-gritty things like organized seating, smoothly running backstage and expanded retail environment only added to the polished veneer and made the Liberty Grand the place to be.

The sale of 500 tickets to the public led to some debate over the Sweetspot.ca-sponsored candy. It contributed to the fall of the Festival of Canadian Fashion in the early ’90s. But that was more than a decade ago. In these times of Style.com and newspaper blogs leaking all the once-privileged secrets of the shows the next day, getting the consumer excited and clamoring for the clothes at retail can only be a good thing.

Now to the problems. If L’Oreal Fashion Week was a clothing collection, we’d pick at the finishing. Some loose threads dangling from the underside of the garments could, potentially, unravel it. Like the buyers: Why do designers show? And who do they want to show to? Unless they were invited by designers or thought to check the Fashion Design Council of Canada website, buyers didn’t know about the week. Some regulars missed it completely. “I might be invited by a designer I carry, but what about other designers that might be good for my store?” said one retailer.

There were also some FDCC gaffs, like changing the venue from Muzik to the Liberty Grand one month before the show. At least one designer had invitations already printed. Then there was an FDCC host who ousted a reporter covering one of the smaller shows, held at half-time, from the only available seat so she could sit down instead.

The FDCC calculated that 18,000 attended, up from 15,000 last season. Add all the positives together, subtract from the negatives, and the $2,000 per show price tag is still a bargain.

Here are snapshots of some of the shows:

Paul Hardy
Calgary designer Paul Hardy unofficially launched the week when he showed off-schedule the Friday before the shows. If it hadn’t been Hardy, not sure how many journalists would have given up their Friday night to go to church. Hardy, who has strong Christian beliefs, showed at the Church of the Redeemer at Avenue and Bloor in Toronto. It was apropos to his theme, Grave Deliverance. Inspired by 19th-century gothic writer Edgar Allan Poe, the audience was treated to a mock funeral, complete with casket and opera star Measha Brueggergosman singing “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” from one side of the pulpit. The pale models, with messy updos, were mournful but beautiful in somber greys and blacks, offset by jewel tones such as green, purple, mulberry and rust. He offered a stylish gamut that included slouchy knit sweaters and tailored pencil skirts to an elegant ruffled evening dress and gold brocade coat with silver fox fur details. While some speculated that he snubbed LFW because of last season’s fiasco, when it delayed Hardy’s show by two hours, causing a number of VIPs to leave, Hardy says he wanted to be more like European shows, such as Alexander McQueen and Dries Van Noten, who create a storyline. “Based on the theme, I really wanted to convey the fullness of my collection and bring people into my world and see how I think,” says. He also wanted to get back to his new German Short-haired Pointer puppy, Fergus, whom he hadn’t seen in two weeks.

David Dixon
Here are the clues: First there were the images of a Sweden sunset, projected like a backdrop at the top of the runway. Then there was the modern Heidi-like braids in the models’ hair. And, of course, there was ’80s Norwegian music stars A-ha blasting “Take on Me” in the background. That’s before we even get to the collection, whose lines were clean and sophisticated. Dixon rendered his inspiration—Scandinavian design and lifestyle—not in a completely stripped-down Ikea way. Instead, embellishment came in seaming details and materials like silver tweed, juxtaposing hard and soft, in coat dresses, pants and cropped jackets, and icy colours (mirroring the roughness of the icy Scandinavian landscape). “I stuck to a base of navy, white, black and cream,” says Dixon. “My customer values tradition. She likes classic things.”

Joeffer Caoc
Joeffer Caoc brought Paris’s dark vibe across the ocean to the LFW runway. Calling his collection Beauty in Calamity, it was all about rich black, bronze, navy and purple hues in organza, velvets and jerseys. His signature, elaborate darting and seaming graced dresses and separates, like grey jackets and skirts with a sheer black overlay that had been tucked and sewn so that it resembled stripes. “"All the clothes were meant to look haphazard," says Caoc of his theme and the woman behind it. “She’s been through all this stuff and is still beautiful, no matter what.” Playing primarily with two pieces of fabric, he draped and tucked to see what he’d get. What he got was exactly his title: beauty—in calamity. “A lot of the designs were mistakes. For example, the organza over the purple and blue stripes (top)—we saw it on the table and liked it.”

Andy The-Anh
Even without Prince singing “Let’s Go Crazy” on the soundtrack, Montrealer Andy The-Anh’s collection had a distinct ’80s vibe, with a hint of ’70s glam rock in the long, straight-haired models wearing fur chubbies, circa Studio 54. He says he played with gender by constructing a wide-legged pant with a keyhole, ruffled blouse in a masculine glen plaid. It was a look he repeated, but that’s as far as the gender-bending went. The-Anh’s collection was all female, with his trademark ruffles (big and small) and a hefty dose of lace—patterned on everything from pantsuits to ’80s-style corset dresses with pouffy mini skirts.

The Vancouver duo of Kelly Jale and Peter Tsang opted to present a capsule collection of only ten looks on a small runway at The Liberty Grand. Keeping to a colour story of mainly white, black and red, the designers showed tailored yet feminine looks for both day and evening. One stand-out was a full-skirted party dress in white rayon with black embroidery. PierreJale debuted its collection last year at the Toronto Fashion Incubator¹s TFI New Labels® show.

Another design duo, Joyce Gunhouse and Judy Cornish of Comrags, sent models down the runway in decidedly masculine-influenced attire. The mostly black collection of separates and dresses featured dandy-inspired details such as short waistcoats, ruffled tailored shirts and winged collars. Leather belts worn high under the bust and men¹s sock garters completed the look.

Izzy Camillieri
Izzy Camillieri sent out models in wide-shouldered dresses, wide, cinched belts, contoured leather and fur, with lacquered hair twisted into a tight horn on top of their heads. “I initially started with (a) Stevie Nicks leather-and-lace rocker chic (theme), which lent itself to gothic, which lent itself to heavy metal, which led back to Blade Runner,” she says. Her showpiece was a curvy white jumpsuit made of embossed lamb, with cinched belt and wide lapels—constructed with just one zipper—but every piece was a meticulously made showstopper. A long grey chain dress was made of strands of chain linked together by elasticized thread. She stitched together the beaded bib of a ’80s-style burgundy dress, sitting in front of the TV. “I watched a lot of CSI,” she says. And the mink on the black lace and fur evening dress of her finale was a technical challenge. (She finished it the afternoon of the show.) The result, though, was worth it. The sheared fur stripes were so fine, they looked almost like burned-out velvet.

Pink Tartan
With its closing-night spot, Kimberley Newport Mimran and her Pink Tartan label has the FDCC and the Toronto fashion industry on a benign leash. And why shouldn’t it be the only show during the week allowed to change the seating arrangements when it draws the biggest—and most socialite/celebrity-packed crowd? It also dishes out top-notch surprises, like Ashley MacIsaac opening with an electric fiddle medley and Heather Marks in the model lineup. Most importantly, though, was the collection. This season came together in a solid theme, heavily referencing London’s swinging ’60s with capes and newsboy caps, skinny velvet pants and long, dandyish velvet jackets. The opening group of cranberry and green tartan schoolgirl skirts, cropped pants and jackets will be the stylish way to get into the Christmas spirit.

3. TFI TV Is Coming To You Soon!

Too tied up at work to attend industry workshops and seminars? Finding it difficult to travel the 401 to get to Toronto? Save time and money with TFI TV, the educational solution for busy fashion entrepreneurs and small apparel and accessories manufacturers. Our recorded broadcasts, available 24/7 to accommodate your busy schedule, enable you to listen and learn while you tend to your business. TFI TV includes a podcast subscription, which automatically sends you the latest seminars in MP3 audio. Listen to TFI guest speakers talk about market
trends, what buyers are looking for, selling tips and more on your iPOD!

Check out this special sneak preview of TFI TV by clicking the link below.
Send us your feedback and let us know what you think!


4. Ten Designers Can Win UPS-Sponsored Shows At Bryant Park
Calling all fashion talent: the UPS Hub is back for a second season!

UPS and IMG Fashion announced a worldwide open call for 10 hot new design talents, who will get the priceless chance to show their spring 2007 collections at Olympus Fashion Week in New York City from September 8 to 15, 2006. The chosen designers will show onsite in the UPS Hub, a venue constructed exclusively for UPS to showcase these future fashion A-listers in the Bryant Park Tents.

UPS launched the “UPS Delivers Fashion’s Future” initiative in September 2005 by featuring collections by Doo.Ri, Project Alabama, Willow and Tomer, among others. With its return to the Tents in September, UPS continues its support of new talent and an ongoing commitment to the fashion industry. “UPS is proud to provide emerging designers a chance to showcase their talent on the world’s fashion stage,” said David Abney, president of UPS International. “We are pleased that for a second year we are part of delivering fashion’s future.”

With the renewed initiative, UPS Hub promises once again to become a laboratory for the hottest emerging international designers. “As our business continues to expand globally, the partnership with UPS allows us to promote emerging designers to the U.S. market and allows us to add a new dimension to New York’s Olympus Fashion Week. Like UPS, we are truly delivering these designers to the fashion community,” said Fern Mallis, vice president and executive director of IMG Fashion.

Here’s the scoop on entering the contest: designers must have been in business for at least two years and have sold a minimum of two collections to boutiques or department stores. The 10 designers will be selected by a panel composed of key domestic and international fashion editors, retailers and industry pros. Those selected will have their venue rental subsidized by UPS, which includes state-of-the-art lighting, sound and staging, and inclusion in all Olympus Fashion Week collateral materials, marketing, public relations and advertising. They will also benefit from added marketing materials developed by UPS for the initiative.

Designers interested in participating should send materials, including look books, videos and sketches to:

IMG Fashion
Attention: UPS Delivers Fashion’s Future
420 West 45th Street
New York, NY 10036

Phone, email and in-person inquires will not be accepted and no materials will be returned. The deadline for applications is June 1, 2006.

5. fashcam, Hoax Couture And NAM Models Celebrate The ReelWorld Film Festival

Lights, camera, fashion! Smokin' Lounge, fashcam's latest fashion mini-movie starring clothes by Hoax Couture and featuring Canadian music icon Molly Johnson, was selected to open the sixth annual ReelWorld Film Festival alongside the festival's opening night feature, Kamataki, at Paramount Toronto on April 19.

Smokin' Lounge tells the story of a virginal and pure generation entering a world of earthly delights facilitated by the High Priestess/Temptress, played by Molly Johnson, as she sings the song “He’s Got My Heart”. In their usual paradoxical and witty style, Hoax designers Chris Tyrell and Jim Searle created special costumes for the video made completely from muslin, an unbleached cotton used to create style prototypes.

fashcam was launched in 2003, by Len D. Henry, with the goal of merging music with fashion promotion through one format, the fashcam video. “By taking fashion off the runway and making it ‘reel’, fashcam delivers the designer's vision in a way that is always accessible, original and chic,” said Henry.

Sponsored by Bravo!FACT, Smokin' Lounge will be broadcast on Bravo! And FashionTelevionChannel after the ReelWorld Film Festival.

6. Drive Your Future Design Awards LA

Luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz recently announced the Drive Your Future Design Awards LA scholarship program to help aspiring Los Angeles-based fashion designers realize their dreams. One lucky student will win a $20,000 one-year scholarship to FIDM (The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) starting this fall, as well as a mentoring opportunity with award-winning designer Kevan Hall. This is a new initiative supported by Mercedes-Benz USA, FIDM and several Hollywood celebrities including Guns 'N Roses guitarist Slash, pro-skater Tony Hawk, supermodel Carolyn Murphy and R&B singer Mya.

To raise funds for the scholarship, each of the celebrities created one-of-a-kind, hand-decorated Fender guitars, which will be up for auction later this spring. For more information and to download an application, students located in Los Angeles can check out www.fidm.com/about/mercedes-benz-scholarship-competition/index.html.


Making It Big, a primetime television series seen across North America, is looking for three talented, up-and-coming costume designers. All three young professionals will be showcased in the Making It Big Costume Designer episode, but only one will earn the career opportunity of a lifetime.

Making It Big provides the thing money can’t buy: access. For example, the winner of the Entertainment Reporting episode flew to L.A. for meetings with Extra host Dayna Devon, executives at Dick Clark Productions and a top William Morris agent. The Fashion Design winner (Vancouver designer and TFI alumnus Jason Matlo) flew to New York where his work was displayed in the window of Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship store. Meetings were also booked with the chain’s fashion director, its buyers and New York designer Cynthia Steffe.

Will it be you in the Costume Design episode? To qualify you must have:

Applications are available at: www.forcefour.com/makingitbig or by contacting:

Force Four Entertainment
#202-221 East 10th Ave. Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5T 4V1

8. Two Great New Releases From TFI

TFI is very excited to announce the release of two new tools to help you increase sales and market your product. Funding support for both resources was provided by the Government of Canada.

Intro to Sales & Marketing
This e-guidebook provides an excellent introduction to sales and marketing for small manufacturers of apparel and accessories. It will guide you through key steps from research, branding, to making the sales pitch, hiring an agent and broadcasting your message. Get your downloadable PDF document now for $27 + tax by contacting TFI.

List of Canadian Sales Reps
Ready to hire a sales agent? If you’re selling $100,000 or more in shipped sales per year, you’ll want to hire a professional to expand your sales. Get TFI’s e-list of apparel and accessories sales reps in Canada. Cost for TFI members is only $20, and non-members $50, + tax. A hotlink and password will be sent to you via email so be sure to add TFI to your safe-senders list.

Visit TFI Shop at www.fashionincubator.com/shop/index.shtml and start making more sales!

9. Exporting Activities at TFI

March was Exporting Month at TFI. It co-organized sales appointments and meetings for visiting sales reps from the U.K. and New York, and presented two export-focused webinars. All of the activities were supported by the Canadian High Commission in London, Industry Canada and International Trade Canada (Toronto and New York).

Pirnia Collections
David Pirnia of Pirnia Collections in London, U.K., is a sales rep and distributor of high-end designer collections. He was in Toronto mid-March to scout for sexy, feminine lines for his showroom. Canadian collections that caught his eye included CinCyn, Izzy Camilleri and Andy The-Anh. During his tour and visit with TFI Resident designers, Pirnia talked about some of the differences he’d noticed between the Canadian and U.K. markets. For one, U.K. retailers generally mark-up the suggested retail 2.7 times from wholesale, so a jacket that wholesales for £100 would retail for £270. In Canada, retailers generally mark-up retail two times from wholesale. Secondly, it’s not uncommon for U.K retailers to pay a deposit with an order; a fact that astounded TFI Residents. Regarding agency fee structures, showroom fees are unheard of in the U.K. but commission fees for agencies like his that sell, distribute and collect account receivables are high—somewhere in the range of 23% to 30% commission.

Brand Progression
A second London-based sales agent, Mark McCann of Brand Progression, visited TFI a few days later for meetings and a tour. Instead of high-end designer wear, McCann was scouting for men’s and women’s premium denim lines, streetwear and classics with a twist. Canadian collections of interest to McCann included Smythe, Mackage and Fidelity jeans. McCann attended the TFI New Labels event at Hazelton Lanes on March 22 and checked out TNT Blu, a boutique that resembles his target market back home. The next day, McCann returned to TFI and presented a seminar about breaking through to the U.K. market. McCann shared excellent information about the TBC trade show, seasonal timing and designer/agent responsibilities.

TBC is a U.K. trade show that features up-and-coming apparel and accessory brands alongside denim staples such as Levis and Edwin jeans. For new designers, a minimal rail showcase area keeps costs accessible at £1,000 per space (equivalent size is a 10’x 10’ booth). TBC is organized by Brand Progression twice per year. Due to climate differences between Canada and Britain, the selling seasons are also different. In the U.K., the fall selling season starts mid-January and runs to mid-March; the spring selling season starts mid-July and ends mid-September. In each season, McCann and his staff will see approximately 250 buyers. To take full advantage of the selling opportunity, McCann stressed the need for designers and manufacturers to ship samples complete, in one shipment, at the start of the season. Unlike Pirnia Collections, Brand Progression does not offer distribution or accounts receivable collections so the fee structure is generally 8% to 15% commission on top of a first year negotiable “consulting” fee.

Annette Breindel
Also attending TFI New Labels on March 22 was Annette Breindel, a former U.S. sales rep whose Manhattan agency, Annett B, was known for carrying hip contemporary womenswear lines such as Anna Sui and Rebecca Taylor. Breindel, well known in the U.S. fashion industry as a mover and shaker, is credited for discovering and developing Sui. In addition to attending the TFI show, Breindel critiqued several lines by TFI members and alumni and offered advice for getting into the U.S. market. While it’s no surprise that Breindel found that seasoned lines Mercy and Joeffer Caoc had the greatest U.S. sales potential, she found charming designs and good potential in newcomers such as Fashion Psychology, Desperately Different, Karamea, CinCyn and Nada.

Exporting 101
And on March 29, 2006, TFI presented a seminar for new exporters to the U.S. featuring guest speakers: Michael O'Byrne, cultural trade commissioner, International Trade Centre; Ruth Fothergill, vice president corporate outreach, EDC (Export Development Canada); and Asha Mahabir, customs brokerage manager, Bellville Rodair.

O'Byrne discussed various support options offered by the federal government. In addition to extensive export information and tools offered at www.infoexport.gc.ca, Canadian exporters can tap into free help provided by International Trade officers located across Canada. Officers are available to help you develop your export marketing plan, do export market research, provide background investigation on potential key contacts and develop a list of buyers and sales reps for you at no cost.

Export grants under the Trade Routes program are available to eligible apparel designers to help pay for trade show and related costs such as airfare, hotel and marketing materials. If approved, typically, a designer might receive a non-repayable grant of $15,000 to $20,000 per year. Unfortunately accessories designers do not qualify for funding. For more information about the Trade Routes Grant, visit www.pch.gc.ca/routes.

Ruth Fothergill explained that EDC is a Crown corporation established in 1944 to support and develop Canada's export trade. EDC services can protect Canadian exporters against accounts receivable losses through a number of different means. Since sales are a high percentage of your assets, you need to ensure that you're going to get paid. One of the services EDC offers is accounts receivable insurance that guarantees 90% of the payment. This is available for international, as well as domestic accounts, and no invoice size is too small to insure. Accounts Receivable insurance covers commercial risks such as buyer insolvency, non-payment, contract cancellation by buyer, refusal of goods, as well as political risks like war and related disturbances, cancellation of import/export permit, conversion and transfer difficulties and a moratorium on the country's external debt. EDC also offers EXPORTCheck, which allows an exporter to quickly determine a buyer's credit profile, and EXPORT MarketInsight, a program that enables exporters to receive immediate alerts when political and economic changes occur in their countries of interest. For more information about EDC, visit www.edc.ca or call 888-332-6211.

Asha Mahabir from Bellville Rodair, an international export logistics company, explained some of the services offered by her company: freight forwarding by air or sea (imports and exports), customs brokerage, warehousing and distribution, and a new service called "Couture", which ships garments on hangers in waterproof, security-sealed containers. Designers have two options for shipping to U.S. customers:

1. Direct from the designer's studio to the customer using a service such as UPS, Purolator or FedEx. This method is useful if shipping one customer at a time. The goods are picked up from the designer's studio and shipped by air or truck, depending on the service level determined by the designer. Customs papers will travel with the shipment to the border and are handed over to U.S. customs. Once cleared, the shipment will travel direct to the final destination.

2. Consolidated shipping is more cost-effective when shipping several U.S. customers at one time. A freight forwarder will pick up multiple shipments from the designer's studio, which are transported to a warehouse in Buffalo (or other nearby U.S. border point). Customs papers will travel with the shipment and be handed over to U.S. customs. The shipment is cleared as one shipment, not several, and this saves on clearance charges. The Buffalo consolidation facility then re-distributes each shipment to the end customer based on the specifications determined by the designer.

Mahabir also reviewed basic, required U.S. customs documents (a commercial invoice, textile declaration, import permit, certificate of origin and Carnet if applicable), what happens at U.S. customs (checks and re-checks of paper work and documentation), how duties and taxes are determined and what to consider when choosing a customs’ broker. For more information, call Bellville Rodair at 905-671-4655 or visit www.bellvillerodair.com.


Thompson Celebrates 25 Years
On April 26, 2006, Toronto designer Annie Thompson (left) celebrated 25 successful years in the fashion industry with an anniversary bash at the Mod Club. Party guests enjoyed a media/VIP wine reception, designer goody bag, door prizes and fashion show featuring Thompson’s 2006 collection. A multimedia retrospective presentation highlighted the designer’s accomplishments over the years, including unique costumes, abstract paintings and textile installations held in New York and Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario. Thompson, a TFI alumna, has a retail store located at 674 Queen St. West in Toronto.

TFI Welcomes New Advisory Member
On April 12, 2006, the Board of Directors of the Toronto Fashion Incubator elected Toronto publicist Clara Northcott to its Advisory Committee. Northcott is a senior public relations/communications professional with 20 years of experience in PR and special events. President of Northcott Communications, clients have included Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Phantom Industries and Unilever. Earlier in her career, Northcott held positions at Estee Lauder, Eaton’s, Ryerson University and Sanger Harris in Dallas, Texas.

Canada Makes News
Priding itself on its mission to discover and focus on exciting and emerging markets, Sportswear International launched its first-ever edition of Sportswear International News Canada in March 2006. Associate publisher Valarie Anderson noted in her opening editorial that “…we hope to be turning the world’s eye onto the Canadian fashion scene because that’s where our vision has been stimulated recently—and stimulation in this business is synonymous with success.” Perhaps managing editor Tim Yap (a Canadian), is influencing this direction. Even so, Canada is bursting with talent and you have to love this leading international publication for featuring 46 pages of Canadian fashion. For more info, visit www.sportswearnet.com.

Inside Fashion Goes Electronic
Here's great news for those who want to keep up with industry info and save money at the same time. Canadian trade journal Inside Fashion is now available in electronic format. Promising faster delivery, colour photos and hotlinks to websites mentioned in articles, the publication has dropped its subscription price from $295 to $89 a year for 24 issues. For more info, contact info@insidefashion.ca.

New Parkdale Boutique Opens
TFI member Karen Friis is opening a boutique at 1604 Queen St. W. in the heart of Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood. The new shop, itsmade, will open May 19, 2006 and will feature Canadian-made casual apparel, streetwear and accessories. Over 90% of the product mix will be Toronto-designed merchandise. Lines carried include Kity by Caroline Lim, Nude and Friis’ own eponymous line of streetwear. Designers interested in having their goods in itsmade can contact Friis at 416-844-9193 or info@itsmade.ca. For more info, visit www.itsmade.ca.

PR Professionals of The Year
Strategic Objectives co-founders Deborah Weinstein (left) and Judy Lewis (right) were named PR Professionals of the Year at the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) ACE Awards gala held April 25, 2006, in Toronto. The partners were honoured for their outstanding success and contributions to the PR industry in Canada. Strategic Objectives also took top honours with Best of Show, Best Creative Campaign, and gold in Special Events for its innovative Cadbury Chocolate Couture Collection. Conceived as an overarching strategy to solidify and entrench Cadbury¹s position as THE chocolate innovator, while making the brand more relatable to its target demographic, women aged 25 to 54, the Cadbury project featured mouth-watering fashions designed by top Canadian designers and crafted with Cadbury chocolate.

Apparel Market in Germany
The Canadian Consulate in Munich has just released its latest market profile, The Apparel Market in Germany. This free information brief provides valuable market data for Canadian apparel firms interested in exporting to Germany. Access the publication at http://www.infoexport.gc.ca/ie-en/DisplayDocument.jsp?did=64686

Nominations Being Accepted
Style magazine, Canada’s quarterly trade journal, is seeking your nominations for its annual Fashion Awards. Send in your picks for Designer of the Year in the areas of menswear, womenswear, children’s wear, outerwear, intimate apparel, streetwear, new designer, industry innovation and exporter of the year. Nominate online at www.style.ca before May 30, 2006. The awards presentation will take place this summer in Vancouver, B.C.

White Is Just Right
Fashion stylist Andrea Anastasiou's new bridal salon, White, opened April 15, 2006 in Toronto's chic Yorkville area. Part Parisian salon, part post-modern dream, the boutique offers exclusive gowns and must-have accessories from designers such as Monique Lhuillier, Anne Barge, Nicole Miller, Blumarine and Carolina Herrera. Also exclusive to White is the Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Bridal Collection of sumptuous jewels and trinkets. For more information, visit White at 19 Hazelton Ave. or at www.whitetoronto.com.

Thank You To TFI Donors!
With great appreciation, TFI would like to acknowledge recent donations from Minling Cheng, Barbara Hamel and Douglas Hurst. Thank you for supporting the Toronto Fashion Incubator, the world's first official and original fashion incubator. If you would also like to make a donation to our non-profit organization, please visit TFI Shop at www.fashionincubator.com/shop/index.shtml.

11. Upcoming Events

TFI Members’ Networking & Brainstorming Meetings
Saturday, May 6, 2006, 12:00 – 2:00pm

TFI members are invited to attend our monthly networking and brainstorming meeting at the Toronto Fashion Incubator. Meet new people, share ideas and get inspired. Sign up to attend this free event by contacting TFI asap.

TFI Studio Tours
Saturday, May 6, 2006, 11:30am and 3:00pm

Interested in a TFI membership? Come to this informative walk-through tour of TFI and learn more about the programs and benefits that can help you and your business. Pre-register at 416-971-7117 x 21 or by contacting TFI.

The Clothing Show
May 6 – 7, 2006, doors open 11:00am

This semi-annual sale takes place at the Automotive Building, Exhibition Place, and features local brands such as Kity, Dagg + Stacey, Knotty Girls and Greenbaum Clothing. For more info, visit www.theclothingshow.com.

Everything You Need To Know About U.S. Trade Shows
Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Learn from your peers at this informative export seminar being held at the TFI, featuring guest speakers Jennifer Kluger of Foxy Originals and Hannah Tikkanen Melville of Wonderlust Clothing. You’ll get the scoop on how to prepare and participate in U.S. trade shows. Tickets, available at TFI Shop, are $22 for TFI members; $35 for non-members, + GST.

Get Ready For The Runway
Wednesday, May 31, 2006, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Thinking about doing your first solo fashion show? Gain valuable tips and advice at tonight’s seminar held at the TFI. Find out about typical costs, budgeting, scheduling and more. Tickets, available at TFI Shop, are $22 for TFI members; $35 for non-members, + GST.

Fashion Cares
Saturday, June 3, 2006

This annual fundraising event presented by M.A.C in support of the AIDS Committee of Toronto takes place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. For ticket info and further details, visit www.fashioncares.com.

Promostyl Trend Forecast Seminar Fall/Winter 2007
Exclusively for TFI Members
June 7, 2006

Get the scoop on fall/winter 2007 market and design trends at TFI's semi-annual trend-forecasting seminar presented by Promostyl. Tickets are limited and only available to TFI members. Don't miss out on this popular, sell-out event! Not a TFI Member yet? Join today to gain access to this member-EXCLUSIVE TFI presentation.

D&A Los Angeles
June 9 – 12, 2006

The Fall II and Holiday 2006 trade show takes place at the Cooper Design Space, 11th floor, 860 South Los Angeles St. and at the New Mart, 3rd floor, 127 East Ninth St. For more info, visit www.designersandagents.com.

Interested in having your event posted? Send your submission with a minimum of 30 days notice to TFI.

Here’s a great article on how to be a fashion stylist

Your guide to all things chic, from designers to shopping to art

View the latest trends and hottest designers online at CBC Newsworld’s Fashion File

CHANGING YOUR ADDRESS OR EMAIL ADDRESS? Keep us updated so you don’t miss out on important opportunities and be sure to add TFI to your safe-senders list. Contact TFI or call 416-971-7117 ext. 21 with your latest contact info.

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 ext. 21.

Toronto Fashion Incubator
106 Dovercourt Road
Toronto, ON
Canada M6J 3C3

Tel: 416-971-7117
Fax: 416-971-6717
Email: tfi@fashionincubator.com

Office hours
Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm EST, closed noon to 1:00pm daily and statutory holidays. Now open one Saturday 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.

© Copyright 2006 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.



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