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May 2011

TFI News
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Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI)
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May 2011
Volume 19, Issue 4

1. Ashtiani Wins TFI New Labels®
2. Report Card: LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oreal
3. TFI Residents Land on International Media Map3. Upcoming TFI Events
4. Upcoming TFI Events
5. Share Your News With TFI
6. Thank You Donors
7. Scene & Heard
8. Top Picks
9. Fashion Calendar

1. Ashtiani Wins TFI New Labels®

Toronto-based designer Golnaz Ashtiani is the winner of this year’s New Label’s design competition. The designer, who studied at the London College of Fashion in the U.K., won a prize package valued at more than $40,000. It included $10,000 cash, as well as a feature in FLARE magazine, the event’s media sponsor, and the opportunity to design an outfit for Sears womenswear.

Three finalists made it through the five-month long contest: Toronto-based Ashtiani, Calgary-based Caitlin Power, (runway image below left) and Austrian-born, Toronto-based Nikki Wirthensohn of NARCES (image below right).

“We thought [Ashtiani’s] samples were impeccable and the tailoring, the layering. For originality, she was first place,” says judge Cynthia Florek, a former New Labels’ winner and current brand and trend director of womenswear at Sears (below, second from right).

Ashtiani’s fall 2011 collection of colour-blocked, wool-blend coats and dresses was inspired by the “arts decoratifs” style and bold paintings of artist Tamara de Lempicka.

The other judges were designer David Dixon, FLARE editor Lisa Tant, Holt Renfrew womenswear buyer Natalie Lecomte, Toronto Star fashion reporter Derick Chetty and stylist Peter Papapetrou.

Created in 1992, New Labels is the first Project Runway. “I do think it should be a reality show on TV because we had some pretty wild judging sessions,” says Tant.

The fashion show finale was held at The Design Exchange in Toronto on April 14, with more than 285 of the city’s fashion elite in attendance and TV personality Liz West acting as host. Each designer presented 12 looks.

“We all know Canada has talent, but sometimes talent is not enough,” said West in her remarks. An unexpected and exciting outcome of the event was that prestigious luxury boutique TNT picked up all three lines for its stores.

Ashtiani says the New Labels’ prize money is going toward the marketing and production of her spring/summer 2012 collection, and the funds, along with media coverage, will allow her to work with more confidence.

“I believe TFI’s New Labels competition is the best platform for new designers to showcase their talent and creativity. It was an intense package that helped me push myself and achieve what I set out to do. The experience and the exposure I got from this event were beyond my expectations,” she says. “Being awarded the top prize made the whole experience and five months of hard work even more worthwhile.”

Images: George Pimental

New Labels® was generously sponsored by:
Media sponsor FLARE, Exclusive Beauty sponsor Pantene ProV, CoverGirl, Olay, Sears, CCR Solutions, City of Toronto, Design Exchange, Salon Daniel, Eatertainment, Backstage sponsor Rowenta, Consulate General of Argentina Toronto, Peroni and smartwater

2. Report Card: LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oreal
By Doris Montanera

From the fashions to the event set up at Heritage Court in Exhibition Place, here’s a cheat sheet and report card of all things Toronto fashion week, March 28 to April 1, 2011, edition.

Two Runway Rooms: Using one large runway room (seating 1,000) and one smaller studio (seating 300) allowed both established and emerging designers space on the schedule. It also avoided the energy-sucking echoes that would have resulted if a newer label—or one showing in the afternoon—tried to use the cavernous runway room.

Fashion Collective: You can’t spend a couple of days at fashion week without hearing about The Fashion Collective (TFC), a new branding and consulting agency responsible for filling a sparse schedule. Dwayne Kennedy, Kate Mullin and Brian A. Richards are the twentysomething trio behind TFC. Along with the Fashion Design Council of Canada (FDCC), for the past two seasons they’ve picked designers, waived their fees and helped put on the show. Can’t argue with promoting new talent.

Mobile Shop
: In keeping with this season’s theme “The Business of Fashion: Work It”, for the first time there was an onsite Mobile Shop featuring a selection of garments from designers. Potential buyers could scan the quick response (QR) code on the hangtag, which would take them to the e-commerce site where they could buy the item online. A little more promotion, perhaps more items to choose from, and a better understanding of what this odd (empty) area was, how it worked, and when you’d get your merchandise, would help.

Catering: Food. Yay. Although the photographers did order in a pizza one night, there actually was food for sale in a small café on the premises. Make the space bigger and provide more seating. It was almost always packed. To buy a coffee required commitment.

Photographs on Media Passes: This season, media had photo ID on their passes. “I’m sick of people who aren’t in media saying they are in media,” says Kay. “A lot of people who aren’t really media, when they hear about the photograph, they won’t bother us.” Not sure that it did much good, but it didn’t hurt, either.

Layout: The VIP room was a large circular space in the middle of the venue. Through the soft cocoon of floor to ceiling white sheers, you could just make out a series of white sofas arranged in vignettes and the glow of a massive chandelier. By contrast, the media room was arranged like a feature attraction at a zoo, with low walls for the viewing pleasure of those in line waiting for a show. They happily leaned against it and stared like it was part of the show. It was as pleasant as having a stranger read over your shoulder. Although there was plenty of room in the venue, and it was a chilly March, a coat check apparently was out of the question. Reconsider that, please.

Needs Improvement
Afternoon Shows
: They seem to work in New York and Paris and Milan, so why not in Toronto? The main runway room seats about 1,000. “In the afternoon, there’s no energy in the room,” says Elle Canada fashion editor Denis Desro. “Probably because the room is too big and it’s empty. When it’s empty, it’s not a good image.” We have that many people working in the Toronto fashion industry. But do we have that many fashion people whose jobs include attending daytime shows? Don’t think so. Even top designer, Montrealer Denis Gagnon, couldn’t pull in a crowd.

Seating: The bleacher seating was fine, really, if you weren’t wearing heels. At least the staggered heights made sightlines better. But seating was tight for some front-rowers. “If I buy a second media pass, can I have a seat for the other half of my ass?” tweeted NOW magazine style editor Andrew Sardone @NOWlifestyle. Worse was the back row; accidentally lean back against the curtain and you’ll tumble 10 feet or so to the cement below. If you can construct a mezzanine, complete with gigantic chandelier, for the sponsors, you can anchor a safety backing to the curtain and bleachers for the rest of the attendees.

Seating Charts: The studio room was a seating ghost land; when a person hasn’t been with a publication for, say, more than a year, could you get their names off the seats? It’s insulting to the current holder of the position and everyone else who actually rsvp’d and is in attendance. Use an updated seating list. Maybe one that contains the names of people who paid for passes. And how about giving the volunteers the seating plan for all the sections in the runway room, not just their own? It takes a lot of time for people to go from volunteer to volunteer, checking the individual lists to find their seats.

Play Well with Others: One “seating” leader homed in like a missile on one particular attendee every time she sat in the front row. It was comical really. She was always sitting in her seat. She was there every day and she was one of the hardest working people who attended. Got a problem with that?

Models: Canada produces some of the world’s top runway models. It’s a pity, then, that none of them stick around when they make it big to walk here. Was there a reason the models kept stopping about two-thirds of the way down the runway? Was it so that those of us in the media section, close to the photographers’ pit (but without the photographers’ zoom lens) couldn’t see the details of the clothes? Or were they only getting paid two-thirds of their salary? Let’s ditch this new, unwelcome, trend.

Entry: Why they flipped the entries for media from one entrance to the other at seemingly random intervals is still a mystery. You’d fight your way to the front of the line then find media is only being let in on the other side. Then you’d have to do it all over again on the other side. Hang the divider signs up for media, sponsors, industry and the rest; they’re impossible to see at night when the crowds come out.

: “We all know a week is too much for the number of designers we have,” says Desro. “You’re better seeing eight good shows in one day than 40 in a week and it becomes boring.” During that five-day schedule in Toronto, there’s no excuse for double-booking shows. No, really, there’s not. Lucian Matis pitted against Lovas? “I tried to be on the FDCC calendar; [a couple of months before] I asked them what hours work best so we don’t overlap shows. They didn’t answer,” Matis says. Poor Platinum agency, which carries both, had to squire buyers directly from Lovas to Matis, who was offsite at the Design Exchange. A few others ran between shows, too, missing parts of Matis, then rushing back for Comrags. Most people didn’t bother, choosing between Lovas/Comrags or Matis, but most grumbled about the mess up.

Late Shows: Why is it, when you’re rushing to the venue in the early afternoon after desperately trying to squeeze in as much work as possible, and the show room is empty with volunteers used to fill the front row, the shows start precisely on time? But, when you’ve been at the venue for six hours already, you have an early morning meeting and you have yet to eat lunch or dinner, the shows start an hour late? Get it together. It’s not fashionable. If a show requires elaborate hair, makeup or staging, schedule it as the last show of the night.

Show Cheat Sheet
By Gail McInnes and Doris Montanera

Amanda Lew Kee: Following her highly-acclaimed premiere on the LGFW runway last season, the blue-lipped trend-setter’s sophomore collection created a divide with some attendees who dutifully tried to process her use of metallic fringe fabrics in bright orange and blue. Focusing on the designer’s strengths, the standouts were her all-black pieces and dresses featuring strong zipper backs and long flowing skirts. Lee Kew recently announced on Twitter that she would be under the mentorship of Natalie Lecomte, assistant womenswear buyer at Holt Renfrew, a wise move for a label with so many eyes watching. —GM

Attitude by Jay Manuel for Sears: There were plenty of runway moments at the Sears launch of its new Jay Manuel for Attitude line, not all of them about the fashion. A woman bolted from her front-row seat moments before the show was about to start to chat with someone on the other side. There were audible gasps from the audience—breathless “ohs”, and a unified cry of “no” from the photographers. The cover, just removed from the glossy black-lacquered runway, was scored with footprints. Another delay as it was again polished to a mirrored high sheen with Windex. When it started, the show was as slick and glossy as the runway, though. Top model Yasmin Warsame opened in a white, price-accessible, Sears’ version of Karl Lagerfeld’s Le Smoking, followed by winners and runners’-up from both Canada’s Top Model and its American counterpart. Jay Manuel’s dark-lensed, unsmiling mug blown to giant size, sternly overlooked the runway as if to say “I dare you not to like it”. It’s okay, we like. —DM

Basch: Fit for the red carpet of a music awards show, Brandon R. Dwyer’s Basch line was all hip, hop and sex appeal. With a soundtrack of Rihanna and her cohorts blasting, models upped the diva factor to their strut in thigh-exposing mini dresses and long flowing gowns with splits up to you-know-where. Accessorized with lime-green belts and spats, shades of lilac, royal blue and olive satins were the stand out colour choices from his palette, which also included a foundation of black. Where Dwyer excels is his more feminine and subtle sexy pieces with strategic draping and modest hemlines, but when it comes to putting on a show, he knows how to capture our attention, whether or not it leads our eyes to places we may not need to have been. —GM

Chloe Comme Parris: Toronto sisters Chloé and Parris Gordon are ones to watch. This season was all about tuxedo-inspired dangling shirts, and flowing chiffon tails on sweaters, coats tailored with studs circling the cuffs or shoulders, low waists, cutouts, and long, sexy skirts leaving one leg completely bare. —DM

David Dixon: To commemorate his 16th anniversary show, Dixon was gifted with rumours, spread throughout Twitter, that it was cancelled. (Ironically, Dixon was already at Heritage Court getting ready.) Next, he was gifted with rumours that he wasn’t doing interviews. Moral of the story: don’t believe rumours about Dixon unless you hear them from the designer himself. The show started an unfashionable hour-and-a-half late, causing the staff of at least one prominent magazine to leave. The delay came from taking down the elaborate set for the Attitude show. Add another 15 to 20 minutes while Dixon argued with the FDCC; he wanted them to apologize for the delay, and they refused. “I was going to go out on the runway and apologize but the backstage person wouldn’t let me on,” he says. The show itself was flawless, opening with a retrospective from previous collections, followed by his fall line inspired by exotic escapes. Think ikat prints, digitized snakeskin, leather pailettes in gowns, skirts and dresses. It was a hard sell for attendees, though, who were tired and cranky from a hectic day and night schedule. “There were no interviews,” says Dixon. “ [The show is] about media. We show to keep ourselves relevant and top of mind. This business is fast and quick so the idea is to catch attention. I’ll probably never show again with the FDCC. The point is I don’t like the loss of control.” —DM

Denis Gagnon: Gagnon coloured his world (for a change) in orange, fuchsia and turquoise. You either loved it or hated it. For Desro, it was the best moment of the week. “The clothes are amazing,” he says. “It’s almost haute couture. There were so many details and it was so well done.” Combining hard and soft—fine pleating and tulle underlays with chunky exposed zips and zip-off sections, as well as slinky oversized crochet-knit dresses—made this one of his most accessible collections to date. —DM

Heather Lawton: Debuting at LG Fashion Week, PEI-born, New York City-based Heather Lawton’s all-black, “futuristic goth” collection of draped, loose-fitting tunics and dresses over liquid leggings. Trims and scarves of goat hair and Mongolian fur were the standouts. Models in stark white, long, blunt cut wigs and dark eyes seemed to have transformed into their characters as photographers in the pit beckoned them to move toward the light so they could capture their image. —GM

IZMA: A fur-lover’s dream and a PETA protester’s nightmare; IZMA—seemingly inspired by the Jerry Hall of her Studio 54 days—paired an array of metallic fabrics, sheers and velvet pieces with opulent fur coats and capes in moss, sapphire, wine and black. Fashion veteran Izzy Camilleri is a master when it comes to using pelts and leathers, and it was finely showcased this season with layered trims and metallic panels on the key pieces. The only stumble for the collection was the finale gown which one reporter mentioned, “If a model can’t look good in it, no one can.” —GM

Joe Fresh: The Pusateri crowd lined the front row, even though the price point is cheap-chic; Joe Mimran and team know how to put on a stylish show. Grab your Crayola box for the palette. Stiff neoprene coats and skirts in primary brights like blue, green and Joe Fresh’s signature orange. Gold loafers, metallic fringe minis and pastoral scene sweaters and vests round off the selection. —DM

Label: TFI residents Label opened with a video of a girl waking up, donning a t-shirt, pulling on leggings with front leather patches, then smoking a cigarette and pulling on a cape and walking down the road. Jarring if you know that the mantra of the company is eco-friendly and sustainable materials. Ditch the cigarette and you still get non-granola, rocker-chic with leggings and tees, fine-weave shirt dresses, wool poncho capes with leather trim and navy tunics in Lycosel. —DM

Line: Line, the label created by John Muscat and Jennifer Wells, was an uplifting ending for a fashion week that felt too long. It channelled a boho vibe, with scoop-back, floor-sweeping crochet dresses that skimmed the body and looked anything but demure, chunky patchwork wraps and crochet-fringe shawls. Oversized cable knit sweaters offered style you could cozy up in. Add to that shaggy knit car coats, looped scarves, double-knit flared pants, in a palette of rich plum, faded dusty pink velvet and grey crochet—the list could go on—and Line did no wrong. —DM

Lovas: Wesley Badanjak proves careerwear doesn’t have to be boring. Slim velvet pencil and wool tweed skirts, belted, slouchy merino wool cardigans, fitted jackets and blouses with big bows could be wardrobe central for the role of sexy, sophisticated librarian. Add impeccable tailoring and it’s a winner. —DM

Lucian Matis: Lucian Matis shone in 500 lights (bulbs spelling out his name) at the Design Exchange, showing what the freedom to control his staging and attention to detail can do. He called his collection Chaos, but the only chaos came from the schedule conflict with the FDCC who pitted him against fellow agency-mate Lovas. Along with his artistic staging—angling the seats into a V to maximize front-row seating, for example—elaborate construction and embellishment were the hallmarks of the line. “It’s an artwear collection rather than pret-a-porter,” he says. “I use this as a creative playground.” Think cable-knit, mini bubble skirts studded with pompoms, exaggerated shoulders, tassles, beading and crystals everywhere. —DM

VAWK: Sunny Fong knows how to dress a woman. His master tailoring caresses curves without hugging them too tight. For fall 2011, his label presented for the first time on-site at LG Fashion Week after a number of seasons showing at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Still using cream and black as in his previous collections, Fong infused bold bursts of a perfect shade of turquoise and classic wine into his line of classic suiting. As with previous seasons since partnering with Ben Barry, body diversity was highlighted with a gorgeous plus-sized model who easily melded with the rest of the cast, while an older woman got her first opportunity on the runway. —GM


3. TFI Residents Land on International Media Map

The TFI was on the schedule for eight international journalists being feted by Tourism Toronto late March, and the residents on hand made an impression.

“You should come to London,” U.K. journalist Stephanie Plentl told Patouche childrenswear designer Kessa Laxton. “We need something like [your line]….You’d do really well at trade shows.”

Label inspired Gerardo Leon, style co-editor for Mexico City newspaper El Universal. “I love new ideas like the eco fabric but that’s not eco-styled. I’m looking for different things that have never been seen—not just design. I found different colours and shapes in [Toronto’s] fashion and food. I’m going to tell readers it’s very cold and Toronto has a little feel of Tribeca in New York and a little Paris. It’s a mix of cultures and styles, and you can discover a lot of amazing things.”

For Luisa Espanet, a freelancer who writes fashion for Milan newspaper Libro, as well as Grazia and Donna Moderna magazines, it was the philosophy of the designs she saw at the Incubator that thrilled her most. “They have good ideas. They are not just creative but they think about the market. They have their feet on the ground, which is important.”


4. Upcoming TFI Events
Get details on TFI's upcoming seminars, events and gatherings:

How To Make Money: Advice From Line
Wednesday, May 25

5:30pm – 7:30pm, Toronto Fashion Incubator, 285 Manitoba Dr., Exhibition Place, POD 3.
Meet John Muscat and Jennifer Wells from Line Knitwear, a successful Toronto-based company featured in publications such as Lucky, InStyle and FLARE, that's gained a celebrity fan base including Jennifer Garner, Kate Bosworth, Jessica Biel and Taylor Swift. Learn how they've landed key accounts from around the world, gain invaluable insight and DIY advice.

Develop A Successful Online Business
Tuesday, June 14

5:30pm – 7:30pm, Toronto Fashion Incubator, 285 Manitoba Dr., Exhibition Place, POD 3.
Meet Joanna Track, founder and former publisher of SweetSpot.ca and founder of Dealuxe, an e-commerce venture that sells contemporary fashion and lifestyle products. Discover how to achieve your sales and marketing objectives by having an effective website.

Meet Arie Assaraf, Owner/Buyer, TNT Boutiques
Tuesday, June 28

6:30pm – 8:30pm, TNT Hazelton Lanes (lower level), 87 Avenue Rd., Toronto.
Here's your chance to meet one of Toronto's TOP retailers! Bring your buyers kit and discover Arie's take on:
o What sells in his stores and why he looks for designers with a unique "voice"
o How designers can better develop their products for TNT

TFI Meet & Mingle
Monday, July 25

5:30pm – 7:30pm, Toronto Fashion Incubator, 285 Manitoba Dr., Exhibition Place, POD 3.
Grab a coffee, network, share ideas and meet industry insiders. Looking for a job, a new client or hoping to snag a deal? Face-to-face networking is the most effective way to develop a business relationship. This exclusive, FREE event is open to TFI members only.

Promostyl Fall/Winter 2012 Trend Forecast
Thursday, July 28

5:30pm – 7:30pm, Toronto Fashion Incubator, 285 Manitoba Dr., Exhibition Place, POD 3.
Be inspired and discover what will drive the market for fall/winter 2012 at this seminar exclusively for TFI members.

TFI Membership Drive to July 31
Ongoing to July 31, 2011

Online through TFI Shop www.fashionincubator.com/shop.
If you've been waiting for the right moment to join TFI or to renew your membership, NOW is the time! Not only can you save 10% and gain membership to a prestigious and supportive organization, you'll be helping TFI meet its annual membership goal in order to support its case for continued support from the City of Toronto. Help us to help you—it's that simple. Memberships can be made online at TFI Shop.

Tickets for TFI seminars and events are available at TFI Shop.

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. 31.

5. 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 TFI.

6. Thank You TFI Donors
Thank you to our donors for your support of our non-profit organization. Your financial contribution enables TFI to carry on its important work of encouraging job creation and economic development in the community. This month we recognize the following for their kind donations to TFI: Contributors Joeffer Caoc, Nina Budman and Benefactor Wanda Ho. If you like reading TFI News, please make a donation to our non-profit by clicking here.

Donor categories: Contributor, $50 and under; Supporter, $50 to $100; Benefactor, $100 to $500; Patron, $500 and up.

7. Scene & Heard

TNT Fundraises for TFI
Celebrity Nicole Richie (above left) was among the VIP guests who hobnobbed and posed for pictures at TNT on May 12. The Toronto-based luxury boutique was celebrating its 20th anniversary and launch of its expanded 18,000-square-foot boutique in Hazelton Lanes. The event was also a fundraiser for the Toronto Fashion Incubator with owner/ buyer Arie Assaraf (above, far right) pledging to raise $10,000 for TFI. During the event, TNT offered its guests 25% off all store merchandise for a $20 donation. TNT is continuing its efforts with a similar fundraiser in Montreal and a consumer event in June.

Passionate For Fashion 2011 Winner
On April 27, at The Drake Hotel, Bonnie Yam from Roxx Jewels won the second annual A Passion For Fashion Award presented by Youth Employment Services (YES) and the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI). Ten finalists, all young entrepreneurs who successfully completed the A Passion For Fashion (PFF) program and submitted business plans for review, competed to win the grand prize that included $1,000 cash, a one-year outreach membership to the TFI, and 50 hours of fashion and business mentoring provided by YES and TFI. "Although the competition was fierce, Bonnie demonstrated exemplary talent and resourcefulness," said Gail McInnes, PFF program coordinator. "She clearly has what it takes to succeed in the fashion industry." The Government of Ontario's Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, which has sponsored the program since 2009, recently confirmed that it will be funding a third year of PFF starting in August 2011. To register for this free program, youth aged 16 to 29 can apply online through the YES website at www.yes.on.ca/get-informed/yes-programs/passion-for-fashion/.

McInnes Nominated for Scottish Fashion Award
The 6th annual Scottish Fashion Awards, in association with Vogue.com and Swarovski, has nominated TFI News contributing editor Gail McInnes of Magnet Creative, Scottish Communicator of the Year 2011. Calling her “a trend setter that stormed Canada and became a fashion voice of authority”, McInnes was discovered after Hartmann Media, which runs the event, read an article about her that appeared in the Scottish newspaper the Sunday Mail. “It is such an incredible honour to be recognized, not only for such a prestigious international award, but also to have it take place in my hometown,” says McInnes. For more information, visit www.scottishfashionawards.com/nominees.php.

TFI Welcomes New Design Mentor Natalya Willy
TFI members in need of advice on how to develop a cohesive, marketable line can now tap into the expertise of Natalya Willy, a design consultant responsible for designing and developing several luxury fashion brands in Canada. A design director and line developer, Willy specializes in assisting and nurturing innovative start-ups to build fashion brands and collections from conception to completion. She possesses the innate ability to develop innovative and marketable collections that deliver a premium product with a strong vision. Through her expertise, several of her clients have become heavyweights in the industry, garnering critical acclaim from coveted media, press and industry insiders. Willy studied Fashion Techniques and Design at George Brown College and classical music at the University of Toronto. She was awarded the Jones Apparel Scholarship and Fairchild’s Most Promising Designer award for excellence in design. To request a mentor consultation with Willy or other TFI mentors, download www.fashionincubator.com/downloads/TFI_Consultation_Request_Form.doc.

An American Beauty Eyes Stylish Vision
Hollywood actress Mena Suvari, who starred in American Beauty and who will be reprising her role in the upcoming film American Reunion, charmed VIP guests at an exclusive event for LensCrafters at The Richmond in Toronto on May 11. Lucky attendees took home a pair of designer sunglasses tailored with individual prescriptions. The event was designed to pair personality type with the perfect shades to achieve stylish and comfortable vision. "It's about how to avoid a fashion faux pas by having sunglasses made with your prescription," said Suvari. "LensCrafters makes that easy, especially with designer name brands like Ray-Ban, Burberry, Tiffany and Tory Burch."

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen Launch StyleMint
CFDA-nominated designers Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen have launched StyleMint, a new concept in online shopping: it pairs an exclusive apparel collection with customized shopping technology to give members the experience of a personal stylist. Debuting with an exclusive t-shirt line, StyleMint.com offers what the Olsens do best: quality, on-trend designs, perfect fit and effortless style. Members receive personalized selections from each collection matched to their style profile, along with trend reports and videos showing them how to wear and pair pieces. StyleMint is a division of BeachMint, an e-commerce company for celebrity-curated, direct-to-consumer sites, founded by tech entrepreneurs Josh Berman (MySpace) and Diego Berdakin. BeachMint launched its first brand, JewelMint.com, with Kate Bosworth in October 2010 and will launch two more sites in 2011.

Gwen Stefani Donates $1M to Earthquake-Tsunami Children
Singer-songwriter and fashion designer Gwen Stefani recently donated $1 million to Save the Children's Japan Earthquake-Tsunami Children Emergency Fund to help in the relief and recovery effort in Japan. To raise even more money for the cause, Stefani held an online charity auction in April where fans bid for a chance to join the Grammy-nominated singer at an exclusive Harajuku-themed tea party in Los Angeles on June 7. Other auction items included vintage L.A.M.B. clothing and limited-edition signed and numbered Harajuku Lovers t-shirts. Stefani has been inspired by Japan since she first toured there with No Doubt in 1996. Not only did she fall in love with the country and its people, she found a special connection to a district in Tokyo known as Harajuku, an area that thrives on creativity, music, art and fashion. The youth culture of the Harajuku district have been a constant muse for her, inspiring both her clothing line called Harajuku Lovers and the song Harajuku Girls. Throughout her career Stefani has borrowed heavily from Japanese culture for many of her creative endeavours.

Looking for Clothing That Fits? There's an App for That
MySizeFinder (www.MySizeFinder.com) is a new easy-to-use application that helps translate sizes between brands so women can find clothes quickly and easily based on their personal body measurements. "Buying clothes is hard. Each brand has their own clothing size chart and there have been no standards to follow. This leaves only one option—to try before you buy. Not every woman has the time or the interest to try every piece of clothing before she buys," said Kavitha Setty, president of MySizeFinder.com. "The goal of MySizeFinder is to help you find the clothes of your size without having to try them on. We have already collected data for more than 300 brands now and we continue to add more every day," she said. The apparel sizing chart app works on iPhones and Androids and costs 99 cents (USD). A portion of all proceeds will go to charities that support women.

8. Top Picks

A new research study shows growth and optimism for Canada's apparel industry

Nominate an outstanding woman who should be recognized for her contribution to entrepreneurship

Discover trends, DIY guidebooks and a calendar of tradeshows. This site was formerly Infomat.com

9. Upcoming Events

D&A Los Angeles
Los Angeles
June 13 – 15, 2011
Location: New Mart Building, 127 East 9th St.
Trade show featuring men's and women's fall/winter II and holiday 2011 ready-to-wear and accessories.
To exhibit, visit designersandagents.com/apply_main/ for the application form. Registration for buyers available onsite with presentation of a business card at the registration desk.

Los Angeles
June 13 – 16, 2011
Location: California Market Center, 110 East 9th St. at Main St.
Independent fashion trade event featuring a selection of contemporary, young contemporary and junior apparel and accessory lines for fall II and holiday 2011. To exhibit, visit www.californiamarketcenter.com/markets/focus.php for the application form. Registration for buyers and press available onsite.

Première Vision New York
New York
July 13 – 14, 2011
Location: Metropolitan Pavilion & Altman Building, 125-135 West 18th St.
Textile show for fall/winter 2012/2013. Register online at www.premierevision-newyork.com/index.php.

Project New York
New York
July 17 – 19, 2011
Location: 82 Mercer St.
Contemporary fashion trade show. To exhibit, call 310.857.7500. To register, call 877.554.4834.

MRket/Vanguard New York
July 17 – 19, 2011
Location: Javits Center, 655 West 34th St.
Trade show featuring spring/summer 2012 menswear collections. To exhibit, contact Lizette Chin at lizettec@mrketplace.com. Registration for buyers happens onsite. For information on acceptable buyer or business information, visit www.mrketshow.com/admission-policy/.

California Gift Show
Los Angeles
July 19 – 25, 2011
Location: L.A. Mart & Los Angeles Convention Center
Trade show featuring contemporary and traditional gifts from U.S. and Canadian artisans.
To exhibit, visit apps1.mmart.com/calgift/2011/apply/ for the application form. To register, visit www.californiagiftshow.com.

July 27 – 29, 2011
Location: The Tunnel/La Venue, 608 West 28th St.
Trade show featuring ENK International's exhibition of menswear with an emphasis on new and upcoming brands. To exhibit, visit www.enkshows.com/apps/mens/ for more information. To register, visit www.enkregistrations.com.

ENKWSA Las Vegas
July 27 – 29, 2011
Location: The Venetian and Sands Expo Center
Trade show featuring the largest gathering of footwear and accessories suppliers in the world and the first global fair of the season. To exhibit, visit www.wsashow.com/exhibitor_information/landing for more information. To register, visit www.wsashow.com/attendee_information/registration.

Interested in having your event posted? Send your submission with a minimum of 14 days notice to TFI.
To subscribe or unsubscribe to TFI NEWS please email us or call
416.971.7117 x 21.

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

Get Listed!
Promote your company’s services in the Resources section of TFI’s website, www.fashionincubator.com, to a young and fashionable group of influencers. 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 2011 The Toronto Centre for the Promotion of Fashion Design (O/A Toronto Fashion Incubator, TFI). No part of TFI NEWS may be copied or duplicated in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Toronto Fashion Incubator. This publication is distributed for information purposes only and with the understanding that TFI is not responsible for the results of any actions taken by any person in reliance on such information, nor for any errors or omissions contained herein. TFI expressly disclaims any and all liability arising out of the use of this publication or any part thereof by any person


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