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TFI News - November 2004

A fashion industry newsletter for innovative designers and small business entrepreneurs


TFI News

Brought to you by:
Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI)
1987 – 2004
17 Years of TFI

Contact TFI at tfi@fashionincubator.com

November 2004
Volume 12, Issue 7

1. TFI New Labels® Fall 2005: One Hot Competition. Six New Semi-Finalists
2. Meet TFI’s Newest Residents
3. New York Market Week Review (Part 2)
4. Scene + Heard
5. Upcoming Events
6. Top Picks

1. TFI NEW LABELS® FALL 2005: One Hot Competition. Six New Semi-Finalists

The stakes have been raised in the tfi New Labels® Fall 2005 Fashion Design Competition as six new Canadian collections, Cincyn by Cynthia Florek and Cindy Custodio, Karamea by Michelle Turpin, Lucid by Anna Kosturova, PierreJale by Peter Tsang and Kelly Jale, Nostalgy by Samantha Thomson and To: For:: by Tee Kow, will compete for just four spots to showcase their collections on the tfi New Labels® runway this coming March. PierreJale and Lucid, hail from Vancouver, B.C. while the other talented young designers are Toronto-based. All are women’s contemporary collections with the exception of To: For::, a hot new men’s wear line, and Lucid, a collection of celebrity-admired swimwear.

"This has been a bumper crop for new designer submissions. With such an outstanding group of new talent to choose from, The New Labels judges selected six semi-finalists, instead of the usual four." Rita Silvan

Slated for March 2005, the tfi New Labels® national design competition offers innovative ready-to-wear fashion designers the chance to shine on stage in a professional, cutting-edge environment. These six fresh fashion designers, all members of the Toronto Fashion Incubator, were selected from a jury of top industry insiders over a deliberation period held at the tfi on November 12th 2004. One line will be eliminated in December and another in January when the judges meet again for rounds two and three of the competition. Only four will make the final cut.

A talented jury of fashion and design experts, Rita Silvan, of ELLE CANADA, Susanne Hiller of the National Post, Steven Sabados and Chris Hyndman of Design Rivals, Designer David Dixon and Hugo Boss’ Dawn Thorpe selected the semi-finalists based on design innovation, quality and salability of their intended collections. Joining the tfi New Labels® judging team in December will be Wendy Medina of Toray Ultrasuede®
America Inc. (TUA)
, the global microfiber leader and creator of the Ultrasuede® brand fabric.

The winner of the competition receives The ELLE CANADA New Labels® Fashion Award comprised of a $1,000 cash prize and a one-page editorial in the magazine, a one-year Outreach membership to the tfi, and participation in the tfi New Labels® Fall 2005 show at no cost. One of the four finalists will receive a $500 cash prize from Ultrasuede® for the most innovative use of the fabric in their New Labels® collection and all six semi-finalists will receive up to 20 yards of the high-end textile for sampling.

Presenting and Media Sponsor of the tfi New Labels® Fall 2005 is leading upscale fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazine ELLE CANADA for the 2nd consecutive year. Proud and passionate supporter of Canadian Fashion talent, Vin de Pays d’Oc joins us for the 3rd year as Party Host Sponsor, with a superb pre-show wine reception featuring a selection of Pays d’Oc wines. Newly on board as Platinum Sponsor, Toray Ultrasuede® America Inc. is committed to working with the best and brightest, by innovation, development and follow-through.

“The tfi New Labels® competition gives TUA the opportunity to reach a new group of young and creative talents and we are excited to be part of their unique interpretations of Ultrasuede”, says Toray executive Wendy Medina.

For details about the TFI New Labels® Fashion Design Competition, please contact tfi@fashionincubator.com or 416-971-7117. Visit www.fashionincubator.com for competition updates.

For press inquiries and designer profiles, please contact FAULHABER PR at 416-504-0768 or by email at christine@isellideas.com.


We’ve been busy attracting new designers to TFI’s prestigious Resident Program. Since August 2004, three new companies have established their businesses here. Meet Juma, Edward Chu and Partina, who join fellow Residents Arthur Mendonça, House of Spy and Wonderlust.

Alia Juma and Jamil Juma are the brother-sister duo behind the JUMA label. As design director, Alia organizes and implements activities related to product design and development, manufacturing and distribution. Creative director Jamil leads the company's strategic plans and policies and manages the overall image and positioning of the JUMA brand. Together they co-design the collection with a clear vision of the JUMA look and an instinctive understanding of the fashion marketplace. JUMA reflects sophistication and modernity through its products and services, standing for quality and integrity, and is committed to delivering products and services consistent with its philosophy.

JUMA is designed with young, affluent, refined individuals in mind. "Customers buy our line because of our unique styling, distinctive designs and fabrics. Our collection is dark, yet inviting with an energetic rhythm." says Jamil. "Our clothes are a different sort of luxury," explains Alia. Since they launched their line in the TFI’s New Labels® Fall 2004 Fashion Design Competition, their chic confections have been gaining a following in fashion circles for their sophistication, modernity and season-less appeal. The emphasis is on collectable, not disposable, fashion while striking a unique balance between racy and subtle, classic and ultra-modern, creative and wearable.

Hyung-Ju Chu graduated from the Fashion Arts program at Seneca College in June 2001. A native of Korea, Chu studied photography before coming to Canada to pursue a career in fashion design. Upon graduating from Seneca, Chu was offered an apprenticeship with celebrated local designer David Dixon. After a year with Dixon, Chu joined the Toronto Fashion Incubator's Outreach Program as a starting point toward launching his own line of clothing. In 2004, Chu joined the TFI Resident Program to develop his line in a full-time capacity.

Chu has now launched his own label, Edward Chu, specializing in designer womenswear. Providing women with stylish and unique separates and dresses, Chu's collection is perfect for the modern career woman who loves to experiment with different looks to create her own signature style. Comprised of more than 20 pieces, the Edward Chu fall 2005 collection is targeted women 25 to 40 years of age, who are the leaders of the pack when it comes to trends in fashion. Chu specializes in modern womenswear, ideal for the career-oriented single woman who has the confidence to mix and match various pieces to create and express her own personal look.

Launched in 2004, Partina is a designer bridal line catering to high-end bridal retailers in Canada and the U.S. Partina infuses a mix of modern understated luxury, timeless elegance and femininity into the collection of bridal gowns, accessories and flower girl dresses. Fine details, including Austrian crystals, Swarovski rhinestones, glass beads and French laces, are collectively used with Italian silk fabrics in flattering silhouettes.

Tina Cho, a graduate from Ryerson University’s Fashion Design program, is the talented designer behind the Partina label. While a student, Tina won The Alfred Sung Award for Excellence in Apparel Design. Since graduating in 2001, Tina has worked at several prestigious firms including Eaton's, Club Monaco and a New York-based bridal design firm. Her experience in the areas of product development, merchandising and retail sales, coupled with her devoted passion for her work, have prepared Tina for the launch of her label.

Juma, Edward Chu and Partina join a growing list of successful incubatees including well-known Canadian brands David Dixon, Misura, Mercy, Harebell, Wolves, Mabel, Olena Zylak and many more; proof that TFI’s Resident Program really works.

Follow their lead and contact TFI today for your FREE TFI Resident application form, or download it from the TFI web site. A few studios are still available but they won’t last long! By renting one of TFI’s subsidized in-house studios, your design business can use its funds more effectively to develop market opportunities and hire the right staff to help your business grow. You’ll also have access to on-site business advice, a professional showroom and a 2,000-sq.-ft. production facility. Invest in the future of your business for as little as $300 per month and give your company the keys to success and survival. Toronto Fashion Incubator Resident businesses boast an average 75% survival rate after four years compared to the average national average of only 37%.


By Susan Langdon

If you missed Part 1 of my New York Market Week Review, be sure to read the Sept/Oct 2004 issue of TFI News.

Hurricane Jeanne hit New York City on day two of New York Market Week in September and, with it, came eight inches of rain. Trying to grab a cab in New York, in a hurricane, is like rock climbing in four-inch heels. It can be done, but only with great difficulty and determination. So with useless umbrellas in hand, I, and several other hardy Canadians on this U.S. export market mission, braved the elements and persevered with our plans to scout the trade show circuit.

First on our list was Nouveau Collective at The Park Central. Many of the lines featured here were special occasion and MOB (mother-of-the-bride) and despite the bountiful use of sequins, rhinestones and glitzy attire, the venue looked a bit tired and the fashions on the missy side. For a list of exhibitors, visit www.designersattheessexhouse.com.

Next up was the Fashion Coterie, the grand dame of high-end trade shows that attracts buyers from all of the major fashion retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, Bendel's and Bloomingdales. While waiting to register, I spotted Marty Feix, owner of Your Choice boutiques in Toronto, as well as Suzanne Timmins, fashion director for The Bay, looking for product. Held at The Piers, the venue is at first overwhelming. Picture three football stadium-sized buildings each housing a thousand or more booths. The trick to participating in the Coterie I discovered is being in the "right" building depending on your product offering. Pier 90 is the main venue housing well-made but pricey missy lines. Pier 92 features bridge and designer labels like Canada's own Franco Mirabelli, and Pier 94 houses casualwear and designer denim lines like Juicy Couture and Parasuco. Strangely, the American brand Theory was positioned in Pier 94, as was Toronto's boy wonder, Arthur Mendonça; two lines that would have been better placed in Pier 92. The Coterie treats its buyers well, with many comfortable buyers lounges located throughout the three buildings, all with Internet access, free refreshments and free copies of Women's Wear Daily. No wonder it's a favourite trade show among retailers.

Designers and Agents (D&A) was held in an all-white über-hip loft featuring streetwear and funky accessories. From the cute D&A registration button to a DJ spinning sounds, the show was trendy and fun and most exhibitors looked like they were having a great time. Check out www.designersandagents.com for more info.

The Train New York is a new trade show with roots in Paris, France. Conveniently located down the street from D&A, the unassuming warehouse venue boasted some of the hipper ready-to-wear lines on the market. Lines like Dubuc and Sophie Sitbon were right at home in this exclusive environment that housed only 33 juried exhibitors. One big problem though—no one was here. The venue was literally empty. This one's got potential, however, and when traffic picks up, it will be one of the hottest tickets in town to see innovative designer lines. For more information, visit www.thetrainnewyork.com.

Aside from the trade shows, the Canadian contingent visited the Zenobia showroom at The Essex House and were given the royal treatment. Zenobia is a Montreal-based firm marketing bridge-to-designer separates for women. Zenobia’s staff were super friendly and we were treated to a private mini-runway showing of the spring 2005 collection. While the others went on to visit designer Lida Baday’s Fifth Avenue showroom, I headed home to Toronto with my broken heels and rain-soaked clothing. Despite enduring a multitude of uncontrollable events during my short stay, I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the New York market. Besides, who doesn’t love New York?

Special thanks to John McCabe, the business development officer at the Canadian Consulate General’s office in New York for making all of the arrangements that enabled our group to visit the private showrooms and trade shows on this trip. Usually these doors are closed to anyone other than retailers so don’t head to New York and expect the same gracious invitations. But there is no better way to explore market opportunities at home or elsewhere than to DIY, in person. For future export marketing missions to the U.S., contact the Canadian Consulate General’s office in your targeted city of choice to see when or if a mission is planned.

There’s nothing more fulfilling than making your special someone happy. If he or she is starting a fashion business, buy a TFI Outreach membership and one of TFI’s business start-up guidebooks, “How to Start a Fashion Business” and “Preparing a Business Plan for Fashion Entrepreneurs”. They’re the perfect gift that shows you want to help. Add a personal touch by customizing a gift certificate for any generous amount. To order, please contact the Toronto Fashion Incubator at 416-971-7117 ext. 21 or by email at tfi@fashionincubator.com.


This is proving to be a break-through year for Toronto-based designer Arthur Mendonça. It kicked off with a stellar fall 2004 collection that brought rave reviews and invitations to visit Milan, Sao Paolo and Denmark. After another outstanding runway show in September, Mendonça was accepted into the Fashion Coterie trade show in New York and in Los Angeles Fashion Week where he garnered coveted media coverage from industry publication Women's Wear Daily. Now he's got another feather in his cap. Mendonça was recently named the National Post Design Exchange 2004 Gold winner in the Fashion Category. Not bad for the young designer who launched his business just two years ago. Watch for Mendonça features coming up in Wallpaper and Toronto Life magazines.

In 1998, Ryerson University celebrated the 50th anniversary of it founding and its fifth as a university. This occasion provided a special opportunity to create the Ryerson Alumni Achievement Awards to recognize the talents and achievements of Ryerson grads. This year, Ryerson honoured 10 individuals who have not only excelled in their respective careers, but have made a significant contribution to their profession, their community and their country. Among this year's recipients were Eric McCormack (Theatre 1985), one of comedic television's favourite leading men. The Emmy Award-winning actor is best known for playing Will Truman in the hit series Will & Grace. Also honoured this year was Lynda Friendly (Business Management 1999 and Hotel, Resort and Institutional Administration 1970), who served as president and CEO of the Design Exchange. The effervescent Friendly is past chair of Tourism Toronto and serves on the Ryerson School of Fashion Advisory Committee.

TFI Outreach member Zoran Dobric is a name to watch. After participating in TFI's Spring 2005 Press
Breakfast in September, things have been on an upswing for the Toronto-based designer. He was featured in Visual, a new arts-oriented magazine, and in the Toronto Star on November 18. He just completed costumes for the Pretty Life video by Vancouver group Jakalope and his garments will be featured in an upcoming Fashion magazine spread. Recently, Dobric won the Art of Fashion's 2004 Most Promising Designer Award for his nouveau interpretations of Hollywood red-carpet looks. As part of the award, Dobric will receive a two-page magazine editorial and a television interview. Between all of the media interviews and new-found fame, Dobric manages to teach part-time at Ryerson's School of Fashion.

Christine Faulhaber, one of Toronto’s hottest publicists, has joined the TFI volunteer team as one of its online mentors providing information and advice to new fashion businesses. Get some tips and advice on getting the media’s attention and how to fine-tune your promotional strategy. With a talent for marketing ideas, brand building and sales strategy, Christine brings more than 15 years experience in the Canadian fashion and retail marketplace. Ask Christine a question or ask any of our dedicated volunteers. TFI’s online mentors include designers David Dixon, Rosa Costanzo and Elena Conte, international brand manager Dina Brode-Roger, and graphic designer/web designer Lorena Barrera. TFI’s own executive director, Susan Langdon, is also available to answer your small-business questions. The Toronto Fashion Incubator’s (TFI) new web site was made possible by a generous grant from The Ontario Trillium Foundation. You’ll find that our new look is fresh and user-friendly but, more importantly, brimming with information that can help you with your fashion business or career.

24 Seven, the leading talent recruitment agency for the fashion, apparel, home and retail industries in the U.S. is looking to expand into Toronto in 2005. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, 24 Seven has provided more than 400 American companies with talent for the past four years. Included in its client list are Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Club Monaco, Nine West, Federated Department Stores, Levi’s, Gap and more. 24 Seven specializes in supplying its clients with talent on the following categories: design, merchandising, product development, graphic design, brand strategies, production and sourcing, retail, sales executives and managers, and more. 24 Seven, dedicated to sourcing the best talent available today, has recently launched 24Seventalent.com, a full service career centre that provides fashion technology training (CAD/PDM), access to seminars with industry leaders, discounts on fashion-related events, access to health insurance and more. This online career portal was created to provide 24 Seven’s talent with the tools necessary to succeed in the fashion marketplace. For more information check out www.24seventalent.com.

Here’s a highlight of what’s coming up in the local fashion scene, but for a full listing of local, national and international fashion and small business events go to the Fashion Calendar in our new Happenings page

WED, DECEMBER 1, various locations along Bloor Street, Toronto. Select Bloor Street boutiques and residents host dinners in their homes and shops in this unique, black-tie fundraising event for CANFAR, the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research. The city’s top chefs, florists and suppliers will donate their goods, talent and expertise to transform Bloor Street into a dining experience like no other. Dinner guests will then be chauffeured by BMW to the Royal Ontario Museum for a fantastic After Party. For ticket information, contact 416-361-6281 or email cure@canfar.com.

DECEMBER 1 - 2, venue TBA, Toronto. This course is designed with the novice in mind. Learn techniques and gain information about the chainstitch and coverstitch machines to help increase your productivity, reduce machine downtime and improve garment quality. Cost $850 per person. Contact Linda Busuttil at the AIDC, 416-397-4832 or email lbusutti@toronto.ca.

SAT, DECEMBER 4, 10:00am - 5:00pm, Toronto Business Development Centre, 1071 King St. W. at Sudbury. Drop by for a one-stop holiday gift buying spree while supporting new entrepreneurs. You'll find an exciting array of outstanding gift items, food products and personal services from some of Toronto's most imaginative and creative talents.

SAT, DECEMBER 4, 2:00 - 4:00pm, Toronto Fashion Incubator, 106 Dovercourt Rd. TFI members are invited to share ideas and network at our monthly meeting. Call before December 1st to RSVP, 416-971-7117 x 21.

TUES, DECEMBER 7, Toronto Business Development Centre, 1071 King St. W. Learn to develop a business plan and leave with a framework that you can tailor to suit your needs. Register in advance and pay only $30 per seminar incl. GST. Call 416-345-9437.

TUES, DECEMBER 14, Toronto Business Development Centre, 1071 King St. W. Grow your new business by developing an effective sales and marketing strategy. Register in advance and pay only $30 per seminar incl. GST. Call 416-345-9437.

TUES, DECEMBER 14, Appointments available at 5:00pm, 5:45pm and 6:30pm. Toronto Fashion Incubator, 106 Dovercourt Rd. Meet, mingle and enjoy some holiday cheer while previewing the fall 2005 fashion trends from Ultrasuede®, the global microfiber leader and creator of the Ultrasuede brand fabric. To book an appointment, email us at rsvp@fashionincubator.com. For more information, visit tfi Events. Guests must be 19 years of age or older.

DECEMBER 24 - JANUARY 3, Toronto Fashion Incubator. We’re taking some time off to enjoy the holidays so we’ll see you on January 4, 2005 at 9:00am. We wish you all continued success in the New Year!

SAT, FEBRUARY 5, 2005 10:00am and 1:00pm, The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen Street W., Toronto.
You are invited to a deliciously sinful fashion and food experience taking place during Winterlicious, a festival of culinary delights in the City of Toronto. Enjoy a fashionable brunch at The Drake Hotel followed by an exclusive sample sale featuring hip clothing and accessories by TFI designers. Don't forget to pick up your complimentary gift bag provided by ELLE CANADA, Canada's pre-eminent fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazine. Tickets: $48 per person (including taxes and gratuity). Order your tickets early as space is limited. Call 416-531-5042 ext. 228 to make reservations.

Get your event listed for FREE! Send TFI News your fashion or small business event with at least 30 days prior notice. Send to tfi@fashionincubator.com.

Fashion and textiles plugins for Adobe Photoshop will help you simulate textile weaves and prints

Visit the Learning Centre, an educational resource for job search tips, industry articles and interviews

Want to start a fashion business but don’t know how? How to Start a Fashion Business is a guidebook developed for new designers. Along with valuable start-up advice, this guidebook provides samples of fashion business forms and a resource index.

Want to prepare a business plan but don’t know how? TFI’s How to Prepare a Business Plan was developed specifically for non-accounting fashion types. The guidebook provides a template that allows you to simply enter in your company’s information. It comes complete with a 3.5” floppy disk (formatted for Windows 95, Word 7.0 and Excel 7.0 for PC) so you can custom design your plan. What could be easier?

Each book is $25 (+ taxes) or buy both at the same time for only $45 (+ taxes). For more information and to order the guidebooks, contact TFI at tfi@fashionincubator.com or 416-971-7117 ext. 21.

TFI sponsors gain exposure to a targeted audience of more than 4,000 young fashion innovators and industry influencers per issue. If you would like to donate a contest item, membership reward or sponsor a TFI special event, contact Susan Langdon at tfi@fashionincubator.com or 416-971-7117 ext. 21 to learn about the benefits and exposure opportunities your company will enjoy.

Contact TFI at tfi@fashionincubator.com or call 416-971-7117 ext. 21.

NETWORK WITH YOUR PEERS: For a list of TFI members, look through Resident Profiles and Outreach Listings on Our Members page at www.fashionincubator.com/our_members/index.shtml.

TFI NEWS is published by the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI), an innovative, non-profit, small business centre established in 1987. TFI creates a sense of community among its members by delivering its comprehensive programs and benefits with an approach that is professional, passionate and nurturing.

TFI NEWS is a FREE newsletter publication sent to all TFI members and to those who requested it. Please forward this newsletter to other interested individuals and help spread the word! Information is intended for interactive and informative purposes only. Submissions and feedback are welcome from all and should be sent to tfi@fashionincubator.com.

To subscribe or unsubscribe to TFI NEWS please contact tfi@fashionincubator.com or call
416-971-7117 ext. 21.

Toronto Fashion Incubator
106 Dovercourt Road
Toronto, ON
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 11:00am to 5:00pm every first Saturday of the month by appointment.

© Copyright 2004 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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