By  on February 8, 1994

NEW YORK -- When Canada Mode was created six seasons ago, the idea was to produce a platform from which the country's top designers could make a move into the U.S. market.

For its first five seasons, Canada Mode -- a trade show produced by the Canadian Consulate General in New York and featuring about 40 designers from north of the border -- showed at hotels here. Now, in an attempt to cast a wider net, Canada Mode will have its own village at the New York Premier Collections.

"Canada Mode has really grown and built up its credibility and business with U.S. retailers," said Mary Allen, commercial officer for the Canadian Consulate General. "But what it comes down to is that there are just too many shows and buyers don't have enough time to visit them all.

"So we decided to look into consolidating the show," she said. "We went to see Premier's first season, and we were impressed. It's a professional event with a good level of resources and variety."

Canada Mode will showcase 40 designers in all categories, who hope this show will give them a chance to attract new accounts, introduce their lines to retailers and be included in an international trade event.

"This is a very exciting moment for us," said Jean Claude Poitras, who will feature his outerwear and sportswear lines at the show. "Finally, Canada will be part of the world; we will be exposed to the best in the world. I didn't believe in narrowing the competition to strictly Canadians."

Deborah Tissington, designer and merchandise manager of Neto, a sportswear and outwear firm, expects to double her business to $50,000 wholesale, compared with what she did at last year's Canada Mode show at the Rihga Royal Hotel.

"This is an exceptionally good idea," she said. "Canada Mode is a great unit, but there were not too many exhibitors. You need a draw for buyers. I think this will do it."

"It's about time that we had this kind of a setup," said Annie Reva, a Montreal designer. "It's much more united and buyers can get an overall view that they can't get at the hotel shows."I certainly hope this will increase my business," she said, "but unfortunately, these days it doesn't depend so much on how and where you show as much as the economy. But this show is definitely a plus, and it makes it easier for us to recruit buyers."

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