Canadian fashion is on fire. And it’s just a click away for buyers in the U.S., U.K., and Europe who can visit Showroom Canada 2023, peruse the showcased designers, and order straight through Joor.
Showroom Canada is presented by the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) and the Canadian Apparel Federation and is also supported by a contribution from Global Affairs Canada. For fall/winter 2023, Showroom Canada is spotlighting 17 designers. The collections are nothing less than stunning and bring a fresh perspective to a market that has been pummeled by sameness.
For its part, the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) is an award-winning non-profit that was established in 1987 to help emerging fashion entrepreneurs become successful by understanding the business of fashion. “We provide exciting opportunities for brands to make sales, generate exposure and gain first-hand experience through events such as pop-ups, group fashion week showcases, and Showroom Canada, our online virtual showroom,” said Susan Langdon, who serves as Executive Director of the Toronto Fashion Incubator.
Once these emerging designers and entrepreneurs gain footing, they contribute to a fashion market that is energized, innovative, and dynamic — and sustainable. And when asked what differentiates Canadian fashion apparel from other markets from a production perspective, Langdon said most Canadian brands prefer to produce in Canada “because the production quality is excellent, and everything is made ethically.”
“Producing locally keeps the carbon footprint low and it supports the local supply chain which is integral to our industry,” Langdon explained. “Esthetically, Canadian brands offer a mix of European flair with North American practicality. Fabrics are almost all sourced from European or Asian mills as there are very few fabric mills remaining in Canada.”
Regarding the value proposition for U.S. and European buyers in working with Canadian apparel brands, Langdon said it meets a consumer demand for freshness. “The market has been driven by name-brands or by price for far too long resulting in either an over saturation of the same-old-same-old, or an abundance of fast fashion,” Langdon explained. “Consumers are looking for something new and exciting that’s not found in every store in the mall. Social media has helped consumers to discover, and buy, Canadian brands that they may not have heard of before.”
And it’s not just consumers who are discovering this. Langdon said many celebrity stylists “are tapping into Canadian apparel and accessories to dress stars such as Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore, Justin Bieber, Drake, Steven Tyler, and Jessica Chastain to name just a few.”
Specifically, Showroom Canada brands dressing the stars include Drake worn by Gully Klassics, Priyanka Chopra and Evelyne Brochu worn by Nadya Toto, and Karl Wolf and Ronaldinho worn by Woodpecker.
When asked how she sees the Canadian fashion industry evolving, Langdon envisions a greener future.
“Most Canadian brands are already aware of how important it is to build sustainability into their businesses and I think this will continue to grow,” Langdon said. “Designers are thinking about a product’s after-life when a consumer no longer wants it. What can it be made into? How can it be re-purposed? Canadians care about nature and the environment because almost 25 percent of our country is still wilderness and it’s something we want to preserve.”