TORONTO — The relaunch of Toronto Fashion Week is now one step closer to reality.
After being canceled in July 2016 by IMG Canada, Toronto Women’s Fashion Week — the new, fully digital showcase spearheaded by the organizers of Toronto Men’s Fashion Week — will launch its inaugural event on March 9, following Paris Fashion Week.
Shows for fall will run until March 14 at Toronto’s Mattamy Athletic Center.
The launch also marks a new and strategic collaboration between Fashion Week organizers and the Toronto Fashion Incubator, the award-winning non-profit organization that has nurtured Canadian designers since 1987. TFI’s 30th Anniversary Gala, followed by its New Labels Competition and Fashion Show, will open Toronto Women’s Fashion Week.
TFI’s New Labels prize will also include a fully sponsored runway presentation for its winner at the 2018 season of Toronto Women’s Fashion Week. “That element alone is valued at 30,000 [Canadian dollars, or $22,800],” said Susan Langdon, executive director of the Toronto Fashion Incubator.
“It’s a win-win for both organizations,” said Jeff Rustia, executive director and founder of Toronto Men’s Fashion Week and its new female counterpart. “This collaboration with the world’s first fashion incubator is very much aligned with our mandate at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week to support, promote and nurture Canada’s next generation of designers.
“Our combined influence among the media, buyers and the industry at large will provide a more effective platform, both nationally and internationally, for designers participating in the New Labels competition.”
North America’s second-largest fashion week collapsed in July after IMG Canada pulled the plug on its financial support. Yet Rustia believes the event’s new March timing will attract more media and buyers.
“Toronto Women’s Fashion Week is all about putting Canadian fashion designers first and creating new opportunities,” said Rustia. “We plan to enhance the experience to a whole new level through apps, online shopping, live-streaming, virtual reality and innovative social media and digital marketing initiatives,” he explained. “We’ll also feature showroom buyers’ days and industry panel discussions.”