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Canadian designers and designers-to-be are hopeful that a new partnership between Canada Fashion Group (CFG) and a popular fashion broadcaster will give them the opportunity to go international with their designs.
This season, Canada Fashion Group, the body that runs Toronto Men’s Fashion Week (TOM*) and Toronto Women’s Fashion Week (TW), has partnered with Paris-based broadcaster Fashion TV to bring both shows to an international audience of over 400 million viewers.
The program will air in countries around the world including France, Brazil, Italy, Japan, Australia and China. This audience base is a big jump from the combined 30,000 visitors that attended TW and TOM* last season.
This Sunday, menswear designer Rhowan James will showcase his first full collection at TOM*. He first gained recognition after winning the TOM* Emerging Menswear Design Award for the Spring/Summer 2018 season. James is hopeful that the international coverage provided by Fashion TV this year will “catapult [his] brand into a new stratosphere.”
Toronto hosts seven fashion weeks annually, giving both established and new designers different opportunities to showcase their work.
During TW last October, a collaborative presentation with Ryerson Fashion saw 30 unique looks by ‘17 Fashion Design grads featured on the runway. Adrian Arnieri was one of the 12 student designers featured in the show. This past January, Canadian TV personality Sangita Patel gave Arniere’s designs international visibility by wearing one to the Golden Globe Awards.
Toronto has an abundance of competitions, programs, events and workshops like the Toronto Fashion Incubator, as well as Ryerson’s very own fashion design program, all of which aim to help jumpstart or build careers in fashion.
This past Tuesday, CFG hosted its first-ever Canada Fashion Conference in collaboration with Ryerson’s Fashion Zone and RADmag at Ryerson University. During the conference, attendees heard from designers and buyers about how they broke into the industry, and learned the ropes of fashion styling and photography in the practical workshop that followed.
“We never really get to see the hands-on process of a studio,” says RADmag editor-in-chief and fourth-year fashion communication student, Nabra Badr. “We do studio work but we’re never in there with a prof learning how to do it hands on.”
Second-year fashion design student Kiara Julien says the styling, shooting and modelling tips taught at the workshop are “crucial to helping [her] be the best designer that [she] can be.”
With the support of Canadian fashion leaders like Canada Fashion Group, and easily accessible resources and help available at places like Ryerson’s Fashion Zone, students are in a great place to make their designer dreams a reality.
“There’s so many passionate individuals fuelling these projects like new fashion weeks and these conferences, we have a lot of opportunities coming our way—it is very exciting,” says Julien.