Thursday, November 12, 2009

Do we have what it takes?

Has Toronto made the list of Top Fashion Capitals in the World?

Toronto has become a very popular hot spot in the recent years of fashion industry; it is known to host L’Oreal Fashion Week and home to some of the most renowned designers today. It is one of the most diverse cities in the world which gives us a unique multicultural influence. There are people from all over the world who live here that incorporate their own personal style in the cities fashion trends. However some may also disagree with the title of Toronto being one of the top fashion capitals. To be labeled as a fashion capital the economy of the industry should be outstanding; also you could argue that our country is very young so it lacks historical art influence. Other Fashion capitals that Toronto is competing with include Milan, Paris, London, New York and Tokyo. Let’s see if Toronto has what it takes to be on the list!

We’re all familiar with LG L’Oreal Fashion week. LG Fashion Week is held worldwide in the most influential fashion hubs; Toronto being one of them. Toronto hosts this fabulous event twice a year, bringing celebrities, media, beautiful clothing, stunning models and the hottest Canadian designers to the runway. This event gives Toronto the chance to be in the international spot light of Fashion today. According to Fashion Design Council of Canada this is the 11th year Toronto has been a part of LG Fashion Week. This is a 5 day event that is celebrated with all day runway shows and evening parties. And yes! this event is open to the public. With all this excitement and exposure that LG Fashion Week creates for Toronto why wouldn’t it be considered one of the fashion capitals?

Although Toronto does host a huge Fashion Week it doesn’t have enough generated business to support its fashion industry. Toronto only has a population of 2.5 million people, compared to New York with almost 20 million and London with 7.6 million, this means that the city of Toronto cannot generate enough dollars to be considered important in the fashion business economy. It is almost a trend for most Toronto designers to move out of the country for their work to be recognized internationally, and then move back. Since all other cities have such concentrated populations this gives them an advantage to making an impact in the business economy. Even though Toronto is the most diverse city in the world, it doesn’t have enough people to make it a strong competitor.

But on the other hand one could argue that Toronto is home to some of the most recognized designers in the industry: Joe Mimran, Lida Baday and Joeffer Caoc just to name a few. These Canadian designers have made a huge impact in fashion with their creative flare and their drive to succeed. Most have launched not only clothing, but also accessories, fragrances’ and home d├ęcor. Joe Mimran is the master mind behind Joe Fresh, Pink Tartan and international label Club Monaco. Canadian Business online has called Joe Mimran “The superstar fashion entrepreneur”. Lida Baday won the Buyers Designer of the year in 1996, she also has her line available at Holt Renfrew, Saks Fifth Ave and Nordstorm. So with such inspiring and successful designers doesn’t Toronto have what it takes to be on the list yet?

Even though Toronto is home to some of the most influential designers another obstacle is the youth of our country. Our country is only 142 years old, giving it little art and fashion history. This can make it difficult for our designers to have historical influencers. Even during the Second World War Paris and London were the fashion trend setters, and Toronto was one of the followers. Now we compare Toronto’s history to Paris’ which is 2000 years old, rich with art history and historical fashion influencers. Having such creative history puts other cities ahead of Toronto. It’s not that Toronto doesn’t have its own influence of style; it is just not penetrated with enough historical fashion support.

All in all, both sides of the argument to whether Toronto has what it takes to become one of the top fashion capitals are strong. Toronto is home to people from all over the world; the fashion here is influenced and adapted by every ethnicity. Some of the world’s most prominent designers originated here putting Toronto on the Fashion map! Bust does Toronto really have enough support to keep on making a mark in the industry? Because Toronto lacks in fashion history could this keep us back from being on the top list of fashion capitals? You be the judge. After all it is up to us to make it happen!  

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