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!  

What About the Skinny Bitch?!

Throughout the modelling industry we’ve all been hearing time and time again how unhealthy models are, how unattractive being skinny is, that real women don’t look like that...but when is enough, enough?

Karl Lagerfeld the German-born world-renowned fashion designer at the House of Chanel who renowned the designs for three labels: his own, Chanel and Fendi famously lost 90 pounds in 13 months because he wanted to wear other kind of clothes. Lagerfeld explained during a CNN interview “I went to see my doctor who before had never said you are too fat, you are not too fat, because he was quite big himself. Then, I said but you are big, yes? He said, ‘But that's different. My wife likes me like this.’ So this is something you cannot discuss. But single people have to see that differently,” after he woke up one morning and decided that what he saw in the mirror was enough, he wanted something else. "I only like the things that I'm allowed to eat, so it's not like I have to avoid anything, which is how I don't put on weight." Lagerfeld says “some people would like me to be round again,” when asked if he was looked at differently after losing so much weight. “Some people say to me you're too skinny, but never a skinny person says that to me, only people who could lose a few pounds say that.”

According to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 86 percent of Americans could be overweight or obese by 2030. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey around two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight, and almost one-third are obese.

“In France there are, I think, less than one per cent of people who are too skinny. There are nearly 30 per cent of young people who are too fat. So let's take care of the zillions of the too fat before we talk about the percentage that's left,” Karl Lagerfeld states. He says countries such as France have problems with a rise in overweight people rather than underweight.

So why all the pressure on the skinny bitches?

Germany’s most popular magazine Brigitte announced they would only be using “ordinary, realistic” looking women instead of professional models in future fashion spreads. Brigitte magazine is planning to release their first edition with non-professional models on January 2nd and are urging readers to sign up for photo sessions, saying that they are tired of having to “fatten up” pictures. Editor Andrea Lebert states, “We will show women that have their own identity, the 18-year-old A-level student, the company chairwoman, the musician, the footballer.” Lagerfeld felt Brigitte Magazine's plan was "absurd," and that the women complaining about too-skinny models were just fat and jealous. The decision to use ordinary realistic women instead of professional models was driven by overweight women who did not like to be reminded of their weight issues.

19-years-old Natasha Issajenko a Canadian athlete who was Canada’s 3rd fastest women is sure watching television subconsciously affects her body image. She states this is because “most people on T.V are supposed to be “beautiful,” skinny on T.V is what men want, all women want men to want them.” When asked if watching anything in particular sparked immediate body consciousness she nonchalantly replied “well if I was fat, yeah. But I’m not, so no.” When asked if she considered herself skinny she responded “yes. Well not skinny, but on the skinny side.”

“These are fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly.” Lagerfeld boldly defended skinny models. Fashion designer John Ribbe also spoke out, aiding Lagerfeld’s model defence. John Ribbe feels the row over models’ weight is becoming hysterical. “It’s just as much a cliche as saying that all models take drugs and get drunk at sex orgies. Ninety per cent of them are quite normal, properly proportioned girls with less fat and more muscles who also eat pizzas and burgers.”

“We don't see anorexic (girls). The girls are skinny. They have skinny bones,” Lagerfeld told reporters after his show. When asked whether the fashion industry was to blame for eating disorders, he replied: “No, that is something to sell papers.”

Natasha believes there are naturally skinny models out there who can eat anything and not gain weight, “everyone has a different body type,” she says. “I know many people like that.” In her opinion, skinny models look gross- however in regards to the complaining “mummies” Lagerfeld referred to she adds “there is no excuse to be fat and sit on your couch everyday.” She feels their revolt against skinny models could be “jealousy on their part, or it could also be a genuine concern. Models don’t have to be that skinny. I think it looks ugly personally.” She believes there should not be so much commotion surrounding models. “If someone wants to not eat and be skinny let them do their thing. There’s help out there for everyone.”

Lagerfeld fearlessly defends skinny models stating: “No one wants to see curvy women. Fashion is about dreams and illusions.”

Many celebrities such as Missy Elliot have lost weight for health reasons. Missy felt like she was too young to be was dealing with high blood pressure, and kidney stones. She states in an interview with XXL Magazine: “You can be big and sexy. I believe you can make people think you fly and sexy no matter how many pounds you are. You have to be confident in yourself, which is hard, because people can detect when you not confident. But when you show that confidence, you make them be like, ‘Oh, she’s fly.’ ”

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Airbrushing Controversy: Helpful or Harmful

The use of airbrushing has been an on-going worldwide issue within the fashion industry for a number of years. Models as well as celebrities appearing in advertisements and photo-shoots are continually being retouched to either enhance certain attributes, or remove any imperfections. The results are a perfect image of the subject who has been photographed. On one hand, many in the industry deem airbrushing a legitimate tool, as it can aid in creating a sense of fantasy in advertisements that are not trying displaying reality in the first place. On the flip side, others argue that over use of airbrushing has resulted in women in our society being held to an impossible standard of beauty and youthfulness. In recent months the heavy use of airbrushing has become increasingly controversial and many have begun to speak out against the issue, with more celebrities refusing to have their images artificially enhanced.
For many in the fashion and media industry, airbrushing is a common everyday occurrence. Some of the subjects may even enjoy the benefits of airbrushing, enabling them to look perfect without having to actually be perfect. As well, many fashion photographers intend their work to be viewed as creative and as a escape from reality. Therefore the images presented aim to convey an artistic vision, and not a replica of real life. It is no wonder these images give a false impression; this is the very intention, especially when a story is being told through fashion. Fashion is a creative industry, meant to be glamorous, exotic and excite the mind, and the photographs should be expected portray that image. Fashion is about “dreams and illusions” , in the words of German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, as reported by the (October 13, 2009.) Lagerfeld’s words further highlight the fact that designers and industry professionals are attempting to create an alternate, magical and unexpected view of the world through their designs. Photographers also need to be able to present striking images to the public in order to sell the product successfully and contribute to the creation of in-demand looks. In the industry, the digital imaging software Photoshop is necessary due to the fact that “celebrities demand protection from exposure to reality” as reported by the fashion website in an April 21st, 2008 posting. The same post also reveals that editors “live and die by newsstand sales”, furthering the importance of perfection when presenting fashion merchandise. As well, airbrushing is considered indispensible for the task of showcasing clothing in the best possible light, such as removing wrinkles, creases or shadows. When considering these points, it is obvious why many of those in the fashion industry view airbrushing as a vital part of the business. Not only does airbrushing help to create the illusion and fantasy that is an integral part of fashion, but also has a practical use in terms of showcasing apparel in the most flattering way possible.
However there is also a negative impact to airbrushing, as demonstrated by the latest issue of Australian Women’s Weekly featuring model Sarah Murdoch. Murdoch opted to have no airbrushing whatsoever in her cover shot, in hopes of setting a precedent within the model and fashion world. According to Sarah Murdoch it “makes me mad that we can’t embrace the beauty of aging, because we’re all going to do it”, as reported by the Australian Women’s Weekly’s Lee Tulloch (November 2009). Murdoch is a perfect example of a celebrity attempting to denounce the necessity of airbrushing and end negative body image. Similarly, on another part of the globe singer and fashion designer Victoria Beckham declines photo retouching. In a recent interview and 16 page photo-spread with the United Kingdom edition of the magazine Harpers Bazaar, Beckham decries airbrushing and promotes being happy in your own skin. According to the upcoming December 2009 interview by Harpers Bazaar author Sarah Bailey, Beckham hits the gym seven days a week so she does not have to rely on airbrushing. Beckham is able to appreciate her body now, and realizes that it is important to love what you have. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar’s Sarah Bailey, Beckham revealed “I wanted to look at those pictures in 20 year’ time and say “Wow-look-after three kids-I didn’t look bad” (December 2009). Other celebrities who have also spoken out about airbrushing include such high profile celebrities as Kelly Clarkson, Kate Wineslet and Keira Knightly. In many ways it is encouraging to see females who are in the media spotlight be comfortable presenting a natural image. Their lead allows women in our society to see that they can in fact embrace their imperfections, and move away from a focus on being eternally young and perfect. As well, celebrities and models who avoid being extensively airbrushed act as role models for younger females to love themselves for who they are and not be held to impossible standards.
It is not hard to see why there is such a debate surrounding the issue of airbrushing since there are two very different arguments for and against its use. Photo retouching has both negative and positive connotations within the fashion industry, making it an extremely controversial topic. With the widespread influence of celebrities involved in the industry, it is also easy to see how this issue extends to society itself. Although there are compelling arguments on both sides of the argument, it can be readily said that it is important to keep an open mind when flipping through a fashion magazine or looking at a billboard image. As Cindy Crawford so aptly put it in the September 2009 issue of Redbook magazine, as reported by David Keeps, “I always say, even I don’t wake up looking like Cindy Crawford”.

Louis, and Burberry, online, oh my!

Is Fifth Avenue drowning in Canal Street?

The e-world of retailing has changed the consumer world faster and more drastically than we could have ever imagined. Consumer goods, which were once only for a small, privileged group of clientele, are now available to anybody who has a computer. Is this a good thing? Who is it good for? And what are luxury brands to do in a world where they can’t control the social image of their brands?
The consumer world has been profoundly changed by e-tailing, and one of the most changed is the world of luxury business. It is important to define e-tailing. On his website, High Latitude, William Koty defines e-tailing as “the process of developing and managing online storefronts whereby individual consumers can shop for goods and services. The intent of e-tailing is to provide a customer value proposition that is different from realspace stores. That value proposition often includes cheaper prices, increased flexibility, convenience and consumer empowerment of the shopping process.”
With the online boom of luxury e-tail stores such as Gilt Group, Bluefly, Outnet, Yoox, and Vente-Privee, just to name a few, discounted luxury brands have become available to anybody who wants them. I spend many lazy afternoons perusing these sites, which my boyfriend and many others consider time wasting and to which I pipe back, “It’s research! I am a member of the world of fashion.” On the one hand, this is wonderful for people like me who love and appreciate high-end fashion, but can’t afford to pay the luxury prices of those frame-worthy designer pieces of art that are meticulously…but I digress. And on the other hand, this over-saturation of very identifiable luxury brands takes away from the very reason we wanted them in the first place. Now those who can afford these luxury items at their original prices, and then some, don’t want the same branded merchandise that their nanny and housekeeper sport.
Many luxury retailers are re-vamping their image and finding ways of appealing to their original target customer again. Their customers need reassuring that the luxury Image they are buying into has not been devalued by over exposure. Historian Daniel Boorstin, in his essay “Welcome to the Consumption Community,” states that we buy luxury goods because they provide “a feeling of shared well-being, shared risks, common interests, and common concerns that come from consuming the same kinds of objects … A designer label is a community of consumers on whom some of the celebrity of the name rubs off.” The community is getting diluted!
Undeniably there are two major brands that have been the most affected by e-tailing and the over-saturation of their branded image to the mass public. That’s right, you guessed it, Burberry and Louis Vuitton. These historic, time-honoured and groundbreaking fashion houses have faced the scourge of the rapid rise of e-tailers selling discounted and, even worse, counterfeit or knock-offs version of their merchandise, thus causing the extreme popularity of their brands’ iconic images with the mass market, including hip-hop stars and soccer hooligans.
In the last couple of decades these brands have had to re-vamp their images, their marketing approaches and even the products they produce to maintain their rightful place and reputation in the luxury brand market. But how these brands chose to reclaim the power of their image may seem a bit unconventional and only time will tell what will happen.
What is beige, black, white, red, and plaid all over? Well, for a while almost everything that could be covered in plaid. These products that saturated the marketplace prompted Burberry to change their merchandising and marketing strategy. The Burberry plaid, which had once being associated with upper class “Britishness” and royalty, was being seen everywhere and on everyone. When famous football players in Britain began wearing the infamous plaid cap, it became a mainstay for rowdy football fans as well. Realizing that the cap had lost its cache, Burberry stopped production of the cap altogether. Alan Bannerman, owner of a bar in Dundee Scotland, who was interviewed for The Guardian (September 12, 2003) said, “I believe I speak for at least 90% of pub owners in Dundee. Burberry has become the badge of thuggery.” Changing their current merchandise from plaid, plaid and more plaid to a more discrete but still iconic look is something Christopher Bailey is doing to a tea.
Louis Vuitton is another brand whose historic logo has been pervasive throughout the mass market. Hip Hop artists have always been fans, some even covering themselves in the LV logo from head to toe. Discount e-tailers love Louis Vuitton and it has become one of their most popular brands. Its iconic LV logo is paired with wealth and luxury like none other in the mass market. But Louis Vuitton has taken another approach to reclaiming the image of its brand. They are embracing these unconventional fans and giving the fans what they want. Most notable is the partnership Louis Vuitton made with Stephen Sprouse, a significant fashion designer in his own right and known for bringing street cred to high fashion. Sprouse’s “graffiti bags” were a huge hit for Vuitton who seem to be swinging with the punches and targeting a new audience. How this gamble will affect their traditional and time-honoured luxury image remains to be seen. What does their more gentrified clientele think of the new direction that Marc Jacobs is taking with the brand? Will this contradictory market strategy be the winning combination in a world where e-tailing is providing luxury to more consumers at cheaper prices?
So whether going back to your roots and reclaiming the iconic history of your brand like Bailey, or broadening your target market to bring merchandise to two very separate customers like Jacobs, it is undeniable that e-tailing is changing the way retailers run all aspects of their business. And though this is great for consumers like me, who covet designer pieces and can buy into a world of luxury that used to be out of reach, what does it mean for the future of luxury business? Are we fashion lovers ruining the world to which we aspire and admire by buying into a luxury world that was not meant for us?

Is Green the New Black ?

As celebrities such as David Suzuki, Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore stand behind the battle against climate change, we have seen the subject of the environment turn into a whirlwind of activism and movement. These individuals have been able to draw out their message to society by making people better aware of our increasingly changing environment. With huge support from media figures and celebrity activists, people around the world have become not only more aware, but more knowledgeable and informed about the crisis our environment is facing. As a result, we have seen individuals and groups making lifestyle changes and becoming more environmentally conscious, not only about the products they purchase but also how manufacturing and production processes can negatively affect the environment. The power and momentum of the environmental movement is strengthened by the fact that groups and corporations are joining in alongside everyday individuals.

Within the last decade, we have seen many manufacturers and designers craft their merchandise from environmentally and ecologically sound resources. Designing products with fabrics made of bamboo, organic cotton and recycled fleece has placed emphasis on saving the environment and a social responsibility onto the manufactures and designers of today. Because many companies are orienting their businesses in an environmentally friendly manner, there will hopefully be a pressure on others to follow suit.

‘’Organic clothing and recycled clothing are nice ways to treat our Earth in a friendly manner and at the time time being fashionable and hip’’, say Jason Duke in his article Eco Friendly Clothing.

And who better then to agree with this statement then design team Rogan Gregory and Scott Mackinlay Hahn.In 2004, designers Rogan Gregory and Scott Mackinlay Hahn successfully launched their eco-friendly brand Loomstate to the world. Their design approach was founded on the respect they both have for the environment and their appreciation for nature. Their enjoyment of the usage of eco-friendly products leads this design duo to feel the “mathematical ‘Golden Ratios’, which is evident through the nautilus shells to flower petals,” as recorded by Loomstate’s official website.
Loomstate has become one of the leading organic design and manufacturing brands, selling to retailers such as Urban Outfitters and Holt Renfrew. They have also launched an exclusive label for Keds shoes and for American retail giant Target. These major retailers are trying to capture the movement towards environmentally friendly products by incorporating them into their retail establishments. Gone are the days where environmental activism was an indie cause. Today it is mainstream to live life and buy products in an environmentally sustainable, and now fashionable manner.
“There's absolutely no better partner than Target for our mission, for our values, and for our aesthetic point of view culturally,” said designer Scott Mackinlay Hahn during the launch party for Loomstate for Target. In bringing their eco-friendly designs to such a massive retailer, Loomstate can hope to make a large impact on their consumers, who are undoubtedly the “average consumer”. Making eco-friendly designs available to the everyday and average consumer emphasizes that respecting the environment need not cost more than destroying it.

Eco-friendly clothing has definitely become the latest rage... or some may believe the latest hoax. With all the surrounding attention environmental issues have casted on today’s society, many people are wondering if these products are based on a devised marketing scheme. It is no secret that many trends die out because their hype exceeds their genuine benefit, and some worry that this may be the case with these environmentally sound products. So should consumers be cynical? Or should we embrace the cause in helping support our environment by purchasing eco-friendly products?
“When introducing an ‘ethical product’, people become more inclined to purchase the item because of what it represents’’, says Michelle Stark of the Toronto Star. It is possible that people will purchase eco-friendly clothing hoping that it will make a difference in environmental issues, without actually doing the research to determine if their efforts are being wasted.

High profile people tend to persuade the public to support causes, such as the environment. Retailers may try to take advantage of situations for profit gain by offering eco-friendly products. So the question remains, are these eco-friendly products actually beneficial to the consumer and helpful towards the environment?

One can see that finding solutions to world problems can be both a fashionable and pressing issue. We as a fashion industry have a responsibility to change the way we manufacture and create products if by doing so, we can help alleviate the harm being caused to the environment. By helping in this mission through the creation of eco-friendly products, we are not only helping the environment but enabling the consumer to become a contributor to this important cause. Launching innovative ideas such as that of Loomstate clothing can impact the environment, whether on a small or large scale. Every attempt is a step towards the success in the journey to help environmental change.

Whatever your thoughts may be, climate change is real and now. As a society, it is our responsibility to act against global warming and work for environmental change. So whether it be through purchasing those fabulous Seven for all Mankind eco-friendly jeans, or replacing that old, tacky plastic water bottle for a shiny re-usable canteen, we can all help in making our world a better and cleaner place to live in. Remember, change is within you.... and can be in what you where. Who ever thought eco chic could be so fashionable!

Monday, November 09, 2009

George Brown Divaz Dazzle in Design

How Three GBC Divaz Made Their Dreams a Reality
For many students, post-secondary education is a way of determining what career path to follow, but for Camille Evans, attending George Brown College was just one step on the way to pursuing her dream. A 2008 graduate of the Fashion Management Program, Camille, along with her business partners and fellow graduates Natalie and Thuha, took the knowledge and experience attained at GBC and applied it to their lifelong dream of starting their own fashion business. With business discussions underway since their meeting in the program, the three young entrepreneurs were able to put their plans into action upon graduation, and in April 2008, Dazlin Divaz was born. After much back and forth emailing, the girls were finally able to fit me in to their incredibly busy schedule, and I sat down with Camille and Natalie to learn more about the company and their journey into the Toronto Fashion Industry.
For Camille, who always wanted to be involved in Fashion, attending George Brown was a way to learn about the business and make the transition from her job in finance to the fashion industry. Luckily, it was also where she was able to meet like-minded friends, including former computer student Natalie and aspiring designer Thuha. Once the girls became friends, they also began to realize that they had a lot of the same goals and could work well together. The idea of Dazlin Divaz was developed throughout their semesters at GBC, where Camille says that ‘The Store’ class was a big help and learning how to deal with people was beneficial. Natalie gained a lot through her internship as assistant and product developer to local designer Debbie Sutton. At GBS the students were able to build their skills and create the basis for the company. Originally there were four girls involved in the planning, however, as graduation approached and the possibility of their dream becoming reality loomed, the extraordinary commitment necessary whittled the group down to three. Camille, Natalie, and Thuha were unswerving though; Dazlin Divaz became their focus.
With different skills and strengths to offer, the ladies complement each other well. Dazlin Divaz is a convergence of creative design and love of art with intelligence and business talent. This enables them to not only design their own clothing, but also organize their own imports and sale to retailers. Thuha concentrates on the design aspect, sketching the t-shirts, casual wear, cocktail dresses, and accessories that make up the Dazlin Divaz line. Camille and Natalie offer creative input, but Thuha conducts the technical design tasks. With her roots in Vietnam, Thuha is also able to facilitate imports by using her contacts overseas. Camille and Natalie work on the finance, marketing, and networking in Toronto necessary to getting their business off the ground. This includes researching boutiques that sell Canadian designers, for example The Fashion District at 555 Queen St.W. where they currently sell the line, and participating in events such as the Toronto Alternative Arts and Fashion Week. Their main goal right now is to get their name out as much as possible.
When they talk about Dazlin Divaz, I can tell that Camille and Natalie are passionate about their business and excited about their future. The line, which includes accessories starting at about $30 and clothing starting at about $50, has t-shirts made from 100% Organic Cotton and fun accessories like feather and beaded clips for your hair. The girls like the idea of sustainable and recyclable fashion, and try to incorporate these beliefs into their clothes as much as possible. However, it is when I ask about the image and inspiration behind the clothes that I see the real sparks. As Thuha comes from Vietnam and Camille and Natalie hail from Jamaica, the idea of different cultures interests them. They do a great deal of research on different cultures, art, artefacts and symbols that represent meaning and apply this to their clothes with the desire to “turn art into design.” The current line is largely inspired by different Asian cultures, but they are open to everything. They search for significance in the art that connotes positivity and spirituality so that the clothing can inspire and empower the wearer. This is image they aspire to create, an empowered woman who feels special and sees reason behind the clothes.
For Camille, the image of an empowered woman is the whole motivation behind the business. Once Dazlin Divaz becomes more established, the goal is to expand internationally through the extension into their own retail store and a web based store. But there is also the hope to give back and continue to empower others. Camille believes that, “eventually, the main part of this business should not be the profit, but the ability to take care of other people.” This means, for example, that a fashion show is not just showcasing the clothes, but also giving back to the community. The girls would love to be able to host a fundraising fashion show for some of the charities they support, such as Covenant House, “because even though those kids might not be able to go to school right now, they are our future nonetheless.”
With the future of the Toronto Fashion Industry in the hands of Camille and her peers, the ladies from Dazlin Divaz have some advice for current GBC Fashion Management students. To start, it’s a great idea to keep in touch with your teachers. The Dazlin Divaz are currently in touch with three of their former teachers for planning and networking help. “They’re a great support, they don’t just say goodbye when you graduate, they want to see you continue on.” Other pieces of advice include communication, never take ‘no’ for an answer, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and “learn to decipher what advice to take, because at the end of the day, it’s YOUR business.” But the most important piece of advice they can offer future fashion entrepreneurs? “Commitment. It’s the number one thing.” Looks like the Dazlin Divaz are here to stay.