Friday, February 11, 2011

How to get that City Look!

Most fashionistas in Toronto dream about the day when they walk in to David’s to buy those Christian Louboutin pumps, or walk into Chanel to buy that leather quilted bag. But, in Toronto there is so much to offer for the up-scale fashionista. You may be thinking “I get it, Holt Renfrew”- but when it comes to Toronto there is so much hidden talent that people don’t bother to pay attention to. Sure our designers may not all be on the cover of Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar but that doesn’t mean Toronto has a lack of talent, you just have to know where to find it!
Toronto fashion is usually swept under the rug or just not taken serious (even by its own people). I asked some of my fellow Toronto Fashionistas why fashion from Toronto or Canada is not taken seriously. While some answers were very informative, others were downright depressing. Many people mentioned that the government does not put enough funding into Canadian fashion association, Fashion Design Council of Canada. With the government putting less money into the FDCC Canada looses what other fashion capitals have - promotion and support! For example if Anna Dello Russo attends a show, the entire fashion community will know about it. If Lisa Tant "tweets" about a show only the 5,000 Canadians who follow her on twitter will know about it. With our show productions having a much lower budget then London, Paris or New York our shows look like they can't even come close to be taken seriously in a high fashion world. Not only do we have considerably less money but we also have a lack of population! Canada is only a nation of 34 million compared to 300+ million in the United States, 62+ million in France and 61+ million in United Kingdom. With Canada having a lower population and even lower amount of wealthy consumers means that high end Canadian designers are making even less money. Another challenge is that many Canadians will travel to shop; many go to the US for Black Friday rather than spending their money in their own country. Many Canadians shop in the States because in Canada there is a lack of high end retailers. Holt Renfrew has no other competition then the high end boutique inside The Bay. Many would say because of the fact that Canada has less population and wealth there is no need for another high end department store. “Well, for one thing, there's a limited population in this country with big bucks to spend....” said by Jeanne Becker (Fashion Television) when I asked her on Twitter why Holts was the only high end department store in Canada.
If Canadians would stop traveling to shop and support local designers our fashion industry would be in a lot better state. If you do attend Toronto Fashion Week then you would know about talented designers such as Pink Tartan, Line, Bustle, Evan Bidell and (new comer) Amanda Lew Kee. And of course you have heard of the Canadian designers that sell at Holts such as Dsquard, Greta Constantine, Ports1961 and Smythe. Other than Holt Renfrew there are many hot shopping areas in Toronto such as Queen Street West, Yorkville and Don Mills. Queen Street West has hot stores such as JacFlash, Jonathan and Olivia and Balisi. Yorkville has Anthropology, TNT as well as Over the Rainbow. Don Mills offers a similar selection to Yorkdale with stores like Mendocino and Aritzia. All of these stores support Canadian fashion at its best! So let’s get out there and support our own!

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