The Toronto Fashion Incubator Celebrated its 30th Anniversary with Glitz and Glam
Canada’s fashion elite, innovators, creatives, moguls and luminaries gathered to celebrate the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) and toasts its 30th anniversary on March 9th at TFIXXX a black-tie gala-meets-fashion show.
TFI is a non-profit organization, established by the City of Toronto in 1987. A pioneer and innovator in the fashion industry it was the first fashion incubator in the world and has inspired over 30 cities around the globe to adopt the incubator concept, including London, Paris, New York and Milan – demonstrating its essential ability to foster world-class design talent.
The event not only paid homage to Toronto Fashion Incubator’s (TFI) 30th anniversary, it was also the showcase for the non-profit’s 25th New Labels® Fashion Design Competition & Show and the opening night gala of the inaugural Toronto Women’s Fashion Week (TFW).
“TFI New Labels is much more than just debuting new talent – we strive to foster it,” says Susan Langdon, who has held the title of
TFI’s Executive Director for 23 years. “We want to give these designers the tools and resources they need to surpass their greatest potential long after they graduate from the program. It’s our moment on the global stage and these designers are the future of Canadian fashion.”
The 2017 New Labels® Competition featured five incredible designers. Andrew Coimbra, a master of classic, masculine staples accentuating feminine undertones; Claire Lemaire-Auger, whose designs reflect an ethereal dream; Michael Zoffranieri, a craftsman boasting an elegant and luxurious European sensibility; Sebastian Guarin, an artisan beautifully exploring design, innovation and textiles; and Ryan Alexander Smith, with designs embodying delicate strength designed for city dwellers with a story to tell.
Esteemed judges included the top luminaries, moguls and creatives in the industry including David Dixon, Suzanne Rogers, Jeff Rustia, Suzanne Timmins and Cameron Williamson.
The judges decided that ZOFF by Mississauga’s Michael Zoffranieri ultimately embodied the future of fashion.
“The moment my name was called was surreal,” said Michael
Zoffranieri of his New Labels® win. “TFI has provided me with the opportunity of a lifetime; I can only imagine where the future will take ZOFF with the Incubator’s ongoing guidance and support.”
Zoffranieri was awarded a prize packaged valued at over $90,000, including The $30,000 Suzanne Rogers Award for Most Promising New Label, a coveted, fully-sponsored photo shoot from FLARE, editorial features in HELLO! Canada and FLARE.com, financial services and advice from RBC and a HP Spectre Gold laptop. The ZOFF SS18 collection will also hit the runway at the next Toronto Women’s Fashion Week. In addition, and new this year, RBC provided $1,000 and custom financial services to the first runner up.
Now in its 25th year, New Labels will induct one emerging designer into the program’s hall of fame. David Dixon, Smythe, Line Knitwear, Jenny Bird, Greta Constantine, Sid Neigum and Sentaler are among the many talents that have already held this title.
“I never cease to be amazed at the visionaries that walk through the Toronto Fashion Incubator doors,” says Susan Langdon, Executive Director of TFI. “Whether they’re designers, mentors or supporters of the organization, we wouldn’t be celebrating our 30th anniversary without their commitment to the success of Canada’s fashion industry.”