Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) celebrates 30 years of Emerging Visionaries

TFIXXX kicks off a new take on Toronto Women’s Fashion Week with iconic industry celebration and Big Win

Mayor John Tory, Michael Zoffranieri, Suzanne Rogers and TFI Executive Director Susan Langdon
celebrate ZOFF’s 2017 TFI New Labels® win | photo: George Pimentel

TORONTO, Canada – Canadian fashion innovators, creatives and moguls alike congregated on March 9th for TFIXXX – a celebration toasting national style narratives both iconic and developing. Hosted at Waterworks, the event paid homage to Toronto Fashion Incubator’s (TFI) 30th anniversary, while simultaneously hosting the non-profit’s 25th TFI New Labels® Fashion Design Competition & Show and the opening night gala of TOM*FW founder, Jeff Rustia’s new iteration of Toronto Women’s Fashion Week (TWFW).

In true TFI fashion, there was no shortage of talent: the 2017 TFI New Labels® Competition featured five incredible designers. Claire Lemaitre-Auger, whose designs reflect an ethereal dream; Andrew Coimbra, a master of classic, masculine staples accentuating feminine undertones; Michael Zoffranieri, a craftsman boasting a chic 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. The designer collections illuminated the runway with 10 looks each from their debut fall 2017 collections. Although each lineup perfectly articulated their diverse sartorial capabilities, ZOFF by Michael Zoffranieri from Mississauga ultimately embodied the future of fashion to judges David Dixon, Suzanne Rogers, Jeff Rustia, Suzanne Timmins and Cameron Williamson.

“The moment my name was called was surreal,” said Michael Zoffranieri of his TFI New Labels® win. “TFI has provided me with the opportunity of a lifetime; I can only imagine where the future will take ZOFF with their ongoing guidance and support.”

The Prize

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  also hit the runway at Rustia’s next edition of Toronto Women’s Fashion Week. This is the largest prize package offered by TFI since the competition began in 1992.

“It is a landmark year for the TFI as the world’s first fashion incubator turns 30 and celebrates the silver anniversary of its TFI New Labels® Fashion Design Competition. The Toronto Fashion Incubator provides a remarkably nurturing environment for designers to learn, grow and make their mark within the Canadian fashion industry. I am proud to provide my support to so vital a program, driven by endless creativity and dynamic spirit,” said Suzanne Rogers.

Michael Zoffranieri walks the runway with two looks from ZOFF’s FW17 collection after being announced the 2017 TFI New Labels® winner | photo: George Pimentel Photography

New this year, sponsor RBC provided a $1,000 cash prize and custom financial services & advice to first runner-up Claire Lemaitre-Auger.

A look from first runner up Claire Lemaitre-Auger at the 2017 TFI New Labels® show | photo: George Pimentel

The Celebration

As the country’s must-attend annual fashion event, it comes as no surprise that TFIXXX left guests optimistic about the future of Canadian fashion. Mayor John Tory, Sylvia Mantella of Mantella Corporation, ET Canada’s Cheryl Hickey and philanthropist Simona Shnaider represented a handful of attendees that reveled in the show-stopping event and after party, an emotional video homage to TFI’s rich history and of course, a burlesque performance by famed artist Coco Frambroise who captured the evening’s sultry XXX theme.

“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.”

TFI and ModeCanada150

The Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) is an award-winning and highly-acclaimed non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and nurturing Canadian fashion designers and entrepreneurs. Established in 1987 as the world’s first official “fashion incubator”, the TFI model has been adopted by cities such as New York, Chicago, London, Paris and Milan. Net event proceeds will help to sustain critical support to creative entrepreneurs to develop the business and professional skills they need to thrive and survive. Start-up and advanced community programs include educational seminars on the business of fashion, one-on-one mentoring with industry professionals, exclusive promotional and sales opportunities, and valuable sales, marketing and trend resources.

ModeCanada150’s sesquicentennial celebrations, while paying much deserved homage the many talented Canadian forerunners who’ve blazed an international trail before us – designers, models, photographers, illustrators, retailers, creative directors and journalists – MC150 is fixed on spotlighting and promoting those who are currently commanding or are about to explode onto the world stage.

It is for this XXXplicit reason that ModeCanada150 has selected Toronto Fashion Incubator as its sole beneficiary.

By |2017-03-17T08:52:33-04:00March 16th, 2017|Toronto Fashion Incubator|

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