A crowd of 700 media-buyers, celebrities, friends and families were on the edge of their seats when the Toronto Fashion Incubator chose the winner of their very prestigious, New Labels prize. The incredible reward included $25,000.00 from Philanthropist, Suzanne Rogers, a feature in Flare Magazine and the opportunity to design an exclusive collection for Target Canada. This night would change someone’s life.
TFI was born in 1987 when the fashion industry was the second largest industrial employer in Toronto. A committee called the Fashion Industry Liaison (FILC), dreamt up the idea of an incubator to encourage business growth and promote the art of design and fashion. It reached new highs in 1989 when TFI was dubbed an official incubator, the first of its kind in the world. They work closely with those looking to start up a business in fashion and guide them towards success, providing vital connections, exposure and skills.
We watched four, carefully selected and immensely talented labels walk the runway: Sarah Stevenson, Paria Shirvani, Christopher Paunil and 7/31. The impressive judging panel included Editor of FLARE Magazine, Miranda Purves and TFI President and Fashion Designer David Dixon just to name a few. The audience also got a glimpse of some behind-the-scenes footage from each designer before the runway debut; an unimaginable amount of blood, sweat and tears was clear. With hearts pounding, the judges announced the winner: Sarah Stevenson.
Her delicate yet sexy and sophisticated F/W 2013 collection captured the attention of the masses from the get-go. She credits Dutch Still Life paintings from the Baroque era as her inspiration which was noticeable in the impeccable design details, fabric choices and structure.
Her ear-to-ear grin said it all but she added, “I am so thankful to the Toronto Fashion Incubator for organizing this competition for emerging Canadian design, and for providing myself and my three fellow designers with this incredible opportunity…thanks to my family and friends who are here. Thank you for believing in me and encouraging me not to quit!”
Photo by George Pimentel
Posted by Samira Zia Rehman