Toronto Fashion Incubator 15th Anniversary

The Toronto Fashion Incubator has had an illustrious history in helping Canadian fashion designers develop both their creative talent and business savvy. At TFI’s 15th Anniversary event during Toronto Fashion Week, Minimidimaxi caught up with Susan Langdon, TFI director for the past 9 years.

Langdon elaborates on the organization’s relationship with the nation’s future stylemakers.

“Our mandate is to nurture and promote new designers. We offer them a three-year business plan while offering them a subsidized space in which to perfect their craft.”

The bar is set high for prospective candidates. “The criteria for acceptance is, above all, innovative talent, along with a strong ambition to succeed in business. The designers need to have the financial resources to both show and produce for the duration of their residency. The designers learn the ins and outs of branding a successful image to the buyer, the retailer and the fashion editor, ensuring consistent visibility through promotion and advertising. They have to have the right attitude. No ego. “

One might say it’s the practical version of a master’s degree.

The list of TFI alumni is impressive. The likes of Mercy, David Dixon, Ula Zukowska, Crystal Siemens and Misura have passed through these hallowed halls. Currently in residence are Harebell by Shelli Oh, Olivera Savic, Arthur Mendonça and others, including Wolves, who showcased their spring/summer 2003 collection in Toronto.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer