How Toronto’s fashion event for outliers became the first and only multi-city fashion week in Canada
TORONTO, October 3, 2023 – Fashion insiders and enthusiasts have their eyes on Startup Fashion Week™ (SFW) 2023. After 10 years of launching new designers into Toronto’s wider fashion and entrepreneurship community – ensuring business and creative opportunities stay open to professionals finding their way around gatekeepers to the industry, this milestone holds up the fact that fashion needs more than the select few to thrive.
Launched in 2014 with plans to change how small businesses got access to opportunities in the fashion industry, SFW Founder and Executive Producer Jodi Goodfellow saw how major fashion events preferred supporting established brands, as they could afford time in the spotlight. This provoked a mission to offer a more cohesive infrastructure for startups to scale into long-lasting businesses.
“I realized we needed a change when I saw how many inspiring entrepreneurs in Toronto were not receiving attention or funding in the fashion and fashion-tech sectors, ultimately seeing so many great businesses fail. Top tier fashion events offer marketing, press and industry connections, but the price to participate was too expensive for new businesses. I thought: how are small businesses supposed to get from A to Z without any support or affordable opportunities? It became obvious I needed to create a fashion week platform specifically supporting startups with a forward thinking approach in programming,” Goodfellow explained.
Instead of new designers relying on internet fame or becoming the industry’s latest fashion darling, SFW produced a four day event that had founders and designers in charge of promoting their participation and showing up all week to the Media Launch, Fashion Tech Forum and Business of Fashion Conference, sharing their stories, learning from the experts, networking and building relationships ahead of their runway debut on the final day.
To commemorate its 10-year anniversary, Startup Fashion Week has planned a series of special events and initiatives, including:
- Media Launch / Opening Party, October 24 – Bringing together industry leaders, designers, and supporters to celebrate a decade of achievement at Mister Wolf.
- Private Photo Shoot, October 25 – Building business collateral for participating designers in collaboration with multiple fashion photographers at luxury rental property, The Parker by Fitzrovia.
- Business of Fashion Conference, October 26 – Gathering at TMU Fashion Zone, this event will bring Toronto’s fashion industry together, equipping attendees with key insights from industry experts including keynote speaker, Myles Sexton.
- Runway Show at Daniels Spectrum, October 27 – Hosted by Tania Tonello, Fashion Expert at Cityline and Breakfast Television, This prestigious showcase will feature 10 of Canada’s most promising fashion startups.
- After Party at Silent H, October 27 – Guests go all in on the celebrations, and continue building the connections that make Toronto’s fashion community stronger.
“As we stand on the threshold of the next decade, we do so with a renewed commitment to our mission. We will continue to be the platform where innovation and creativity collide. We will keep supporting emerging talents and fashion startups, providing them with the tools and opportunities they need to thrive. We will push the boundaries of what’s possible in fashion and work tirelessly to make the industry more inclusive and sustainable,” says Goodfellow.
For ticket information, go to www.startupfashionweek.com
About Startup Fashion Week
Startup Fashion Week™ (SFW) is the first of its kind, representing small businesses that are looking for opportunities to break into the industry and scale. Conceived in 2014 by Founder and Executive Producer Jodi Goodfellow, SFW was created to bridge the gap between the growing fashion and tech industries in Canada and focuses on aiding to launch, accelerate, and sustain selected startup businesses. SFW has represented more than 1000 emerging models and more than 120 Canadian designers from cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Nunavut, Saskatoon and Saint John. SFW has also had a number of notable speakers from the industry providing insights at the Business of Fashion Conference during the week of programmed events each year.