Mercedes-Benz program revs up Toronto Fashion Week
By Neetu Thind
Promising new fashion designers scouted from across Canada will get the chance to unveil their collections at World MasterCard Fashion Week, in Toronto on Tuesday night.
The Mercedes-Benz Start Up show was added to World MasterCard Fashion Week last year to give exposure to budding Canadian designers, JoAnne Caza, director of communications and public relations at Mercedes-Benz Canada told Humber News on Tuesday.
The national program gives designers who have been in business less than five years, the opportunity to present their collection at Toronto Fashion Week, said Caza.
After submitting details about their business and themselves, designers participated in semi-final competitions in Halifax, Edmonton, Ottawa and Quebec City, with only eight finalists making it to the big stage in Toronto, said Caza.
One recipient will be named the awarded-designer at the end of the show, by a panel of judges including Canadian fashion-icon Jeanne Beker, said Caza.
An opportunity to be part of such a high-profile event is something many fashion designers only dream of, said Melanie Sinclair, a fashion management student at Humber.
“As a new designer you need to take any opportunities that give you a chance to for exposure because it only takes one person to discover you,” said Sinclair, who interned for RozeMerie Cuevas, designer of Jaqueline Conoir in Vancouver.
It is especially important for designers that live outside of fashion cities like Toronto and Vancouver, said Sinclair.
Designer Nicole Campre, a finalist from Edmonton, is excited to present her collection to a bigger audience.
“I don’t think anyone knew who I was in Edmonton or anywhere else, before the semi-finals of this competition, to be honest with you,” said Campre. “When I got to show at the semi-finals I really impressed the judges and my city, so I’m excited to see Toronto’s reaction.”
Take a sneak peak of her spring/summer 2013 collection:
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The road to the catwalk has not been easy for any of the finalists.
Christopher Bates, a Toronto-based designer, and another finalist in the show, said that preparing for his debut at Fashion Week has taken a lot of work.
“I’ve been preparing for about two months, working really hard to put together what I consider to be my best collection to date,” said Bates. “I think I’ve made a lot of progress with my line so I’m excited to show everyone.”
Have a look at his spring 2012 collection:
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Showing anything less than perfection is not an option for designers at this level.
“This is the big stage so you want to show your best,” said Bates.
He also points out that the program effectively shines the spotlight on new Canadian designers.
Bates said his participation in the Mercedes-Benz Start Up has lead to press exposure, new product orders and has generated more sales, all important for growing a brand.
Campre and Bates, along with six other contestants from across Canada will leave it all on the runway tonight under the tent at David Pecaut Square downtown outside of Metro Hall on King Street West.