Monday, November 3, 2014

The Ultimate Holiday Dress!

During the month of October consumers who visited Fresh Collective were given the opportunity to vote on their favourite ultimate holiday dress.  The Fresh Collective boutique on Queen St. also opened their doors to the public on October 18th from 6-8pm for a special event were attendees were asked to give feedback on all four finalists designs.  

They also had the opportunity to meet the designers and try on their designs.  After the event, customer feedback was tallied by our judging panel, featuring Michelle Planche, CEO and founder of Art of Fashion and Laura-Jean Bernhardson, CEO and founder of Fresh Collective and the garment's overall marketability to the Fresh Collective customer was taken into account, the decision was made and the opportunity to have a contract with Fresh Collective was made available to our winning designer.  

Art of Fashion, along with our partners Fresh Collective and The Retail Assembly are proud to announce our winning design by designer Carissa McCaig, of Copious Fashions. Carissa's mix of luxe fabric, leather waist detailing and a-line cut will look truly stunning on a vast array of women this holiday season.  Copious is a Toronto based women’s wear fashion line, established in 2010. Country girl come fashion designer, Carissa McCaig, creates these unique brands’ designs. Her inspiration has always been rooted in her country upbringing, inspired by the colours of the seasons, how the wind moves the fabric of a dress; she is always drawn back home to shoot her collection where she is most inspired. Carissa is the owner/designer and she sews each dress herself and loves working with customer to make sure the dress fits them perfectly. She is a “Canadian dreamer making beautiful dresses.”  
Carissa McCaig with her winning design!

Stay tuned for Copious to be featured in the Fresh Collective store during the holiday season and if you would like to find out more about Carissa and Copious Fashion you can follow her blog or twitter!  

Art of Fashion and Fresh Collective would like to thank all of our finalists for participating in the competition, as well as all that voted for their favourite ultimate holiday dress! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Textile Museum of Canada: ReDesign 2014

The Textile Museum of Canada is putting on their annual ReDesign event again this November!  The textile museum is working in collaboration with KnollTextiles and FilzFelt who will be supplying the luxurious fabrics for the limited edition collection that Canadian designers are creating.  Designers will creating a wide array of different of goods from designer messenger bags and tech cases to deluxe toy collectibles and custom furnishings.  These items will be sold in support of the Textile Museum of Canada.  Some of the designers partaking in this years ReDesign event include, Jessica Jensen, Karl Lohnes and Moss & Lam.  With such a fabulous caliber of designers, this year's ReDesign event looks like it will be another great success. 

This year's event will also feature a special guest, Irma Boom, an internationally renowned Dutch designer of KnollTextiles' iconic striped fabrics! 

If you are interested in finding out more about the Textile Museum's upcoming ReDesign event on November 4th, 2014 or are interested in purchasing tickets, please click here.   

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Toronto Men's Fashion Week TOM*: Christopher Bates

This past week, Toronto hosted its first Men’s Fashion week, following in the steps of many of the largest and most influential capitals.  Among the highlights of the week was Christopher Bates closing show on Tuesday night. 

Bates’ updated mens sartorial designs have made him a mainstay on Toronto runways and a highlight of the Canadian menswear design scene.

Bates runway show began with a short film encapsulated his contemporary aesthetic and sartorial designs that were soon sent down the runway. 

Bates showcased his new line, which featured a myriad of pieces that exuded a cool and collected confidence from the more classic and refined tuxedo to the more casual and relaxed knits. 

The line featured classic garments with updated and exciting details, which has become Bates trademark. 

The lipstick stain on the shirt collar featured heavily throughout the show was a highlight for those in attendance.  Bates showed tailored shorts, suspenders and laidback knits that will continue to sustain his reputation as a purveyor of smart-casual contemporary design.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tom Ford’s evolution, consistently making the very best

Once a designer for major fashion houses Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci, Tom Ford has now been credited with creating and running the first true luxury brand of the 21st century.

Ford launched an exciting mix of products to compliment his already wildly popular fashion designs, including: eyewear, fragrances and cosmetics.  This had retailers fighting to carry his collections.

With 89 stores globally and that number continuing to grow, it truly is a testament to how well Tom Ford understands his customer.

Check out The Retail's Assembly blog here to learn more about how Tom Ford and his customer.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hermes’ flourishing tie business, built on a 12-18 month production cycle

Only after bags and scarves, the tie is the most important business to Hermes.  This is rather impressive considering it takes over a year to develop one tie.

The design process that takes over 2,000 hours or 6-8 months and another 6 months of production lends itself to the final product’s impressive quality.

In the face of silk and textile price increases, Hermes continues to perpetually evolve their designs and continues to successfully grow their business as they have done for the last 50 years.

To find out more about Hermes' flourishing tie business, please click here to check out The Retail Assembly's blog.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Another Successful Event: The Retailer's Point of View

This past Tuesday, July 8th, Art of Fashion hosted another successful event in partnership with Fresh Collective and the Retail Assembly.  The Retailer's Point of View was an educational event to aide Canadian designers in learning more about the retail environment and how retailers choose what lines and garments to carry in their store.

Laura-Jean Bernhardson, founder and CEO of Fresh Collective gave an engaging presentation covering everything from the operations of Fresh Collective, how they decide what designers to carry in their store, what their demographic is to how their consignment business model works for both retailers and designers.  Laura-Jean also mentioned how crucial it is to create value within a designer's garment.  In the world of fast fashion where larger companies can sell a myriad of options for low prices, it is the job of the independent designer to create value in the garment for their customer to justify the higher price.  This is a task that is impossible to do without defining your customer.  Knowing who you are selling to is imperative to a designers success.  Laura-Jean stressed the importance of knowing everything about the customer you are selling to from their sense of style to their core values and beliefs.

Laura-Jean also reiterated how important it is for designers to nurture the relationships they build with retailers.  The work of the designer does not simply end when they drop off their garments at the store, designers need to be involved in creating an identity for their brand and training sales associates how to sell their clothes.  Building relationships with retailers instead of being a passive participant in selling your garments is more likely to generate sells of your garments, lead to a sell through and therefore lead to more orders from retailers.

This event also gave designers the opportunity to ask important questions regarding working with retailers and how to break into a new store.  A few key points were continually hit upon:  Be creative but know who your customer is, have a business plan and continually evolve it to match your vision and nurture your relationships with you customers, suppliers and retail partners.  

Those in attendance were also giving the opportunity to network with other designers, Laura-Jean and Michelle Planche the founder and President of Art of Fashion.

The Retailer's Point of View event also served as the launch of Art of Fashion's new design competition The Ultimate Holiday Dress.   The winner of the competition will have the opportunity to have their design sold in Fresh Collective stores!  If you are interested in applying please visit our website to learn more and download an application.  Reminder:  all applications are due by August 1st at 5pm.  Good luck to all those apply!

We would also like to give a big thank you to all our partners: Fresh Collective, The Retail Assembly, The Toronto Film School at RCC Institute of Technology, Infinite Media and Saman Design INC for your support and making this event possible!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Upcoming Events! The Retailer's Point of View and The Ultimate Holiday Dress Competition

Art of Fashion is teaming up with The Retail Assembly and Fresh Collective for an exciting event for Canadian designers looking to grow their business on July 8th, 2014 at Fresh Collective boutique at 692 Queen Street West.  (Please click here to purchase tickets.) 

Laura-Jean Bernhardson, CEO and founder of Fresh Collective will be dishing out crucial information for designers about how Fresh Collective runs their business.  She will also be revealing industry intel, the secrets of success and explain the cost to both the retailer and designer of having a garment sold in a boutique. 

Laura-Jean will also be explaining how both wholesaling and consignment work for the designer and the retailer. 

Excitingly, Laura-Jean will also be giving insight into what customers are looking for both in the design and functionality of a garment.  There will also be a Q & A session, where Laura-Jean will be able to answer all your pressing questions on how to take your career as a designer to the next level.

At this event, Art of Fashion will also be launching our new design competition, in partnership with The Retail Assembly and Fresh Collective, called “The Ultimate Holiday Dress”.  In an effort to reach a more diverse selection of designers we are revitalizing our approach by launching several smaller scale yet targeted competitions.  This will not only allow us to better educate and help Canadian designers get their start, it will also ensure that designers who participate in our competitions can truly take advantage of the designer benefits Art of Fashion strives to provide them with. 

This is where our new design competition The Ultimate Holiday Dress comes in!  Art of Fashion and Fresh Collective are excited to give Canadian designers the opportunity to design the ultimate holiday dress and have it sold in Fresh Collective boutiques.  Designers are encouraged to submit designs that are sexy, fun and most importantly marketable to consumers and appropriate for the holiday season. 

The top 5 designers chosen from all the applications received will get invaluable one-on-one mentorship from Laura-Jean regarding their designs.

After meeting with Laura-Jean, the top 3 designers will be announced and tasked with producing a sample garment and take part in an “Innovation Station”, held at a Fresh Collective boutique as an opportunity for Fresh Collective consumers and staff to give feedback about their design.  This is a great opportunity for designers to learn more about what their customer wants and how to effectively sell their vision. 

Once all the feedback has been received, a winner will be announced.  If that designer has successfully completed all stages of the competition and produced a marketable dress, they will receive a contract with Fresh Collective and have their design sold in the boutique.  

This is a very exciting and unique opportunity for designers and applications are now available on our website at  Please note that the submission deadline for all applications is August 1st, 2014 at 5:00pm. 

If you are interested in purchasing tickets or finding out more event details about our upcoming event, The Retailer's Point of View, click here.  There are a limited number of tickets available so gets yours today!