Category Archives: Ontario

Canadian fashion takes centre stage with FashionCAN presented by Yorkdale Shopping Centre & CAFA

An inaugural two-day event, showcasing and retailing collections from the country’s most notable designers. 

“CAFA is incredibly excited to be involved in this wonderful new event supporting Canadian designers. FashionCAN is where fashion and commerce meet and is part of the growing global fashion movement allowing consumers an opportunity to purchase what they see immediately following their runway shows.”—Vicky Milner, President of CAFA.

 Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Canada’s most successful shopping destination, is pleased to present FashionCAN, a showcase of the latest collections from leading and emerging Canadian designers, on October 16 and 17, 2016. This two-day event of static and runway shows will directly connect Canadian designers to media, buyers and consumers while driving national and international exposure. Yorkdale has engaged the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards (CAFA) to lend their expertise and relationships with the fashion community and ensure that FashionCAN attracts international and national fashion influencers and buyers.

“There has been a dramatic shift in the fashion industry where consumers are more engaged than ever with designers. We see FashionCAN both as an event that will allow designers to connect with buyers to preview their upcoming collections and make important sales, and also as an event where consumers can celebrate the looks they see fresh off the runway. Yorkdale has been the centre of style for many years and creating a new event and providing a venue that allows our talented design community to focus on the business of fashion benefits the entire industry.”  — Lucia Connor, Yorkdale Shopping Centre’s Marketing Director.

The shows, designed to support Canada’s fashion community, will take place in Yorkdale’s new expansion wing prior to its public opening on Tuesday, October 18th. The events will see several designers present their latest collections in a series of shows that will be held throughout the day on Sunday, October 16th and Monday, October 17th. FashionCAN will culminate with an exclusive pre-opening event for the 20 new boutiques in Yorkdale’s new wing.

Yorkdale Shopping Centre is also providing the participating designers with a unique and exciting opportunity, a FashionCAN Pop-Up Shop that will also debut within the expansion and run from October through December. The FashionCAN Pop-Up will house current clothing and accessories available for purchase as well as Spring/Summer 2017 collections for preorder.

In addition to CAFA, Yorkdale is working with THE COLLECTIONS and Monarch Events Group to manage the behind-the-scenes production and direction of the shows.

Some of the designers confirmed to present collections at FashionCAN include Mikhael Kale, Lucian Matis, Pink Tartan and UNTTLD along with leading emerging designers presented by THE COLLECTIONS, Daniel Christian Tang, Jennifer Torosian and Christopher Paunil. More designers will be announced in due course.

Yorkdale’s expansion will open its doors to the public on Tuesday, October 18 and feature 20 new boutiques.


Designer Spotlight | Shay Lowe Jewellery

Passionate designer and entrepreneur Shay Lowe creates accessories that make a statement.

The designer behind Shay Lowe Jewellery

Her namesake company is a jewellery lifestyle brand focused on luxury, glamour and beauty. Each of the collections produced by Shay Lowe Jewellery is a reflection of the designer’s varied interests like art, culture, travel and society. Her signature pieces are defined by a sense of old world glamour; each accessory’s bold design is balanced with a hint of sparkle.

Bold, alluring, and statement-making, Shay Lowe Jewellery Design’s philosophy is “Be Extraordinary.”  —Shay Lowe

The Toronto-based designer also has a long list of diverse accolades under her belt: from being named one of Chatelaine Magazine‘s “Profit W100 Top Female Entrepreneurs in Canada” to being named among “Toronto’s Most Fashionable 2012” by the Toronto Star. As an avid supporter of the arts, Shay is also a founding member and former Co-Chair of Turnout, The National Ballet of Canada’s young professionals group. She has sat on numerous committees, including Rethink Breast Cancer’s annual Boobyball, The Ontario Science Centre’s LG Innovators’ Ball, Operanation for The Canadian Opera Company, and Artbound. She is currently an outreach alumni member for the Toronto Fashion Incubator.

In her biggest business venture yet, Shay Lowe Jewellery is now available on The Shopping Channel across Canada.

To learn more about Shay Lowe, visit her website:

Emerging Fashion Fridays | Namesake

Image courtesy of Namesake

Rosa Halpern, a Toronto-based designer and artist, founded her brand Namesake in 2016. As an avid leather-jacket wearer and fashion-lover, Rosa set out to create an atelier that focused on the versatility, durability and craftsmanship of the iconic leather jacket.

Namesake offers a range of exquisitely designed, high quality, bespoke leather jackets, available at accessible prices. Quality leather pieces withstand the march of time and the fickleness of ever-changing fashion trends — in fact, leather jackets actually get better with time as they are worn in, stretched to fit, and scarred from adventure.

This “anti-fast fashion” sentiment, as well as the ability to custom design a unique jacket, are the driving concepts behind Namesake. Customers participate in the design process of their jacket as they select their base style from a range of seven, their leather from over 20 options (from exotic embossed croc to sustainably raised US-farm deer), as well as hardware (gold, silver, gunmetal, rose gold, brass, etc.) and details such as belt, collar, lining, even the monogrammed message in the jacket’s tag. In this way, each jacket is reflective of the wearer’s style and individuality.

Image courtesy of Namesake

Every Namesake piece is made by hand by the classically-trained Rosa from her studio in Toronto; guaranteeing quality, attention to detail, and the luxury of a custom-made garment.

Every jacket in the Namesake collection has been assigned a name. Rosa’s idea is to create a dynamic between the style of the jacket and the symbolic power of strong, culturally significant women. Named after two influential women herself—Rosa Parks and Rosa Luxembourg— Rosa has always been intrigued by the symbolic power of a name. By naming each piece after a historically significant woman, she hopes that the wearers will be inspired by the strength, creativity, and unique style of the strong women of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Header Image: Rosa Halpern | Shot for SMagazine by Louisa Nicolaou

To learn more about Namesake visit:

#TFW Recap | UNTTLD FW16

It may seem counterintuitive to consider contemporary womenswear inspired by The Renaissance truly modern. After all, fifteenth century culture was tirelessly fixated on reviving the antique past. Yet UNTTLD’S FW16 collection, presented as a part of the Mercedes-Benz Start Up program, showcased the duo’s talent for modernizing period references and doing it with sprezzatura.

“We are fascinated with the intrigue, mystery and decadence of renaissance court life.” —José Manuel St-Jacques and Simon Bélanger of UNTTLD

Continue reading #TFW Recap | UNTTLD FW16

CAFA Mentor | Suzanne Timmins

CAFA is thrilled to provide a mentorship program to benefit the 2016 winners of The Swarovski Emerging Talent Award, Fashion, The Swarovski Emerging Talent Award, Accessories and The Fashion Design Student Award. Talented and successful professionals have agreed to generously donate both time and expertise throughout the year to help these designers grow their brand and their business by providing assistance in critical business areas including Public Relations, Branding, Marketing, Finance, Distribution, and Digital support.


Suzanne-Timmins-HeadshotSuzanne Timmins is Senior Vice President and Fashion Director of Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor where she is responsible for the fashion and trend direction for both banners. Under her leadership, Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor have become top destinations for men’s and women’s fashion, accessories, shoes and home.
A seasoned fashion executive Ms. Timmins’ illustrious 25-year career has spanned diverse retail environments, ranging from luxury retailers, department stores and mass consumer chains.
Ms. Timmins led the development of the highly acclaimed 2010 Olympic collection for Hudson’s Bay, one of the most successful collections for the brand. She also pioneered the revitalization and re-launch of Hudson’s Bay’s Company collection.
Creating unique retail concepts is the foundation of her career and her ability to spot the new and the innovative readily lends itself to the discovery and acquisition of the best international designer labels. Her acute ability to determine what is relevant, current and fashionable contributes to a world-class shopping experience for Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor customers.

A definitive voice of fashion, Ms. Timmins is consistently profiled by the international fashion media including WWD and Harper’s Bazaar and is also a trusted commentator on design and style. An advocate of new design talent, Suzanne has lent her time to a number of initiatives including sitting on the jury of Andam, the British Fashion Awards nominating committee and TFI New Labels competition.


To see the full list of CAFA Mentors visit:

#CAFALoves: MSH District Hack-A-Thon

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” – Vicki Saunders

unnamedDo you dream of successfully bringing a new idea for a product or design to market? If so, don’t miss MSH District’s Hack-A-Thon, a three day fashion innovation event taking place at BrightLane this February 5th-7th in Toronto.

Watch your concept for a creation made of fabric transform into reality with a team of experts committed to your success. The Hack-A-Thon will welcome seasoned specialists such as HBC’s Pam Martin,  Will Poho of Mooseknuckles, Mark Brasier from Toms shoes, and manufacture and production consultant Golam Ahmad Khan from Fabrikite.

unnamedAttendees will also receive a front row seat for a PowerTalks feature, starring Burberry’s Susan Griffin, who will discuss what it means to be a luxury brand, and Joanna Griffin, founder of Knixwear, who will explain how she surpassed the one million mark through her latest crowd funding campaign.

For the full schedule and to register for Hack-A-Thon tickets, go to:

Designer Spotlight | Ron White, Canada’s “Shoe-Ru”

Ron White, Canada's "Shoe-Ru"
Ron White, Canada’s “Shoe-Ru”

Ron White is the CEO and Creative Director of Ron White Shoes, one of Canada’s most celebrated footwear brands. Over his twenty years of success in the industry, White has developed his reputation as “Canada’s Shoe-Ru” — a title that references his mastery in design and his loyal celebrity following around the world.

I am honoured to have so many smart and stylish women in my shoes on a regular basis. The reaction to my collections by other retailers in both Canada and the US has been so gratifying Ron White, CEO and Creative Director of Ron White Shoes.

With a background in both biomechanics and fashion footwear, it is no surprise that Ron White Shoes take an innovative approach to combining style and comfort. The brand’s All Day Heels® technology, for instance, uses NASA-created PORON material paired with unique constructions making for elegant, sophisticated shoes that can be comfortably worn all day. Ron White’s unique offerings have earned him a discerning high-profile clientele; from Jeanne Beker to Mrs. Laureen Harper and American television personality, Katie Couric.

Notable Clientele | Jeanne Beker, John Tory, Ron White, Monika Schnarre and Billie Holliday
Notable Clientele | Jeanne Beker, John Tory, Ron White, Monika Schnarre and Billie Holliday

“When I think back to myself 20 years ago – launching with a Visa cash advance and a sleeping bag in the stock room of my first store on Yonge St – I am proud and humbled of where I am today,” Ron White.

White’s business and design prowess have also been recognized with national and international accolades. The designer was named International Retailer of the Year by Condé Nast in 2011, (a Canadian first) and was inducted to the Sheridan College Business Hall of Fame in 2006.

In addition to running a successful fashion business, White is an avid philanthropist who dedicates his time to giving back to the community.  The RON WHITE Foundation focuses on raising funds, education and awareness for human rights issues. The Foundation runs annual events including a breast cancer fundraiser along with Canada’s largest Shoe Drive and raised almost a million dollars for local charities through the White Knight Gala series.

fa6d5557-4d27-4d1f-8adf-cfb650197df8Ringing in a very special year, Ron White kicks off the 20th Anniversary of his annual shoe drive on January 7, 2016. With the mantra to follow in the footsteps of your favourite celebrity, the Ron White shoe drive has collected over 35,000 shoes and boots for men, women and children and donated them to GTA charities including New Circles, CAMH, Halton Women’s Centre, Out of the Cold and Dress for Success. Past donors include celebs like Matt Damon, Celine Dion, Hilary Duff and Rachel McAdams as well as local luminaries Jeanne Beker, Ben Mulroney, Dina Pugilese and The Tenors. As part of the 20th Anniversary friends and supporters of Ron White are also invited to join this year’s shoe drive by partaking in a social initiative of posting a photo on social with the hashtag #RWShoeDrive. Collections are welcome at all five Ron White Shoes locations through January 31, 2016.

The Ron White Collections are sold across Canada at The Hudson’s Bay, Holt Renfrew and through a number of independent retailers, including five Ron White Shoes stores in the GTA. In the US, Ron White Shoes are available through a network of leading US independent retailers as well as Lord & Taylor and

To learn more about Ron White Shoes visit: