In spite of Canada’s wavering international trade scenario, the message to local businesses and designers was clear: while new opportunities for alternative sources of supply are emerging and growing – including with countries such as Bangladesh, India, Turkey, Latin America, and Africa – trade with China is still thriving and key for the health and growth of Canadian businesses, according to a press release on the show. Industry leaders Bob Kirke, executive director of the Canadian Apparel Federation, Julie Hughes, president of the DC-based United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) and Jeff Streader, managing director of Go Global Retail, echoed the message of myriad opportunities for alternative sources of supply for local businesses, brands, retailers and designers navigating the unfolding trade reality, while emphasising China’s continued importance as an industry supplier. Other key show speakers – whose topics ranged from working with alternative sourcing channels and overseas factories, to sustainable sourcing and business practices, to launching and building a successful brand, included Mahesh Sanil, executive director of the Wool and Woollens Export Promotion Council (WWEPC); Sam Dentu, director of the Ghana export promotion authority; Antonio Ramos, trade advisor of Peru in Toronto; Avedis Seferian, president and CEO of Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP); Sal Khokhar, CEO of Kollective Moda; Analucia Beltran, brand ambassador for Korite Jewellery; Katherine Stein, director of business development at SGS; Gabriella Smith, founder of the UpCycle Project; and Roger Lamoureux, director, fashion merchandising of Today’s Shopping Choice. The Fashion lab conference series – introduced to the show for the first time – drew overflowing crowds of small businesses and up-and-coming designers looking to build their brands. Industry experts and top fashion influencers offered advice on topics such as how to successfully launch a fashion line, tips and tricks to drive website traffic and boost online sales, emerging technologies that change the way consumers interact with brands, strategies and tactics for e-commerce, new digital shopping channels, experiential retail, sustainable solutions, the critical role of social media in the world of fashion, how to successfully working with a manufacturer and best advice to cost merchandise for maximum sales success. Another show first was the introduction of a footwear pavilion to the show’s global offering, giving Canadian retailers and brands direct access to international factories for footwear production sourcing. A show-stopping fashion show on day two, organised in partnership with Toronto modelling agency Spot 6 Management – showcased the latest creations by local designers Farley Chatto, Rhowan James, Dorian Who, Christopher Paunil and JmTrends, as well as some of Toronto’s best up-and-coming talent. Trending designs from around the globe also took to the runway, courtesy of ATSC exhibitors from India and Bangladesh, and the latest fashions from eight of China’s top brands, sponsored by the ministry of commerce of China, featured in the show’s Brand China Avenue section: Veralba, Sanyi, Rebody, Jilier, HODO, Bosideng, Aparso, and Aiyimei. (GK)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India
| On 28th Sep 2021
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