toronto fashion week
Photography by George Pimentel

Toronto Fashion Week is Teaming Up With RE\SET Collections in February 2018

Things are looking up for the Toronto fashion scene with two major organizations teaming up for one cohesive fashion week in 2018.

On Thursday, Toronto Fashion Week and RE\SET presented by The Collections announced a partnership for February 2018, marking what is perhaps the end of the mishmash of fashion weeks the city has seen since IMG pulled the plug on Toronto Fashion Week in 2016. The partnership between both organizations will hopefully be a united front for Toronto fashion, and could finally give local talent the support and international recognition it deserves.

The presentation will take place at Toronto Fashion Week’s home in Yorkville Village on February 5-7, just before New York, London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks. Toronto Fashion Week will use the traditional runway format, while RE\SET will stick to its “disruptive” model and use a raw studio space for designer presentations and a consumer-facing showroom. The entire showcase will feature season-less, capsule collections with direct-to-consumer initiatives.

The partnership came about after the organization’s simultaneous presentations at different ends of the city last September. Though both were momentous in their own right — Toronto Fashion Week brought in fashion heavy-hitters such as French designer Jean Paul Gaultier, Italian director Francesco Carrozzini (son of late Vogue Italia editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani) and Toronto-born photographer Petra Collins while RE\SET presented Canadian designers’ collections in a variety of ways, including runway and static presentations, a VR show and a shoppable designer showroom  — it had Toronto’s fashion crowd running between Yorkville Village and The Great Hall (where RE\SET took place) to catch the shows.

Sid Neigum VR presentation at RE\SET 002 in September. Photography by Kalen Hayman

“In the past everything’s been so fragmented in Toronto and in Canada,” Carolyn Quinn, executive director of Toronto Fashion Week, tells FASHION.  “After the [last season’s] event was over, we reached out to [The Collections] and said let’s not work against each other, let’s work together…that’s sort of how it came to be. I think by coming together it’ll give our designers greater visibility in terms of our media, consumers, VIPs, it will really create one stage for them.”

Mel Ashcroft, co-founder and marketing director of The Collections, agrees.”Having a strong united voice and being able to present this to the global stage is going to be very positive,” Ashcroft tells FASHION. “It will create a cohesive calendar that’s great for the designers, but also great for the industry to cover more of what’s happening here and shine a spotlight on Canadian fashion.”

The showcase will include the established designers Toronto Fashion Week has been known to present, along with the emerging brands featured by The Collections. Not all designers presenting in February have have been announced, but Quinn tells FASHION that UNTTLD, Narces, Hayley Elsaesser and Hilary MacMillan have already confirmed they will be in attendance. However, there are no plans to have big-named guests like Gaultier this time around. “Our focus is really on the new partnership with RE\SET and The Collections and focusing on our Canadian designers,” says Quinn.

As for the city’s remaining fashion weeks, such as Toronto Women’s Fashion Week, Toronto Men’s Fashion Week and Fashion Art Toronto? They’ll still be standalone.

“There’s a place for the different events in the city,” says Quinn. “We applaud anyone who is doing anything to support Canadian designers in our industry. We wish them the best.”