An emerging Canadian designer’s dream program, TFI Press & Buyers – created and hosted by the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) – is back for its 42nd season. The boutique-style tradeshow will showcase the SS17 collections of 14 promising Canadian apparel and accessory designers on October 18 at One King West (Suite 1500) from 9:30AM to 2:30PM. Media and retailers interested in attending the TFI Press & Buyers Tradeshow can contact [email protected] before October 7th, 2016.

The SS17 TFI Press and Buyers judging panel curated the exhibiting designers based on presentation, marketability, noteworthy features, design and branding consistency and overall style. This season, TFI is thrilled to be showcasing the following brands:

  • AYANIBA
  • BHF Empire
  • Bouswari
  • Frederick Prince
  • Garéma
  • High Spirits
  • Y. GAO
  • Koda Nivoli
  • Parc City Boot
  • Patricia Wong
  • Pygmylion
  • Ralston Williams
  • Whitney Linen
  • Willowmore

Included in the lineup are the top 5 finalists from TFI's free Fashion Your Future (#TFIFYF) Accessory Biz Bootcamp program which ran for 23 days this summer. Funded by the Government of Ontario as part of the Youth Jobs Strategy, and supported by the City of Toronto, #TFIFYF engaged over 80 youth who learned how to develop an accessory line, source materials, visit designer studios and learn strategic business elements including: pricing, business planning, tradeshow prep, and critical thinking.

After the intensive bootcamp session, the top five achieving youth – Abinaya Bala for AYANIBA, Jasmine Swimmer for BHF Empire, Garéma by Garima Tewari, J.Y. GAO by Jing Yao Gao and Peri Greig for Pygmylion – received a micro grant of $2,500 to $3,000 to develop a sample collection, produce marketing materials and press kits and buy display fixtures.

AYANIBA, by Abinaya Bala, specializes in digitally-printed scarves. The spring 2017 collection, entitled RADCITY, references the designer's experiences growing up in Toronto's inner city and witnessing the gentrification of St. James Town & Regent Park. All of the scarves bear Bala's original photography.

BHF Empire creates hand-tailored luxury menswear accessories such as neckties, bow ties and pocket squares while replicating the 1920’s classic gentleman aesthetic. Jasmine Swimmer ensures products are meticulously-crafted by local artisans who use textiles from Mexico, Africa and Japan.

Garéma, from designer Garima Tewari, specializes in handmade and hand-embroidered luxury clutch bags plated with 22k gold. For spring 2017, Tewari's collection is inspired by history's royal women. Tiaras, embellishments and iconic period style creates a fusion with modern aesthetics where Baroque meets 21st century.

J.Y. GAO by Jing Yao Gao creates meticulously constructed art-to-wear jewellery that moves with the body. Made of sterling silver and gold, necklaces, earrings and rings are meant to interact with the wearer's body movements, creating a dynamic ensemble that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Pygmylion, by independent, Toronto-based jewellery designer Peri Greig, is a line of locally-crafted necklaces, earrings, rings and body jewellery. Her edgy designs encourage an ever-evolving and multi-dimensional approach to self-expression. A portion of all proceeds from the line (5%) are donated to National Geographic’s “Big Cats Initiative”.