September 10, 1998
To:Economic Development Committee
From:Joe Halstead, Commissioner, Economic Development, Culture and Tourism
Subject:Fashion Industry Liaison Committee Membership and 1997/1998 Activities
This report includes the Fashion Industry Liaison Committee's (FILC) Annual Report for 1997 and Workplan for 1998.
The Committee's membership list for the current term of Council is also forwarded for approval.
Funding Sources, Financial Implications and Impact Statement:
Funding is included in the City of Toronto, Economic Development 1998 Operating Budget.
It is recommended that:
(1)the membership of the Fashion Industry Liaison Committee be approved, as outlined in Appendix B, to reflect changes
amongst participating member organizations;
(2)a member of the Economic Development Committee be appointed to Co-Chair the Fashion Industry Liaison
Committee, together with Councillor Olivia Chow (Councillor Chow represents Ward 24, which contains the City's
King-Spadina Fashion District); and
(3)the appropriate City officials be authorized and directed to take the necessary action to give effect thereto.
One of the largest industrial employers in Toronto, the fashion/apparel industry is made up primarily of small,
Canadian-owned companies who can benefit from our support. The Fashion Industry Liaison Committee was established
by Toronto City Council in 1984 to support and promote Toronto's fashion industry. The Committee is comprised of
volunteers who represent all sectors of the industry, including education, design, manufacturing, wholesale, retail and
labour. Subcommittees are created to work on various projects such as Marketing; Human Resources Development;
Education; Awards; Technological Innovation; Export Promotion; Fashion District Revitalization; and Quick Response.
The City has established a proven track record in adding value to the industry and increasing Toronto's international
reputation as a centre of excellence in fashion design. By bringing all sectors of the industry together and focussing on key
issues and needs, FILC provides valuable information and advice to the City and the industry. Program initiatives have, in
the past, been predominantly funded and supported by Economic Development in the range of $100,000.00 per annum.
A.STRENGTH OF THE INDUSTRY:
According to Statistics Canada's latest sector competitiveness profile, "The Canadian apparel industry has taken important
steps in adjusting to major changes in its environment. Firms that have developed the ability to respond quickly, flexibly,
and have a reputation of excellent design and high quality have succeeded in gaining a foothold in export markets.
However the industry will continue to face intense competition in both domestic and international markets."
- apparel accounts for 1.6% of Canada's manufacturing sector shipments and 6% of employment;
- the national market for apparel is in excess of $8 billion (wholesale);
- domestic shipments account for 58% of the market;
- Ontario's domestic shipments of apparel in 1996 were valued at $1.2 billion;
- Toronto has 80% of the province's apparel manufacturing jobs;
- the City's apparel shipments are estimated at almost $1 billion;
- clothing exports have risen steadily during this decade;
- Ontario's apparel exports accounted for almost $450 million in 1996; and
- preliminary figures suggest that Ontario's 1997 exports will be up 25% over 1996.
Toronto's fashion industry is making its mark as Canada's premier fashion centre. Many of our best designers and
manufacturers are carried alongside top international lines at prestigious retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth
Avenue and Harrods. The value-added through design is a important component of the industry's competitiveness, and is
often overlooked when viewing the apparel sector from a traditional manufacturing standpoint.
Following the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement in 1989, and the recession of the early 1990's, the industry
underwent a major restructuring. This process appears to be complete, and since 1994, employment in Toronto's apparel
manufacturing has experienced annual growth in the range of 2-5%, resulting in almost 1300 new jobs.
The apparel industry is highly clustered with major agglomerations in the King-Spadina Fashion District, at Dufferin-Keele
South, Tapscott Employment District, Dufferin-Keele North, Carlaw Avenue, Malvern and Progress Employment Districts.
Employment figures for the fashion industry are difficult to obtain, since they cross many sector codes. However, we
estimate Toronto has:
- 18,000+ apparel manufacturing jobs;
- 11,000+ apparel retail jobs; and
- 9,000+ fashion-related jobs (e.g. photographers, stylists, choreographers, media, makeup, etc.).
B.HIGHLIGHTS OF 1997 TORONTO FASHION SUPPORT PROGRAM:
- almost 100 media and consumer events were held in the March and October Fashion Weeks;
- media coverage for the Ready-to-Wear Collections was valued at $16 million in 1997;
- the 1997 Awards for Excellence in Fashion Design featured increased industry sponsorship, prestige, media
coverage and recognition for the Award winners;
- American Express sponsored the printing of 100,000 copies of Shop Canadian;
- $40,000.00 in federal and provincial sponsorship allowed the Committee to begin implementing pilot training
programs for the industry;
- more than 15,000 people attended Street Style, the second annual consumer fashion and entertainment
- with the Committee's support, Toronto became the third city in the world to host the Hollywood Costume
Collection, seen by almost 70,000 people.
i.)Toronto Fashion Weeks
Two very successful Toronto Fashion Weeks served to increase awareness of the capabilities of Toronto's fashion industry
as well as to promote sales of the spring/summer and fall/winter collections. In March and October, approximately 7,500
copies of the Toronto Fashion Week Calendar were distributed to the national media and industry representatives, and local
consumers. Roughly 15 trade and 30 consumer events took place each Week. The Toronto Fashion Hotline broadcast the
schedule. In September the schedule was also available in Flare magazine, on the City's website and the Toronto Star's
Under the sponsorship of the Matinée Fashion Foundation, the Ready-to-Wear Collections have grown in size and
professionalism. Twenty of the country's top designers launched their Collections to the media, buyers and consumers with
the support of our best show producers, choreographers, stylists, hair and makeup artists, sound and lighting professionals,
dressers and support staff. 60% of the designers were from Toronto. Media coverage of the shows was estimated at $8
million per season, or $16 million annually. With internationally syndicated television coverage on such programs as City
tv's Fashion Television and CBC's Fashion File, the Ready-to-Wear Collections place Toronto and its designers on the
international fashion map. Roughly 2500 people attended, including approximately 160 media and 175 buyers.
The City's position as a founding sponsor of the event has not diminished under this new sponsorship arrangement. In order
to ensure the continued success of the shows, FILC's support was targeted toward a buyer attraction strategy, including
sponsorship of the buyer's lounge, mailings to out of town buyers, and co-sponsorship of a buyer's luncheon with a well
respected industry guest speaker. Early results have been positive, and continuation of this strategy is recommended.
In September, FILC's forty Fashion Week banners were hung in areas where events were taking place to broaden
awareness amongst the trade and consumers. Industry members expressed their appreciation for this additional promotion.
ii.)Where Shop Canadian Supplement
Produced in co-operation with Where Toronto and American Express Canada, a supplement entitled Shop Canadian was
included in the September and October issues of the magazine. This is the second edition of the supplement, designed to get
information about where to buy local designs to the City's tourists. The City of Toronto paid for the writing of the piece.
American Express underwrote the printing of 100,000 copies, a tenfold increase over our printing last year. As a result, the
City was able to sponsor distribution to City visitors and residents through information kiosks across the GTA, as well as
tourism organizations, transportation providers and international trade offices throughout the world. The response from the
distributors, the retailers included, and additional retailers who have seen the piece and who would like to be included next
year has been extremely favourable. The publication has grown in scope, is being adapted to other sectors, and has served
as a catalyst for a national promotional initiative.
iii.)City of Toronto Awards for Excellence in Fashion Design
The 1997 Awards for Excellence in Fashion Design were presented on December 18th at the York Street Gateway to:
- Designer of the Year - Hoax Couture;
- New Designer - Joeffer Caoc and Crystal Siemens (two winners);
- Fashion Graduate - Kelly Smith (honourable mention in this category went to Angela Chen and
Alec Popik for headhunter);
- Accessories Designer - Karyn Gingras for Lilliput Hats;
- Specialty Designer - Zalia Ribau for Moka Designs; and
- Industry Achievement award winners Jeanne Beker of Fashion T.V. (Image Builder) and Designers
Ontario President Franco Mirabelli (Innovator).
For the first time the award winners were not notified in advance of the event and the three finalists in each category were
presented to the audience. With creative input for the ceremony provided by the production team of Richard Lyle and
Anthony Majanlahti, the '97 Awards ceremony was one of the most memorable to date and generated a great deal of
excitement among the hundreds of guests who attended. News releases announcing the winners were sent out nationally
following the event. CITY TV provided live eye coverage from 6-7pm, as well as a piece on the 11pm news. Both the Star
and the Sun ran articles, as did the Toronto Fashion Incubator newsletter, Style Magazine, Audrey Gostlin's Inside Fashion
and Canadian Apparel Magazine.
Once again Smirnoff generously agreed to co-sponsor the reception. Awards co-sponsors included: Flare magazine, who
provided a full-page ad to Designers of the Year Hoax Couture; the Ontario Fashion Exhibitors, who provided shared booth
space to the new designers, Crystal Siemens and Joeffer Caoc; Jeanne Beker, who donated her $1500.00 appearance fee for
an industry event to the new designer winners; wenches & rogues who provided a $1,000.00 cash award to the student
winner Kelly Smith; Welly, who provided a $500.00 cash award to the honourable mention in the student category Angela
Chen and Alec Popic; the Mode Accessories Show, who provided booth space to Karyn Gingras; and the Toronto Fashion
Incubator, who provided Outreach memberships to the student winners and the three finalists in the specialty designers
Held in conjunction with the Toronto Ready-to-Wear Canadian Designer Collections during the spring Toronto Fashion
Week, the Retail Awards were co-sponsored by FILC, the Bloor Yorkville Business Improvement Area, Style Magazine,
and Designers Ontario. Recognizing retailers who promote Canadian fashion, the awards have been very well received.
Nominations are provided by designers, industry members and the media. Selection is made by an independent jury of
industry representatives. The awards are presented to the winners at a special luncheon attended by the fashion media,
which results in good coverage.
The winners of the 1997 Awards were:
- Style Magazine - Canadian Fashion Retailer of the Year - Holt Renfrew;
- Designers Ontario - Ontario Fashion Retailer of the Year - At Izzy's;
- City of Toronto - Toronto Fashion Retailer of the Year - wenches & rogues; and
- Bloor Yorkville Business Improvement Area - Bloor-Yorkville Fashion Retailer of the Year -
With $40,000.00 in funding from the Canada Employment Insurance Commission and the Ontario Ministry of Education
and Training, the Fashion Industry Human Resources Adjustment Committee (FIHRAC) was established to begin to
implement industry-wide pilot training projects for fashion industry workers. Initiated by the City of Toronto and FILC,
this subcommittee includes representation from labour, management, educators and the City.
A full-time co-ordinator was hired in March 1997. Outreach was undertaken to inform the industry about assistance
provided by the Committee and research was done to locate funding sources for the delivery of programs. A pilot
sample-maker training course was held at George Brown College during the summer. Good employment opportunities
resulted for the participants who were very pleased with the course.
Following the conclusion of the co-ordinator's contract and a brief transition period, a new co-ordinator was hired in
November. Industry members are very supportive of this project, and are anxiously awaiting the development of new
courses. The City of Toronto provides office space for the coordinator at Metro Hall.
vi.)Education Sector Initiatives
Under the leadership of the Toronto Chapter of the Fashion Group International, local educators and industry
representatives developed a day-long seminar called Fashion Forum to educate first year fashion students about the wide
variety of jobs available in the fashion industry. Over 500 students attended the panel discussions which were presented by
some 40 industry specialists.
The City and FILC has a long history of cosponsoring the student's year end fashion shows. These shows can be very
difficult for the students to finance, yet represent an important part of their education. In 1997 the schools were given the
opportunity to change the form of the sponsorship. Several FILC bursaries were established for top students and some
badly needed equipment was purchased in the Committee's name. Other schools elected to retain the show support, and ads
were placed in the show programs thanking the City for its sponsorship.
In December of 1997, the Hollywood Collection made its North American debut in Toronto as a result of the efforts of
FILC and its members. The exhibit offered Toronto film and fashion fans alike the opportunity to see the breathtaking
gowns and costumes worn by such silver screen legends as Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Claudette Colbert.
Dorothe Feldner and Bev Moore of International Arts and Cultural Connections, Inc. secured the rights from the Fashion
Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles to bring the Collection to Canada. Through ongoing
consultations between this company and FILC, a beneficial partnership was formed.
Combining the launch of the exhibit with the opening of the new Varsity Cinemas provided an opportunity for a major
event that included a reception, fashion show and film festival. Other key sponsors included FIDM, the Matinée Fashion
Foundation and Cineplex Odeon Corporation. Jeanne Beker, host of Fashion Television, m.c.'d a fashion show including
the most glamorous designs of some of the City's top designers which were presented with jewels on loan from Birks. The
show was followed by screenings of the newest holiday releases and fashion-related classic films.
Some 750 members of the fashion and film industries and media attended the opening party, almost double the expected
number, establishing a linkage between the City's film and fashion industries. We were also provided with the opportunity
to include a few pieces Toronto designers created for film and television in the exhibit, which was seen by approximately
60-70,000 people over a six week period.
The second, annual, day-long consumer fashion and entertainment extravaganza, Street Style was held on Saturday, August
23rd along Queen Street West between McCaul Street and Spadina Avenue. Its purpose was to showcase alternative fashion
to the public and tourists, and participation resulted in additional business for many companies. FILC's cosponsorship
provided funding to hire staff to develop and promote the event. Fifty visual and performance artists shared an outdoor
stage with six bands and five fashion shows featuring twenty-eight designers. Booth space was rented by over 30
organizations including designers, artists, accessories companies, restaurants and other food vendors, consumer products
companies and social service agencies.
Other sponsors included The City of Toronto (Economic Development Partnership Grant), Smirnoff, Labatt's, Westbury
National, A.G. Hair Care, Plutino Group, Pizza Pizza, Smart(fx) and Liberty Entertainment Group. NOW distributed the
official program and Energy-108 FM provided live to air broadcasts of the event. Additional media coverage was obtained
from CITY TV, Global, CFTO and CFMT, The Toronto Star, Globe & Mail, Style Magazine, What's on Queen and Watch
magazines, CFRB, CIUT, CBC Metro Morning, EZ Rock 97.3, CKFM 99.9, CISS FM 92.5, CHFI FM 98.1, CFTR AM
680, CHUM AM 1050, CHUM FM 104.5, CJRT FM 91.1 AND CFRB AM 1010. Advance information was provided on
the Street Style Hotline and on a pixel board at Bathurst and Lakeshore Blvd. Event organizers estimated that more than
15,000 people attended the event.
ix.)Community Marker for the Spadina LRT
The Fashion Industry Liaison Committee has wanted to honour the important historical contribution made by the industry
in the King-Spadina area for many years. In 1997, in co-operation with Metro Toronto and the Toronto Transit
Commission, a Fashion District Community Marker was added to the public art competition for Spadina Avenue. Located
at the northwest corner of Richmond and Spadina, Stack, by Stephen Cruise, was officially unveiled in October. A small
reception for the guests was hosted by FILC in the Fashion District. Coverage was received in the Globe and Mail,
Canadian Apparel magazine and urban zoo, a local Vancouver fashion television program.
C.1998 WORK PROGRAM AND BUDGET:
i.)Toronto Fashion Week
Many designers, manufacturers and retailers will hold independent shows, and thus the co-ordinating and promotional role
played by the Toronto Fashion Week Calendar will continue to grow in importance. Development of a web site to assist
with scheduling and promoting industry activities throughout the year is also under investigation.
For the March Fashion Week, FILC and the Cityworked with the Ontario Fashion Exhibitors (OFE) and Designers Ontario
to try to build a link between the two key trade events. The shows were scheduled in the same week and a Designers Way
was created at the OFE Market. Designers participating were very pleased with the results.
The 1998 Fashion Retailer Awards were presented to:
- Visa Canada - Canadian Fashion Retailer of the Year - Roots
- Where Toronto Magazine - Shopping Destination of the Year - Toronto Eaton Centre
- City of Toronto (FILC) - Toronto Fashion Retailer of the Year - Maxi Boutique
- Designers Ontario - Ontario Fashion Retailer of the Year - Saffron Road
- Visa Canada - Canadian Designer U.S. Retailer of the Year - Jacobson's Stores Inc.
The first of the two annual Matinée Fashion Ready To Wear Collections was a resounding success. Attendance increased
by approximately 25%, with 3000 attendees including approximately 200 media and 225 buyers.
The Fall Fashion Week will be held from September 16 - October 3, 1998.
ii.)Fashion Industry Promotion and Marketing
FILC's work has enabled the City to establish a great deal of credibility within the fashion sector. The Committee
Coordinator (Economic Development staff) serves as an advisor to several industry boards and committees, and responds to
a variety of requests for information, advice and assistance from industry members, people wishing to enter or do business
with the industry, and American and international investors and firms seeking opportunities to do business here.
FILC was allocated part of the City's transit shelter advertising space in 1998. A new poster was developed to promote the
industry during the spring Fashion Week.
Funding has been disbursed to continue the distribution of the Shop Canadian fashion brochure through hotels and
information centres across the GTA. The brochure will be updated in the fall.
iii.)Awards for Excellence in Fashion Design
The City's successful Awards program are proposed for the fall and will continue to develop, adjusting to suit the needs of
the sector. Particular attention will be paid this year to increasing: representation across the new City; involvement of the
various industry subsectors; the publicity received by the award winners; and corporate sponsorship.
An additional $175,000.00 in funding has been provided to The Fashion Industry Human Resources Adjustment
Committee from Human Resources Development Canada and the Provincial Ministry of Education and Training. Projects
under development include industry-specific ESL training, a Sewing Machine Repair course, the second edition of the
sample making course (available as a whole or in modules), development of a sewing co-op and cosponsorship of
management training through industry seminars.
The FILC Education Subcommittee, made up of the heads of the Toronto area fashion programs, have undertaken the
sponsorship of the Fashion Forum, student shows and awards, which forms the core of the program. The feasibility of
establishing a regular program of industry seminars and networking opportunities is also being investigated.
FILC has been approached by a customs brokerage firm interested in developing a special program to assist Toronto-area
fashion/apparel companies increase their exports. Staff will work to support the company in their efforts to develop an
initiative that meets the needs of the industry, and to disseminate information about the program.
vii.)Project Development Fund
Each year funding is set aside in the project development fund to undertake new initiatives or respond to sector requests for
- In 1997, a proposed export mission to New York proved to be infeasible and therefore was not
undertaken. However, a new proposal is being developed which includes a high profile advertising
feature supported by merchandising and publicity events in key U.S. cities. It will likely be
forwarded with a request for support later in the year.
- The Ontario Fashion Exhibitors (OFE) is revising its market weeks to increase sales for participants.
This year FILC is assisting in a direct mail campaign targeted at retailers in the Northern United
States to encourage them to visit Toronto's Fashion Week and buy Canadian.
The Committee's current structure includes representation from provincial associations and other regional bodies. It
therefore is now able to broaden its mandate to represent the industry across the new City without a substantial change in
membership or structure. An outreach and consultation program is required to contact individual businesses outside of the
former City of Toronto to determine how the Committee can best serve their needs. A workshop planning session will be
held, as a component of the Economic Development Strategic Plan Consultation Process, with FILC, staff and industry
The membership of the Fashion Industry Liaison Committee must be updated to reflect changes in its member
organizations. Tom Abrahams has been replaced as the representative of the Advisory Committee by its new Chair, Mr.
Mike Canhas. Karen Leyland, Marketing Coordinator of The Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area has replaced
Lisa McGee, as their representative on the Committee.
Increased representation from across the new City is being sought. The names of the new members will be forwarded to
Council for approval later in the year.
Business retention, attraction, growth and export development are all key goals of the City's sector support for the
fashion/apparel industry. FILC is unique in its ability to act as an advocate for the industry and bring all of the players to
the table, providing them with the opportunity and the support to work together to benefit the sector.
By working with other private and public sector partners through the Fashion Industry Liaison Committee, the City is able
to leverage its investment and provide the assistance required by the industry. In 1998 businesses will be consulted and
strategies developed to ensure that the Fashion Industry Liaison Committee's initiatives continue to meet the needs of the
fashion/apparel industry across the whole City. Activities such as the co-sponsorship of the Collections launch, export
missions to the U.S., the promotion of industry stars through the Awards program, training, marketing and education will
continue to enhance economic activity in this important sector of the City's economy.
Brenda J. Librecz
Laurie Belzak, Coordinator
Fashion Industry Liaison Committee
Economic Development, Culture and Tourism
FASHION INDUSTRY LIAISON COMMITTEE 1998 WorkPlan
1)Toronto Fashion Week
-Spring Fashion Week Program$2,500.00
-Co-sponsorship of Spring Collections Launch$20,000.00
-Fall Fashion Week Program$2,000.00
-Co-sponsorship of Fall Collections Launch$7,000.00
-Co-sponsorship of Retail Awards$4,000.00
2)Fashion Industry Promotion and Marketing
-production of TTC Shelter posters$4,500.00
-distribution of '97 Shop Canadian brochure$5,500.00
-production of '98 Shop Canadian brochure$2,500.00
3)Awards for Excellence in Fashion Design
-reception, fashion presentation and awards$11,500.00
4)Training and Education
-Fashion Forum Co-sponsorship$500.00
-Co-sponsorship of Student Year-End Fashion Shows & Awards$1,500.00
5)Project Development Fund
-cosponsorship of export mission to New York City
-support for OFE markets
6)Strategic Planning Session
-event organization and promotion$1,000.00
FASHION INDUSTRY LIAISON COMMITTEE
Chair (to be appointed by Council)
Toronto Dress and Sportswear Advisory
Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees Locals 12, 14, 83, 92 & 136
Ryerson Polytechnic University
Fruitman Consulting Group
Jones New York
Lynda Jagros May
Fur Guild of Canada
The Couture Association of Toronto
Toronto Fashion Incubator
Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area
President, Designers Ontario
Chameleon Accessories Inc.
George Brown College
Ontario Fashion Exhibitors