The concurrent Toronto Men’s & Women’s fashion week, TOM* & TW, founded by Jeff Rustia, hosted their first edition of TOM*/TW Talks; a series of innovative discussions and events where global industry leaders explore their unique perspectives on the trendy world of fashion and commerce. With discussions focusing on the shifting economy due to mass-consumption and direct B2C marketing trends, the intimate conversation series brought countless pressing topics to the forefront of discourse throughout the two fashion weeks.
Invited by discussion moderator Roger Gingerich, The Charter of Fashion attended the coveted one-on-one talk session with Canadian business mogul, Dragon Den’s Joe Mimran. Founder of Canada’s most iconic brands, Joe Mimran offered listeners a diverse assortment of candid insights based on his steadfast knowledge and experience within the industry on an International spectrum.
Roger Gingerich & Joe Mimran
Roger demonstrated his 15 years of experience at the Gingerich Group, the infamous “fashion broker” ensured the navigation of his discussion was centered around relevant advice for Canadian entrepreneurs. As an executive member of the Canada Fashion Group and Fashion Group International -Toronto (FGI), he was well poised to lead a meaningful discussion that left listeners with tangible points of execution.
Here’s what we learned…
A Prosperous Fashion Industry Depends on Governmental support: Policy & Education
In order for the Canadian Fashion Industry to rise to its International counterparts, the Canadian government must support and recognize fashion as an art worth nurturing and protecting. Joe suggested that the demand for luxury fashion is not appreciated in the Canadian markets because of this lack of infrastructure and the result is a lack of “appetite” among consumers. This concept is not foreign to the pioneer veterans of the Fashion Industry. Robin Kay the founder of Toronto Fashion Week was in attendance and has been a long-standing champion for this cause, she further challenged Joe to take a stance on this topic and reinforce the importance of community support from the ground up. Deidre Kelly eloquently suggested that perhaps the early education implementation from the primary school level could combat this lack of “appetite” within our culture and create a genuine appreciation for this unique form of art, fostering a true taste for luxury in Canada from a young age, and thus the ability for such brands to develop within our borders. Question is, will these voices be heard? What else can we do as an industry and community to band together and initiate much-needed change and reform?
Brand Recognition; Entrepreneurial Super Power
“There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur than now”- Joe shed light on how social media was not available to him or other pioneers in the past and its rise has created the direct brand to consumer marketing. Building a recognizable brand and dedicated platform has never been so enabling; today’s business-minded influencers have the unique capability to avoid pain points that acted as key barriers to entry for entrepreneurs in the past previous years. Entrepreneurs who have facilitated an engaged authentic community can avoid the retail overhead while simultaneously communicating their message, and thus selling, directly to their customer.
Fashion is at the Forefront of a Technological Revolution
“Technology is prompting mass systemic changes in the fashion industry”. The initial fashion technological revolution fostered the rise of e-commerce, resulting in the traditional retail business model sitting peripheral to its global-reaching counterpart. How will artificial intelligence and augmented reality truly impact the industry? It is feasible to predict another retail revolution in the near future, as the power of augmented and virtual reality is fortified. Conceivably, the consumption process may revert to an experience-centric exploit; advancing from the tangible experience of shopping in physical retail stores to a virtual yet realistic shopping experience projected directly from a customer’s device.
Joe Mimran & Charter of Fashion founder Shenaz Mohammed
In an environment of increasing competition and innovation, it is clear to us that the need for unity, supportive infrastructure and resources is key to enabling prosperity for the Fashion Industry in Canada. Without these important progressions, it will be difficult for our Entrepreneurs to compete on an International level. There is no doubt we have talent, we need to nurture and showcase this talent even more!
Business of Fashion
, canadian fashion
, fashion industry
, jeff rustia
, Joe Mimran
, Roger Gingerich
, TOM Talks
, toronto mens fashion week
, toronto womens fashion week
, TW Talks