Startup Fashion Week is dedicated to growing the Toronto fashion community and helping local entrepreneurs succeed. They focus on businesses that sit in the middle of fashion, business, and tech, an intersection that is growing exponentially with most fashion designers first opening their doors digitally to test the water before committing to a physical location.
As a business that relies heavily on technology to sell its product around the world, Henkaa was proud to partake in a weeks worth of events and programs where we had the opportunity to connect with other entrepreneurs and share our knowledge to accelerate our businesses.
Lights, camera – action! The Startup Fashion Week kickoff party was an amazing opportunity to mix and mingle with contributing designers and learn about their objectives and visions.
It was here that we learned about Tap2Tag, an amazing fashion tech product that allows you to retrieve life saving information in just a tap. While wearing the wristband, you can simply tap an NFC enabled device to instantly share critical information in the event that something happens. It’s a great little gadget for anyone that has any health complications or just likes to be safe.
We were happy to see some familiar faces that night including Meaghan, the editor behind Fashion Savage, and Rashi of Pearls & Sequence. Funny enough, we all showed up twinning in Henkaa that night! Sylvia and Meaghan wore the Ivy Midi Dress, and Paulina and Rashi wore the Iris Midi Convertible Dress.
We had a blast getting to know all the local designers we would be working alongside all week and were so happy to kick the week off on a high note.
On the second day of SFW, we attended the Business of Fashion Conference where local designers and business-savvy peeps shared their knowledge and insight in the industry. Not only was it exciting to be there, but it was also inspiring and informative. We walked away from day two feeling like business rock stars!
Fashion Visionary Barbara Atkin started off the day with a bang giving us a rundown of the 5 global fashion trends she sees coming in the 21st century. As the former Vice-President of Fashion Direction at Holt Renfrew, Barbra has always been known as the predictor of the future. She has a natural knack for analyzing her surrounding and using that data to predict upcoming trends in the fashion industry. Here are the 5 global trends impacting the future of fashion according to Barb Atkin:
5 Trends in Business & Fashion
3) Social Responsibility
Right after Barbara’s presentation, we were so proud to see our CEO & Founder Joanna Duong Chang get up behind the podium to talk about what she knows best: how to find your niche and accelerate your business!
The key takeaways?
1) Start small and perfect it: get really, really good at one thing
2) Be famous for one thing: be really good, so good that people can’t ignore you
3) Stand for something: perfect your first product which you can use as an anchor before venturing into more SKUs
4) It’s not about you, it’s about your customer: focus on early adopters and make them product champions
It was great to see Joanna talk about something she knows so well because she broke the process down in a way that it was easy for us to follow. Good job, Jo!
All of the speakers at the Business of Fashion conference did a great job, we were so thankful to participate and learn from all these amazing individuals within the Toronto fashion community!
The final day of Startup Fashion Week was definitely the highlight of our week. All of the designers that were involved got to showcase their brand new collections and hit the runway like a star! Being backstage at a fashion show is always a unique experience that never gets old. Being in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the models and designers and coordinators really immerses you in the energy of the night, making it undeniably contagious!
We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to dress the women in the Startup Success Runway Segment and the Women of Influence in Canadian fashion. These women are dedicated to leading the way in Canadian business and have given many aspiring entrepreneurs someone to look up to! We were so grateful to have had the chance to meet them. Not only were they business-savvy working women, but they were also so sweet and welcoming that it was just a treat to work with them.
Just like anything else, all good things must come to an end. We thank the entire Startup Fashion Week crew for letting us be a part of this year’s event and all the work they put in to make this event happen for us. We’re all so thankful for the space that’s been created for up and coming Toronto Fashion designers to shine, share, and collaborate with one another. A big thank you also goes out to Jodi Goodfellow for heading and coordinating the entire event and inviting us to take part in this year’s activities. We can’t wait until next year!
Don’t forget to check out our Startup Fashion Week photo album on Facebook to see all the highlights from the week. Were you at Startup Fashion Week? What were your big takeaways from the event? Tell us in the comments!
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