Toronto Fashion Incubator hosts Fall 2004 Press Breakfast

Wednesday,June 4, 2014 @ 05:09

(PRWEB) March 28, 2004


Carla Romagnoli: WOMENSWEAR

Former English schoolteacher Carla Romagnoli followed her true calling and founded her fashion design company in 2000 after graduating from LaSalle College. Her contemporary womenswear collection of mainly natural fibers trail blazes fall 2004 with a referential nod to the clothing of 18th & 19th century First Nations people of the Huron or Wendake. Currently sold at Fuji Wisteria in Tokyo and Kathline Kovaks in Montreal, Carla has exhibited in Raw Potential (Vancouver), No Apologies Necessary (a design show held in collaboration with the Canadian Embassy, Tokyo) and La Semaine de Mode Italienne – Mode de Quebec.

Contact: Carla Romagnoli at T 514 322 9234 or

Cincyn by Cindy Custodio & Cynthia Florek: WOMENSWEAR * ACCESSORIES

The alliance of George Brown College graduates Cindy Custodio and Cynthia Florek brings us an eclectic collection of handcrafted clothing and accessories with a European vintage flavour. Leather, wool, silk, jersey, and chiffon are blended into memories of rummaging through Granny’s closet. Not for the wallflower, Cincyn stands out in a crowd with its original designs and use of colour. Cindy formerly worked for Comrags and Cynthia had a position at Crystal Siemens. Cincyn is available at Mendocino, Georgie Bolesworth and Want Boutique. Contact: Cindy Custodio or Cynthia Florek at T 905 286 0725 or

Foxy Originals by Jen Kluger & Suzie Orol: ACCESSORIES

Established in 1998, Foxy Originals is a bright, fun, funky line of original and versatile jewellery. Jen Kluger and Suzie Orol combine their shared interest and skill in jewellery design with a vision: to make high style fashion jewellery accessible to young women. “We want to create pieces that say, but don’t scream…Here I am!” Their jewellery stays true to the designers’ passion for creating all things that are funky and fun. Their designs are snapped up by urban, fashion savvy women looking to use their accessories as a subtle form of self-expression. Carried by fashion boutiques Over the Rainbow, Olam and Blue Ruby, Foxy is also worn by celeb Nelly Furtado and featured in Glow Magazine, Toronto Life, Canadian Living, and Fashion 18. Contact: Jen Kluger or Suzie Orol at T 416 439 0887 or

Harebell by Shelli Oh: WOMENSWEAR

Designer Shelli Oh’s Harebell collection is feminine and faerie-inspired; celebrating all that is beautiful and magical about women. Fabrics and details are delicate, light and romantic. After working successfully in New York with Betsey Johnson, the Ryerson University grad returned to Toronto to launch her own business in 1997. Harebell, which made its professional runway debut at the fall 1999 New Labels® show, is currently available at specialty boutiques across Canada and the U.S.

Contact: Harebell at T 416 899 2966 or

House of Spy by Wendy Wong: WOMENSWEAR

Wendy Wong is the creator and founder of Toronto-based House of Spy, an urban collection for women that transgresses normative street wear. After graduating with a biology degree from the University of Toronto, Wendy’s dream to pursue a career as a neurological scientist got sidetracked and she ended up studying fashion design at the International Academy of Design. House of Spy joined the Toronto Fashion Incubator’s Resident program in 2001 and currently sells to stores across Canada and the U.S.

Contact: House of Spy at T 416 516 0111 or

Hyphen Clothing by Liz Consiglio and J-P Guarraci: WOMENSWEAR

Liz Consiglio and John-Paul Guarraci, the Toronto-based design team behind Hyphen Clothing, are also the winners of the TFI’s 2004 New Labels® Fashion Competition. Following in the footsteps of her mother and father, a seamstress and tailor respectively, Liz studied fashion design at Seneca College. For J-P, fashion design became his creative medium after graduating from The Ontario College of Art & Design and spending hours shopping at Value Village and personalizing his own wardrobe. Attention to detail and offering a fun attitude towards dressing is this duo’s position.

Contact: Elizabeth Consiglio & John-Paul Guarraci at T 416 617 2126 or

JUMA by Alia & Jamil Juma: WOMENSWEAR

Alia & Jamil Juma are the brother-sister duo behind the label JUMA. Former actress and model Alia attended George Brown College and worked as a production design intern at Damzels In This Dress and Peach Beserk. An undergrad with a degree in Biosystems Engineering, B.Eng from McGill University, Jamil worked as an investment strategist with Swift Trade Securities and at the Host Marriott Corporation. Both Alia and Jamil are well traveled and speak several languages including French and Gujurati. In their spare time, the siblings have actively volunteered with the AIDS benefit Fashion Cares. “Juma is designed with young, affluent, refined professionals in mind. Customers buy our line because of our unique styling, distinctive designs and fabrics. Ours is a collection that is dark, yet inviting with an energetic rhythm,” says Jamil Juma.

Contact: Alia & Jamil Juma at T 647 296 5862 or

Kity by Caroline Lim: WOMENSWEAR

Graduating from Ryerson University in May 2002, Caroline Lim presented her debut collection, Kity, during the fall 2003 New Labels® show. Kity is not just your average womenswear line, but rather what Caroline calls “fashionista wear”, featuring sultry, seductive, and sometimes downright scandalous elements. Caroline has already received many awards of recognition for her work and recently won the 2003 Audience Choice Award at Vancouver’s first SNAPSHOT! 48 Hour Photo & Fashion Marathon.

Contact: Caroline Lim at T 416 737 5504 or

Krane by Ken Chow: ACCESSORIES

Ken Chow is not only a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology and Design in New York (Menswear), but also holds a B.A. in Management and Economics from the University of Toronto. With a mission to “balance your life”, Chow’s Fall/Winter 2004 collection is a statement about finding a workable balance between working-to-live and living-to-work. Krane caters to the professional man who will not be held down by the date on his birth certificate. He works hard and knows how to enjoy his leisure time. Featured in Asian Wave, I-D, and Metro magazines.

Contact: Ken Chow at T 416 509 6030 or

Marie Routhier: SWIMWEAR

Former figure skater Marie Routhier started sewing at the age of 4 and started working for herself 7 years later, custom-making figure skating costumes. Skating costumes led to orders for graduation and wedding gowns. From there, Marie took courses in Bridal Consulting and Floral Arts, opening a home-based business in Winnipeg. In 1998, Marie moved to St John’s, Newfoundland, where she developed her business in the fashion industry. Over the last few years, Marie’s gowns have been worn to such events as the 1999 Canadian Search for Miss Universe Pageant, and the 1999 Canadian Model and Talent Convention in Toronto. She was the Official Eveningwear Designer of the 1999 Miss Teen Newfoundland & Labrador Pageant. Sewing for Skaters and Dancers and Gymnasts … Oh My!, Marie’s first book, was released in July of 2000, and her second book, The Skating Dress Style Book, in December 2000. In 2002, Marie relocated to Mississauga in order to pursue her first love – sewing with spandex. Within months of her move, Marie picked up contracts from several Ontario synchro swim clubs, and, most recently, Synchro Canada’s Team Canada. Contact: Marie Routhier at T 416 732 8783 or

Peros by Mark Peros : WOMENSWEAR

In 1996, Mark Peros abandoned a fine art degree to study fashion design at the Ryerson School of Fashion in Toronto. As the designer of the line that bears his name, Mark takes classic styles and wakes them up to create something original and distinct. “I want my clothes to appeal to all kinds of women,” says Peros, “ I want them to make conservative girls feel more adventurous and I want the wild girls to feel that, when they need something more practical, they can wear Peros and not feel too straight.” Peros was formed in 2001 to create clothes for women who want to distinguish themselves from the crowd. Mark also exhibits skill and precision away from the runway as one of Canada’s top ranked fencers, training to compete in the 2008 Olympic Games. Designed with a cool polish, the clothes are professional enough for work and sexy enough for a night on the town. A unique blend of classic tailoring, attention to detail, and modern design elements deliver a wearable collection that moves easily from day to night. Recently, Mark was named as one to watch by Style Magazine. He also designed wardrobes for the play This Is Our Youth, directed by Woody Harrelson. Based in Toronto, peros is available in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Chicago and New York. Contact: Mark Peros at T 416 446 4448 or

NADA by Nada El-Khazen : WOMENSWEAR

Nada El-Khazen designs for the weekend warrior. Her muse commands presence and immediate attention. She is in total control. Attracted to knitting in the 2nd grade while attending a performing arts school, El-Khazen knew she had to continue her education in design. “I found my inspiration through observing the modern woman. It seems that nowadays a woman’s wardrobe will consist of many different styles. A woman may dress like a girly-girl one day and like a motorcycle mamma the next,” says El-Khazen of her designer inspiration. “I think it is extremely sexy to see people in atypical gender environments.” A diverse young woman, El-Khazen earned a BSc before attending the International Academy of Design & Technology and placing in the top ten semi-finalists in the 2003 Miss Universe Canada beauty pageant. Recently, Nada made her professional debut in the 2004 New Labels® show. Contact: Nada El-Khazen at T 416 873 3447 or


After knitting her first sweater at the age of 17, Olena Zylak discovered her true calling. Over the next few years, she began her professional career as a costume builder for large musical productions such as Ragtime, Showboat, Tommy and Fosse. In 1997, Zylak shifted her focus onto her signature line. The hallmarks of the Olena Zylak collection are her use of hand-worked techniques and attention to detail. Her creations of hand-knit accessories in merino wool, kid mohair and imported luxurious Italian yarns are at once precious and fragile, as well as sexy and strong. Zylak’s sweaters and shawls have been featured in Sportswear International, WWD, Lucky, Flare, Elle Canada and The Globe and Mail, to name a few. Prince, Juliette Lewis, Olivia Newton-John & Natalie Cole are already fans of the line. An award-winning designer, Olena has previously been named a Matinee Fashion Foundation Grant Recipient (2002), New Designer of the Year, City of Toronto (1999), Style Magazine New Designer Award (1999), and the Eveleen Dollery New Canadian Designer Award (1999). Contact: Olena Zylak at T 416 259 4130 or

Revolve Clothing Co. by Lara Stephenson & Margarette Dacanay: WOMENSWEAR

This funky streetwear label by hipsters Lara Stephenson & Margarette Dacanay was founded in 2003 after the duo graduated from the International Academy of Design. Stephenson & Dacanay find their inspirations in the city life around them – urban architecture, city silhouettes, and even street grids. Fall 2004 marks the debut for the Revolve Clothing Co. Lines are streamlined; the wardrobe, functional. This is street gear for the urban woman who wants to look young, funky, and de-stress from her week by partying long into the night.

Contact: Lara Stephenson at T 416 408 1667 or

Rosa Costanzo: WOMENSWEAR

Strong, bold beauty is the philosophy behind Rosa Costanzo’s design. Ultra-feminine looks and unstructured masculine details join forces to create a sexy, chic collection. After graduating from Lasalle College’s fashion design program in 1997, Costanzo worked as an embroidery designer for such high profile clients as Fendi, Valentino, and Etro in Italy. Upon her return to Canada, Ottawa-based Costanzo immediately launched her ready-to-wear line, Rosa Costanzo, in 2000. Rosa’s line has appeared on numerous celebrities, including songstress Kim Stockwood, athlete and TV host Josée Chouinard, and actor Wendy Crewson.

Contact: Rosa Costanzo at T 613 599 5533 or

SDG 033 by James Samarita & Jacqueline Parhar: WOMENSWEAR

The brainchild of James Samarita and Jacqueline Parhar, SDG 033 is a collection of distinctively innovative womenswear drawing inspiration from around the world using fabrics, philosophies, and cultures to create fashion which is all about personal style, diversity, and real-life luxury. East meets West in this intellectual combination of fabric and modern cuts. SDG 033 takes the traditional and puts a contemporary spin on it, designing real clothes for real women. The duo’s aim is to enhance, not mask, the wearer’s individuality. Contact: James or Jacqueline at T 416 827 7706 or

Wonderlust by Hannah Tikkanen: WOMENSWEAR

Hannah Tikkanen of Wonderlust designs young women’s sportswear and dresses “with a twist.” The line blends the minimal mindset of Helsinki, the laid-back attitude of Vancouver and the glamour of Paris. A graduate of the Helen Lefeaux School of Fashion Design, the Vancouver native worked for several firms in British Columbia including A-Wear Clothing, Elle Sportswear, Vasanji and Roxanne Nikki, before heading east. More recently, Tikkanen worked for Toronto-based designer Lauren Leibovitz of Leibovitz & Co. and was a finalist in the 2004 New Labels® Competition & Show. Contact: Wonderlust at T 416 971 7117 x 35 or


The Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) is an innovative, non-profit, small business centre designed to nurture, promote, and support new fashion designers and entrepreneurs.

Officially known as the Toronto Centre for the Promotion of Fashion Design, the TFI offers two levels of membership service to budding fashion entrepreneurs. The Resident Program is known as a launching pad for only the best and the brightest. With just 10 places available, companies applying for residency must demonstrate exemplary creative ability and marketing savvy, possess a team spirit, have adequate business financing in place, and live in the City of Toronto. Residents lease a semi-private work studio within the Incubator and have privileged access to TFI equipment and facilities 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Celebrated alumni include Joeffer Caoc of Misura, David Dixon, Jennifer Halchuk of Mercy, Crystal Siemens, Olena Zylak and Shelli Oh, to name just a few.

TFI’s Outreach Program is a popular starting point for many home-based designers and entrepreneurs. The program offers comprehensive start-up support at a cost-effective rate and access to exclusive membership benefits such as business consultations, access to TFI’s onsite Resource Centre and discounts from industry suppliers. By simply remitting an annual membership fee and application, Outreach members can gain access to TFI’s services, equipment, and facilities Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm. Present and former Outreach members include Siphay Southidara of Yso, Rosa Costanzo, Mila Finkelshtein, Caroline Lim, Anne Hung, Comrags, Loucas and hundreds more.

Each year, a handful of TFI’s Resident and Outreach members are featured in an annual runway fashion show called New Labels®. The show has been presented to media, buyers, and trade during Toronto Fashion Week since 1992 and is always a featured highlight of the week’s activities. Executive Director: Susan Langdon Board of Directors: Lida Baday, Deb Dorsey, Laurie LaPalme, Kirsten Mogg, Kim O’Brien, Glenn Smith, Rosalie Starkey. Advisory Committee: David Dixon, Ralph Grunier, Laurie Sakamoto.

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