Saturday, April 11, 2015


By Lynda Castonguay

TFI Does Brunch

TFI SS 2015 (Photos by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine) Click to enlarge

The Toronto Fashion Incubator is a non profit organization that supports and mentors our nation’s design talents. They nurture their aspirations with access to everything from industry leaders, equipment, design spaces, and seminars right down to a simple word of encouragement during those trying times. 

At its core, the Toronto Fashion Incubator seeks to make the heights their members want to reach, reachable. That is why with every fashion season, the TFI capitalizes on the mass attention the art and our city get during World Mastercard Fashion Week and hosts a networking brunch for a select group of their membered designers.

Stretched over two days during the fall winter 2015 collection season, TFI gathered the press and buyers at the tents for an early afternoon of catered brunch, always welcomed coffee, and of course, home grown designers all eager for the networking and all eager for this season’s prize: the Stylist Box Designer of the Season Award and a six month contract with Stylist Box valued at $7,200 and monthly exposure valued at around $100,000. In the end it was awarded to Christopher Paunil, a ready to wear and bridal line first launched in 2009. 

TFI Press & Buyers Brunch FW 2015 (Photo by Lynda Castonguay)

Jon De Porter's necklace inspired by the city of Havana (Photo by Eva Fydrych)

TFI media pass (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

After speaking with a handful of the designers, there was a discernible commonality. Jenny Greco left science for jewelry. Katherine of Simple Smiles & Co left architecture and urban planning for knits. The Elias sisters both hold corporate jobs but one has put in her resignation, the other hopes to soon enough, to work with fur. Nora Pucci of Zarucci ventured away from her MBA and into fine fabrics and evening wear. All that to say, the theme of the brunch was: do what you love. 

For that extra little bit of exposure, I will highlight the various designers in a series of articles. First off, The Wild North.

The Wild North is a Canadian-manufactured line of outerwear for both men and women. Strictly winter attire at this moment, their coats and jackets are tailored for northern climates but constructed with a design savviness that really brings style into the equation. During winter, we often do not care what we look like but just as long as we are warm we are satisfied; the Wild North aims to be in that middle, the middle of functionality and aesthetics. 

The Wild North Fall/Winter 2015 (Photo by George Pimentel / Getty Images)

Quilted down filled jackets, removable shearling linings, water repellant shells, airy under arm sleeve zippers, sustainably sourced fur trimmed hoods, each in current styles and in a gentle colour palette of blue, brown, grey and winter’s black.

The Wild North does not use farmed animals as part of their sustainability practices. They work directly with hunters and are firm in their position of using animal products for function and never for aesthetics, which is why you will never see an unnecessary fur pocket or unwarranted animal detailing. 

The Wild North Fall/Winter 2015 (Photos by George Pimentel / Getty Images)

Photos by George Pimentel / Getty Images

For more on the brand, visit -

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