Monday, October 22, 2018


By Lisa Doherty

Startup Fashion Week Toronto
Emerging Talent

Photos by Lisa Doherty and courtesy of Christina-Mariia and ISK-KA (Click to enlarge)

This year will be Startup Fashion Week’s fifth year of providing a platform for new and upcoming designers and talent in the fashion industry within Canada. Starting a business can be challenging, and for many emerging artists and designers, it can be almost impossible to get their names heard and their brands discovered without a larger stage. And this is why Jodi Goodfellow pioneered Startup Fashion Week. As do many of us, Jodi understands first hand that it is hard to start and keep a business afloat. It is no different, if not harder in the fashion industry. 

This year in 2018, we were able to see a variety of well-received diverse group of designers, inventors and talent. From genderless fashion to, children’s fashion, swimwear, to lingerie and even panic button systems, there was a little something for everyone. 

Lisa Doherty covering #SFWToronto for Fashion Studio Magazine

Lulu et Gigi - Children’s Fashion

Lulu et Gigi is a Canadian children’s fashion brand, that makes all children feel like Parisian princesses. With a multitude of couture party dresses and gowns for all occasions, the collection’s designer Eni Buiron’s initial inspiration was one that is close to home for many of us.

“My initial inspiration for starting a children’s line was for my eldest daughter. I found that the market at the time was barren. So I decided to teach myself how to sew. “ This new hobby did not come easily to Eni. “ I took the first dress apart 12 times, but I continued to learn and pride myself on being self-taught. Although the brand has changed from conception to now, we are now focused on couture lines.” Recently, MILK magazine has named Lulu et Gigi the most recommended brand of 2018 which allows the line exposure around the world.
Monkland Village - Outerwear

A company based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the designers of Monkland Village pride themselves on Ethical Fashion. This brand creates outerwear made of luxury alpaca to provide the most comfortable and cozy insulation and warmth for winter.

All alpaca fleece preserved for their coats are used from animals carefully raised in Canada and they are completely cruelty free. Alpaca fibers are considered to be the warmest form of insulation for deep-freezing temperatures, and it seems to be the new trend in outerwear.


Comfortable shoes are always a win. This is what Jehan‘s shoe label provides to all of their Canadian customers. With an artistic spin on century old ballet flats, Jehan’s shoes are wearable both casually and formally. 

Christina-Mariia - Lingerie

With a philosophy of celebrating Canadian eternal femininity, Christina-Mariia lingerie is a trendy, yet elegant lingerie line for all. With bright, vibrant colours and uniquely structured pieces, they offer a range of classy lingerie for all shapes, sizes and interests.

Photo courtesy of Christina-Mariia lingerie

House of Sass and Magic - Expressionwear for Gender Fluidity

The House of Sass and Magic is a Canadian expressionwear brand, making your clothing dream a reality. Each and every garment is created with inclusion at its core, and they are all crafted in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. With a passion for celebrating individuality combined with glamour, this line provides all people, whether, gay, straight, male, female, transgender, with a way of expressing their inner selves.

Stacey, the owner and creator of House of Sass and Magic was inspired by music, dance, and festivals when she started her fashion line. “There is a freedom and acceptance of individuality at festivals that I attend both personally and professionally. That vibe is inspirational and rejuvenating. I feel very strongly about the need to allow people to express themselves in a way that displays their true self without ridicule and judgement.”

ISK-KA - Swimwear

The ISK-KA contemporary swimwear line is a unique brand of bathing suits that provide extreme comfort with high end fabrics. “ISK-KA celebrates unique body architectures using the best Italian fabrics. As a result, our bathing suits wear like a second skin.” And if that wasn’t impressive enough, their fabric is partnered with the World Wildlife Foundation with the mission to reduce environmental strains on the sea, animals and landscapes.

Gigi Wang - Couture

With an Asian cultured inspiration in mind, Gigi Wang was able to create beautiful, colourful, garments filled with regal and exotic patterns to her couture collection. With her debut collection premiering at Startup Fashion Week, Gigi has been able to intricately embellish and sew glamorous details into each garment, and has also been able to bring her culture to life here in Canada. Gigi prides herself on her ability to “create art and beauty” and is hoping to create her own business in the near future.

Other creative and innovative brands featured at Startup Fashion Week Toronto included Tap2Tag, Lotus by Seam (a panic button protective device), Jonah Jay (vegan leather brand), Bennett Bespoke Clothiers (quality custom suits), and Luxfinds.

To learn more about how you can participate in Startup Fashion Week in Toronto or Montreal, you can follow them on Instagram @startupfashionweek or check out there website


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