Notable Canadian fashion organizations such as The Fashion Group International of Toronto, Toronto Fashion Incubator, and the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards have helped promote, support and launch the careers of Canadian fashion talent for years. This year, a new fashion collective lead by marketing entrepreneurs Lidia Tesfamicael and Luxi Mathi has emerged out of the nation’s capital. 

Lidia, whose academic background is in marketing and fashion design, is a fashion designer with a private label Lidia Daniel while Luxi is a certified makeup artist and founder of Luxi Management, a boutique marketing agency. The pair brought their years of experience together and created the Canada Fashion Network, a non-profit organization that aims to tackle industry obstacles related to the absence of community support, financial aid, resources, job opportunities, representation, diversity, inclusivity, and cultural awareness in the Canadian fashion industry. Safe and sustainable fashion, and fashion related carbon emissions and tech are others areas the group will focus on.

The organization was originally founded in 2019 as the Ottawa Fashion Network, designed to help fashion creatives to discuss common concerns and to connect with one another through networking events. It wasn’t until last year when Canada’s personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage demonstrated the need for Canadian fashion manufacturing and production that they decided to pivot the scope of their initiative.

Canada Fashion Network

Photo credit: Oladimeji Odunsi

“Canada is a diverse country and fashion is crucial to our national identity”, says co-CEO Luxi Mathi.

With the lack of market research, media coverage and funding comes a lack of buyers engaging with Canadian brands and loss of opportunities.

She goes on to explain, “This has restricted our global impact because our ambitious entrepreneurs and creatives have to leave the country in order to chase their big dreams.”

This realization is what led them to start the non-profit organization.

According to the duo, outsourcing is one way that Canada has lost a lot of money to other countries. The idea is that if we were to reinvest those dollars back into our own economy as opposed to relying on outsourcing, it would help fashion entrepreneurs sustain their jobs and improve our infrastructure here in Canada. 

Currently, Canada Fashion Network is working to spark the conversation in hopes of passing a Bill at Parliament to initiate and promote fashion production and distribution down the line and has even received support from Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson

Canada Fashion Network invites all fashion professionals, enthusiasts and investors to join in and petition to help Canadian fashion grow and thrive. For more information, to get in touch or learn more on how to make a donation, visit Proceeds will go towards research efforts, advocacy and raising awareness for fashion in Canada, both nationally and internationally, in order to solve industry problems all while creating jobs and resources for the Canadian fashion scene.

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