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Will the Demise of Fashion Week Put Toronto on the International Fashion Show Map?

Posted on November 09 2016

Will the Demise of Fashion Week Put Toronto on the International Fashion Show Map?

When IMG, the owner of Toronto Fashion Week (TFW) abruptly cancelled the show this past summer, it shocked the local fashion world. The twice-yearly show had grown to be the second largest of its kind in North America and the local industry depended on it to get international exposure – and sales – for our home-grown talent and businesses.

Are Traditional Fashion Shows Old ‘Fashioned’?

Even before the dust had settled on the TFW cancellation announcement, many were seeing a silver lining in the dark clouds.

According to a story on, Noreen Flanagan, editor of Elle Canada, commented that “the idea of a seasonal fashion event is an outdated model. The internet and social media have created an appetite where as soon as consumers see something they like, they want to be able to buy it. They don’t want to wait six months.”

“See It, Shop It, Buy It”

Have you ever wondered why, just as the first signs of the end of winter (like Ground Hog Day) are popping up, you tune into the fashion news only to see the “Fall/Winter” collections are showing – for next fall and winter.

The upshot of the “see it, shop it, buy it” phenomenon that Noreen Flanagan outlined is the market increasingly demands fashion shows whose styles can be purchased more or less right away.

Earlier in October, around the time that the fall TFW shows would have run, the first-ever FashionCAN event was staged by Yorkdale Mall to give the industry the chance to see upcoming fashions from local designers.

While it was an invitation only event, the public could live stream it on the web and buy outfits from the brands that presented in the show from a pop-up shop in Yorkdale.

While men’s fashion shows tend to take a back seat to their women’s counterparts, this year’s Toronto Men’s Fashion (TOM) Week, in only its second year, also broke the mold and tried to fill the TFW void by announcing that it will include women’s wear in its shows starting in 2017