Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation Opens

JCF Fashion Innovators | photo by Joe Fresh

Joe Fresh Centre’s 2016 Fashion Innovators | photo by Joe Fresh

As my regular readers know, I rarely use this blog to promote my own endeavours. In this case it’s unavoidable. Last March Jeanne Beker reported on a $1 million investment by Joe Fresh in Canada’s Fashion Future. Today that investment has been realized, and I’m proud that a team I’ve been working with is officially a part of it.

The new Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation opened last month at Ryerson University, modelled after the highly successful Digital Media Zone (DMZ). Six start-ups were chosen through a nationwide a competitive entry process, juried by top executives from Joe Fresh and the Canadian fashion/tech industry.

During a 18-month program, each business — StyleID, Klothed, Formen, Wear Your Label, Blanc de Noir and Love Winter — enjoys physical workspace in the new Centre, access to Ryerson University’s equipment and facilities, professional guidance and a chance to receive up to $50,000 in funding.

Klothed is where I come in — it’s a mobile styling and shopping app that enables users to quickly and easily create a personalized model that includes a selfie of their face, and a body shape and skin tone that resembles their own. Working with the founders over the past two years, we’re developing something I believe will sit at the forefront of the omnichannel future of retail.

klothed style at your fingertips

The first iteration of klothed caters to men. Users can swipe to virtually try-on clothes, tap to share their outfits with their social networks to get input and advice, buy items and plan what they’re going to wear – all from their mobile device. Check out the quick demo video on our website now. I’ll keep you posted as we move to the next stage of development.

Learn more about our friends and fellow innovators at the Joe Fresh Centre here. They are a fascinating and diverse group of startups. And stay tuned for more from the fashion innovation sector on the F-list — it’s a part of the industry that’s close to my heart.

Toronto Fashion Week – Part Deux

Fashion week isn’t just about what happens on the runways, it’s how we capture and share it. Since the dawn of Twitter, live events are for the audience — whether actually in attendance or not — to offer their play by play. Now with Instagram and Vine, it’s not just about what we say, but how we see it. I saw many use Vine  to record the final walks from designer shows in New York, London and Paris, so I put my own spin on it frequently last week. What else can you say in six seconds?

One of my favorite moments of the week was the Joe Fresh show. If you wouldn’t have guessed in a million years that the fast fashion of Joe Fresh could be heavily influenced by the British impressario Malcolm McLaren, you don’t know Joe Mimran. McLaren and his girlfriend Vivian Westwood were largely responsible for the punk style of youth in the 1970s. Joe went straight to Paris for punk (with a hint of jazz) in the form of a French ingenue, a stylish young thing who, channeling a young Carine Roitfeld, donned mostly black. He brought us art in the form of Ed Ruscha — an artist known for painting words on large canvasses — and his lettered sweaters that wrapped up the collection. And then he brought us the best after party of the week. That’s Joe.

Photo by George Pimentel
Photo by George Pimentel

I skipped out on Friday’s shows due to commitments for Canadian Music Week (why, oh why does everything have to happen at the same time in Toronto?) but not before co-hosting FGI Toronto‘s Speed Networking event with Fashion Takes Action. This is the second season we’ve worked together with IMG to host the event during fashion week. Speed networking matches you up with someone new every two minutes, so if you’re not good at conversation, you will learn quickly!  The event was sold-out, thanks to everyone who came out for it. Check out FGI on Facebook and Twitter for more upcoming events.

Ready, set, go!

Pattern Loving

We’re almost halfway through the week’s entries to the Fashion Finder Blogger contest at Pickering Town Centre. Each day we are posting a finalist; one lucky “stylist in the making” will win. Today’s finalist, Avery, loves stripes and has a good eye for combining patterns — a very hot trend right now. Click here to view Avery’s style video.
Currently, on the runways of Toronto Fashion Week, we’re seeing more stripes and patterns for fall 2012…
Lundstrom Collection, fall 2012. Photo by George Pimentel.
Matis by Lucian Matis, fall 2012. Photo by George Pimentel.
Joe Fresh, fall 2012. Photo by George Pimentel.
March Break Fashion Week at Pickering Town Centre continues through Sunday, March 18th. You still have time to enter the contest and a chance to win a $500 gift certificate to PTC, a Blackberry Playbook from Best Buy Mobile and a chance to appear with the F-list at the America’s Next Top Model Live show in May.
I’ll be at the mall on Sunday between 12 – 2pm, so come down and let’s talk style!

FTBC in the Boob-doir

Earlier this month Rethink unveiled the 2009 Fashion Targets Breast Cancer shirt design by Joe Fresh Style at Jezebel, a saucy little club in Toronto’s west end. The newly revamped venue is billed as a burlesque club, and what’s a burlesque club without some fishnet-clad ladies? Dancers treated guests including Joe “Mr. Joe Fresh” Mimran, to a couple of sexy (and fully clothed) numbers, while bartenders sweetened up the night with Vitamin Water cocktails. The shirt is available at all Joe Fresh locations, $12. For more information on Fashion Targets Breast Cancer plus fun contests, click here.