Toronto Fashion Week Adds New Sponsors and 200 More Seats
Toronto Fashion Week kicked off in David Pecaut Square on Monday with a reception to celebrate new headlining sponsor MasterCard. Under its new moniker, World MasterCard Fashion Week will draw industry professionals, media, sponsors, and consumers to runway shows, receptions, and parties until Friday.
Last October was the first time David Pecaut Square hosted Fashion Week. This time around, the Fashion Design Council of Canada made a few educated changes to the tent layout. “Last season, our challenge was the flow of the tents,” said Robin Kay, president of the council. Rather than small, adjoined tents, this year the organizers opted for one large tent. “The new setup will provide a greater connection and a larger space for the industry to enjoy and network within,” Kay said. The 30,000-square-foot tent also allows for an additional 200 seats in the runway space, more room for preshow lines inside, and two entrances, shortening the queues outside.
The new layout has also encouraged more spacious sponsor activations. For example, Mercedes-Benz brought its “Icons of Style” activation straight from New York Fashion Week. Guests could pose in the SL Roadster against a backdrop replicating a Mercedes fashion collaboration with model Lara Stone. Barbie brought its activation from New York as well, inviting guests to play virtual dress-up in Barbie’s dream closet. Using an interactive screen, guests could “try on” different Barbie outfits from the past five decades and take a photo.
Maybelline New York subbed in for parent company L’Oréal Canada as a sponsor this year and created a full digital media strategy to go with its presence in the tent. “Fashion Week is a perfect platform for us to reach our consumers in a new and exciting way,” said Katie Green, brand communications manager at Maybelline New York, L’Oreal Canada. "To do this, we are taking a 360 approach, activating inside and out." Maybelline will live stream 20 fashion shows, as well as beauty tips, backstage trends, and recaps, on a YouTube channel. The brand also has a dedicated World MasterCard Fashion Week tab on its Facebook page as well as a Tumblr blog, Canadian Pinterest page, and constant Twitter updates.
While MasterCard branding fills the tent, the brand’s activation can be found all over the city. Called Stylicity, MasterCard holders get 20 percent off purchases from select fashion retailers from March 9 to 25. “We’re truly bringing fashion and style to the streets of Toronto and beyond,” said Betty K. DeVita, president of MasterCard Canada, during a speech at the reception. A blog on the Fashion Week Web site chronicles three local bloggers’ Stylicity deals and Fashion Week tips.
Sponsor Korhani Home opened the runway with fashion creations made from the brand’s newest collection of rugs. Canadian fashion labels like Soia & Kyo, Pink Tartan, Joe Fresh, and Vawk will show their fall 2012 collections on the runways until Friday, March 16.
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