Vancouver has been a very resilient retail market despite the COVID-19 shutdowns and the ongoing global pandemic. Retail vacancies are falling, market rents are higher and unemployment in British Columbia is below pre-pandemic levels. This bodes well for the fashion industry and the Vancouver fashion community.

Vancouver Fashion Week recently ran from April 7-10, and it was a major hub for international designers. The first day of Vancouver Fashion Week featured designers from Canada, Mexico, the United States, Japan and France. There was designer Tetyana Golotoa, whose collection included colorful pieces with matching floral embroidery. The collection was a love letter to Ukraine and its people currently in the throes of war.

Inuit fashion designer Martha Kyak exhibited her InukChic clothing, which combines traditional Inuit design with contemporary design. Traditional Inuit design pieces associated with everyday ready-to-wear.

Vancouver Fashion Week wraps up the Fall/Winter 2022 season

As well as being a hub for young international designers, Vancouver Fashion Week also shines a spotlight on student talent. LaSalle College presented six of its design students, including Haby Camera, Elie Jesmani, Jackson Lee, Eduardo Lozana Ramos, Renda Pei and Yichi Zhang. The young designers’ collections centered on themes of asymmetry, industrialism and earth tones.

In addition to showcasing a wide array of international designers, Vancouver Fashion Week also helps keep artisans and artisans employed. The Franco-Cameroonian designer Aline is at the head of the creation of her family business Couleur’s d’Afrique. Sewing teams in Reunion, Madagascar, Cameroon, Kenya and Ethiopia develop the collection. In addition, Aline’s work also engages in humanitarian work to help struggling communities. In addition, Aline’s work also engages in humanitarian work to provide aid to struggling communities.

Sustainability is always one of the main topics in the fashion industry. Guido Vera, originally from Chile, strives to establish a new perspective on Chilean men’s clothing through sustainability and to showcase the textile rescue, traditions and culture of Patagonia.

Big-name designers don’t headline Vancouver Fashion Week like they do at Fashion Weeks like in New York, but the event is a gold mine for showcasing young, up-and-coming talent. It’s probably the closest thing to an international fashion week, given the myriad of designers who come from outside of Canada. While the “big four” Fashion Weeks, including New York, London, Milan, and Paris, often showcase international talent, that’s not in the depth of Vancouver Fashion Week. These young designers also don’t have to worry about competing with bigger names for retailer attention and media coverage.

Vancouver Fashion Week also has the distinction of being the second largest Fashion Week in North America after New York Fashion Week. The event continues to be small and mighty, but it is a necessary platform for emerging international talent.

Image: Vancouver Fashion Week
Image: Vancouver Fashion Week