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Menswear at Vancouver Fashion Week
August 18, 2014
Vancouver, the most densely populated city in Canada, is known as the gateway to Asia and has been attracting fashion designers to its seasonal exhibition and runway event for 12 years. With the Asian market demanding luxury consumer goods more than ever before, Vancouver is becoming a key city to both emerging and established designers.
While everyone has New York, London, Milan and Paris on their minds, Candid Magazine caught up with Jamal Abdourahman, Producer of one of the world’s most respected and largest growing fashion events, Vancouver Fashion Week to see what’s in store for menswear for the Spring/Summer 2015 season.
Vancouver Fashion Week is coming into its 24th season. Will we see Vancouver listed as one of the world’s top fashion cities soon?
Vancouver has always been a place for world class fashion. In fact, Vancouver is classified as a top global fashion capital. Vancouver is ranked one of the top 30 worldwide fashion cities according to the Global Language Monitor of Trends. It isn’t a surprise that Vancouver is well ahead of other big cities in Canada like Montreal and Toronto.
As the city continues to mature and grow as one of the world’s top fashion cities, Vancouver Fashion Week will surely continue being a prime centre for fashion in North America for seasons to come.
Have you been involved with VFW since its inception?
Yes. I have been involved with VFW ever since its inception. I have been producing catwalk shows since 1994 and I started Vancouver Fashion Week in 2001.
What makes Vancouver an ideal city for both established and emerging designers?
Vancouver is an ideal city for both established and emerging designers. Our established designers are well known, but Vancouver is still a young city where we are always exploring fresh new talent. It’s what keeps Vancouver so innovative.
Aside from being a port city that exports to Asia, the Vancouver-based Asian population of consumers is a major part of the growing fashion economy. The Asian market plays a very large role in the fashion industry in Vancouver.
You have designers showing with you from Vancouver, London, Paris, Milan, Seoul and beyond. We can imagine that you have thousands of applicants to edit down from. How do you manage your selection process?
We have a rigorous selection process for finding designers that show at Vancouver Fashion Week each season. We are always looking for the right designers with the right collections that will fit into the Vancouver fashion landscape and its remit, as well as being attractive to the globally-based buyers and media that attend the event. Furthermore, VFW is committed to introducing groundbreaking and inspiring new designers from around the world to keep Vancouver ahead of the curve as a fashion city.
At the VFW head office, we have designated Designer Teams for every country. Each team translates our offering and invitations into the native languages of each country. This is how we acquire so many top designers from around the world. Research is a crucial part to our decision making process in regards to which designers we invite to show at VFW. We search out award-winning designers and we grant show space to outstanding emerging designers with impeccable talent. Each designer is reviewed by the Designer Committee and myself, before they are chosen or sponsored.
Which menswear designers should readers be watching out for on the VFW catwalk in September? Our editors at Candid have selected their top three picks:
Trained at the Instituto Marangoni in Milan, Andrea Lazzari’s design aesthetic, which combines formal with informal and classical with experimental, makes for a unique silhouette.
Trademark: Cleverly cut trousers and relaxed but detailed tailoring.
A street-style designer from Tokyo, Japan. Easy shapes and a thought-provoking colour palette put a contemporary spin on minimalist wardrobe stables.
Key investment piece: Two-toned contrast colour high-tops.
Starting his career as a stylist in 2011, Portuguese, Pedro Victor is now focused on his own brand of colourful knitwear.
Signature: Colourful jumpers.
Words by Harriet Bowe