The Invitation to TFI25

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2012 marks the Toronto Fashion Incubator’s 25th celebratory year – a milestone achievement for this non-profit organization. As part of this year’s festivities – they decided to throw a huge fundraising gala, and invited the entire city to help celebrate. TFI25 took place at the Royal Ontario Museum on May 3 ~ where everyone was talking about the invitations.

Now that the dust has settled, we talked to Susan Langdon, executive director of Toronto Fashion Incubator and Deborah Lau, the creative director of Palettera.

Bamboo Magazine: Susan, can you please tell us about TFI?
Susan Langdon: The Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) is an award-winning and highly-acclaimed non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and nurturing Canadian fashion designers and entrepreneurs. Established in 1987 as the world’s first official “fashion incubator”, the TFI model has been adopted by cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Melbourne, Auckland, Amsterdam, and Milan. Housed in an 8,300 sq. ft. heritage building at Exhibition Place in Toronto, TFI provides critical support to creative entrepreneurs to develop the business and professional skills they need to thrive and survive. Start-up and advanced community programs include educational seminars on the business of fashion, one-on-one mentoring with industry professionals, exclusive promotional and sales opportunities, and valuable sales, marketing and trend resources.

BM: Who are some of your TFI Alumni?
SL: For over two decades, TFI has fostered many of Canada’s most celebrated talents including Sunny Fong of Project Runway Canada fame, Joeffer Caoc, David Dixon, Pina Ferlisi at McQ, Todd Lynn, Arthur Mendonça, Greta Constantine, Smythe, Juma and Beatrice Holloway which has been featured on the hit television series Glee.

BM: What are some of the eco initiatives TFI has made?
SL: We strive to conserve energy and resources where possible, such as working with Celestial Print, a responsible printing house whose facilities run on wind and hydro power delivered by Bullfrog – part of its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint while delivering high-impact products.

We’ve also published a designer’s “Guide to Going Green” that includes a list of eco-friendly suppliers and have presented related seminars to the fashion community. The guide is available online at

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