The Fashion Trail | Vancouver’s Fashion Community Comes Together

Searching for Style in Vancouver | Photos: Bronte Robertson

VANCOUVER, Canada — It’s always nice to come home. Longtime BoF readers will have noticed that each summer, BoF tends to publish a few articles on the Canadian fashion scene. But for the first time, this year’s trip home also included a wonderful event generously hosted and organised by Alexandra Suhner Isenberg, who started writing her blog Searching For Style after more than ten years of studying and working in London and Paris.

The event was held at Vancouver’s Opus Hotel and themed The Business of Fashion and the Digital Revolution, bringing the good and great of the city’s small but passionate fashion community together on a balmy Monday evening. As the room continued to fill up, it was clear that there is great interest in Vancouver in all the change currently engulfing the fashion business. After an onstage interview with Alexandra, I was delighted to meet BoF readers from Vancouver and across Canada.

I had previously met Lisa Tant in Toronto and enjoyed getting her take on what it’s like to run the Canadian fashion magazine-cum-institution, Flare. Earlier in the week, Flare.com posted a Q&A with BoF on the Canadian fashion industry and our other pet topics, including Twitter. As it turns out, Lisa is a passionate tweeter herself, having learned how to make it work in her role as editor-in-chief. She says she has discovered both great talent for her editorial team and the ability to predict which of her magazine’s issues will be bestsellers based on the Twitter buzz generated by a new cover. It’s a smart way of using social media as a tool to run a fashion magazine in the digital era.

I was introduced for the first time to Jason Matlo, one of Vancouver’s top designers and also one of the city’s most stylish denizens. When pressed on how he manages to make a fashion business work out of Vancouver, which is far away from the main centres of Canadian fashion in Montreal and Toronto, Jason acknowledges that it is not easy. But with a dedicated team, including a business person to keep him focused on the bottom line, he somehow makes it work. Matlo manufactures his collections right from his Vancouver studio and is very responsive to orders from private clients and the local retailers who stock his ready-to-wear collections.

There were several other familiar faces it the crowd including Aritzia’s Brian Hill who was featured in a CEO Talk last summer and guys from Inventory Magazine whom we wrote about just last week. Rebecca Tay, Western Editor of FASHION, Canada’s other heavyweight fashion publication, and Craig David Long and the team from local luxury magazine, Montecristo, were also in attendance.

And no BoF event would be complete without the local fashion bloggerati, including Sarah Bancroft of Vitamin Daily, May Globus, Anya from I’m the It Girl, Vanessa Hong of The Haute Pursuit, Erica Lam and Nicole Soon of The Style Spy and Kelsey Dundon of The Anthology.

Thanks to everyone for coming out and showing your support for the event and especially to Alexandra and her great team of interns Bronte Robertson and Johana Zara for making it all happen.

For a recap of the The Business of Fashion and the Digital Revolution, please visit Searching for Style.