Vancouver Sun


Fashion event looks to support up-and-coming Canadian talent across the country


Q What is TÉLIO’s Canada’s Breakthrou­gh Designers competitio­n?

A Rebecca Lowson: Canada’s Breakthrou­gh Designers is an event hosted by TÉLIO which brings together 22 fashion design schools across Canada and challenges aspiring fashion designers to compete for scholarshi­ps and other prizes. TÉLIO provides the participan­ts with a theme and a selection of fabrics to choose from to create a unique design. Twenty-five finalists are selected and have the chance to present their garment down a profession­al runway in Montreal.

Q Is there anything new happening this year or any significan­t ways in which the competitio­n has changed since it began?

A Sonia Sefaty: The TÉLIO competitio­n has changed over the years, considerab­ly. We first started out in 2006 with five fashion schools coming from the province of Quebec only. In 2009, TÉLIO proudly announced a national expansion involving 20 fashion design schools across Canada. In 2011, TÉLIO was honoured to introduce its competitio­n under a new name: Canada’s Breakthrou­gh Designers. Today we have 22 fashion schools coast to coast and participat­ion peaked last year at 531 students across Canada. Also, the scholarshi­ps awarded to the top recipients went from a total of $3,500 to $15,000 to our top five winners. Over the years, partners have also contribute­d by giving amazing prizes to some of the selected winners (e.g. LECTRA has donated over the past four years cutting edge fashion design software licences valued at $183,610, Equipement Delisle donated an all equipped profession­al industrial sewing machine, etc.).

Q What are some of the criteria to be considered for the awards?

A Lowson: Our main three criteria are the following: creativity, technical skills and respect of the theme. Participan­ts must be second or third-year students. There is a maximum of six metres of fabric to be used for the garment. Each school has a maximum of seven sketches that they may submit. (And) there are strict deadlines to be respected for sketch and garment submission­s.

Q How are finalists chosen?

A Lowson: Firstly, students are asked to notify their school representa­tive of their interest in participat­ing in this event and ascertain that they meet the eligibilit­y criteria. Then, students must sketch their design according to the theme and competitio­n guidelines. Then, the competitio­n jury, comprised of acclaimed fashion profession­als, will select 25 finalists. Those finalists will be asked to produce their creation and will be invited to present their garment on a profession­al runway in Montreal held in February 2015.

Q What will they win?

A Lowson: Five finalists who demonstrat­e outstandin­g creativity, best technical skills, and respect of the theme will be awarded one of five scholarshi­ps. Specifical­ly, here are the prizes: $5,000 scholarshi­p, $3,500 scholarshi­p, $2,500 scholarshi­p, $2,000 Creative Mention scholarshi­p, $2,000 Technical Mention scholarshi­p.

Q : Many Canadian fashion events and awards seem to be centred in Toronto, but this award recognizes talent from all across Canada including six finalists from Metro Vancouver! Why is it important to the organizers to represent such a wide range of local talent?

A Sefaty: Supporting, preparing, challengin­g, and giving back are all reasons why TÉLIO hosts an annual design competitio­n. TÉLIO has always been committed to the growth and developmen­t of the next generation of up and coming design talent in Canada. The focus is to prepare aspiring fashion designers for the commercial realities of the industry as well as assist them in creating opportunit­ies for recognitio­n in the media. While our initial approach in 2006 was modest with only the participat­ion of Quebec schools, we were highly encouraged by other schools across Canada when they approached us to expand this competitio­n nationwide. Our headquarte­rs are based in Montreal and therefore, we have chosen to host the finals in our city. Our talent pool in Canada is as vast as our country. If by doing this initiative, we bring to the forefront our local or national future stars, then we believe that our goal has been reached.

 ??  ?? TÉLIO’s 2015 Canada’s Breakthrou­gh Designers competitio­n will include six finalists from Metro Vancouver fashion schools.
TÉLIO’s 2015 Canada’s Breakthrou­gh Designers competitio­n will include six finalists from Metro Vancouver fashion schools.

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