In a few weeks time, Jordan Stewart and other Canadian fashion designers were supposed to show their fall/winter collections at Toronto Fashion Week (TFW). Many had been preparing months. “I literally start one collection at the end of the other collection. There’s no stop,” says Stewart, the founder of RVNG Couture. “It’s a labour of love. These are heart and soul projects.” Two days before the invites to RVNG’s show were sent out, Stewart got a call that Toronto Fashion Week was cancelled.
The news, which was delivered to participating designers last week and announced today on Twitter, has shocked industry insiders and left brands scrambling. One designer says he only knew something was up when TFW stopped returning his emails.
TFW executive director Carolyn Quinn said via email that the decision to “pause the production” of the fall/winter 2020 slate of shows was “very difficult.” It was made, she added, “in order to rethink the platform; focusing on how we can best engage the industry, support designers, and resonate with consumers across the country.”