Canadian fashion is in a state of emergency; our creatives are starving due to a lack of public support. Canada Fashion Network is here to challenge this adversity.
Founders Lidia Tesfamicael, a designer, and Luxi Mathi, a talent manager, are fashion masterminds with backgrounds in marketing. Their platform welcomes all fashion associates; designers, models, stylists, photographers and enthusiasts. Together we’ll discuss cultural issues, job development and more; manifesting Canada as an international fashion powerhouse.
“Fashion is a form of art, and as Canadians, we have the fundamental right to exercise our freedom of expression through the clothing we wear, create, design, sell or purchase. We have to create an environment that allows creators to succeed,” says Luxi, who kindly joins me to answer my questions about the ambiguous state of Canadian fashion.
1.) Please discuss the challenges which Canadian fashion encounters. How has this prevented us from having a global impact?
Luxi: There aren’t enough fashion opportunities for our talent to flourish here. It prevents our country from having a global impact. Making it difficult for fashion buyers to engage with Canadian brands.
There are no laws to cultivate fashion in Canada. Our talent won’t prosper until we address the lack of market research, funding, and media coverage for Canadian fashion. Our time is now. The opportunities for Canada are exponential, and we can overcome being shadowed by international brands in our own country!
2.) Visible minorities are mistreated in Canadian fashion. How are you fighting to empower them?
Luxi: Before this, I directed LUXI MGMT and acted as a mediator, connecting models and creatives of colour. Often it was hard finding jobs–and as women of colour, minority justice is crucial for my partner Lidia and I. We are working towards building resources to empower minorities.
3.) How has COVID-19 affected the way we must approach our fashion?
Luxi: COVID-19 exposed how little support the Canadian fashion industry receives. Multiple sources have reported the shortages of PPE for essential workers. Canada spent billions of dollars on gear from other countries. Instead, we could have better supported our infrastructure here in Canada.
With Canadian boutiques large and small closing, “Made in Canada” is a crucial narrative; we aspire to be at the forefront of this revolution.
4.)How can the public help Canada Fashion Network expand?
Luxi: Engagement with our social media channels, @CanadaFashionNetwork is vital for our discovery. We’ve created a petition to share your experiences–please help us spark viral conversations about fashion issues.
Numbers Matter! Thanks to your voices, we’ve received press from Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. We’re aiming for an approved bill in parliament to initiate fashion production in Canada.
Lastly, through our website, we’d love for you to donate if possible, or share the word of our initiative! We’re a registered non-profit organization and can answer any further questions through email.
“As a Black woman, I wanted to create a platform for our fashion community: promoting unity, diversity and inclusivity across Canada” adds Lidia. Change takes resilience: Canadian fashion has withstood decades of racial disparity and neglect; resulting in the export of our brilliant minds. Luxi and Lida work each day tirelessly to empower Canadian style. They need your help–please donate, follow, share or petition to help Canadian fashion attain eternal justice.