Last weekend was somewhat of a tipping point in our thoughts on "giving back". We hosted two big events under our new studio roof: Industry Night and a Holiday Designer Pop-Up. Bringing together people from all corners of the Maritimes, who have been involved in the industry for years, or are just starting out like us, was a big opportunity to learn more about what people want to see come out of Fredericton and how we can help be a catalyst for creative growth.
On Friday, we held the first ever Fredericton Fashion Industry Night in collaboration with the Fredericton Fashion Council and the photographers in our studio (Mag Hood & PhilipRoman). We'd seen others host similar events in Moncton and Halifax, but never here. So we thought, "Why not? Let's bring together designers, photographers, models, make-up artists....anyone who is somehow connected to the industry, or has aspirations to be". The result? Over 50+ people from Fredericton, Moncton and Halifax showed up for a night of networking and celebration.
The whole experience not only proved to be a successful networking event - with multiple collaborative photoshoots coming out of the night's connections as tangible proof - but also, a learning opportunity. Speaking to other creatives was just what we needed to affirm that what we're doing here matters: holding events, creating a local buzz, working with local models and photographers for look books and product shots, and just staying in New Brunswick vs. leaving for Toronto or elsewhere.
On Saturday, we hosted an all-day Holiday Pop-Up shop featuring some amazing designers who came down from Halifax (those lovely ladies above) plus the founder of the Nova Fashion Incubator. Featured? Zafira Apparel, Distinguished Designs, and Lady Lamb. The passion these girls have for the industry is inevitable, and we were so excited to spend more time with them to really connect over growing the industry here and bridging the gap between Halifax and Fredericton. It's not everyday that multiple designers who showed on the runways of Atlantic Fashion Week are available for purchase in downtown Fredericton - it was actually probably another first. It was a great way to engage the public, emphasizing how diverse local fashion is, the high quality of the designs, and the added value of purchasing something local - directly from the designers who made it. Pretty cool, huh?
Something we've learned from the weekend is that "giving back" isn't always in a predictable cheque writing, dollar value way. Sometimes giving back means engaging your community and creating opportunities for others to flourish. While our donations to mental health organizations will always have a place with us, we're constantly exploring new ways to give back to the fashion and creative industries as well. We're pretty eager to define and redefine what it means to be a social enterprise. So what's next for us? We're planning multiple workshops in areas of photography, modelling, branding, and more starting in January. Another Industry Night will definitely be in the works as well!
Big thanks to everyone who came out to either - or both - events! We had a blast hosting them. Follow our social media for updates on more events in the New Year!
Wear Your Label