If you live in Toronto and love to shop, you’ll be happy to hear we’ve found you the perfect weekend plans! This Saturday and Sunday, you can check out the collections of over 80 Canadian designers at INLAND, the fashion-packed shopping event that’s all about buying local and supporting the Canadian fashion industry. We got to sit down and chat with INLAND founder Sarah Power about the event, what inspired her to get started and the importance of supporting local Canadian businesses. Check out our Q&A below!
INLAND is such a great way for both designers to gain exposure and for Torontonians to discover their new favorite brands. What inspired you to come up with the idea for the event?
Sarah: Thanks, we think so too! INLAND grew of a realization that there is growing gap in the industry and independent labels risk becoming less and less accessible. I’ve followed Canadian fashion for a long time, but always struggled with the reality that most people couldn’t name more than three contemporary Canadian clothing brands, large or small. Test my theory, you’ll see! With INLAND, we hope to make Canadian fashion more knowable and accessible – and to get everyone buying and wearing it.
This is INLAND’s second year running. Congratulations! What do you think made last year’s event so successful? What are you most excited about for this year’s event?
Sarah: It’s been amazing to watch it grow. INLAND’s Fall show has curated carefully, so I’m excited to see how it all comes together. Designers are really getting creative with their set-up this season too, which is fantastic. We have seven designers who have presented at World MasterCard Fashion Week, twelve labels from Montreal, a ton of Toronto brands and two from Halifax.
Why is it important to shop locally?
Sarah: It’s about leveraging and celebrating our identity as a creative, business savvy culture and about investing in our economy. What I think people don’t know. though, is where to get Canadian design. We have so many incredible Canadian brands and labels. Especially right now, the industry is exploding with great stuff. My message would be to take the time to discover independent designers and Canadian-carrying boutiques. We’re working on creating an online resource for people to use as a “where to find Canadian fashion” so that this process will be easier. Stay tuned!
With the endless supply of “fast fashion” and online clothing options available, do you think it’s harder for Canadian designers to make it in the industry?
Sarah: It’s hard for any independent designer, of any medium, to compete against the “fast” market. Like any other expressive, creative medium, fashion takes a lot of personal investment from the designer and needs collective support to thrive. It’s tough!
Considering the success of the INLAND shopping event, do you think shopping local and buying Canadian-made products is a rising trend? Do you think the Canadian fashion industry will continue to grow?
Sarah: Yes and yes!
It’s always inspiring to discover fellow creative Canadians. Will shoppers be able to meet and interact with the designers themselves?
Sarah: You’re so right, that connection is so powerful and inspiring, like, “you made this?!” Most designers attend the show to do their own selling, but some are doing multiple projects at once–fashion is a hustle!
Apart from shopping, are there any other events or activities for shoppers to participate in throughout the day?
Sarah:We are thrilled to have Nord Magazine on site hosting an exclusive preview of their October cover and taking photos of shoppers and designers. There’s also an enormous patio at the venue, so we encourage shoppers to relax in the sun and just enjoy the weekend.
Check out a few of Sarah’s favourite pieces that will be featured at the event:
Excited to do some shopping? Find out more at www.madeinland.ca and check out the event this weekend (September 26 and 27) at 99 Sudbury Street in Toronto. We’ll be there as well so don’t be shy-come out and say hi! Happy Shopping!