TOMFW S/S16 – Where Were All The Familiar Faces?

Toronto Men’s Fashion Week’s third season wrapped up a couple weeks ago with well received collections from established Canadian designers such as Christopher Bates to newcomers like Ante Meridiem. While it was great to see some familiar names as well as newcomers joining the schedule, something was missing. Highlights of last season such as Andrew Coimbra, Joao Paulo Guedes and Kollar Clothing were absent; as well first season designers such as Sons of Odin. For TOM to continue to grow and be respected both locally and internationally as a true destination for menswear, changes need to happen.

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(From Left-Right: Look by Rani Kim, two looks by Kollar Clothing, all F/W15)

Since the inaugural season, TOM exploded onto the Canadian fashion scene as a newfound menswear destination. Up & coming designers both locally and internationally presented collections that showed the extent to which menswear is defined today. Standouts from the first season such as Rani Kim and Andrew Coimbra got their own full-length runway shows and the event quickly became known as a place to spot upcoming talent. While the third season still had a variety of talent at the EMDA, too many designers were missing that made the first two seasons special.

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(From Left-Right: Two looks by Andrew Coimbra, one look by Joao Paulo Guedes, all F/W15)

I was able to reach out to several designers from last season and get their take on why they chose not to show for S/S16. Andrew Coimbra had this to say “I chose a presentation almost entirely because of the direction I chose to go this season.  I worked with Photographer McKenzie James and American painter Luis Valencia to create portraits that are the base of the SS16 collection, so I thought a gallery space would make more sense”. While Joao Paulo Guedes felt he needed to catch his breath and focus on building the foundations of his new business. Whether the direction of the collection is more suited towards a presentation or a designer just wants to slow down or focus on retail there are plenty factors that can impact the decision. What do you think needs to change in order for TOMFW to be mentioned in the same breath as London or Milan? Let us know in the comment section below.

(All photos courtesy of Shayne Gray)