Where To Find Saskatchewan's Fashion Community
By Jacqueline Conway
It was 2010, and I had just finished my year at fashion design school in Montreal. I returned to Saskatoon and immediately turned to Google to find the fashion scene.
I searched, and three designers came up: Sova Design, Rebecca King, and another designer that moved home to Ireland shortly after the search. Being the industrious type, I reached out to all of them. Rebecca returned my email first, and I was lucky to work with her for nine months.
From those early days, I started to meet other fashion creatives that, at that point, we were all kind of underground and kept to their own friend circles and communities. But what started to happen was really cool.
There was a common sentiment that the growing fashion community in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan wanted to see things move and evolve. There was talk of a fashion week or festival and, people in Regina were moving in that direction, too.
What evolved a couple of years later was the beginning of the Saskatoon Fashion and Design Festival (SFDF) and Saskatchewan Fashion Week (SFW) — two events designed and intended to promote Saskatchewan and Canadian designers and shine a light on the growing fashion sector.
Before these events, there was never a place to go to find the designers, except maybe through word-of-mouth or the odd media article. True story, I discovered and ultimately met designer Laurie Brown from a copy of the Star Phoenix.
As time progressed, the need for the community evolved yet again, and the sentiment from the design community was that shows were great but weren’t moving the needle business-wise. It was time for the next step.
Creative Saskatchewan approached me and Mandy Pravda, co-founder of SFDF, and suggested that now is the time for a fashion association. After some preliminary research and an in-depth presentation, Creative Saskatchewan gave the green light to provide pilot project funding to support the Saskatchewan Fashion Association.
Today, we are a member-based organization with a province-wide scope and are working to be the hub for all fashion creatives in Saskatchewan.
Long gone are the days of haphazardly searching for designers in Saskatchewan. You need only visit the member directory to find our fashion sector all in one place, and that member list grows weekly. As we look ahead, all those who long wanted to pursue fashion, but didn’t think it was possible on the Prairies need not believe that anymore.
Where we lack with NYC skyscrapers, we make up for with rolling prairies and perhaps something much more powerful. Community. A community interested in supporting local. To learn about the Saskatchewan Fashion Association and to become a member, visit www.saskfashion.com
Jacqueline Conway is an award-winning marketer and published fashion stylist with 10+ years’ experience based in Saskatoon, SK. Her company, TrendBlazer Studio, provides marketing and brand training for professionals developing personal brands. She does this through her signature program called The Brand Project. As well, she is the Vice President of the Saskatchewan Fashion Association working to establish fashion as the next creative sector recognized and supported by the provincial government.