I wonder where would I be if I hadn’t seen Malorie Urbanovitch‘s cream plaid wool coat from Fall ’14, or Matière Noire‘s moon child sweaters? These are the sort of quixotic questions that plague my mind when watching the Mercedes-Benz Start Up fashion show each season at World MasterCard Fashion Week. These may also be the same questions you’d ask yourself when watching an episode of America’s Got Talent or Come Dine With Me (the latter producing an answer along the lines of “in a much better place”).
But, I wouldn’t be better off not having seen these two Canadian designers’ collections – and experiencing them with the bravado only a runway show can afford leaves a lasting impression. In the fashion world you’re either fleeting or immortal. Chanel? Immortal. Jeremy Scott? Fleeting; and so on and so forth. In Canada, the entire industry is on the precipice of this dichotomy. Programs such as the Mercedes-Benz Start Up are giving Canadian designers much more than the chance to show in World MasterCard Fashion Week and a cash bursary of $30,000 – they are giving these young designers a chance at immortality.
This year the deadline to submit applications is Monday, July 14, 2014, which you can do here. Once the application is accepted, designers will be judged by a panel on their collections and business plan. A select group will be chosen to participate in the national finale at World MasterCard Fashion Week in October. NB: To be eligible to participate, designers must have a registered Canadian business that has been operating for less than five years
I encourage all budding Canadian fashion designers to submit an application – it may be the first step at leaving an everlasting impression.