Vancouver Fashion Week a global show: More than 60 designers from 25 countries

Vancouver Fashion Week producer Jamal Abdourahman with models wearing pieces from designer Noe Bernacelli’s spring/summer. Bernacelli is among the designers who will be showing their fall/winter collections during Vancouver Fashion Week March 17-24. Submitted photo/Ed Ng

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Vancouver Fashion Week is a true reflection of the city’s values.

Unlike Toronto or New York, which see locally-focused fashion weeks, VFW celebrates multiculturalism and tries to cross more borders each year, expanding its global scope.

“Vancouver Fashion Week is truly a Vancouver model when it comes to showcasing and celebrating diversity,” VFW producer Jamal Abdourahman said. “Our business model, our show is different (than others). Our show is a global show.”

The Fall/Winter 2014 edition — March 18-24 — marks VFW’s biggest, most global year yet, running over seven days and presenting more than 60 designers from 25 countries.

Trends from around the world — Lima, Peru, Copenhagen, London, Tokyo, Mumbai and, of course, Vancouver — will be featured on the runway at the Chinese Cultural Centre downtown.

This global model better serves the local and Canadian designers who participate in VFW, Abdourahman says, because they are featured alongside visiting designers who are covered by international media and their work is then displayed to a global audience.

“That’s what every designer wants,” he said.

Abdourahman has taken VFW a step further this year by partnering with a global sponsor. Procter & Gamble (P&G) will bring three of its worldwide beauty brands, COVERGIRL, Pantene and Olay, to the week of runway shows.

“This is the first time we are able to bring in a presenting sponsor,” Abdourahman said. “This is a milestone. It’s truly a dream come true for us … it definitely adds credibility.”

P&G has a long history of partnering with Canadian beauty and fashion platforms, including Montreal Fashion Week and the Toronto Fashion Incubator, but this will be its first time at VFW.

“We’re excited to partner with VFW for the first time,” P&G spokeswoman Melissa Karis said. “Fashion is intrinsically linked with beauty, so it makes sense for our beauty brands to have a presence at fashion-oriented events like VFW.

“With its focus on showcasing talent from around the world, VFW gives us the unique opportunity to reach a new audience of diverse consumers who are interested in fashion and beauty.”

Representatives from COVERGIRL, Pantene and Olay will be backstage styling models’ hair and makeup for the runway, as well as providing free hair and makeup touch-ups for VFW guests.

Vancouver Fashion Week kicks off March 18 at the Chinese Cultural Centre on East Pender St. and runs until March 24.

For tickets and scheduling information visit vanfashionweek.com.

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