Fashion dreams become reality for disadvantaged Toronto youth

News Oct 15, 2014 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

For many disadvantaged Toronto youth, the world of runway fashion shows may seem out of reach. Thanks to a partnership between the TDSB, local charity the PACT (Participation, Acknowledgment, Commitment and Transformation) Urban Peace Program and sewing studio The Make Den, 11 youth have seen their fashion dreams become reality.

Over the course of a five-month program, the youth were able to tap into their creativity, designing and sewing fashion lines or outfits designed specifically for their role models.

Their designs will be on display at Youth Love Fashion, a runway show featuring guest models showcasing the styles.

Bloor and Ossington resident Kyle Kofsky, who co-organized the show, said the ability to reach out to young designers held huge appeal.

“Some of them never thought they could do something like this,” he said. “We wanted to show them that with the right support system and passion, they can.”

The youth were part of the PACTFashion program, with Youth Love Fashion giving them a chance to put the skills they learned in the program to use in front of a live audience.

While their designs are the show’s focal point, they were responsible for far more than creating unique fashions.

“They were in charge of production, booking their models, choosing the music they want playing when the models are modeling their work, hair and makeup – everything,” Kofsky said.

The collections feature pieces for men and women, though there will be a special focus on women’s fashions, with many of the youth opting to create pieces specifically for a woman who has inspired them.

Several of the role models will be on hand to model the fashions they inspired, including mayoral candidate Olivia Chow and former federal Cabinet member and Ontario Fairness Commissioner the Honourable Jean Augustine.

Many of the role models are closer to the designers’ hearts, however.

“There’s one girl who is visually impaired who is making a garment for her sister,” Kofsky said. “She created her design by feeling the textiles and textures, and she’s really been inspiring to the other students.”

Young designer Aziz Vivant said the PACTFashion program has been a great way to learn design basics, and Youth Love Fashion is an exciting means of putting what he and his fellow designers have learned to the test.

“The only rule was to gather as many ideas as we could, and we all asked each other what inspires us before sketching out our own designs,” he said. “We all have our own different style and we’re all trying to be individual and show our character.”

The family-friendly runway event will take place in the Azure Restaurant at the InterContinental Toronto Centre hotel, 225 Front Street East, from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18.

For tickets or information, visit www.producttoronto.com/ylf

Fashion dreams become reality for disadvantaged Toronto youth

Family-friendly runway event Youth Love Fashion slated for Oct. 18

News Oct 15, 2014 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

For many disadvantaged Toronto youth, the world of runway fashion shows may seem out of reach. Thanks to a partnership between the TDSB, local charity the PACT (Participation, Acknowledgment, Commitment and Transformation) Urban Peace Program and sewing studio The Make Den, 11 youth have seen their fashion dreams become reality.

Over the course of a five-month program, the youth were able to tap into their creativity, designing and sewing fashion lines or outfits designed specifically for their role models.

Their designs will be on display at Youth Love Fashion, a runway show featuring guest models showcasing the styles.

Bloor and Ossington resident Kyle Kofsky, who co-organized the show, said the ability to reach out to young designers held huge appeal.

“Some of them never thought they could do something like this,” he said. “We wanted to show them that with the right support system and passion, they can.”

The youth were part of the PACTFashion program, with Youth Love Fashion giving them a chance to put the skills they learned in the program to use in front of a live audience.

While their designs are the show’s focal point, they were responsible for far more than creating unique fashions.

“They were in charge of production, booking their models, choosing the music they want playing when the models are modeling their work, hair and makeup – everything,” Kofsky said.

The collections feature pieces for men and women, though there will be a special focus on women’s fashions, with many of the youth opting to create pieces specifically for a woman who has inspired them.

Several of the role models will be on hand to model the fashions they inspired, including mayoral candidate Olivia Chow and former federal Cabinet member and Ontario Fairness Commissioner the Honourable Jean Augustine.

Many of the role models are closer to the designers’ hearts, however.

“There’s one girl who is visually impaired who is making a garment for her sister,” Kofsky said. “She created her design by feeling the textiles and textures, and she’s really been inspiring to the other students.”

Young designer Aziz Vivant said the PACTFashion program has been a great way to learn design basics, and Youth Love Fashion is an exciting means of putting what he and his fellow designers have learned to the test.

“The only rule was to gather as many ideas as we could, and we all asked each other what inspires us before sketching out our own designs,” he said. “We all have our own different style and we’re all trying to be individual and show our character.”

The family-friendly runway event will take place in the Azure Restaurant at the InterContinental Toronto Centre hotel, 225 Front Street East, from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18.

For tickets or information, visit www.producttoronto.com/ylf

Fashion dreams become reality for disadvantaged Toronto youth

Family-friendly runway event Youth Love Fashion slated for Oct. 18

News Oct 15, 2014 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

For many disadvantaged Toronto youth, the world of runway fashion shows may seem out of reach. Thanks to a partnership between the TDSB, local charity the PACT (Participation, Acknowledgment, Commitment and Transformation) Urban Peace Program and sewing studio The Make Den, 11 youth have seen their fashion dreams become reality.

Over the course of a five-month program, the youth were able to tap into their creativity, designing and sewing fashion lines or outfits designed specifically for their role models.

Their designs will be on display at Youth Love Fashion, a runway show featuring guest models showcasing the styles.

Bloor and Ossington resident Kyle Kofsky, who co-organized the show, said the ability to reach out to young designers held huge appeal.

“Some of them never thought they could do something like this,” he said. “We wanted to show them that with the right support system and passion, they can.”

The youth were part of the PACTFashion program, with Youth Love Fashion giving them a chance to put the skills they learned in the program to use in front of a live audience.

While their designs are the show’s focal point, they were responsible for far more than creating unique fashions.

“They were in charge of production, booking their models, choosing the music they want playing when the models are modeling their work, hair and makeup – everything,” Kofsky said.

The collections feature pieces for men and women, though there will be a special focus on women’s fashions, with many of the youth opting to create pieces specifically for a woman who has inspired them.

Several of the role models will be on hand to model the fashions they inspired, including mayoral candidate Olivia Chow and former federal Cabinet member and Ontario Fairness Commissioner the Honourable Jean Augustine.

Many of the role models are closer to the designers’ hearts, however.

“There’s one girl who is visually impaired who is making a garment for her sister,” Kofsky said. “She created her design by feeling the textiles and textures, and she’s really been inspiring to the other students.”

Young designer Aziz Vivant said the PACTFashion program has been a great way to learn design basics, and Youth Love Fashion is an exciting means of putting what he and his fellow designers have learned to the test.

“The only rule was to gather as many ideas as we could, and we all asked each other what inspires us before sketching out our own designs,” he said. “We all have our own different style and we’re all trying to be individual and show our character.”

The family-friendly runway event will take place in the Azure Restaurant at the InterContinental Toronto Centre hotel, 225 Front Street East, from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18.

For tickets or information, visit www.producttoronto.com/ylf