The problem with Holt Renfrew’s designer showcase
Yesterday morning, Holt Renfrew invited the media to attend an intimate showcase of five Canadian lines it will be carrying at the store. Considered some of the best in the country, each of the designers—Denis Gagnon, Jeremy Laing, Mikhael Kale, Greta Constantine‘s Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong, and Lida Baday (who was not in attendance)—showed a few pieces from their fall collections. Also present were fashion week queen bee Robin Kay and Vogue writer Mark Holgate. The problem? None of the designers are showing during LG Fashion Week, which runs until Thursday in the massive Allstream Centre that’s been pimped out in all the razzle-dazzle of a King West club. And Holgate, who came to Toronto as a guest of Holts, won’t be attending any of its shows. Kay was clearly stung by yesterday’s event, despite rumours that Holts may bring the designers to fashion week in future seasons. Kay told the Star that the designers “will not get the coverage that a brand needs in that [Holts’] environment because there isn’t a large number of shooters and tweeters, or live-streaming.” She also described the event as “quiet” (and it was—delightfully so) and chastised the store. “Holt Renfrew is a sponsor. With their largesse, they should have made a point of bringing that gentleman to the site to see that we are a fashion week and to see designers he may not have heard of. That’s a sponsor’s duty and responsibility.”
* UPDATE: Despite what was reported previously, Holt Renfrew tells us that they did take Holgate to the Izma show, which opened fashion week on Sunday evening. The writer was only in town for 24 hours, however, and therefore not able to make it to other presentations.