Talking fashion with the Toronto Fashion Incubator

I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in a webcast called Working with Stylists delivered by the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI). It is the first of six-part speaker series, which targets aspiring designers. The aim is to provide relevant information that will help people succeed in the industry.

I have often thought about attending a TFI seminar but the timing never works out. The webcast made it easy to attend from the comfort of home. The login procedures were easy and problem free. I received an email with the login details and the site URL a few hours before the webcast started. The webcast interface is simple, a chat and video window. I liked the no frills approach as that takes bandwidth away from the video feed. It was a big plus with me. The video signal was strong and there were no problems at all. There was no choppiness during playback either.

The chat window allows participants to ask questions. Webcast participants have the extra bonus of a transcript in the chat window. I was impressed with this feature as I often miss important points in a seminar because I'm taking notes. The transcriber was very good and was able to summarize the speaker's statements. The transcript was true to the discussion. The chat window wasn't as consistent as the video feed. It stopped updating a few times and I was required to refresh the window.

The panelists were makeup artist David Goveia, hairstylist Howard Barr and fashion stylist Michelle Paiano. They are all very experienced and have high profile clients. The facilitator, Susan Langdon was excellent. She steered the panel in a direction that provided a lot of good information for the audience's demographic. I felt that the seminar was the perfect length. The panelist answers were not rushed and they had time to elaborate on their answers. The discussion started with job descriptions. The panelists provided information on how to get started in each respective field and shared their first beginnings. They talked about agencies, rates, models, trendspotting and tricks of the trade.

The Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) is a non-profit organization, which is a small business centre for promoting and mentoring new fashion designers and entrepreneurs. TFI has just launched TFI-TV, a web TV station for Canada's fashion designers. It's a paid subscription service that provides 24/7 access to a multimedia library featuring international fashion experts. There are exclusive e-seminars, interviews and audio updates on industry events. Members will be able to connect to industry experts. Much of the information will be available for download.

The next part in the seminar series is "What buyers Want" on November 1, 2006. There are no more spots available for the in house attendance option but there are plenty of spaces for the webcast.

EDIT: I made a mistake with the name of the Fashion stylist in attendance. It was not Alissia Marciano. My apologies.

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