Toronto Fashion Week sold

Toronto Fashion Week sold, Robin Kay steps down

Well, it's happened. Toronto Fashion Week has been sold to IMG, and Robin Kay, the divisive head of Fashion Week, is stepping down. She will, however, remain in her role as president of the Fashion Design Council of Canada.

According to Kay, the change-over to IMG has been a long time coming, and her relationship with the sports, fashion and media conglomerate began before she even took charge of Fashion Week. This, in particular, comforts me--they've clearly had their hands in our business (so to speak) for a while now, and given the wealth of resources available to them, they probably have a fairly clear idea of where to take it next. Lisa Tant, editor of Flare tweeted "Thanks to Robin Kay for her years of service at TO Fashion Week. Very excited about the changes to come."

There was a part of me that expected Kay's reign to be interminable--after all, she's weathered a lot of criticism, including the e-mail blast and petition for her termination in 2008--and despite having a reputation for erratic behavior, she's mastheaded the development of Toronto Fashion Week into a headlining event since she took over in 2000, and launched the career of countless Canadian designers.

According to Vanja Vasic, executive director of Toronto's other fashion week, lFATl Arts & Fashion Week, there's reason to be excited about this new fashion collaboration and how it can potentially impact Toronto's fashion scene in a positive way. With IMG's scope and experience (they run fashion weeks in New York and Berlin), Vasic believes the new ownership of WorldMasterCard Fashion Week can help to move forward more Canadian talent to the world stage. Jeanne Bekker tweeted "Let's hope @WMCFashionWeek will now be able to manage to attract some major int'l press to Toronto. Our designers deserve the attention!"

In the immediate term, this year's Fashion Week will be unchanged, but IMG is taking the reins moving forward. I might be drama-mongering here, but in an interview with the Toronto Star Peter Levy, managing director of IMG Fashion Events, "waffled" when asked about what Kay's exact title will be. She'll stay on in a loosely defined advisory role, but Levy said that they're "not big on titles." As for what's next for her? She's playing it close to the chest, mysteriously hinting at more fashion endeavors, and asking that we "stay tuned." Roger that.

What do you think? It this a good move?

Photo by Paul Flynn


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