Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI)
285 Manitoba Drive, Exhibition Place, Toronto ON M6K 3C3 Canada
416.971.7117 | www.fashionincubator.com
I turn 30 during the program. Can I still participate in Fashion Your Future?
Yes, if you are 29 the day the program starts, you are eligible to participate in Fashion Your Future.
How do you select who makes it to the top 10 and gets mentorship and a microgrant?
Top 10 finalists are selected by a panel of industry experts based on their successful completion of Phase 1 bootcamp, assignment scores, attendance record, overall good behaviour and the ability to meet deadlines. The panel of judges will also assess the originality, innovativeness and marketability of the proposed accessory collection, the entrepreneurial capacity of the candidate, the strength and soundness of their proposed business model and the future potential for financing, business growth and job creation.
Additionally, the business idea must be within the category of accessory design, the candidate must be able to produce a 10 – 15 piece sample collection of their product, and must do so within the deadlines of the program.
Can I select anything within accessories as the product I would like to produce?
No, not exactly. During Phase 1 bootcamp, during the “Cohesive Design” workshop, you will be asked to focus on a type of accessory that can be produced LOCALLY with help from a LOCAL maker-mentor. Eligible products include: assembled, 3D and cast jewellery, hats, hair pieces and fascinators, small leather goods such as wallets and coin pouches, imprinted scarves, shawls, ties and pocket squares, and soft (not structured) tote bags made of cloth or leather. Your product category MUST be approved by TFI before advancing and once the program has started and you have decided what you wish to produce, you cannot change the product category.
Products such as footwear and structured leather handbags are not eligible as it’s very difficult to secure a qualified maker-mentor who is based locally. If you can find your own maker-mentor who is based in Toronto or the GTA, who makes the type of products you wish to create, and who is available between August 8 – September 8, you can submit their name and qualifications to TFI to be considered as your mentor.
In Phase 2, the top 10 finalists must produce their entire cohesive sample collection in approximately 4 weeks. As such, accessories that are very time-consuming and take a long-time to produce or have multiple production stages that involve curing/setting time in-between would not be appropriate for this program.
Additionally, considering that Phase 2 designers receive a $1,000 microgrant to produce a 10 – 15 piece sample accessory line, we strongly advise against using expensive materials such as diamonds, real gem stones and precious metals unless you’re able to supplement the cost of the microgrant with your own savings.
Can I still take the Bootcamp training even if I want to make something that is not eligible for Phase 2 of the program?
No. This program is specifically for participants aged 20 -29 who are interested in developing an accessory business.
Can I still work part-time during the program?
Each day of the intense Phase 1 bootcamp involves learning, training and there are assignments to be completed. Attendance is taken every morning so if you’re late or absent, you will not gain a point for that day’s attendance. This free entrepreneurship program is FULL-TIME and there are no make-up classes or lenience for late assignments; additionally classes do not repeat. Only the Top 10 bootcamp graduates finalists based on attendance and assignment scores will advance to Phase 2.
If your part-time job is in the evening and on the weekends, it should not interfere with Fashion Your Future.
If you have a full-time job, we suggest you use your vacation time in order to participate in Fashion Your Future.
I don’t have any design experience; can I still take this program?
The program is open to all youth aged 20 -29 who can legally work in Canada. While many past participants have had formal fashion design experience or education, others have had completely different backgrounds and were successful in advancing to Phase 3 of the program. Candidates’ enthusiasm toward making their business successful, having a keen motivation to learn and being a self-starter are considered key attributes to success in the program.
What are the hours of Bootcamp?
Phase 1 Bootcamp generally runs Monday to Friday, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, excluding statutory holidays.
Phase 2 This phase requires working with a mentor for 90 hours over 4 weeks. Any day of the week/time of the day is fine as long as it’s mutually agreeable between you and your mentor.
Phase 3 In this final phase of #TFIFYF, participants must be available during regular business hours to attend specialized workshops, participate in an industry tradeshow and to take advantage of studio workspace at the TFI.
What if I miss a day? Will that affect my total score?
In recognition that absences can happen, Fashion Your Future participants can have a total of 3 absences during Bootcamp without penalty.
However, our trainers are only paid for their time in class. So if you miss a day, keep in mind that there is no make up time available with our trainers for participants who have missed content covered in class, inside or outside of our set class times, due absence or arriving late.
What if I miss 1 assignment? Can I make it up?
Fashion Your Future is a competitive program. As such we want to provide some flexibility while also being fair to all others in the program. As such, all participants, if they have just cause and permission of the instructor, can submit 1 assignment without penalty. The assignment must also be submitted the day after is was received. If a participant needs to submit a second late assignment, there would be a penalty of 5%. A third late assignment, there would have a penalty of 10%. No participant can submit more than 3 late assignments. All late assignments must be submitted the day after they were received in order to be accepted.
What if I arrive late for Bootcamp class?
We ask all participants to make every effort to arrive on time, by 10:00 am each day. Doors open after 9:30 am, to allow you time to get a coffee and settle in. Attendance is taken DAILY and those arriving LATER than 10:15am will not be given a point for that day’s attendance.
The reason for this is that Bootcamp Trainers are only paid for their time in class and they have a great deal of material to cover in a short period of time. Trainers are not paid for make up time for participants who have missed content covered in class due absence or arriving late.
I am over 29. Can I still take the bootcamp portion of the program?
This program is funded for youth aged 20-29, however adults may take this entrepreneurial training as well, but would have to pay for the program. The cost is $980 (TBC) per person and would cover Bootcamp, Advanced Training days in Phase II, and program meals. Please contact TFI, using the contact form above, if you are interested in enrolling in Fashion Your Future Bootcamp as an adult.
Sometimes I have childcare issues. Can I bring my child to class?
No, due to potential liability issues, children are not permitted to accompany Fashion Your Future (FYF) Program participants during FYF activities.