An exclusive preview of the Ottawa Fashion Week

October 14, 2010

OFW spokesperson, Julianne Robicheau, chats with Hannah Yakobi about all that can be expected and provides a peek into this season’s line-up.

Photos by James Park.

Julianne Robicheau: the Ottawa Fashion Week enters its fourth season this fall.

How is the Ottawa Fashion Week different this year?

We are expanding. Last time, the OFW took place at the Arts Court. This season we will be holding it at the National Gallery of Canada, which is a much larger venue. The event itself is growing and we are expecting an even higher attendance than last season.

Why did you choose the National Gallery of Canada?

We were a full house last time and needed a bigger venue to accommodate the crowd. We chose the national gallery because it is a well-known landmark, a central location and has exactly what we are looking for in terms of having to put up a runway. We also like to focus on the arts in general, not just fashion, so the gallery seemed like a perfect spot.

Tell us about the line up this year.

Some of the designers are showcasing their work on our blog, which can be found at We have new designers, those who are coming back from previous seasons and some very established professionals. For instance, we have Jessica Biffi, a Project Runway contestant, showcasing her work at the OFW this year. It’s going to be a very good list.

Where are the designers from?

We try to keep it local, as much as possible. One of our main goals is to promote the designers who work in Ottawa, live in Ottawa and contribute to the city’s economy. However, we also have participating designers from other Canadian cities.

Robicheau: the line-up this year is going to be great.

How are the participants chosen?

We send out an invitation to a long list of designers every season. Then they have to send us an official application with the photos of their work. We have a team of specialists who go through all applications and carefully select who will participate.

The Ottawa Fashion Week is relatively young compared to other fashion weeks in Canada. How does it compare?

Ottawa is a government city, so we have a large population of government workers, ambassadors, MPs and senators. But the city is also home to many students and a large artistic community. So we still have a large market to cater to.

Why did you, personally, join OFW?

I have been interested in fashion since a very young age. Always sketching designs and watching Fashion Television. When I was in grade 6, I thought to myself that I’m going to be a fashion designer. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m always involved in the fashion industry in some way. I currently work full time in communications, so my involvement with the OFW works out very well, as I can combine my love for fashion with my communication skills.

Robicheau says that participating designers have been meticulously chosen from a very long list of applicants.

Who should go to the Ottawa Fashion Week?

Anybody who is interested! The Ottawa Fashion Week is not just for fashion-crazy people. It is for anyone who is interested in fashion and art. For example, we are going to have various exhibitors and vendors from the beauty, fashion and art industries, showcasing their work. So it will be a very multi-faceted event.

The Ottawa Fashion Week runs from Oct.29 to Oct.31, 2010.

Day pass is $30, week pass is $40. Every attendee will receive a gift bag.

For more information, please go to

Ottawa Fashion Week Line Up

Friday Saturday Sunday
6:00 Emilia Torabi 6:00 Label 6:00 Sugarbum Designs
Keera Sama Courtney Flood & Julianne Robicheau Yola Couture
7:00 Trive by Moda Suite 7:00 Andrew Majtenyi 7:00 Natalia Snajdr
Nixxi Adrian Wu
8:00 Karen McClintock 8:00 Jana Hanzel 8:00 Birds of North America
Micalla Judy Design Kania
9:00 Elroy Apparel 9:00 Rachel Sin 9:00 Jessica Biffi
Gold Fish Design

Julianne Robicheau was photographed by James Park at the National Gallery of Canada.


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