By Julia Eskins
Photography by Aleyah Solomon
On April 2, the third annual Passion For Fashion Awards brought together an intimate crowd at the Toronto Fashion Incubator to recognize participating young designers and fashion industry entrepreneurs.
In a ceremony, including award presentations by renowned fashion designer David Dixon, 12 finalists from the Fashionista’s Den Competition were narrowed down to three winners. Toronto-based jewelry designer Emily Woudenberg took home the Passion For Fashion Award, which included a $1,000 cash prize, TFI Outreach Membership and 50 hours of business and fashion industry mentorship. Woudenberg had previously gained acclaim in the fashion community for her SLAB collection, a jewelry line inspired by material concrete. She will also be showing her latest collection, Ego, at |FAT| Arts & Fashion Week 2012.
Before naming the grand prize winner, Dixon presented the Eveleen Dollery Award to knitwear designer Dylan Uscher. Consuelo McAlister was also recognized as the Everleen Dollery Award runner-up for her work as a social activist of sustainable enterprises.
The finalists were participants of Passion For Fashion, a program aimed to inspire, mentor and support design talent between the ages of 16 and 29. Created through a partnership between Youth Employment Services (YES) and the Toronto Fashion Incubator, this free program offers workshops and one-on-one mentorships to help participants launch and market their own fashion lines or business.
Following the distribution of oversized cheques, participants and guests mingled over wine and hors d’oeuvres. With an air of quiet confidence, another batch of Passion for Fashion participants was happily welcomed into the world of fashion entrepreneurship.