Style Salons at the Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver

Wednesday night was the inaugural Style Salons event at the Shangri-La hotel, Vancouver. After my event last year with Imran Amed from Business of Fashion, I wanted to host more fashion events that gave some of Vancouver’s fashion industry leaders an opportunity to meet and discuss. The idea behind Style Salons is “Intelligent Fashion Conversation,” which was most definitely the theme of the evening.

Style Salons, Shangri-La hotel, fashion events, intelligent fashion conversation

The panel, left to right. Ryan Wilms, Stephen Bailey, me (looking incredibly pregnant), Antonia Iamartino, and Dace Moore.

The evening featured a panel discussion whose topic was Vancouver’s Fashion Industry: an incubator, a growth sector, or simply somewhere to set up shop? Antonia Iamartino from Lululemon, Dace Moore from DACE, Ryan Wilms from Inventory magazine, and Stephen Bailey from Fluevog discussed the benefits and downsides to running a fashion business in Vancouver. Here are a few of my favourite quotes.

Style Salons, Shangri-La hotel, fashion events, intelligent fashion conversation

Left to right. Wen-Chee Liu, Jason Matlo, and Felicity Clark from Jason Matlo. Solo Lisa, Lisa Kwong from Tait PR, stylist Deanna Palkowski, and Genevieve Allen from Violet Boutique.

Stephen Bailey made some interesting points about the challenges of being a Vancouver-based business: “The problem in Vancouver with several industries, including fashion, is that we are at the end of the world, with the mountains and the ocean, nothing up north and the border on the south. This is challenging.” Dace Moore also felt being based in Vancouver had its challenges initially, but things have changed. She explained that “the first year we did sales someone told me not to tell people we are from Vancouver (we didn’t take that advice) but it took a long time to establish ourselves. Now, we will go to the shows in the US and say DACE is made in Vancouver and people seem to appreciate it more, but it has taken a long time.”

Style Salons, Shangri-La hotel, fashion events, intelligent fashion conversation

Adele Chan from Blank Communications and Anya Georgijevic from I'm the It Girl. Olivia Lovenmark from Style Struck and Jeremy Szafron.

Antonia Iamartino, Stephen, and Dace all agreed that the Vancouver consumer was very important in their business, while Ryan Wilms felt differently. “To be honest, the Vancouver consumer for us is probably our least priority. It’s a consumer that is going to take time, and most people aren’t familiar with what we are selling in our publication and stores. In fact, people are surprised to find out we are from Vancouver. Our key markets are London, US, the east coast, Scandinavia, and Japan.”

Style Salons, Shangri-La hotel, fashion events, intelligent fashion conversation

Rebecca Tay, May Globus from Sweet Spot, and Joy Pecknold from FASHION magazine. Antonia Iamartino from Lululemon and Stephen Bailey from Fluevog.

One point that everyone agreed on was that it is highly confusing for Vancouver to have several fashion weeks, which does nothing to improve the international profile of the Vancouver fashion industry. All the speakers felt that Vancouver fashion businesses needed to have a united front, and that some sort of organization, perhaps funded by government or corporate, should be put into place to assist and support the local fashion industry.

Style Salons, Shangri-La hotel, fashion events, intelligent fashion conversation

Shelley Mantei from Media Tonic, Malania Dela Cruz from Dela Cruz PR, Paul Melo from Style Quotient, and Stephanie Jhala from Obakki.

Thank you again to the Shangri-La hotel Vancouver, Jill Killeen, the fantastic panel speakers, and all the guests that made this event a great success. And thank you to Popchips for the yummy snacks!

I’ll have a video clip to follow shortly! Photos by the fabulous Rebecca Rawlinson.

This entry was posted in Canadian Style, The Fashion Industry, Travel & Events and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://sololisa.com lisa

    Thanks for hosting such a lovely event.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VH6WIE4L5LMPC4SBIBYLEFTODQ Medwin Medwina

     Stephen Bailey fabricated some absorbing credibility about the
    challenges of getting a Vancouver-based business: “The botheration in
    Vancouver with several industries, including fashion, is that we are at
    the end of the world, with the mountains and the ocean, annihilation up
    arctic and the bound on the south.

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    Gorgeous photos! The ShangriLa Hotel is a high-end accommodation in the heart of downtown Vancouver. I’ve been there for several times…