The second Canadian Festival of Fashion is underway at the Metro Convention Center in Toronto and over 15,000 attendees are waiting for designer Alfred Sung to unveil his fall/winter 1987 collection. Everyone is crammed shoulder to shoulder, fashion fans and industry insiders, including Bonnie Hurowitz, editor of Flare Magazine, Moses Znaimer who just launched CityTV, a pre-FashionTelevision Jeannie Becker, Catherine and David Nugent, Ontario Premier David Peterson, the show organizer Stephen Levy; and executives and buyers from Bloomingdale’s, Dillard’s, Eaton’s and The Hudson’s Bay Company - among others. Another 2,000 people are left at the bottom of the escalator where Convention Centre security prevents their entry. The venue had reached capacity.
In a show of enthusiasm, fans clamber up on the festival exhibits to enhance their view from 45 meters away. This is by far the best-attended show, and it’s an exciting moment in the five-day event that features twenty-seven fashion shows from some of Canada’s top designers. The crowd remains patiently in front of the massive gleaming, white, multi-level catwalk stage waiting for Alfred Sung to make his mark.
It has been only 6 years since Alfred Sung soared from the relative obscurity of a small boutique owner to the biggest success story in the history of the Canadian fashion industry. Since joining forces with business partners Saul and Joe Mimran, in the creation of the corporate identity Monaco Group Inc., the brand has been smashing Canadian fashion records, sold at Saks, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales, and lent his name to one of the most popular perfumes on the continent.
At the same time, the ALFRED SUNG collection and his more casual grouping, SUNGSPORT, is carried at more than 1,000 North American retail locations and that’s not counting the exciting new launch of the Club Monaco chain of sportswear stores, inspired by Alfred’s own preppy style. Thousands of fashion-conscious women and men across North America are now wearing his label, and no one in Canada is doing clothing like this. ‘Anyone can wear the clothes Alfred Sung designs’ declares one article.
While other designers, buffeted by the fickle puffs and downdrafts of fashion, dart from trend to trend, the key to this man - and to this incredible success - remains his ability to design the kind of elegantly classic fashions, accessories and products that are the backbone of any stylish, timeless wardrobe.
It is the beginning of a fashion empire and a pivotal moment for Alfred and the Mimran’s as the show is about to shift their business into overdrive and cement the designer’s status as Canada’s best-known fashion designer.