Vancouver Fashion Week

(Eng. Vancouver Fashion Week; Est. 2001 (19), Vancouver) is an international fashion event in Canada [1]. 10.6 *

Name: Vancouver Fashion Week
Other: VFW
Est.: 2001
Age: 19
City: Vancouver
Venue: Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza
Founder: Jamal Abdourahman
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VFW protest organizers Chase and Jamie

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Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) is a one-of-a-kind event that continuously brings together buyers, media, celebrities, industry professionals and innovative designers from around the world to celebrate creativity and fashion. Diversity and multiculturalism are VFW’s core values. This semi-annual event has been host to a range of collections from street wear to eco-friendly garments.

VFW has established itself as a highly successful and widely recognized event providing a platform to nurture and celebrate the fashion industry. In recent years, VFW has featured internationally acclaimed designers such as Noe Bernacelli, in addition to emerging designers such as Evan Clayton and Connally McDougall.

Since its conception in 2001, Vancouver Fashion Week has been dedicated to cultivating the success of both established designers and award-winning emerging designers with its global perspective and highly multicultural approach. Championing diversity as its greatest strength, Vancouver Fashion Week has grown to be the second largest fashion week in North America – and continues to grow today as the fastest growing fashion week in the world. Founded by entrepreneur Jamal Abdourahman, Vancouver Fashion Week was initially branded ‘International Fashion Week’ for its first season. Fiercely passionate about the fashion industry and his home city, Jamal made it his ongoing mission to travel to fashion capitals to connect with industry leaders and to keep Vancouver on the top of the fashion radar. Since its first season, Vancouver Fashion Week has been built from the ground up by the fashion industry and has become a celebrated occasion in the Canadian fashion community.

As part of its commitment to up and coming talent, Vancouver Fashion Week presented its first annual Nancy Mak Award in 2014. With a prize of 5000$, The Nancy Mak Award is given to a talented and promising emerging designer with the intention of providing tools needed to bring their brand to the next step.

In 2016, Vancouver Fashion Week expanded into childrens fashion with the incorporation of Vancouver Kids Fashion Week, which has become a media hub for Canadian children’s boutiques and international children’s fashion designers alike. Since then, Vancouver Fashion Week has launched two magazines both in print and digital: Vancouver Kids Fashion Week Magazine (bi-annual), and Micro Macro Magazine.

In 2017, Vancouver Fashion Week launched Global Fashion Collective to further propel the global exposure of its most promising designers. Producing shows on the official calendar at New York Fashion Week and Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo through Global Fashion Collective, the team at Vancouver Fashion Week continues to provide its designers not only with a platform for their craft but also with ongoing opportunities for commerce and growth.

Picket of 2015

Vancouver Fashion Week is an interesting beast. On the one hand, people here are stoked to have a week celebrating local talent and designers. But for the past few weeks whenever we’d mention that we got press passes for VFW, there’d be at least one person with something bad to say. It’s poorly organized, there’s no permanent staff, no one gets paid… these are just a few of the complaints we’ve heard from our co-workers and friends who are more familiar with Vancouver’s creative scene than we are.

Luckily, a friend tipped us off that some people would be protesting the event’s unfair labour practices, so we knew we could put some faces and names to the concerns people here have about their only local fashion week.

We caught up with the protest’s organizers, Chase Porter and Jamie Gill, as well as protest participant and local model Rhi Blossom, about why they spent their weekend outside in the rain.

Rhi said right now her goal is just to get people talking. “For now we hope just to get people talking and questioning the infamously shady event,” she said. “Obviously reform would be lovely, but right now getting VFW to communicate with us, which they are not doing, is challenge enough.”

On their third and final day of picketing, Jamie said one of their fellow protestors, Andrew Willis, got a ticket and looked for an organizer who’d be willing to engage with the protestors. He told her that when he provided an opportunity for the head of VFW’s marketing to come outside and acknowledge their concerns, she declined, stating “she didn’t want to get her feet wet.”

The marketing director might not have wanted to get her feet wet, but it seems like many of her staff didn’t mind. “Throughout the weekend we had about a dozen current employees and volunteers actually come out to chat and say they support what we’re doing 100 per cent,” Chase said. [2]

See also


[1] Balochi frocks hit Vancouver Fashion Week (

[2] #notourfashionweek: young creatives picket vancouver fashion week (

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