Telio and Canada's Breakthrough Fashion Designer's Competition

Editors Notes
Since every fashion week-goer in Montreal has heard the name Telio, I thought it would be interesting for our readers to know a little more about this company. So here is some of what I learned during my conversation with co-owner Andre Telio when we discussed the story behind Telio and it's impact on Montreal's fashion scene and Montreal fashion designers.

Telio was started by Joseph Telio 60 years ago was as an import/export agent dealing in fabrics with European mills only. Today the company headed by Joseph's two sons - Andre and Raymond - has grown in leaps and bounds, and now works with companies across several continents. Telio has two major divisions - Fashion Fabrics and Interior Furnishings. And since fashion is the angle I favour, that is what Andre and I discussed more of.

Andre Telio

Telio believes in enabling and promoting home-grown talent, which is great news to the many creative people straight out of design school every year, trying to make it in the world of fashion. For the past seven years the company has organised 'Canada's Breakthrough Designer's Competition' at every Montreal Fashion Week. The first few years the competition was open to only Quebec fashion schools, but since the last four years it has widened its net, and today students from 23 fashion schools across the country are encouraged to participate.

If you'd like to enter the competition, you must notify your school representative. To learn more details, visit the f.a.q. page on their website. The rules are easy to follow while still letting your creative genius work overdrive. You can push through the boundaries of your imagination, knowing you have support in the form of fabric supply, and the logistics of actually organising models to walk the ramp for you.

In their own words:

“Canada’s Breakthrough Designers” is an event hosted by TÉLIO which brings together 23 fashion design schools across Canada and challenges aspiring fashion designers to compete for 1 of 5 scholarships totaling $15 000. TÉLIO provides the participants with a theme and a selection of fabrics to choose from to create a unique design. Twenty-five (25) finalists are selected and have the chance to present their garment down the runway at Montreal Fashion Week

Telio winners 2012

Apart from potential runway visibility, participants gain the experience of and learn the rigour of producing a garment within required criteria; while following rules on budget, themes, and time deadlines.

The competition is recognized as one of importance in the industry, which is why many established Canadian clothing companies (Le Chateau, Dynamite, Laura, to name a few) look to the finalists to hire for their design teams. Mira Héon from Campus Notre-Dame de Foy worked at Dynamite for awhile and is currenly in Toronto studying in fashion design at Ryerson University. Christine Charlebois from Cégep Marie-Victorin, worked at Harricana and currently studies at l’École supérieure de mode de Montréal. Lucie Siv from École supérieure de mode de Montréal earned an internship at Felder & Felder in London and now studies at Central Saint Martins in London. And the list goes on.

So go on, put your creative skills to the tests and take part in this very exciting event. If your designs walk the ramp, you'll have earned yourself visibility on a professional level and gained immense experience that might otherwise be hard to come by at such an early stage in one's career. And if you end up as one of the winners, you're that much ahead to make your mark on the fashion stage and your future as a successful designer has begun! Just look at the beaming Alexandre Arsenault, winner of the February 2012 show.

Alexandre Arsenault

Photo Credits: Jimmy Hamelin| Model: SPECS

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Shilpa VargheseShilpa has over 20 years of experience in the Fashion Industry. She has been involved in various areas of the fashion business like Imports, Manufacturing, Buying and Sales.

She brings her love for fashion and the written word to her role as the editor of this online publication. Also, her fondness for connecting with people and her fashion biz savvy are invaluable to the buying team at the Exclusive from Montreal's Finest store.

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