Following immediately on the heels of the New York, overlapping London and Milan and heading into Paris Fashion Weeks, Vancouver Fashion Week kicked off its 13th year and 22nd season in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada this week.

The timing of VFW is no mistake. Founder Jamal Abdourahman, the event’s producer and founder, specifically timed the event to correspond with the buying season as well as to provide an alternative showing opportunity. The strategy has proven successful, with VFW’s popularity growing rapidly – particularly among younger designers.

“The number of designers choosing to show at VFW has doubled in the past four years,” indicates Abdourahman.

This Year’s VFW Is The Largest In The City’s History

This year’s VFW is the largest in the city’s history, with 70 local and international designers from over 25 countries choosing to showcase their collections in the burgeoning Vancouver market – including designers from Britain, Italy and France. Many of the participants are younger, up-and-coming designers, and the more laid back approach in smaller market affords an opportunity to gain exposure and experience that they may not otherwise get amidst the higher profile events. The Vancouver market’s penchants for a more casual, sporty style, also makes the Vancouver show an attractive option for designers launching collections targeted at this market segment.

A case in point is British designer Olya Shishkina, whose surf wear inspired first solo collection headlined the opening gala. Another is the opening night’s gala designer showcase show, which enabled designers to showcase their favorite piece alongside their peers.

The event is also welcoming to attendees, providing an opportunity for guests to experience firsthand backstage activities such as hair and makeup as well as to mingle with designers and their collections – complete with ample photographers, local and international, to capture the experience.

VFW SS15 runs September 15 to 21 at Queen Elizabeth Plaza in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. All of the shows take place on a 90-foot runway in a temporary 31,956 square foot Tentnology tent that accommodates approximately 700 people.

Vancouver Fashion Week