“At Amazon, we are committed to fueling Canada’s fashion industry by giving locally-loved products a nationally accessible platform that helps them thrive,” said Vickie Gu, Head of Amazon Fashion in Canada. “Canadians rally around supporting small; this video series brings a sense of community to shopping from home by helping consumers feel connected to what they are wearing, and who they are supporting through these purchases.”
The series takes Amazon.ca customers alongside Goreski as he unveils each designer’s personal and professional story in two-minute shorts dropping every day on the Amazon Canada Instagram channel (@amazonca).
The first video drops today at 9 a.m. ET / 6 a.m. PT, with the final video premiering on Saturday, October 22. All six designer collections are also available now for customers to shop and discover at amazon.ca/DesignerSpotlight.
“It basically takes customers and viewers alongside Brad as the videos basically (tell) their personal and professional stories. So each of the videos kind of goes through how they got their start. What inspired them to be a designer and then to where they are now launching their brands on Amazon,” said Gouveia.
He said the campaign is an extension of Amazon’s work with Canadian small businesses.
“We’ve offered virtual shelf space to Canada-based sellers, many of which are small businesses, for almost 20 years now. This is an extension of our work with small businesses, more specifically in the fashion category. It’s a way for us to highlight these great talents and designers across Canada by giving them a way to share their stories and also launch their collection. Five out of six of the designers are launching both their collections and brands on Amazon for the first time and one has already been selling on Amazon for a couple of years now,” said Gouveia.
Amazon Canada launched the 2021 Small Business Empowerment Report, which shared that from January to December 2021, Amazon selling partners in Canada sold more than 100 million products. This averaged more than 200 items sold every minute, with most third-party sellers being small- and medium sized businesses.
Collections in each video are worn by influencers that are unique to each designer’s brand, connecting creatives in communities across the country. Designers also share in the videos how they are choosing to pay it forward to Canada’s fashion community through their Amazon-powered $25,000 give-back-grant.
“We just thought that was important because so many of these designers along the way they’ve needed funding or support to kind of get their brands off the ground as any small business does,” said Gouveia. “So this is just a way for them to kind of pay it forward and I think also for customers to know that what they’re supporting is also going back to a good cause.”
The six Canadian designers and recipients are:
- L’Uomo Strano creates affirming wardrobes for gender-non conforming people and their allies. Designed by Mic. Carter [they/them] in Toronto, the brand is invested in how clothing can foster self-expression and a sense of community. Carter has shared their grant with the fashion department at Toronto Metropolitan University, offering education in communication, design, textile and material practices, and design leadership;
- Hilary MacMillan is a fashion-first lifestyle brand, rooted in making a statement with size inclusive clothing and building women up. Designer and brand owner, Hilary MacMillan [she/her], pulls inspiration from her Scottish heritage, love of art, Canadian landscapes and design decades throughout history. Blanche MacDonald Centre is a worldwide recognized fashion, design, and beauty school in Vancouver, and the recipient of MacMillan’s grant;
- Entin Gartini is an Indonesian brand based in Montreal that uses one-of-a-kind handmade batik designs created by Entin Gartini [she/her]. Gartini selected Dress for Success Montreal as the recipient of the grant. The non-profit provides professional attire and development tools to women so they can gain economic independence;
- Valmora is a contemporary brand born out of Montreal. Matteo Valmora [they/them] is the Founder and Designer and strives to dismantle binary conceptions of menswear by inspiring men to seek non-gender conforming fashion. The recipient of the grant was not released. The grant recipient will be announced in the near future;
- Hunter & Trove is a jewelry brand based in Vancouver, founded and designed by Yulee Harris [she/her]. Harris loves to create beautiful pieces that spark joy and create memories. Hitting close to home, Harris has selected the Jewellery Art and Design program at Vancouver Community College that educates students on the design, fabrication, and history of jewelry, as a recipient of the grant;
- Mobilize Waskawewin is an Indigenous-owned streetwear brand based in Edmonton. Designer Dusty LeGrande [he/him] aims to bring representation for Indigenous peoples and strives to empower, educate and help others find identity. Mobilize Waskawewin is “street wear with a Cree flair.” The grant will be shared with The Next Gen Scholarship – a resource allowing for authentic sharing of knowledge, business, design, and art practices to break barriers by supporting the next generation of designers.
Belicia Chung, Marketing Manager at Amazon Canada, said all the designer stories are “very unique, they’re very touching. We have two gender non-binary brands. We have the first jewelry brand that we’re launching this year. So there’s a couple of first-time categories in designers that we’re launching this year.”