Trish walks the runway as Barbie

Brian Lusczki     May 4, 2012

Last night the award-winning Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) celebrated 25 years of supporting and nurturing Canadian fashion designers and entrepreneurs with its special presentation, TFI25. Hosted at the Royal Ontario Museum, the gala fundraiser featured a runway show of new labels and a presentation of the Suzanne Rogers Award for most promising new label. But the buzz of the evening was the Barbie®-inspired fashion challenge as 25 art-as fashion pieces worn by Canada's most celebrated women of television kicked off the evening.

"TFI's 25th is an incredibly exciting and important landmark for our organization and we are thrilled to be working with a longstanding, renowned brand like Barbie," says Susan Langdon,Executive Director, Toronto Fashion Incubator. "Celebrating and supporting Canadian fashion is something that our like-minded companies hold in high regard and enlisting these fantastic design talents as a part of the event will reinforce the significance of what the TFI stands for."

As Executive Director of the TFI for 18 years, Susan Langdon has inspired, mentored and supported hundreds of designers and fashion entrepreneurs. Committed to promoting Canada's fashion landscape, Langdon has harnessed valuable relationships and partnerships for TFI. TFI first brought in Barbie's iconic style in 2009 for TFI's New Labels® Design Competition.

"We're thrilled to bring Barbie® and TFI back together for TFI's 25th Anniversary," says Mihiri Tillakaratne, Brand Manager, Mattel Canada. "This is a natural fit, as Barbie has served as muse to countless designers."

The one-of-a-kind Barbie®-inspired gowns were judged onsite at the event and included a diverse array of 25 renowned and up-and-coming design talents, all members of the Toronto Fashion Incubator, including major labels VAWK, Arthur Mendonca, Farley Chatto, 2012 New Labels semi-finalist Jameson Kane and past TFI New Labels® winners Mila Yudina (Finkelshtein), Sarah Nicol and Eugenia Leavitt. Trish teamed up with former finalist of the TFI New Labels competition Hannah Tikkanen of The Little Pink Dress who is known for her fun, colourful and girlie styling. The crowd was stratusfied by the very pink ensemble concocted by the vision of two ladies who have both been influenced as little girls by the iconic Barbie®. Hannah Tikkanen worn by Trish Stratus brought a strong, bold statement while keeping it pretty and soft to the runway last night, finding that perfect balance that Barbie® has been achieving for over 50 years.

Exclusive photos of Trish walking the runway »

About TFI
Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) ( is an award-winning and highly-acclaimed non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and nurturing Canadian fashion designers and entrepreneurs. Established in 1987 as the world's first official "fashion incubator", the TFI model has been adopted by cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Melbourne, Auckland, Amsterdam, and Milan. Housed in an 8,000 sq. ft. heritage building at Exhibition Place in Toronto, TFI provides critical support to creative entrepreneurs to develop the business and professional skills they need to thrive and survive. Start-up and advanced community programs include educational seminars on the business of fashion, one-on-one mentoring with industry professionals, exclusive promotional and sales opportunities, and valuable sales, marketing and trend resources.

About Mattel
Mattel, Inc. ( is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels®, Matchbox®, American Girl®, Radica® and Tyco® R/C, as well as Fisher-Price® brands, including Little People®, Power Wheels® and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2011, Mattel was named as one of FORTUNE Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for the fourth year in a row, and also is ranked among Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs approximately 30,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. At Mattel, we are "Creating the Future of Play."

Trish delivers Stratusfaction to the closing show of Toronto Fashion Week

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