Emerging fashion designer Matthew Gallagher took home top honours at the Toronto Fashion Incubator's annual New Labels competition on Monday night at Toronto's One King West. In addition to a $25,000 cash award from TFI supporter and philanthropist Suzanne Rogers, Gallagher will also receive a full-page editorial spread in an upcoming issue of Flare Magazine.
The Milan-trained Gallagher debuted his Maison Matthew Gallagher line at Toronto's World MasterCard Fashion Week in March 2013. On Monday night he dominated the TFI runway with an impeccably tailored collection inspired by the work of famed Canadian artist Alex Colville.
The TFI's annual event is geared towards highlighting Canada's most promising young fashion designers. Montreal-based designer Valerie Tolila of Vaiken, Benji Wong Zhen Wang for Benji WZE, and Jennifer Torosian and Raed Ali for Toronto-based womenswear brand Jennifer Torosian were the other contenders vying for the prize, which has kick-started the careers of newcomers Miriam Baker, Sarah Stevenson and Sid Neigum in recent years.
The award-winning TFI opened its doors almost three decades ago. The world's first fashion incubator offers support and mentorship to budding Canadian fashion designers, has helped launch some of the country’s leading talent and has inspired similar incubators in New York, London, Paris, Milan, Melbourne, Auckland and Amsterdam.