• By: Alexandra Hunt

Mercedes-Benz Start Up

This week, designers took to the runway in Gatineau, Quebec for their chance at competing at World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto.

One lucky designer walked away with the green light from the judges to continue in the competition to present their collection on the main stage during Canada’s biggeIMG_5120st fashion show event.

Valerie Tolila, a talented fashion designer based in Montreal set herself apart from the other contestants with her street chic prêt-à-porter garments. Tolila is the designer behind the garment label VAIKEN.

Her collection featured a wide array of leather separates and standout pieces, lace detailing and structured outerwear.

Ottawa’s elite and fashion enthusiasts attended the show held in Gatineau.IMG_5119

The Mercedes-Benz Start Up program is currently in its fourth year. MBSU is an ongoing initiative that provides a national platform to discover and support emerging Canadian fashion designers. The program travels from coast to coast, identifying the MB2---headlinenext generation of rising Canadian talent and provides them access to fashion business experts to help them hone a broad range of skills. Designers gain the knowledge and skill set required to develop a sustainable career in the fashion industry, while elevating their professional profiles through unique and exclusive opportunities- including the chance to show in World MasterCard Fashion Week, and earn a cash bursary of $30,000.

For fashion designers looking to take part in next year’s competition, designers must have a registered Canadian business that has been operating for less than five years.  If their application is accepted, designers will present their collection and business plan to a seasoned judging panel that will consult, assess and evaluate whether the designer is ready for the next step. From there, a select gMB1--headlineroup of designers will have the opportunity to move forward and present their collection on the local runway the following day.IMG_5155

Find out more about Mercedes-Benz Start Up program by visiting mbstartup.com