Ottawa Fashion Network is on a Mission to Elevate the Scene in Ottawa

Photo: Beautiful Zarucci gowns, a Canadian Bridal line, on display (credit: Hollie Grace James)

It’s an honest realization that Ottawa isn’t exactly known for keeping up with the likes of other major cities when it comes to…well almost anything, but especially the food, fashion and health & beauty industries. It certainly isn’t the potential that we’re lacking though – I found that much out at the latest event organized by the brand new Ottawa Fashion Network. A nonprofit organization dedicated to putting Ottawa on the fashion map, this forward thinking concept is run by two local ladies, Lidia Tesfamicaeo and Luxi Mathis (who also owns Luxi Management, which focuses on bringing international retail brands to Canada).

A couple of bloggers (@ninanearandfar and @holliegracejames) learning all about Ottawa’s fashion scene

Their latest fashion networking event, held at the hip & trendy Moscow Tea Room included a night of mixing and mingling with the who’s who from all areas of the fashion industry, including designers, photographers, models, and bloggers. “Our mission is to advocate for more opportunities and resources,” claims Lidia, who herself has a fashion design and marketing background. “These events are a chance for people in the community to meet each other in a more professional setting”. Although the Ottawa Fashion Network is just getting started and hasn’t even officially launched, Lidia and Luxi have their sights set high, hoping on achieving the ultimate goal of eventually becoming the Canada Fashion Network.

Asking around regarding what we should be on the lookout for when adding to our summer wardrobe, the consensus seems to lean toward a heavy focus on bright and bold colors with a lot of natural makeup and hair.

Who and what to look out for this summer

Rebecca Rowe, of Rowes Fashion, is committed to building unique pieces that integrate into your everyday lifestyle, and is spending the summer swamped (in the best possible way) with custom work, including a lot of bridal. For summer trends she’s thinking “crop tops for days”, high waisted shorts, and surprisingly, going braless – let them loose ladies!

Becoming Bordeaux is my new favourite fashion blogger – and by new, I mean she has only three posts on Instagram. But she’s got the goods – a student studying software engineering, she’s picked up a new side hustle of blogging that combines her interests of fashion, art, lifestyle, and politics. She’s thinking suede mules for this summer (one of her fav shoe stores is L’Intervalle and she thinks they’re totally underrated), and she’s hoping fanny packs are not going to be a thing again this year.

Nesy Nou, the Nou standing for “No one’s you” has a brand new collection out for the summer. Embracing uniqueness and individuality, her collections aren’t just clothes – there’s always a story behind them and the inspiration for this one came from gypsies – the traveling, free-spirited woman. You’ll be seeing a lot of pink, representing femininity and women empowerment. If you’re looking for those free-flowing, layered summer pieces, this is the line for you.

Lidia and Luxi are on a mission to fill the gap that Ottawa admittedly bears when it comes to everything and anything associated with the fashion industry. So far they’ve had four networking events, but are planning much more for the future, including fashion shows, panels, and photo shoots, so stay tuned for their official launch date. In the meantime, enjoy Ottawa’s top fashion experts’ take on what you should and shouldn’t pick up for the much deserved hot summer weather ahead.