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Being a support platform for designers from all over the world, Global Fashion Collective has not stopped helping to chart the careers of creatives from the five continents since its creation 5 years ago. A few days ago we talked about their debut at Milan Fashion Week, where they presented four international designers from Mexico, South Korea and Canada. Today we move to Paris, an essential city on the European fashion map, where we travelled a few days ago to attend the fashion shows that GFC had organized for Paris Fashion Week. We also had time to speak with its founder, Jamal Abdourahman, who founded Vancouver Fashion Week two decades ago.


“The biggest challenge I faced was myself,” Abdourahman replies when asked about the beginnings of Vancouver Fashion Week, a project that he decided to launch in 2001 and in which he saw amazing possibilities. “It wasn't until the 5-year mark when I wasn't noticing any changes that I started to put more effort in and everything changed and my dreams continued to grow. Through this I realised that consistency was key,” he adds about the consolidation process of the catwalk, which began as a dream and ended up becoming a platform of national and international projection for all those designers who presented their collections.

Perseverance is also the key to the success of his other great project, Global Fashion Collective. “I wanted to give designers a chance to show their collections to a larger audience and have greater media exposure and the best way to do this was expanding to the big five,” explains the founder of this platform present on different continents, when asked for the reason that led him to undertake this project 5 years ago. Currently, GFC showcase in Vancouver, Milan, Paris, New York and Tokyo. “And soon to be London!,” Abdourahman adds. There are roughly twenty people including their team in Vancouver and the teams who help them in each city.

After having taken part in Milan Fashion Week, Abdourahman shares his impressions: “It was our first time showcasing in Milan. The production was incredible and the response was very positive from each of our shows.” But far from limiting themselves to the Italian city, where they landed after presenting their new designers in New York, Global Fashion Collective headed to Paris to continue promoting their creative talents. And we went there intending to learn more about this platform and be able to meet the participating brands in person.

Nine international designers unveiled their work on Saturday, October 1, in an intense day of fashion shows held at Le Salon des Miroirs. The first GFC x PFW showcase occurred at 2 pm and featured five international designers from Canada, the United States and France. And the second shift, which took place at 6 pm, featured four international designers from Canada and Mexico.

Specialised press, international buyers and various fashion lovers eager to see first-hand the work of this interesting selection of profiles were waiting to enter the impressive building where the fashion shows would take place. And, after having seen the work of the different participating designers, it is time to highlight those that most caught our attention.

Dryden Sereda, who opened the round with his debut collection Esteemed Resonance, took us into a dark and sophisticated universe where elegance and rebellious spirit meet. An interesting collection for a young designer who seems to be clear about the direction he wants his brand to take, and who proved to be building the identity of his project coherently. The next brand to feature its work was Atelier Arielle. Created by recent Parsons the New School for Design graduate and New York City-based designer Ariel Han, the most remarkable thing about this collection is the artistic inspiration, almost sculptural, visible in some of the looks. The experimental silhouettes came along with a creative vision dyed almost entirely in white.

Dryden Sereda

Atelier Arielle
Then it was the turn of the French lingerie label Un Crie de Joie, which showcased their debut collection, Composez-Moi. A plea in favour of body diversity and female beauty expressed through different profiles, full of empowerment, energy and self-love. Models of all ages were cheerful while they walked the runway, inevitably connecting with the audience. But if there is a brand that particularly caught our attention, that was Gabrielle Champault.

Un Crie de Joie


Gabrielle Champault


Unisex, oversized designs full of details and technical fabrics formed a vision of fashion in which everything seemed to make sense. Even the chromatic range present in the garments, or the mix of textures between the different fibres and materials. Neutral shades of grey, baby blue and tan, with accents of bright yellow, orange and maroon. The Collisions collection was one of the highlights of the day. Then it would be Ermine Paiso's turn, who closed the first shift of shows. This French lingerie label, which was founded by designer Emilie with a strong focus on supporting local manufacturers in neighbouring regions like Calais and Caudry, demonstrated a technique that not all participating brands can boast of.

Ermine Paiso


“Staying relevant is one of the major challenges, as well as the effort it takes for emerging designers to showcase as it is expensive for them. This is why we provide a collective showcase to benefit them,” Abdourahman told us in the conversation we had. And he’s right. It is very difficult for young brands or independent projects to afford the expenses that presenting on a catwalk or being part of a showroom in one of the main capitals of the fashion industry entails. It is precisely for this reason that Global Fashion Collective made the most of its presence in Paris to present as many designers as possible. And at 6 pm the second round of participating brands started.

Neithan Herbert opened the second round with an outstanding collection called Stop Watering Dead Flowers. His work perfectly combines design and functionality, in a balance that is not always easy to achieve. Then it was the turn of Quebec-based womenswear label Widi'z Elegance, before making way for Eduardo Ramos. The eponymous label created by a Mexico City-born and Vancouver-based designer showcased their new Motus collection. Special mention should be made of one of her looks with oversized shoulder pads in total black, achieving an interesting exercise in proportions. And, finally, the Mexican womenswear brand Narciza Severa put the finishing touch to this edition of GFC x PFW. This collection presented by the acclaimed designer is made for all those who love party dresses. But beyond glitter or tulle, we are left with the most minimalist designs where you can perfectly appreciate the work behind each of his designs.

Neithan Herbert

Eduardo Ramos


Narciza Severa


In which city will GFC land soon to continue supporting young designers? Who will be the next invited creators? “The next endeavour I cannot mention at the moment but we have an exciting project in the works that will come to light in the next 6 months. We are also launching London Fashion Week in February so look out for that,” Abdourahman replies when asked about their future plans. Before we say goodbye, we asked one more question. Where would you like to see Global Fashion Collective in 5 years? “I would like GFC to continue establishing platforms that fully support local and international designers in every five cities. I also hope to launch an e-commerce website where we can sell designers’ collections.”


Words
David Alarcón

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