July 25, 2016

           In celebration of the Toronto Maple Leafs Centennial Season, the team is partnering with The Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards (CAFA) and Mitchell & Ness to discover two of Toronto’s most talented designers. The TML Fashion Design Challenge invites local designers to create a capsule collection for both men and women inspired by the Leafs new primary sweater, unveiled at last month’s 2016 NHL Draft.

The contest launches Monday and offers the winning designers the opportunity to dress Leafs Nation for the 2017-2018 NHL season. The selected winners’ prizes include the opportunity to have their collection featured and showcased at the 2017 Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards, the chance to see their capsule collections produced by sports apparel specialists Mitchell & Ness, sold exclusively at The Toronto Maple Leafs Store powered by Real Sports Apparel beginning September 2017 and a monetary prize of $25,000.

The judging panel for this contest includes industry experts, MUCH/MTV personality Liz Trinnear, Head of Marketing at Mitchell & Ness, Adam Herstig, Editor in Chief of The Kit, Laura deCarufel, CAFA Stylist of the Year, George Antonopoulos, the Editor in Chief of Flare Magazine, Cameron Williamson and of course, Leafs Nation.

“As the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate their first 100 years, we hope to broaden the Leafs Nation audience through new, creative ways,” said Shannon Hosford, VP of Marketing and Communications at MLSE. “This season’s introduction of the new logo and sweater along with this contest in partnership with CAFA and Mitchell & Ness, allows us to engage the next generation of Leafs fans to help bring the classic look of the team into the future. Giving our fans a chance to design the collections and the opportunity to vote to select the winners ensures that the winning fashion designs will appeal to lifelong fans as well as future Leafs Nation members.”

The TML Fashion Design Challenge sponsors will select 10 finalists (five men’s and five women’s collections) from online submissions that will have the opportunity to meet with the judging panel and present their work. The panel will use their industry expertise to bring the number of contest finalists from ten collections to six (three men’s and three women’s collections). The winning collections will be selected by Leafs Nation through an online vote between November 14 to 30, and will be announced in early December 2016.

The Toronto Maple Leafs primary sweater features the team’s new logo and was unveiled to fans when worn by the Leafs’ first overall draft pick, Auston Matthews, on June 24.  The logo, introduced to fans this past February, was inspired by the classic Maple Leaf badge worn by the team from the 1940’s to the 1960’s, regarded by many as the most iconic and popular logo in team history.  Using the new logo and sweater as inspiration for their designs, TML Fashion Design Challenge entrants have the option to submit up to one men’s and one women’s collection.

“We are thrilled to partner with MLSE on this unique opportunity that rewards the winning designers with not just prize money but also incredible exposure whilst aligning their name to Canada’s biggest sports brand,” said Vicky Milner, President of CAFA. “There is a huge amount of designer talent in Ontario and we are excited to see the design entries and a whole new look for Toronto Maple Leafs fan’s fashion”.

“Outside of some bigger brand collaborations, Mitchell & Ness has always controlled design in-house,” Adam Herstig, Head of Marketing at Mitchell & Ness.  “However, after being invited to the CAFA awards it was immediately clear that we would be able to work with world class talent, and so we could not pass up this opportunity, especially since MLSE is our key partner”.

Designers interested in entering the TML Fashion Design Challenge can find out more information at mapleleafs.com/fashionchallenge starting July 25.  Final deadline for submissions is September 26, 2016.


About CAFA

CAFA was created to support and celebrate the Canadian Fashion industry. Through the recognition and promotion of outstanding achievement and emerging talent in Canadian fashion, CAFA is dedicated to generating a stronger appreciation and market for our artists both in Canada and abroad and to support the economic development of the Canadian fashion industry. CAFA is committed to further developing and cultivating our homegrown talent by creating mentorship and financial opportunities as well as establishing collaborative partnerships that strive to unite the fashion community and the various, existing, fashion initiatives around the country.

Additional information can be found at: www.cafawards.ca