The Bay has announced the launch of the The Bay Fashion Fund, an initiative built to mentor and support emerging BIPOC designers and brands in Canada. The Fashion Fund will award one BIPOC designer(s) or brand with a $25,000 grant, coupled with a three-year mentorship program to help tackle some of the obstacles new designers face when entering the competitive retail landscape. The Fashion Fund is a part of The Bay’s extensive work to help accelerate racial equity in Canada.
As part of the three-year mentorship program, the selected recipient will gain an unprecedented opportunity to leverage The Bay’s network to build their skills and expertise in product development, sourcing, financial management and marketing, including the possibility to partner with The Bay’s brick-and-mortar and digital channels to showcase and sell their collection.
The Fashion Fund is open to all fashion, footwear, handbag and jewelry collections but we are looking for designers or brands that display a high level of craftsmanship and workmanship, a strong balance between the conceptual and the commercial, and have a solid creative range of work. Please see below for further information and application requirements. Applications are due September 8th, 2022 and the winner will be announced at the CAFA awards on October 19th 2022.
- Established/operating business for at least 3 years at time of application
- Business must operate in e-commerce (e.g., website sales, social media sales)
- Business must be majority-owned or designed by a BIPOC Creative Director or Designer
- Business must be based in Canada
- All entrants must be at least 18 years of age as at the date of application
How to apply?
Applicants are required to submit the following in PDF format:
- A biography and brand mission/overview (including any special achievements, awards, collaborations, etc.)
- A description of current e-commerce sales and presence (e.g., social media overview, including applicable handles per platform, top-performing social media highlights, link to brand website, etc.)
- Lookbooks from your two most recent collections, if applicable
- A two-page business overview including current details on goals for growth, marketing, distribution, manufacturing and sustainability. The plan should include at least the following details:
- Specific challenges you have experienced in your business.
- What areas of your business do you need the most support in and why?
- Where would you like to see your business in 5 years to 10 years?
- When looking at sustainability and the circular economy, what plans, if any, do you have in place?
- Any additional information you wish to provide (e.g., media deck/press coverage highlights, launch and campaign videos, collaboration with any influencers or celebrities, etc.
Apply here before the deadline on September 8th, 2022.
I have over 10 years of experience in the retail industry including expertise in marketing, operations, merchandising, buying, shopping and technology. I am a former senior managing director of The School of Retailing, University of Alberta. My education includes a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from The University of Alberta in Marketing, Certificate in Real Estate and a Diploma in Fashion Merchandising and Buying from LasSalle College, a Canadian private school founded in 1959 by fashion designer Jean-Paul Morin.