From misappropriated funds, political instability, and threats made by student leaders to other student organizers, alumni, and external organizers, the continued impact of SFU’s hostile events environment has called for better working conditions for UFW and it’s production ambassadors.
While it’s popularly known that this production was started by Kayode Fatoba as a student at Simon Fraser University, the journey to getting this to a national stage hasn’t necessarily been adequately supported by his community especially with the stigma that comes along with the fashion industry. While the fashion community would be forced to advocate and engage the union at various levels, showcasing it’s educational, economic, networking, and social advocacy components, the need to keep his intellectual property independent and respected against fear of sabotage, political repeal, student conflicts, and various social political issues would result in shifting conversations pertaining to the productions internal operations to it’s External Coordinators. Seeing various media wanting to get more insight at the illusive world of Canadian universities gave University Fashion Week an edge, but with the high cost of the Torontonian staging this attraction in Vancouver year after year without integrating the various operation expenses associated with him being able to keep it going did significantly impact the production at the expense of the creator and production community. The various costs within the Founders annual life cycle was not something the Union of whom might have been more localized to Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam and supporting areas of BC took into account and as UFW’s expenses grew, the reduction in the unions support declined to the extent of funds going missing. Although there has been articles written from designers highlighting the economic impact the marketplace has had on their business success, their connectedness to micro investors and professional networks, the diverse publishing of their pictures of which increases their stock values in ways they did not imagine or predict, ability of getting real life analytics, from young professionals who got accepted and are paying thousands of dollars to access those university networks. With the cost of production increasing, the reduction in revenue while some brands would not only unlawfully trade within the platform, their “free” access to UFW’s marketplace did place some at a level of entitlement especially given the foriegn origins of these brands and platforms.
As UFW expenses continue to increase significantly, the union, and chapter community support to keep the production and market place growing has not only dwindled, the politically competitive environment of student leaders who do not know the difference between management and operations, of whom get in the way of workers by assuming the work of hired, trained, and licensed professionals has created a competitive student culture where unlawful trading has caused the need to cease operation until the union and market takes just as much accountability as it attempts to take in Credit. With Fatoba being hospitalized, UFW was forced to navigate production as a self organizing marketplace while following various operational manual and protocols created and updated internally. has been a part of this production that often saw a need to mobilize more students to call on the union to support the advancement of the platform. According to Fatoba, the goal was initially to support his friends of whom had been starting fashion brands of their own. The university community served as a smaller sample population to compete and expose themselves, but with competition came a need for the marketplace to evolve with stronger abilities to protect emerging brands from larger brands. Realizing the growing demand of these students entrepreneurs interest to tap into his large network of which one had been interested in hiring him as their events coordinator for a show, the founder quickly realized that the budgets and expense of fashion designers producing their own events did not make sense. If the event suffers significant loses, it impacts the designers ability to even support themselves as workers of the business let alone the manufacturing more products to bring to market. After declining to produce an event for the brand, a more economical opportunity presented itself as the global fashion week marketplace did expose many audiences both live and digital to the brands showcasing themselves at these fashion presentations. As the total cost of producing the multimedia marketplace connecting them with networks and buyers outside of their direct network was be more affordable and a better investment than raising more capital to throw your own event, the founder saw an interest in fashion designers to participate in the event.
Seeing that a number of these fashion designers saw value in using events to bring their product to market, there existed a disconnect between high fashion, city platforms of which was often largely dominated by foriegn designer brands by professional designers expanding their product lines and global distribution networks, and student designers of whom were often international also coming through various fashion schools connecting them to opportunities of presenting within this high visibility commercialized city platforms. To be able to compete and afford the often high priced platform, fashion designers needed to fly to Vancouver, or be school in Vancouver as students which often required acceptance of their Visas, either as a student visas here as fashion students, or foriegn travel visas as their presentation might be during fashion week of which they were in the city between a week to a month depending on their interest in doing more local business within attempting to follow up on the various local merchants that did show interest in their lines and are interested in placing orders and much more.
Using his abilities as an organizer, partnership with Skynation, and various volunteers from his student union and health science department, students who saw the vision came around the Creative Director of whom would design the system and technologies to produce a successful show. There was a great opportunity to bridge the gap between emerging millennial communities of fashion and commerce Entrepreneurs whose side hustles may not have had enough backing to afford high demand platforms of which might also require them to commit their future to it’s market leads, investors, buyers, influences and a range of other marketing pursuits; while at the same time consumers millennials interested in supporting their community members of whom were starting micro side hustle projects that had the potential to grow and expand into employment opportunities impacting the growth of the Canadian economy could really be proud to be supporting real people, sharing their impact stories of what inspired them to start their brands and really why young shoppers of whom impacted consumer culture could make conscious decisions if they would support these designers. In University Fashion Week, models are able to say they’re not walking for a particular designer given they are sponsoring their time as part of the platform, there are various trades at a variety of levels within this trade multimedia event of which supports a thriving startup community, but with unfair agents unlawfully trading of which has not only created a growing liability for University Fashion Week, the inability of UBCXFW’s Creative Director to get #SFUXFW out of the blocks did impact the productions second Season.
Launching the event did see a friction in the community at large right of the bat as the fashion community was labeled as elitist, but that was precisely the stigma that University Fashion Week was trying to address. From a focus on Height Based Descrimination in the industry, to the descrimination associated with body art and fashion, the various themes of UFW drove it’s community to engage themselves and speak about the various topics that aren’t often touched on by the larger industry for fear it might scare off various sponsorship dollars and brand loyalty of whom return to the market year after year with new lines, products, and commercial style. A number of stylists make their names from fashion week, within working with notable brands. One stylist would network her way into becoming Creative Director, but while the production’s infrastructure and management expenses grew, given the need for the rent, technology, insurance, theft and stolen goods, legal and administrative within a range of multimedia and audio visual needs, the growing requirement for the various talents needed to advance the production, outside of the transient students who would sign on for various volunteer roles through strategic, digital platforms, media publishing agencies, organizations, clubs, groups of sponsor that awarded them an invitation to National Selection Weekend of which Creative Directors go through a rigorous interview process before training and onboarding in understanding the various changes in policy, budgeting, and licensing criteria based on internal data. Having a market of which would see a decline in funding, while at the same time we saw an increase in unlawful mismanagement did warrant a need to place a StopWork order by University Fashion Week on continued use of it’s digital assets and resources. While this move would give UBC the opportunity to advance and push out their production, the various investments in tentatively booked spaces of which was joint for afterparty and event presentation, the various lost earnings in signed workers of which would also lose work, and a wide range of losses going out of Season 2 of University Fashion Week did significantly impact production.
While Designers had enjoyed a “free” environment to validate their products and gain access to free, specially curated influencers, of which they did not have to feed, did not have to pay, did not have to recruit, did not have to even cast themselves, did give a special infrastructure to these designers of which some would start to take competitively as foriegn students able to take advantage of what the platform had to offer were doubling down and growing their brand from the influx of growing market share and brand awareness. From signing photographers, models, musicians, promoters, the UFW infrastructure was not only creating success stories, it was also creating direct competition to the Canadian startups of which were unaware of the market, as well as the student initiated development company which had quietly been creating the platform at Simon Fraser University. The unique model of UFW’s system did invite various software engineers to continuously evolve the platform but with the serious of necessary updates requiring upwards of $50,000 the theft associated with a chapter, that’s not only impacted other chapters ability to get a better head, the lack of adequate valuation and funding has led to more students taking liability to a market place creating a lot more employment opportunities for their student opportunities by bringing student employers, professionals, entrepreneurs, and interested students and leaders together to trade. While UFW holds a special place in it’s production for the SFU chapter, the need to have this Season 2 shut down has never been clear. While UFW’s investments in compensating it’s Creative Directors has increased while suffering a range of deficits, it’s the same students who benefit from production and trade, of whom would seem to want to sabotage due to various political variables of which not only impacted the ability of the union to take some liability for it’s own membership and various communities, it’s placed the production in a position to take it’s own agents to small claims court for theft and various allegations of which could easily be avoided by the various executives of whom are connected with these agents working to lawfully follow production contracts and agreements.
Depriving funds from production and mismanaging assets, while putting some international students of whom are not only volunteering to gain access into the market, they’re also stepping up for employment opportunities of which was connecting them directly with Canadian development startups of which was supporting them with national networks of which many may not be aware were compromised based on the political instability. Commercial city level Fashion Weeks had it’s own connotation of which limited the ability for social commentary. With it’s exclusive casting demands, there was a strong need to present a very cohesive platform that wasn’t just a marketplace for fashion designers and creatives to network and grow; it would also serve as a learning opportunity to connect Canada’s emerging young professionals and economic development organizations to support the growth of the platform. At the start of UFW, we saw brand coming into the production from Vancouver Fashion Week of whom had head about the launch of the platform, we saw designers who had a particular look or “model cast type” they wanted to wear their clothes, but as designers were not often charged to participate in University Fashion Week, it gave huge power to UFW of whom approved all designers coming into the show. Being able to reject the ability of early designers to choose models created an opportunity for a diverse range of model types of come unto our platform. Models spoke out on height based descrimination, on cultural symbols and seeing them as fashion accessories as opposed to the stigmas associated with them, as many styles evolve much like the suit, fashion was a part of our lives and our uniform or creatively ununiformed way of engaging with the world and as a high level market place, having able to secure the necessary support to produce this platform is the main focus heading into Season 3. Within our goal of being a lot more fiscally conservative while prioritizing various expenses at the management level within giving the next Creative Directors for the transitioned chapters into Season 3 of UFW to decide if they believe their Chapters can meet their various deficits and continue their growth and advancements given the concentration and brand awareness others have left as part of the growing legacy of this platform. Within realizing that many foreign students of whom are able to afford the various demands of the platform where at a better advantage, the decision to promote Canada for Season 3 of Fashion Week is to attempt at consolidating the various topics of which the platform had attempted to spotlight as Canada.
With this year’s publishing coming out a lot early, the Creative Directors to really be awarded licenses will need to be ones of whom follow the platform and are aware of the various publishing and changes being transcribed. While there have been a number of students who have inquired about how SFU can turn it around to add the production back into the Canadian Season to spotlight the market of which this was established in, there are a number of areas we have identified that could work of which would be acceptable. The Student Union’s VP Student Life can negotiate directly with Skynation with an offer given their investment into a concert production of which benefits internationals at the expense of Canadians cannot have a local production being outcompeted by foriegn companies while it’s programs being subject to theft and a lack of support from the union responsible for managing it’s production environment. Given the need for the program to evolve, the Union would need to come in as partners of whom are able to provide the resources to bring the production to life at a level that supports the ability for the creator to earn royalties off his works while standing to protect Canadian intellectual properties without being in the way of student success and Canadian economic development. Where as the student union is unable to come to a negotiation with Skynation on their participation as the presenters and partners of whom have the funding and environment to host the national platform and create employment opportunities with a priority on Canadians, then the second agent of whom has the last known license of whom was impacted by this political instability was Gary Khaira, within the impact of the various expenses associated with the production needing to be cleared, for University Fashion Week to move forward with adding SFUXFW back into production does requiring the squaring up of it’s expenses. It does not make sense for a development company started by a student to have paid thousands into his own student experience as a micro investor and student employer of whom assumed liability for the union, while the same union outsources production to other competitors of whom started as members of the union, which means market share of which is being profited through a marketplace of which many are benefiting but are not paying into are now not only stealing from the same platform of which it’s expenses, it’s rent, it’s engineers, lawyers, invites, and more have growing expenses, but the same foriegn designers of whom are students will now use the fact that there were now derivative fashion communities as a result of the production to attempt at impacting the production permitting requirements.
While Fashion Week at Simon Fraser University is now in it’s second year of this shut down within announcements coming early, students looking to apply as Creative Directors from Simon Fraser University will need to understand that without a way of addressing the debt, the lack of union support, theft and foriegn interference from brands of whom will need to be differentiated from locals, while connecting with the previous team of whom were impacted by the political instability to not only apologize but make them understand that as a membership of whom paid dues to their union, they also have a right to a program activation that supports their ability to feel part of a community they feel more connected to. Within various limitations being set to meet stakeholder demands, without an interest of the community taking liability for the expenses, theft and various expenses to clear SFU’s debt for it to be continued, production will be me stand still of which will not continue with any type of licensing. Not only was the founder impacted with the executives who came up board to solve the various issues from the previous board, UBC of whom would cosign to collaborate with the Chapter after working towards advancing their production through the first production work stop order, having their production not be dependent on SFU was one of the main objectives coming out of this year’s production. As SFUXFW sank more into liability, seeing UBC work towards closing it’s expenses, working towards improving it’s deficits within various executives speaking about the potential for them to execute better given the ability to focus on their own market without the need to support SFUXFW. With more content being published detailing the results from this year’s Season, we’re excited to slowly secure new partners interested in helping the production reorganize it’s new stage as a Canadian focused national production looking to improve its operation. Without a union taking responsibility for it’s own market getting a new market place that’s not for students wanting to join clubs but for young professionals wanting to get involved in startups while learning more about how to spend their purchasing power to improve their local economy and influence foreigners coming into Canada to also support brands of which Canadian models promote, while being a platform promoting the emerging faces of Canadian modelling and universities as a community of higher learning, it will be extremely hard for the production to move out of the blocks. Given Gary’s successfully franchised Season 2 was terminated, production is still looking to award “Rights Of First Refusal” to Gary as not only did the Founder of this platform end up in the hospital while attempting to ask a question at a Debate, UFW volunteers would have to call the police on various unidentified students of whom would profile members of the platform sociopolitically. While UFW has always worked to maintain it’s own system while having localized trading, the various management expenses cannot be sustained by students anymore and as a business, it does not make sense for a union to be paying $80K to 1Mill for a concert, while a Fashion Week production is paying the university by it’s own students to bring the marketplace to it’s community. With designers working and planning towards presenting at Fashion Week, UFW would negotiate with Skynation for the relocation of it’s presenters into other spaces and programs which could allow them to get the same exposure and sales opportunities. With expenses increasing and funds being withheld while UFW lost out on various expenses, the production does need to come to some type of understanding as it is unable to move forward within the growing expenses of this market, it’s unlawful trade practices and hostile environment has caused the management and development company to lose. While UFW has been forced to develop a tiering system for designers looking to come into the production, certain organizations did speak on the potential of sponsoring space while providing granting opportunities for an opportunity for their candidates to present at a prestigious University. Having some of these Creatives gain access to this intellectual community just to help them in validating their concepts, design, as every day wearables is a small investment which would impact their ability to come hard into the market. We’ve seen brands come into UFW from City Fashion Week as high fashion brands and totally change into Street Wear just cause they saw huge traction that was driven by the models of whom were supporting the creatives due to the lack of agency barriers that would have impacted such fluidity.
From expensive Mansions, Penthouses, Buses, and much more, the over production, security, and liability associated with fashion week and the various high spenders associated with it’s culture does require the need to make sure the production is able to support having a better infrastructure within the associated tech riders from the production company. While the platform saw some brands leave due to the inability for them to have the choice of models, if SFU does make it out of the blocks, some of their designers will need to raise capital as priority will be given to Canadian brands. While UFW considers all creatives presenting as part of it’s platforms a brand, not just the designer, various exposure opportunities, sales opportunities, publishing opportunities, trading opportunities will be developed to incentivise designers and agencies looking to gain an advance participation into UFW. With the raising of capital being the biggest milestone for this year, the various hired executives will need to develop strategic partnerships with all levels of their institution to raise the necessary capital to support production. With deficits being rolled over to the next Season, National Selection Weekend is really going to push a lot of Creative Directors and also speak to if the next candidates see a need for the production to continue. With the founder hospitalized due to various competition within producing the platform, the risks associated with producing the production outweighs the benefits for the organizer which has increased the overall cost of producing another season significantly. Hospitals, medicine, taking time off work, stolen funds all increases the expense to revenue ratio further pushing production into negative ill health and thus with an inquiry from various production community if the platform will continue, UFW is looking to split and transfer the various debts to each chapter while pushing the conversation at the results of NSW.
While SFU can still find themselves presenting as part of Season 3, there will be a need for the executive team of Gary of whom were hugely affected my this political instability be apologized to. Not just the political attack on the founder and volunteers. While many blame the results of the poorly executed and cancelled Season on the Creative Director, according to internal reports, the odds were hugely stacked against the CD coming into production due to theft and various misappropriated funds from the previous Season. Funds of which while has been transferred into the growing expense of SFUXFW, does require the need for the Union to settle these expenses or it will cause the need to report it to authorities within this pause. For a Creative Director to apply to solve the various negotiation and outstanding expenses owed to production by SFU will require an active cooperation from the union as UFW does intend to pursue all necessary avenues to retrieve it’s funds. There are students and various workers that have been impacted and put out of work because of one chapter and some of their students which is not acceptable. Without the Union being ready to work with Skynation, UFW and take responsibilities for the utility provided to it’s market by the platform. Let it be noted that while funding support has always been an issue for the platform during nascent years; issues of theft, mismanagement, political attacks on event organizers, denial of space bookings by follow students elected by the same student organizers looking to their peers for support, would only commence in the subsequent year under a previous Creative Director of whose name is being kept confidential as production advances. There are student leaders who’s future are created through them successfully producing this platform. There are others who become investors and support a growing employment industry. Retail continues to be a source of income for many and while the journey towards being the next lululemon or superstar model and photographer might not be overnight, seeing the transformation students and young professionals are able to gain through this platform really breaks our heart to limit the advancement of this market until the various agreements ensuring the safe planning and execution of UFW’s production community is respected and understood. With this now being a national platform, having other campuses deliver has also shown that while many universities are impacted by political forces, there was in fact various differences of which gave UofT and UBC slightly better odds. While the entire production would end in a deficit with personal efforts going into securing grants and sponsorship to cover the thousands of growing expenses associated with keeping the production going. According to Skynation systems development, it’s not uncommon for many long term production development to have running expenses of which they need to catch up to year after year as part of their annual fiscal life cycle. According to the agent, there can still be great opportunities for the community to fundraise and support the necessary expenses owed by their chapter while working towards getting back to a healthy operating budget but without an active management, support from the local community and a UFW management able to raise capital year round, who are charging designers within pushing for more academic, corporate and organizations sponsoring, it will be hard for the production to move ahead. Keep in mind ticket revenue only covers less than 20% of it’s expenses as it is merely to recoup funds within the licensing and production fee, while changes are being mad to licensing terms to allow full sponsorship potentially increasing the likelihood of it being free and extremely affordable for students and all. With this year’s these being Canada, UFW is looking to bring in a lot more partners interested in joining it’s mission in supporting the growth of the Canadian Fashion Landscape.
While the various issues leading to the cancellation of SFUXFW by UFW may not have started overnight, hearing there is interest from a number of parties looking to solve the issues and come to a solution is seeing steps in the right direction. According to UFW, SFU is not the first institution to suffer a chapter wide Season shut down. In fact, UBC had once been subject to a shut down after various complications that would result in not only copyright infringement, but a compromise of other chapters. The cancelling of the platform within going through steps towards reinstatement would see more student leaders getting involved and while this experience has given other markets a type of growth in the various processes within navigating UFW, it seems for SFU this would be the first. While many say this was not the only event that was cancelled at the University due to various reasons, the student union would experience one of the most unstable results in decades while also citing an impeachment, while at the same time needing to pay UBC to host their membership for events they had been unable to provide. With a number of talents from the SFU market seeing a stop work being placed on their abilities to gain casual jobs from the productions growing productions, it’s not just SFUXFW that this Stop Work Order is affecting. While sources says there was a meeting between SFU, SFSS, and Skynation on developing better working relationships, a representative said, Skynation representatives were blindsided by prescheduled meeting by the union and university representative of which would have conversations be focused on parameters imposed on Skynation, while SFU’s various hindrance and slow responsiveness to room books and other resource provisions were optically addressed. As Skynation’s promoters work in a wide range of markets as the development brand supports as a consultancy body offering a range of services, resources and expertise all prepaid as part of the necessary subcontractors required to bring it’s various programs to life. The meeting with SFU was quiet different from the meeting with the Union and seeing them come together to meet regarding Skynation’s various activities of which had grown past their university showed they were unaware that production wasn’t just limited to their school any longer. If other schools are producing programs without the founder while meeting production’s operations and tech rider contractual parameters, then the SFU market needs to adhere to the same directions. While the Union had communicated it had given a cheque to a representative of SFUXFW in the previous year while supporting it’s assumed expenses as long term partners of the production, the fact that these funds the not get to management, while the production would need to be cancelled as these issues was impacting other chapters; having this decentralized Season in which liability was now being shifted into each market with a more long term strategy within the annual operation of the platform could be a turning point going into this Season. While the role of the Creative Director is being changed and reimagined as part of the ongoing work associated with this production, as a student initiated production house creating new programming for our immediate university community, being at a crossroad where we do need to demand more support from said community and call on the various communities impacted by this Shut Down to speak up by engaging their union to come to an agreement and assume liability as it’s not the responsibility of production to police it’s members. With this being one of the shakiest Seasons within the production many are uncertain if production will pull through. Only time will tell.