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Forum on fashion and clothing: a solid, dynamic industry ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow


Press release


Forum on fashion and clothing: a solid, dynamic industry ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow

Montréal, June 16, 2011 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal held its Strategic Forum on the Fashion and Clothing Industry today, with Minister of Finance and Minister Responsible for the Montréal Region Raymond Bachand and Montréal Mayor Gérald Tremblay in attendance. Over 400 designers, decision-makers and key players in the fashion and clothing industry took part.

Renowned speakers took turns at the podium during the event. “The whole fashion world was gathered here today: business leaders, designers, public partners, teaching establishments and elected officials,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “The entire industry was on display. And the message was clear: this is an industry that plays a key role in Montréal; it drives wealth creation, it has confidence and it has its eye firmly set on the future.”

“The job losses we have seen in manufacturing in the past created the perception that the industry was in decline, when what was really at work was a transformation,” Mr. Leblanc said. “The service branch, including design, research and development, and marketing, has taken up the torch. The presentations at this forum illustrated how the industry can succeed when it makes the choice to modernize and adapt to its market and technologies, rather than clinging to the old models. Montréal’s fashion and clothing industry will strengthen its position internationally by demonstrating innovation, banking on our talent and moving toward high-value-added niches.”

“As in many sectors of the economy, this industry is experiencing a significant labour shortage that needs to be addressed in the coming years,” Mr. Leblanc said. “To do this, we need to effectively develop the next generation and put in place strategic plans that are in step with the industry’s needs.”

Marie Saint Pierre, Philippe Dubuc and Salvatore Parasuco explained the challenges facing designers. Cirque du Soleil presented an inspiring example of technology transfer and synergy between industries. Pierre Bovet, Anna Martini and François Roberge emphasized the importance of vertical integration in the context of globalization. “There are many challenges involved in conquering new markets, but today’s discussions showed that success is possible and that it’s worth the effort,” Mr. Leblanc said. “Today more than ever, fashion is flourishing in Montréal.”

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its primary mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec’s leading private economic development organization.


Sylvie Paquette
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015

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