COVID-19’s Impact on Canadian Designers

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Everyone is taking a hit, but small independents are feeling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic the most

When Toronto-based designer Steven Lejambe received the news that he’d been nominated for the Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent in Fashion at the 2020 Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards (CAFAs), he was elated. The nomination represented a pivotal moment in the fashion career he has been building since 2016, as well as a shred of hope in the midst of being pummelled by disappointing news. As the COVID-19 virus rages around the globe, three major events he’d been gearing up for—the National Bridal Market trade show in Chicago, a figure skating red carpet event and a charity fashion show—were all cancelled. “I needed a bit of good news,” he says.

As a small-scale independent designer, Lejambe is one of the many individuals in the

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