The fashion industry in Canada has seen the biggest decline for years.
And as a result, some of the industry’s most senior leaders are facing the prospect of being ousted.
The head of the Canadian Fashion Council, who chairs its board of directors, has already been told he cannot lead the country’s fashion sector in a way that he deems appropriate.
The president of the International Council of Fashion Directors, a national association of fashion designers, and the director of the Retailers Association of Canada, both have their names on the list of candidates for president.
And a number of fashion industry executives, who are also facing the possibility of losing their jobs, have taken to social media to express their anger.
While some of them are being vocal about the decline of the fashion industry, others are quietly lamenting that the industry is no longer as influential as it once was.
But the head of fashion at a major Canadian retailer said the industry needs to be able to work together more closely.
“There are times when we need to talk, but there are also times when there’s too much tension and the conversation can’t go anywhere,” said Lisa-Marie L’Heureux.
“The industry is so much stronger when we’re able to come together.”
L’Heurux, who has worked at a number-one-selling retailer for more than 20 years, said that’s exactly what the industry need to do now.
“When I’m around the table, it’s the same thing I always hear: ‘We’re all in this together,'” she said.
“I don’t know if that’s the best way to go, but we have to do it.”
She’s not alone.
According to a new report by the University of Ottawa, the industry lost about 14 per cent of its members last year, an average of 25,000 jobs.
“This is the industry that we’ve all worked so hard to build up,” said L’Hirel.
“It’s not just a problem of a few people.”
“It’s a problem for everyone.”
Some of those losing their positions are not even visible in the fashion media.
“In the past few months, it has become clear that there are very few voices in the industry speaking up for the industry and for their clients,” said Heather Clements, a professor of fashion studies at the University in Toronto.
“It has been a very tough time for the fashion and lifestyle industries in Canada,” said Clements.
“They’ve had a tough time and are going through a very difficult time.”
While L’heurux is the head at one of the country´s largest retailers, L’Etang is also an industry veteran who is no stranger to the challenges facing the fashion sector.
She also has a long-standing friendship with the chief executive of the Royal Canadian Mint, which she is also working to help create an independent business in Canada.
L’E tang, who is also a director of Canadian Tire and a director at the Association of Canadian Professional Golfers, is also one of Canada’s biggest retail players.
Her father, a former vice-president of the Toronto Stock Exchange, was the first president of a large Canadian retailer.
And she’s seen firsthand the impact that large retail companies can have on a consumer, and on the fashion business in general.
“They can influence people, and they can affect people in a positive way, but they can also create a lot of problems,” said her father.
“So I think they have a responsibility to make sure that they’re always working with other people, but also the industry.
That’s a very big responsibility.”
Clements said she believes the current political climate is a key factor that is making it difficult for fashion executives to get together.
“I think that the fact that there’s so much anger among the fashion community at the current state of affairs and at the way that the fashion has been handled in recent years, and that people are really fed up with it, it can really be quite paralyzing for them to get their heads together,” she said, adding that there needs to an immediate, immediate end to the politics surrounding the industry.
“If you want to get to the bottom of it, the people who are in that role need to step up.”
L-heuraux, L-Etangs comments come on the heels of a number other high-profile executives being forced to resign from the industry for reasons unrelated to their positions at the retail companies.
The former head of retail at a luxury brand, for instance, was forced to step down from his role after it emerged that he was the subject of a criminal investigation by the RCMP, and was ordered to pay a $4.2 million fine.
Another high-ranking retail executive, former president of international affairs at an advertising agency, resigned over a scandal involving inappropriate behavior.
And last week, the chair of the CFO of the Association