Who is TÉLIO?

TÉLIO is one of North America’s leading import/export and distribution companies with textiles that are at the cutting edge of fashion. TÉLIO is comprised of two divisions: Fashion Fabrics and Interior Furnishings. The Fashion Fabrics division offers designers, manufacturers and retailers, superior quality and original products tailored to their specific needs.

What is “Canada’s Breakthrough Designers”?

“Canada’s Breakthrough Designers” is an event hosted by TÉLIO which brings together 22 fashion design schools across Canada and challenges aspiring fashion designers to compete for scholarships and others prizes. TÉLIO provides the participants with a theme and a selection of fabrics to choose from to create a unique design. Twenty-five (25) finalists are selected and have the chance to present their garment down a professional runway in Montreal. Also this year Canada’s Breakthrough Designer celebrates its 10th edition.

What is the theme of “Canada’s Breakthrough Designers” 2015 edition?


This year, the International Year of Light, the competition celebrates its 10th anniversary. With illumination, reflection and movement as your inspiration, express this grand celebration using creativity and elegance. Each more inspiring than the last, the fabrics will range from rich shades of steel blue to ochre. Presented in various weights, drapes and reflective qualities, they will exalt the clever manipulation of your design. Fluidity permeates your work adding just the right touch of brilliance to enhance your garment’s festive glow.

What do I have to do in order to participate?

  • Students are asked to notify their school representative of their interest in participating in this event and ascertain that they meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Students must first sketch their design according to the theme and competition guidelines. Each school representative will select a maximum of 7 sketches to be submitted to TÉLIO.
  • The competition jury, comprised of acclaimed fashion professionals, will select 25 finalists.
  • Those finalists will be asked to produce their creation and will be invited to present their garment on a professional runway in Montreal held in February 2015.
  • Five (5) finalists who demonstrate outstanding creativity, best technical skills, and respect of the theme will be awarded one of 5 scholarships totalizing over $15 000.

Do all participants have to submit a sentence explaining their design?

  • Yes, please explain your source of inspiration, linking it to the theme, in 30 words or less directly on the storyboard front or back, as desired.

What size is the model I’m designing for?

The model is a size 4-6; the measurements are as follows:

  • Bust: 33”- 34”
  • Waist: 25”- 26”
  • Hips: 35”- 36”
  • Height: 5’9” – 5’10”

*These measurements must be respected.

Is TÉLIO paying for my travel and accommodations?

Yes. TÉLIO will pay for flight, accommodation and food for the finalists who live outside of Montreal to attend the fashion show in Montreal.

Who is judging my design?

A jury panel of acclaimed Canadian fashion professionals                                                                                                                                                                          (i.e. designers, stylists, media, etc.).

How am I being judged?

The selection criteria are based on:

  • Creativity – 35%
  • Technical Quality – 35%
  • Adherence to Theme – 30%

Who do I send my sketch and specification sheet to?

You must send your sketch to your school representative and they will send it to TÉLIO. TÉLIO does not accept any submissions directly from students.

Can I submit more than one sketch?

It is up to the individual schools to decide how many sketches each student may submit.

Do I have to line my garments? If so, do I have to use fabric from TÉLIO?

It is up to the students if they want to line their outfit. All lining, trimmings and notions are the responsibility of the student and do not have to come from TÉLIO.

How much fabric am I given to sew my outfit?

TÉLIO offers 22 different fabrics to choose from. You may combine as many fabrics as you wish, but the combined total must not exceed the 6 meters of fabrics allocated to each student.

Can I purchase additional fabric from TÉLIO at my own expense?

No. Students are required to work with a maximum of 6 meters that are provided by TÉLIO.

Should the illustration board contain inspiration drawings or simply the sketch of the outfit?

Inspiration drawings are welcome; however, it is advisable to put the main focus on the drawing.

Can we work in teams?

No. The work should reflect the individual contribution of the student.

Who can participate in the competition?

  • One year program: Students not eligible
  • Two year program: 2nd year students eligible
  • Three year program: 2nd and 3rd year students eligible
  • Four year program: 2nd and 3rd year students eligible

What are the competition prizes?

  • $5 000 Scholarship
  • $3 500 Scholarship
  • $2 500 Scholarship
  • $2 000 Creative Mention Scholarship
  • $2 000 Technical Mention Scholarship

What are the important dates to be aware of?

  • Launch of the competition in schools – August 18, 2014
  • Submission of student sketches to TÉLIO – October 17, 2014
  • Announcement of the 25 finalists to schools – October 24, 2014
  • Shipment of textiles to students by TÉLIO – November 7, 2014
  • Delivery of finished outfits by the schools to TÉLIO –  January 16, 2015
  • “Canada’s Breakthrough Designers” Finals – February 2015

Who do I contact if I have any questions?

It is important that you direct all questions to your school representative as they will have the most up to date information on all rules and regulations.

If they can not answer you, they will contact TÉLIO directly and provide you with the information you require.