MONTREAL — March 28, 2022 — Mathieu St-Arnaud Lavoie is the new executive director of mmode, the Metropolitan Fashion Cluster, with a mandate to strengthen Montreal’s leadership and visibility as a major fashion hub, both in Canada and abroad.
“Mathieu’s experience and remarkable knowledge of priorities in our sector are valuable assets that will help us continue moving forward with the major projects and initiatives that are currently under way with the support of the mmode team, which is expected to grow in 2022. I’m convinced that Mathieu will be able to engage all stakeholders in the sector — to which thousands of dedicated entrepreneurs, creators and employees contribute actively each day — in order to drive the growth of our industry, a veritable pillar of the Quebec economy,” stated François Roberge, chairman of the board, mmode.
A Strong Track Record
Over the past five years, as a member of mmode’s leadership team, St-Arnaud Lavoie has led various strategic projects aimed at increasing the sector’s visibility and expansion at the international level, notably including a number of trade missions to New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Paris and Barcelona. Recently, he attended three major American trade fairs to present Quebec’s manufacturing expertise and build connections with American brands interested in entrusting production of their clothing lines to Quebec companies. With some contracts already signed, the outlook is promising.
St-Arnaud Lavoie also played a central role in establishing a new personal protective equipment stream and engaging industry stakeholders to rapidly meet the needs of healthcare personnel and the public from the pandemic’s outset. What’s more, through the lamoderecrute.ca digital platform, he has supervised projects relating to workforce and succession planning, which is a priority challenge for the long-term sustainability of the sector.
As part of his new responsibilities, St-Arnaud Lavoie aims to keep the cluster on track with regard to key priorities in its business plan, including the circularity and sustainability strategies, on which work has already begun. He also wants to ensure the continuity of flagship projects that impact and engage the entire industry, including Montreal Fashion Week, the mmode Gala and the mmode Accelerator program, En mode croissance, which aims to nurture, promote, support and accompany entrepreneurs and the next generation of talent.
St-Arnaud Lavoie holds a master’s degree in education and training as well as a bachelor’s degree from the Université de Sherbrooke. He is also a lecturer at the École Supérieure de mode of ESG UQAM. Before joining the mmode team in 2016, he held managerial positions at the Fondation Santé Haut- Richelieu-Rouville and Fondation Eulalie-Durocher.
Heartfelt Thanks to Debbie Zakaib
St-Arnaud Lavoie, who previously held the position of senior director, Market Development and Human Resources at mmode, will ensure a smooth transition process by working with Debbie Zakaib, who recently announced her decision to retire after six years at the organization’s helm. During the coming months, Zakaib will serve as a consultant to support the continuity of the Cluster’s activities.
“I would like to express my profound gratitude to Debbie for her extraordinary contributions. I’m sure that her decision will have no impact on her passion for our sector and that she will remain an exceptional ambassador. The many initiatives led by Debbie and her team in recent years have helped to reaffirm Montreal’s global fashion leadership and promote the creativity and expertise of industry players while encouraging consumers to buy local,” stated Roberge.
Posted: March 28, 2022