What do you think would happen if you gave 68 unique and different women one leather jacket to wear according to their own personal style? For the launch of their customized leather jacket collaboration, downtown Toronto fashion boutique Convey and leather design studio Namesake teamed up and did just that. And I was lucky enough to be one of the chosen ladies.
Remember when I said I had something in the works with downtown Toronto boutique Smoke + Ash? Well on the evening of April 7th, at the one year anniversary party, that project was revealed. I was so happy to be the muse for a fashion film celebrating their one year anniversary as one of the coolest fashion destinations in one of Toronto’s trendiest neighborhoods, West Queen West.
If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know that right now I’m in Miami. What I haven’t mentioned yet is that right before I left, I was working on a special project for Toronto West Queen West boutique Smoke + Ash.
It came about in the most organic way. A follower of mine on Instagram (hey, hun!) tagged me in a post S + A put up calling for a model to “Be [Their] Beyoncé”. Without even knowing what that meant, a day or two later I sent them an email and a few days later I was meeting with the store owner, Jaya, and the rest of the production team. Soon after Jaya told me they had chosen me to be the lead in this secret project celebrating their one year anniversary.
As you guys already know, I like to do a little modeling every now and then. Sometimes it’s fun to work with someone else’s vision and try to bring that to life. A few months ago local fashion designer Godfrey Mensah reached out to me through Instagram and asked if I would be interested in modeling the Spring/Summer 2016 collection for his line Keniya X Label called “Raw Hype”. I had seen his unisex garments gather attention at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week and was intrigued by the aesthetic so I said yes.
Due to Toronto Fashion Week I’m about a week late to share this but guess who’s on the homepage of Untitled&Co!?
If you follow me on Instagram then by now you know that I was given an amazing opportunity to walk the runway this season at Toronto Fashion Week. This is one of the coolest things I’ve been able to do and I really wanted to share that with you guys in a meaningful way so buckle up and enjoy my detailed firsthand account of my trip into Hayley Elsaesser’s “Carnival of Curiosity”.
It all started on Instagram, as many creative endeavors in my life do. Fashion designer Hayley Elsaesser and I both follow each other on IG and about three weeks ago I saw a post of hers announcing a casting she was holding. About a week prior the Spring/Summer 2016 Toronto Fashion Week calendar had been revealed and she was again announced to be presenting a collection on the runway, this time set for Tuesday, October 20th. The little gears in my head started turning as I read the phrase “No height requirement”. ‘I should give this a try,’ I thought.
On Tuesday, October 6th I arrived at her newly opened retail space in Toronto’s Bayview Village Shopping Mall. Hayley greeted me warmly and handed me a look to try on. I quickly put on a blue sleeveless top with a pink crystal ball print and slim cut metallic fuchsia leather pants. She asked me to walk for her across the length of the retail space. I thought back to the one time, several years ago, I had received a runway lesson from a former model. I was nervous but decided to give it my best shot as she recorded my attempt. “Let’s try one more look,” she said, handing me another wardrobe option. This time I slipped into a leather-textured dress with a metallic rainbow finish. Its fitted bodice and flared skirt ending above the knees made me feel like a walking burst of color. Again I made my best attempt at a runway walk. When it was all done I thanked her for her time and she seemed like she was interested in having me in her show.
“Do you remember where we first met?” Cameron Wilson asked me in the midst of our photoshoot. I thought about it for a moment. I knew we had gotten acquainted through Instagram but where had we met in person? I remembered him spotting me a few weeks prior on the patio of this little restaurant on West Queen West. “Java House?” I replied, unsure of my answer. “No, three years ago at the Coco and Breezy pop up shop at Jacflash,” he said. “Wow! Really?” I exclaimed, surprised he remembered me from our chance encounter in 2012 when NYC eyewear designers and twin sisters Coco and Breezy held their event at a now defunct fashion boutique. I couldn’t believe I had crossed paths that long ago with one of the co-founders of Toronto streetwear brand and internet darling, Untitled & Co.
Models are people too! It’s easy to forget that when all we see are those perfectly airbrushed faces glossy and glistening on billboards and magazine covers. Not too long ago I got an itch to shoot someone’s portrait so I spoke with a model agent from Spot 6 Management and had Tyrah come over to my space for a quick model test. That’s where I got to pick her brain and discover she’s way more than just a pretty face who has lent her look to projects for swimwear designer Andrea Iyama, beauty brand Pureology, and more. She’s a dog mom and pineapple-on-pizza advocate who could probably kick your butt at Mortal Kombat.
Earlier in the summer I became Facebook friends with a makeup artist named Au Zi.She explained to me that she was enrolled in a makeup course taught by the world famous makeup master Val Garland and she’d love to have me model for her. Though that initial introduction didn’t result in a collaboration, the lines of communication remained open and when she had another project come up that she thought I’d be good for she reached out again. Last Monday I met with her and photographer Johan Sorensen. The concept of this project was to use one NARS product a variety of ways. We did two versions where she used mascara (one version in black, the other a plum hue) as brow tint, eyeliner, lip stain, eyeshadow and even to create faux freckles.
I first met Ema Walters on Instagram via our mutual connection to Sophomore Magazine. I thought she was so creative and told her I would love to work with her. Then before I knew it she was inviting me to collaborate on a fun, late-night photoshoot with her two friends Ana and Tessa. Together these three girls make up the supremely creative girl gang known as EATmorefun, or EAT for short.