What I Wear To Work: Brodie Lawson, CFL Host

Wardrobe Essentials 

For the most part my style is pretty laid back, tomboy with a little something girly. My essentials are J.Crew white v-necks, GAP or Paige jeans, Adidas sneakers, cute espadrilles in the summer, booties in the fall, a big pair of sunglasses, a CFL ball cap, pink lipstick, and a feminine jacket or an oversized sweater (I love Zara jackets and Aritzia sweaters). My go-to handbag is an oversized tote — I am six feet tall so the scale works and they fit all the stuff. All of it.

Favourite Item in your closet

  • Preppy — a soft pink Cupcakes and Cashmere knee-length topper coat
  • Sporty — adidas leggings

The Purge Rule

At this point it’s the most cliché, but it’s the honest truth — I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo two summers ago and it changed my whole perspective on purging. Her philosophy is to categorically dump everything you own onto the floor (shirts, then pants, then dresses etc..), go through it item by item and only keep the stuff that brings you joy. Sounds out there, I know, but it actually worked for me and I was left with a tidy closet with the things I enjoyed wearing most. Since that huge purge, I try to only buy and keep stuff I truly love. If I try it on and take it off more than once a season, or there’s something I’m holding onto only “incase I need it,” I donate it. I still use her method at least once a year because things accumulate. I know this method doesn’t appeal to everyone, but if you’re struggling in this area I would highly recommend giving it a try!

Describe your work uniform

I would describe my work uniform as preppy/sporty! I tend to pair preppy styles and colour combinations with something sporty to keep it casual (and practical) for the football field and our show, CFL This Week. I gravitate towards feminine prints and styles which can look a little too precious on camera, so I try and contrast that with clean lines and athletic details. Adding a cute sneaker to basically any outfit has been my favourite way to achieve this feel. My favourites: a colourful pair of Stella McCartney’s for an athletic look and a textured black pair of Gazelle’s that are a little trendier and sleeker.

From interviewing the league’s top players and coaches to sharing behind-the-scenes moments with fans, Brodie Lawson holds the job that many dream of. The host of Canadian Football League’s digital properties, including CFL.ca and all other CFL Channels, Brodie shares the lessons she’s learned on and off camera in her career to help encourage young people to find their strength, set goals, and follow their dreams. In addition, Brodie is a dynamic and energetic host of events, who brings her enthusiasm to every stage.

What I Wear To Work: Liem Vu, Global News’ The Morning Show

Photo Credit: Nick Pimenoff

Wardrobe Essentials

My wardrobe essentials are black shoes, black joggers, and a black t-shirt. See a theme there? No, I’m not trying to be your friendly neighbourhood fashion blogger with minimalist and monochromatic fashion. I’m the complete opposite, actually. I love loud patterns, bright shirts, and architectural jackets, but the only way to pull those off is to have a solid fashion anchor. By wearing black shoes and black pants, you can go super loud and outlandish on top without being too distracting or workplace inappropriate.

Favourite Item in Your Closet

Definitely my black and white Saturdays NYC button up (seen in the picture). The shirt is inspired by the glaze brush pattern often seen in ceramic work. It’s bold and brash yet minimalist at the same time. It’s easy to dress up (with a blazer) or down (with jeans) and that versatility is what I look for in all my shirts.

The Purge Rule

One for one. If you buy something new, get rid of something old. It’s a rule that I’m still trying to commit to. Everyone has a bad habit of holding on to things they don’t need. Unless it’s a staple like a blazer or jacket, it’s always best to consider whether or not an old item in your closet is worth holding on to.

Describe Your Work Uniform

Thankfully, The Morning Show really supports my outlandish fashion choices. Heck, I wore overalls on the show once. My daily work outfit usually starts with a pair of black golf joggers and then I pair them with a bold and bright short-sleeved button up shirt.

Liem Vu is a Toronto-based journalist and television personality. He can be seen weekdays on The Morning Show. Vu’s sense of curiosity and passion for storytelling bring him to the front lines of breaking news. Liem has written for both local and national publications including The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and The National Post. In 2011, he produced and hosted a series of investigative features for MTV News, focusing on hot-button sociopolitical issues aimed at Canadian youth. 

Liem is an avid music fan, insatiable foodie, and all-around nerd. Prior to his career as a journalist, he moonlighted as the lead singer of a barbershop quartet called ‘The TemptAsians’ and has seen every episode of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer at least twice.

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10 Standout Looks From NYFW:Men’s

Back in July, I had the chance to attend and cover shows during New York Fashion Week Men’s, and, even though the heat and humidity sometimes made me regret it, the many talented designers I got to witness firsthand was worth the trip.

To switch things up, I  gave talented local artist Fredsonn Silva Aguda images of ten of my favourite looks from the week and asked him to illustrate them for this article. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Ever since Raf Simons was appointed the creative director of Calvin Klein, New Yorkers have been able to witness his genius at home. The designer took his spring/summer 2018 collection to the streets underneath a bridge in the heart of Chinatown. The location hinted at Blade Runner’s influence on the collection. Chinese lanterns hung from the ceiling emblazoned with the art of Peter Saville, who famously did album art for Joy Division and New Order. Raf continued to play with proportions as seen in previous collections, but maybe due to the location and its atmosphere, this collection seemed new but nevertheless still undoubtedly Raf.

Robert Geller’s newly launched Gustav von Aschenbach was a bit pared down from his namesake collection and offered oversized coats, jackets, and pants of varying widths and lengths made from high-grade Japanese textiles. I have been a HUGE fan of Geller’s for some time now and was excited to see his new endeavor up close. This look illustrated by Fredsonn was one of my favourites shown in the collection.

Another highlight from the week was designer Raul Lopez’s gender-bending and boundary pushing Spring/Summer 2018 collection for Luar. The collection took me back to my ’90s club kid days, but, styled differently, its pieces could be completely wearable (for some at least) today.

Although when I first saw this look at Palmiers du Mal’s presentation at the Gramercy Park Hotel it was hard to imagine being able to wear this look in spring and summer, as we all know mother nature often likes to toy with our emotions. It can be feel like Hades one day and the next it could snow. Either way this look could be worn whenever necessary and will keep you cozy and looking good.

I fell in love with the way designer Emily Bode mixed different patterns and textures for her debut Spring/Summer 2018 collection. The collection’s vintage feel still felt modern and you won’t have to dig through a bunch of clothes at your local vintage shop to look this good.

Raun LaRose ’80s inspired Spring/Summer 2018 collection felt more today than dated. The oversized shapes of jackets and pants or, in this case, shorts paired with sheer knee-high socks and sneakers could have easily been seen on the attendees packed into the designer’s presentation or on the streets of New York.

During designers Vincent Oshin and William Watson of label Death To Tennis Spring/Summer 2018 presentation, male models posed on pedestals and took selfies with camera phones, selfie sticks, and a polaroid camera. The collection offered great menswear staples including trench coats, tracksuits, sweats, T-shirts, and shorts.

Designer Barbara Sanchez Kane was inspired by her Mexican heritage and drew inspiration from life experiences for her Spring/Summer 2018 collection. This was definitely one of my many favourite looks from the collection.

Drawing inspiration from President John F. Kennedy and from travels during the presidential election in November of last year, designer Daisuke Obana offered everything from suits to preppy pieces perfect for summers on Martha’s Vineyard for his N.Hoolywood Spring 2018 collection.

’90s nostalgia was on full display for Patrick Ervell for his Spring 2018 collection. The collection included leather pants and shorts, trenchcoats and wind-breakers. At times the collection felt like it was missing something but true fans of the designer would be able to find pieces they have grown to love.

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What I Wear To Work: Anya Nordström

Photo Credit: Hamish Kippen


Anya Nordström


Partner, NordströmMatte Public Relations

Wardrobe Essentials

The ultimate essential to every look is always footwear. Combining function and fashion, while also being practical, can make the difference between walking vs. Uber – and the dreaded blister! Currently my go-to shoes are a classic pair of Oxfords, simple black pumps, an open toe strappy sandal, and a thigh high boot.

I’m also a big accessory girl and tend to stick to a seasonal uniform of accents in my daily wardrobe. Currently, I’m wearing pearls almost every single day. My pearl jewelry, passed down from all the women in my family, was all recently updated and re-designed by Bijoux by Amy. I have a great pair of prescription aviators from the Danish brand SAND and I rarely leave the house without my nautical-inspired watch and ANCUFF bracelet from luxury German accessory brand, PAUL HEWITT.

Work Uniform

As much as I hate to admit it, I am a total #AllBlackEverything kind of girl! Smart, sophisticated with a touch of subtle sexiness is definitely the best way to describe my personal day-to-day style. Black is always classic and, let’s be real, the quickest and easiest way to throw together an ensemble! I am a working mom with a toddler and simply don’t have the time I used to in the mornings. So, owning a plethora of little black dresses, trousers, and blouses makes putting together a look in the morning take no longer than 10 to 15 minutes – a lifesaver when battling Toronto traffic to the showroom!

Favourite Item in My Closet

Living in Canada means that winters and cold weather take up most of the year, so investing in quality outerwear that is both fashionable and functional is an absolute must. The luxury alpaca outerwear collection SENTALER is exactly that: lightweight, incredibly warm, feminine, and stylish, with a extensive variety of colourways. Currently my Long Coat with Fur in Black, Ribbed Sleeve Moto Jacket in Cobalt Blue, and Signature Hooded Wrap Coat in Army Green from the Fall/Winter 2016 collection are getting the most wear.

The Purge Rule

Honestly, I don’t have one. I’m not sure if that makes me a hoarder or not, but I have a very tough time letting go of clothing! In the last year, however, I’ve really tried to rid myself of poorly made fast-fashion items and create a more cohesive overall look that reflects me as a professional in the fashion industry. And that means as much Canadian as possible! Andrew Coimbra, Mikhael Kale, PIPER & SKYE, Mathew Gallagher, TMR, House of Nonie, Greta Constantine… the list goes on and on! There is so much happening in Canadian fashion right now and it’s important to champion our homegrown talent.

Anya Nordström began her career in public relations nearly eight years ago in New York City, producing RTW runway shows and presentations at NYFW in Bryant Park with Seventh House PR. After moving on to an editorial position with Seventeen Magazine, Nordström maintained a freelance relationship with Seventh House and continued to assist in show production and running front of house for all designer shows, associated events, and launch parties. As a member of the Style Council at Seventeen Magazine, Nordström worked as the New York City correspondent, covering fashion events on a weekly basis for Seventeen.com and was featured in the magazine every other month giving fashion, relationship, and lifestyle advice.

After re-locating to Canada, Nordström successfully headed up the entire PR department as Director of Public Relations at the inaugural Toronto Men’s Fashion Week, TOM*, garnering international media attention (VOGUE L’UOMO, FORBES, WWD, etc.), producing all 22 runway shows and their associated after parties & launch events. Nordström launched her own company, ANPR, in 2014, which merged with MOI Artist Management in 2016 to create NordströmMatte Public Relations.

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A Conversation with Jeff Rustia, Executive Director, and Founder of TOM* and Toronto Women’s Fashion Week

We were all shocked by the sudden cancellation of Toronto Fashion Week, and there were many rumblings and speculations on who would pick up the torch. Leave it to the Jeff Rustia, Executive Director and founder of TOM* to have something up his sleeve.

The Toronto Women’s Fashion Week was announced back in August and instead of guessing, we went to the man himself to get some details on what we can expect during the inaugural launch, which kicks off on Friday, March 10th at the official new venue Waterworks located at 505 Richmond Street at the heart of the King West entertainment district in downtown Toronto.

Drew Brown: Can you give us some insight into how the decision to produce Toronto Women’s Fashion Week came about?

Jeff Rustia: Upon the news of IMG’s TFW (Toronto Fashion Week) closing its doors last Summer, many key figures in our fashion community, including designers, approached me and members of our TOM* Advisory Board to consider launching a platform for women’s wear, similar to the formula and success of TOM*. As you know, TOM*s heart and commitment has always been for the fashion designers, Canadian talent, and for the Canadian fashion industry as a whole. It only seemed natural to extend our current position to create an opportunity to re-champion women’s wear and its designers to show the world and Canadians alike that Toronto is a very talented, global city that truly supports fashion.

At the end of the day, we knew that we couldn’t stand by and let an important platform for women’s wear disappear. It’s always been about promoting and assisting the fashion industry in a way that has a greater purpose. So we are proud to bring a new version of it to life with Toronto Women’s Fashion Week.

DB: One of our favourite shows during TOM* is MensFashion4Hope which benefits the Kol Hope Foundation and SickKids. Will TW have a charity component? 

JR: Yes, Toronto Women’s Fashion Week will have a charity component called WomensFashion4Hope, which will help the community of children with disabilities. WF4H will help the Kol Hope Fund at Easter Seals Canada, which helps children with disabilities acquire basic necessities such as wheelchairs, respite care, and help send kids to summer camps.

In our inaugural season, we are launching the Show Room – Pop up Shop initiative at 205 Yonge St., showcasing Canada’s established designers and leading emerging talents in a beautiful boutique setting for Fall/Winter 2017 to develop their business locally and internationally. A percentage of the sales will go to WomensFashion4Hope. As you know, we approach everything that we do with a social awareness. It’s fashion with a heart. It’s about industry insiders helping the industry from inside out. And I’m proud that we are able to continue our legacy of giving back to the community with Toronto Women’s Fashion Week.

DB: Being behind TOM* and now TW, do you feel any pressure in making fashion more viable here in Toronto?

JR: I wouldn’t describe it as pressure, but rather an ongoing commitment to do everything we can to assure the viability of the Canadian fashion community for many years to come. In order for the Canadian fashion community to perpetuate itself, we need to focus our energies into nurturing and encouraging the next generation of emerging talent, and to really help our designers develop and build the business of Canadian fashion. Our mandate at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week is to create forward initiatives such as impactful runway presentations, showrooms, pop-up shops, buyer and media days, and industry panel talks — all aimed at helping fashion designers build their business.

As a fashion week organization, we believe in the power of partnerships across and within our fashion community and all the various sectors including the designers, industry, buyers, media, and, of course, the consumer. Collaboration is key, and we are doing just that, partnering with fashion schools such as Ryerson and TFS, and collaborating with fashion organizations such as TFI, the world’s first fashion incubator, with the goal to develop synergies and share resources that will benefit everyone. Our platforms are aimed not only at showcasing Canadian talent, but also at engaging the industry, the media, and the consumer to become more invested in our designers and our Canadian fashion community.

DB: What has been the most rewarding and challenging thing you have learned/experienced since launching TOM* back in 2014?

JR: I think the most rewarding thing for me has been the incredible opportunity and honour to work with the amazing talent in this country from the fashion designers to our partner and sponsors, and especially our 300 staff and volunteers.  

Also, I’m very grateful that TOM* has allowed me to bring to light the charity work that is very closely affiliated with everything that I do — that is, to help children with disabilities. It was important to me to find a way to not only highlight something that was deserving by promoting the fashion of this country, but also to do so in a way that goes beyond the industry itself and has a greater purpose — to showcase how fashion and giving back could go hand in hand. MensFashion4Hope has been the most rewarding and touching experience for me.

DB: Fill in the blank: I could not live without____________

JR: Creativity and positive energy

DB: The city has become more appealing to luxury and major retailers, how can we all work together to turn Toronto into a fashion capital?

JR: For Toronto to become a fashion capital, we have to work together to create a culture that encourages fashion innovation and creative energy. We must support and nurture our emerging talent and work closely with the fashion schools and organizations that are incubating innovation. We must inspire young people to look at fashion as a viable career. Let’s work towards putting Toronto in the forefront of fashion, where ideas take root and ideas are defined. We must make the city more inviting for fashion designers to settle here, make it their headquarters, set up showrooms, and overall see Toronto as being good for their business. We must encourage retailers and stockists to carry Canadian and devote areas just for Canadian designers.

All in all, we need to stand united and support one another and the various fashion platforms in the city — from events to shows, awards, and trade fairs. The more opportunities available to Canadian fashion designers to shine, the better it is for our industry and our city as a whole.

At Toronto Men’s Fashion Week and Toronto Women’s Fashion Week, we will continue to showcase and provide an international platform for Canadian talent and creativity. We will continue to invite national and international press and buyers to come to Toronto to give much needed exposure and spotlight on our designers.

Toronto Men’s Fashion Week runway shows kicks off on Monday, March 6th, Visit here for more information and to purchase tickets for Toronto Women’s Fashion Week Visit here.

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