Model Citizen – Juzar Dean

 

Toronto based on-the-rise male model star Juzar Dean recently strutted down the catwalk for Toronto’s inaugural men’s fashion week, for an impressive nine different fashion shows. Hovering over us at 6’2 inches tall, the 23 year old not only has good genes, but an impeccable style and gorgeous personality to match.

How did you get interested in modelling?

I have always been told by people that I should “get into modelling” but I didn’t take it seriously until I graduated college in December 2012. The reason for this was because I was tormented in school about my appearance and personality. At one point I was even shielding my real personality and style to fit in with others. After that, I genuinely started discovering more about modelling and singing, and also started to put together photo-shoots with the help of Model Mayhem. I could feel myself changing, growing and showing my real, theatrical, crazy and outlandish self that I masked for many years. That’s when I knew modelling and the overall entertainment/art industry was the right place for me.

What type of modelling work have you done so far?

Since I started in December 2012, I have done many photo shoots including. I did a look book for designer L’uomo Strano and promo shots for luxury online store Lab & Id. I have walked for a long list of designers and events including F.A.T Spring 2013, for designers such as Pedram Karimi and Henry Navarro, the amazing Evan Bidell off-site show during fashion week, and also for nine different designers including SONS OF ODIN, EDMA (Emerging Menswear Designer Award) finalists at TOM*. I was able to accomplish all these goals without the help of an Agency.

What do you like to do in your free time?

When I have some free time, I am probably trying to create something, design or write a song. But most likely I will be watching some kind of dubbed Japanese anime show.

What music are you currently listening to?

The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s (Mosquito) and The Weeknd’s (Kissland). Both albums really make me feel everything when I play them.

Which do you prefer, doing fashion shows or posing for pictures?

I don’t really think I can choose. When I’m walking down a runway I feel a rush of adrenaline from the lights, cameras and the crowd. When I’m doing more editorial style photo-shoots, I feel like I get to show off more of who I really am.

Profile – Erica Wark, Stylist & Fashion Expert

 

Erica Wark: Stylist + Fashion Expert

Photo Credit: Throne Photography 

Frivolous, evolving and classy are just some words that come to mind when thinking about Erica Wark’s vibe and persona. A nationally recognized stylist, TV personality and fashion expert, her styling aesthetic is all about marrying unexpected pieces + inspiring others to look at fashion in innovative and unique ways. With appearances on CTV’s, The Social, The Marilyn Denis Show, eTalk, Steven & Chris, BT Toronto and Entertainment Tonight Canada, Erica is the epitome of ferocious fun, pushing the boundaries + ultimately helping men and women find their true-style selves! To get your style fix from a chic Canadian perspective, visit her website: ericaonfashion.com/stylist/.

How would you describe your personal style?

Haha, I’d say it’s chaotic – and by that I mean it’s always changing. I love classic pieces, but I’m also about pushing the envelope when it comes to trends. I’m always willing to try something new!

What is your favorite item in your closet and why?

Wow… there’s no way I can choose just ONE thing! There are so many things I love in my closet (hence why they’re in there haha!); I suppose right now I’m coveting my new Proenza Schouler jacket I picked up at The Room’s summer clearance sale – it’s pretty fierce!

Have you ever had a “What was I thinking” moment about something you have worn?

Oh God yes… mostly in the late 90’s, early 2000’s. I tried the ‘grunge thing’ briefly back in high school… not a good look for me!

What is your favorite fashion era and why?

I’m honestly enjoying what’s going on now – the way fashion is being driven by the consumer and by what WE want to be wearing. It’s almost as if we’re at a point where all the best decades of fashion have been compiled into the last few seasons with new and fresh perspectives – loving the versatility and options!

Where do you shop?

Anywhere and everywhere. As a stylist, I essentially shop for a living, so I’m always finding great items all over the place. I love boutiques like TNT, Mendocino, Vincent (an adorable shop in Ottawa) as well as places like Holt Renfrew, ZARA and Joe Fresh. Oh, and I love to shop online. You can find some pretty sick deals… it’s amazing.

What would be your theme song and why?

It changes with my mood… right at this moment I’d say hideaway by Kiesza – great song… plus she’s Canadian!

What are you currently coveting?

I’m loving the flat suede OTK boots that Stuart Weitzman has come out with for fall… will probably pick up a pair of those beauties.

Whose closet would you want to raid?

Diane Kruger, Zoey Saldana… Miranda Kerr, Tamara Mellon… I could probably go on and on…!

What fashion trend would you like to see go away?

Mom jeans… why are they even back?!

Who are a few of your fashion icons?
Victoria Beckham, Madonna… Beyoncé and her sis Solange are killin’ it these days. Kate Moss, Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn… once again, the list goes on!

Fill in the Blank: I could not live without ___

My man!

What is your secret obsession?

I LOVE Maybelline’s nude lipsticks – they are the perfect shade for a neutral lip!

How would you describe Toronto style?

I think Toronto has great style! There’s such a wonderful mix of people who create this amazing community of fashion-lovers! It’s incredibly eclectic and unique – walking the streets of downtown Toronto, you never know what you’re going see!

 

 

Profile: Blak.I

Images provided by Blak.I

What inspires you?

We are most inspired by everyday life, be it a song, video, art or someone we see – it usually tends to be a little more on the dark side. We love the challenge of taking those ideas and interpreting them into something more approachable for our women.

What are three words that best describe your design aesthetic?

Dark, Minimal and Sexy.

Who is the BLAK.I women?

The BLAK.I woman is a young, metropolitan girl with big aspirations. She works in an environment where she is able to express her opinions and creativity through her wardrobe. She is an outgoing and outspoken person who is ready to take on the world.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an emerging designer?

One of our biggest challenges is being able to make a mark and establish our brand, as we are up against some of the biggest international brands out there. It’s a bit of a battle as they tend to have more resources readily available, but it is definitely not a battle we are going to back down from.

What are you most proud of?

We are most proud of the growth that we have had with our brand. Something that was once just a thought in our minds and a brainstorming session in a coffee shop has now flourished into a successful brand that is gaining traction across Canada and hopefully, soon, internationally.

Diego Fuchs and Helder Aguiar are the design duo behind BLAK.I. Created in 2010 out of their mutual love for design and shared sharp edge aesthetic, BLAK.I is a lifestyle brand made to bring out a woman’s inner cool. Together they’ve created a brand that incorporates luxury and street wear. From its inception and during its continued growth, BLAK.I has been more than just a clothing line – It’s a way of life and the evolution of the individual – starting with its creators.

The brand focuses on building wardrobe foundations that can be enhanced from season to season and not simply the ever–changing trends from the world of fashion. It ranges from fashion forward, intricately cut shirts and separates to fluid dresses and cutting edge leather garments. The brand has evolved since its inception to fully encapsulate the cutting edge contemporary woman. It continues to include designer aesthetics and detail with a modern and streamlined feel.

Model Citizen – Kendrick Kemp

#WhatsYourNovella – Kendrick Kemp from Novella Magazine on Vimeo.

Videographer/Editor: David Condotta

Model Citizen: Kendrick Kemp

We first had the pleasure of meeting male model Kendrick Kemp while he was tending bar at the TOM* launch party, at the Audio Downtown Toronto Showroom. And one things for sure – this 6-foot tall Bahamas native knows how to make a strong drink. Before strutting down fashion runways and fuelling people’s nightlife energy, Kendrick grew up in a religious country, never thinking he would have the opportunity to venture into a career that went against the grain of his cultural upbringing.

Even still, Kendrick dared to dream big. He found out that his mom wanted to be a dancer and was on her way to America to do just that, soon after discovering she was pregnant with Kendrick’s older brother. It was because of his mother’s unfulfilled dream and relentless motivation that Kendrick believes he must focus, and make his dreams a reality for his mom.

Kendrick is more than just a pretty face. He started a foundation called Fashion for a Cause to help The Bahamas AIDS Foundation raise money and reach a 15-40 age demographic, educating them about the disease and tell them where they can get tested. The year 2015 will mark the 4th year of the cause, and will also be the last time it is held as a one night event. By 2016, the event will become part of a larger initiative – an entire week of fashion, known as the 2016 FFC-FW S/S Collections.

How did you get into modelling?

It’s funny how I started. I watched a lot of American television and that played a big influence on my decisions. I remember knowing I wanted to do something in entertainment, but I didn’t know what it would be. One day, I was watching a special show about Ashton Kutcher on the E! Network and learned how he got into the industry by just modelling in talent competitions. It was that very moment that I decided what I was going to do. I think Oprah refers to that moment as your “Aha!” moment. But that wasn’t enough – now I needed to find a way into the industry because I didn’t have access to talent exhibitions like Ashton did. I then turned to a friend named Cheetara Woodside. I knew she was trying the acting and filming world and thought perhaps she could help lead me in the right direction. She introduced me to her Brother Mario, who became my first photographer and consultant into the world of modelling. He helped me figure out how I should go about looking for agency. I felt like I was getting somewhere now. With his help and with television shows like “8th & Ocean”, I knew I was getting closer. When I saw 8th & Ocean on MTV, I knew right then and there that this was a sign for me – I should be in this agency (Irene Marie). It was then that I experienced my second “Aha!” moment.

To bring a long story to a short, I travelled to South Beach Miami, but was rejected by my dream agency Irene Marie and every other agency. However, MC2 (MC Squared) saw me and gave me an opportunity to work with one of their photographers by the name of Milan Josipovic, who turned my world around. He created a new Kendrick. I went back to the all the agencies (especially Irene Marie, where my heart was) and they offered me a contract. I signed with them, and the rest is history.

What was your experience like walking in the very first Toronto men’s fashion week?    

Firstly, it was a well presented show and the calibre of models really contributed to this feeling. It was my first time opening a show and I am so happy that designer Noel Crisostomo allowed me to do just that. I also opened my first show which was for L’UOMO STRANO, and was so grateful for that opportunity. It’s been a great experience walking 10+ shows and doing my first interview with Christopher Bates as he spoke about his collection to GQ and Vogue Italia.

What do you like to do in your free time?                                                                                                      

I feel like I am super lazy when it comes to my free time. I just lie around or head to the gym. If I get bored of that, I call up some friends and head out in the city somewhere. I am always planning or thinking about my future. It’s difficult not to. I am always in charge of my brand I am always thinking about how I can better myself, or get noticed in public with so many new and fresh faces emerging.

What are you currently listening to on your iPod?                                                                                                

I feel like everyone would laugh at me. I just listen to Kelly Clarkson (Greatest Hits: Chapter One), Jay Z (Magna Carta – Holy Grail), Frank Ocean (Nostalgia/Ultra) and Beyoncé (BEYONCE).

How would you describe your personal style?                                                                                                

I would say I have a very artistic Style. I love the idea of myself as a canvas – where I can actually paint myself in fashion. I love a simple, but classic approach to clothes. I often wear printed shirts and pants, but never together. I like my shoes to make a statement. I love luminous colours. I have to make a statement and I only allow one piece of clothing to do it. All the other pieces must just compliment it.

 

What’s the most surprising thing that you’ve learned about the fashion industry?                          

I could go on and on about the Fashion Industry! I thought everyone would be fake and pretentious, but I have really met some fantastic people in this industry; people who actually use the creative side of their brains. They really want to affect change, and these are people who actually want fashion to live on because it’s the way they breathe. I love knowing these people and I was surprised to find genuine people that I could call friends.

What’s the most memorable job you’ve done so far?                                                                                            

I’ve done tons of stuff, and the events at TOM* had its effect on me. But I must say to this day, my most memorable job was walking for Parke & Ronen at my first ever Mercedes Fashion Week in Miami, FL in 2008.

What’s the best piece of advice that you have ever been given?                                                                          

Oh boy – I get advice almost every day. I’ve had great advice that I ignored but the best advice I have received is the advice that helped shape my life. It was – “THE ONLY PERSON THAT STANDS IN THE WAY OF YOUR SUCCESS IS YOU!” When I heard that, I knew that no one or anything was going to create an illusion that would stand in the way of my own success.