Model Citizen: Adam DeSouza

Photo Credit: David Tran

We recently discovered model Adam DeSouza on instagram and reached out to him to participate in an upcoming photo shoot. Get to know the Toronto-based based male model and lookout for our upcoming menswear editorial featuring Adam.

1. How did you get into modeling?

I started modelling in 2016 when I first walked for Toronto Men’s Fashion Week. Since then I’ve walked in a few other shows and shot with multiple  photographers throughout Ontario.

2. What has been your favourite modeling job to date?

My favourite modelling job to date would be any of the runway events I’ve done, in particular my first season at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week. I love these events because of all the people you get too meet.At a shoot you normally get to meet a small team of 2-5 people, whereas, with these events you’re around large group of like-minded individuals.

3. What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I like to learn about a variety of things. I am really interested in learning about the body, as I get ready to go back to school for massage therapy. I love anything fitness related.  At my core though, I’m really just a homebody.  I enjoy the simple pleasures in life like making a home cooked meal, listening to and finding new music, binge watching Netflix or just driving down to the bluffs to feed the ducks.

4. What music are you currently listening to?

Right now I find myself listening to a few artist like Joey Badass, Stevie Wonder, Chance the Rapper, System of a Down, Anderson .paak, pendulum and Tool just to name a few.

5. What has modeling thought you about yourself?

Modelling has taught me that there are many different avenues you can take when pursuing something that you are interested in. With the technology  available through the internet, we can teach ourselves about literally any subject.

Photo Credit: Henry Tsai

6. How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style is the love child of Curt Kobian and John Lennon. I would describe it as “Grungy Hippie”.

7. What would surprise people about you?

Something that surprises a lot of people about me is that I train and compete in Muay Thai (kickboxing with elbow strikes, in short). I really enjoy fighting in the ring and performing for a crowd. My last fight was in Ireland last summer.

8. Fill in the Blank: I cannot live without ______________

I cannot live without music.

9. What are some of your future goals? 

My main goal for the future is starting my career as a massage therapist and personal trainer.  I want to dedicate my extra time to modelling and mauy thai and see where they can take me because they’ve already taken me to some amazing places.

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Spotlight on Ari Fitz

Illustration by Andrea Vahrusev

Text: Andrea Vahrusev

Gender roles and adapting to fit into the category of either feminine or masculine is a way that most societies organize people. However, as times evolve so does the belief in stereotypical gender norms, allowing people to be different and break free from binary constraints.

Androgyny can be defined as a person who is physically and/or mentally gender ambiguous, meaning they can be viewed as attributing both masculine and feminine characteristics. Fashion, over time, could be viewed as the first industry to accept androgyny and use it as an art form. Influential people who could be seen as androgynous figures include David Bowie and Grace Jones as well as models like Andreja Pejic.

Although fashion can be praised for embracing gender and art, there are restrictions that make models attempt to fit into being either feminine or masculine. An up and coming model of the millennial time, Ari Fitz, is an example of someone embracing androgyny to its fullest.

Ari is currently a model as well as a successful YouTuber. Her first channel, Ari Fitz, is filled with personal experiences and stories. Ari’s second channel, Tomboyish, focuses on living a tom boy life through style.

On her self-titled channel, Ari tells stories of her experiences as a model, such as attempting to fit in at castings with the rest of the female models. After rejection and self-exploration, Ari was able to freelance wherein she called the shots in her own life. This allowed her to steer away from conformity and be fluid.

Tomboyish, on the other hand, focuses on lifestyle, culture, and personal fashion for people who enjoy masculine streetwear. Ari works on styling her friends and creating looks based off one brand as well as styling certain pieces in a wardrobe. She applies both her fashion background and androgyny to aid others in finding a look and life for themselves.

One of many speakers on androgyny, Ari Fitz is an influential role model among many others. There are currently many figures for people to look up to alongside Ari. Androgyny should not be considered a trend but a personal way of life.

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Model Citizen: Brent Williams

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Photo Credit: Christopher Morrison

Get to know Angie’s AMTI signed male model Brent Williams and learn something surprising about the Toronto-based model like what has been his favorite job thus far, and more.

1. How did you get into modeling?

The opportunity kept coming up in different ways — although at first I had very little interest, eventually I caved and now I love it!

2. What has been your favorite modeling job to date?

Either walking for Vaquera in NYFW, because it was my first international booking, OR walking for LaMarque at WMCFW because my mother was able to attend the show.

3. What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to write anything where I can express myself creatively; i.e. poetry, music, etc.

4. What music or artists are you currently listening to?

Two of my favorite artists right now are Banks and Charlotte Cardin.

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Photo Credit: Christopher Morrison

5. How would you describe your personal style?

I would say my style is classic with a touch of “hipster”. I also like to incorporate bold statement pieces whenever I want to stand out.

6. What would surprise people about you?

I’m a huge superhero/comic book nerd!

7. Fill in the Blank: I cannot live without_____________

PASSION

8. What are some of your goals?

To travel more, so representation in more countries abroad would be amazing!

Model Citizen: Amanda Sheppard

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Photo Credit: Alex Evans

We recently had the pleasure of meeting and working with AMTI signed model Amanda Sheppard for the Huntington runway presentation at our seventh issue launch party. It did not take long for us, and the designer, to be singing her praises. Get to know this Toronto-based model and see why we cannot wait to feature her on our pages.

How did you get into modelling?

Growing up I played a lot of sports and was known to be a tomboy. My friends told me I should give modelling a try because of my long legs. I chuckled as I knew nothing about fashion or the industry back then. I decided to give it a go and worked with a freelance photographer that introduced me to an agent at AMTI. Met with them, signed my first contract and now I’m obsessed with fashion. Funny how things work out!

What has been your favourite modelling job to date?

Ouu! That’s a tough one. I’ve worked with so many cool people and great teams this past year. But I think it would have been a recent editorial REBEL CHIC. The styling was bold, very edgy and they even bleached my eyebrows. That was a super cool day on set for me!

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love playing sports! So whenever I get some free time I’m either playing something or at a sporting event! Soccer and hockey are my favourite!

What music or artist are you currently listening to?

I’m a huge fan of classic rock and indie alternative. But I also mix that up with some rap. My go to right now would be anything by Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin. I’m an old soul!

How would you describe your personal style?

I’m known to be edgy with a sporty touch! I wear a lot of black and I would say street style is my go to. High cut ankle boots with funky heel designs are my favourite. I don’t think I own a pair of jeans that are not distressed. And when I do end up buying a pair, I end up distressing them myself!

What would surprise people about you?

I was 5’5 until grade 12. Didn’t get my height until the end of summer before university. I used to be the shortest among my friends and always in the front row for team pictures. Now I’m able to stand in the back row for pictures! Woo!

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Photo Credit: Alex Evans

Fill in the Blank: I cannot live without___________

My leather jacket and coffee.

What are some of your goals?

Modelling wise, I definitely want to travel and get exposure in international markets. Tokyo and London are a couple places I would love to go to! I also would love to be on the cover of a magazine! In life, I definitely want to give back. International development and working abroad has been a passion of mine since high school. My current goal is to launch a campaign that brings the fashion world and developing countries together!

“When do we want it? NOW!”

With women’s fashion month in its final stretch for the spring/summer 2017 season, we couldn’t help but touch on the topic of the season, see now buy now! For those of you who may not be in the loop, the “see now, buy now” model is as simple as it sounds. Collections are shown on runways in the fashion capitals and are immediately available for sale following the show. As more and more designers (Tommy Hilfiger, Rebecca Minkoff, Ralph Lauren, Alexander Wang x Adidas, Moschino, Michael Kors, and Proenza Schouler to name a few) jump on the bandwagon we wanted to see if this new business model has been successful or whether the hype is all for nothing.

One of the first brands to adopt the model was Burberry. Starting off last February having select pieces such as bags and scarves from their Fall/Winter 2016 collection available online following their show. This time around the brand decided to go full force and have the entire collection available not only in stores, but also on Snapchat, WeChat, Kakao and Facebook Messenger (where the show was live streamed)!

Burberry "Seasonless" Collection
Burberry “Seasonless” Collection

Now let’s talk about Tommy. If you didn’t hear about the Tommy Hilfiger x Gigi Hadid collaboration you must be living under a rock! This season was huge for Tommy… literally. Tommy Hilfiger converted Pier 16 in New York City into a two-day carnival (one day for the runway show, the second day open to the public) and this show TOOK OVER social media!

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Tommy Hilfiger x Gigi Hadid

Standard to most shows during fashion week, Tommy live streamed the coveted show at the “Tommy Pier” located at South Street Seaport in downtown Manhattan and made the collection available for sale immediately following the show. As you can just imagine with the power of technology and social media, the collection was almost completely sold out shortly after it’s debut. So this new see now, buy now model is a success after all?! At least for Tommy it was but here is why. Take an Instagram famous super model, pump up fans for the upcoming event (and that it is open to the public the next day for one day only!!!) build an Instagram-savvy show space (which IRL was amazing, FYI) and design a collection with pieces that are seasonless, affordable, and wearable to the general public and you have the equation to the see now buy now model! Not only was this a success for the Tommy x Gigi collection but this event caused such a boom in sales, that almost all items available on the Tommy Hilfiger website sold out or were left with very limited quantities.

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Tommy Hilfiger x Gigi Hadid

Rebecca Minkoff also took part in the new model, showing her latest collection on the sidewalk outside of her Soho store location making it ever so easy for her guest to shop the collection right after the show. Not only did she make it easy, Minkoff’s collection was worn by both models and influencers on the runway and half of the guest at her show were customers. R.M. also released that the previous season’s see now buy now show generated a 200% increase in sales that month!

Rebecca Minkoff show outside Soho store.
Rebecca Minkoff show outside Soho store.

Another success story comes from none other than Mr.Wang himself. Alexander Wang surprised guests with his Adidas capsule collection following his show in New York on September 10th with no prior announcement of the collaboration. Following his show, Alexander hosted a festival themed afterparty to celebrate the collection alongside his celebrity-filled guest list. Wang made the collection that isn’t scheduled to hit stores until spring, available in various locations around NYC and other cities in pop-up trucks where fans lined up for hours before the truck even arrived at the location! Are we seeing the pattern here? Affordable, wearable, involve public figures that people look up too and this seems to be how the see now buy now model works, am I right? A new element Wang added to his equation is the element of scarcity. Having the collection available for only a select amount of hours at select locations makes the collection even more desirable than just seeing it on super models!

Alexander Wang x Adidas Originals
Alexander Wang x Adidas Originals

Now with all these success stories you must be wondering how can this work for everyone? Well it didn’t work so well for a few and it isn’t the right approach for all designers. Look at Tom Ford for example. As we discussed a component necessary to the see now buy now approach is “seasonless” clothing. Ford’s latest collection was what he called “fall/winter 2016” presenting clothing for the colder months ahead including fur coats and turtlenecks, which don’t get me wrong were amazing, but are not what one is looking to wear immediately following the show, on the last few days of summer. Another element to the equation is price. The see now buy now model tests the impulsive behaviour in us all. That being said, we have to be able to justify spending a decent amount of money in that very moment. Unfortunately, a fur coat worth thousands of dollars is simply not everyone’s typical impulsive purchase.

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Tom Ford Fall/Winter 2016

What does this mean for the industry? That we will have to wait and see, as the model has already forced changes in the way things work. For example, buyers now must secretly make their way into showrooms where they view collection months before their runway debuts (and sign non-disclosures, of course) in order for it to be for sale following the brand’s runway show. Not only this, but fashion shows are likely to only become larger and larger! As we learned, the see now buy now equation calls for a large production that the public will rave about! Great job Tommy!

Although this all may seem like a new phenomenon, one brand has mastered this approach and been using this business model for years. Swedish brand H&M! Each year, H&M announces a new designer collaboration that typically has a runway show or presentation hours or just days before the collection is available to the public. The collection is relatively affordable and only available while quantities last! H&M never seems to fail using the see now buy now equation even adding in a few extra components, making it a huge publicity stunt and adding the high-end designer prestige! H&M is set to release their next collaboration this coming November with Paris designer KENZO!

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H&M X KENZO