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Afrophilia is “a love letter to Black people” by Frantz Brent-Harris, a Jamaican artist based in Toronto.
Installation presented by BAND.

#afrophilia #nuitblanche2022 #bandgallery #karencarter #frantzbrentharris #torontosculpturegarden #jamaicanartist #blackart
...

Welcome to Miami!
Brill Communications created a chic
beach environment —complete with floor to ceiling 🌴palm trees—to preview and highlight their multi brand client roster. Held at the equally chic SOHO Hotel Penthouse suite.
🌴🦩😎
@brillcomm
#welcometomiami
#brillcommunications
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RIP Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake. I never wore your clothes, but I LOVED and lived in your L'eau D'issey Women’s fragrance, launched in 1992! What an icon!

#isseymiyake
#leaudissey #shiseido
...

Winston Kong - Designer to the Stars
(Part 1 of3)

WordsTrevor Carter, Jhanvi Bhaskar
🔗

Winston Kong was a pivotal name in the Toronto fashion design scene for over 30 years. Couture evening and bridal wear were his specialty, and he crafted dresses for various Canadian and international socialites including Sherry Eaton, Mila Mulroney and, at one point, the Princess of Japan.

Kong was born in Ipswich, Jamaica, in 1934. He was raised by his Jamaican mother and father of Chinese descent. He later moved to the United States to continue his education and studied hotel management at Cornell University.

While working at a hotel, Winston had a fortuitous encounter with a famed editor of the International Herald Tribune who, after several conversations on style, film and fashion, gave him the advice to pursue a career in fashion.

Kong took this advice to heart and went on to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

According to an article written by Tony Wong in Caribbean Life, Kong moved to Canada in 1964 to “work for a year,” and was designing dresses for a Toronto boutique owned by David Smith. He decided to stay and by 1966, Kong opened his own couture boutique in Toronto, initially on Gerrard Street, then relocating in 1970 to Cumberland Street in Yorkville.

Kong’s boutique was known for its salon-like atmosphere that resembled the couture houses of Paris, where clients would come to discuss their problems, relationships and personal lives while having their dress made. For Kong, the business of design was much greater than the purchasing of merchandise, it was the connection created between him and his customers.

Despite being a minority in a field known for a lack of diversity, Kong never felt as though his ethnicity kept him from achieving his goals.

“He was really handsome and had such charisma and charm,” says Fernanda Raposo, his right-hand person for 17 years. “He’d come up and say, ‘Fernanda, I’ve just had this vision,’ and start sketching. ‘Let’s get this dress done, let’s bring it to life. I want this dress in the window by tonight.’ The boutique was always filled with fresh white gladiola flowers and music.”

#blackfashioncanadadatabase
...

Bombshell Bijette - Her Strut Beyond the Runway (Part 1 of 3)
Canadian fashion in the ‘70s was an exclusive industry. Bijette Spencer challenged its status quo.

Words by Alina Snisarenko and Jasmine Afnan Al-Kholani
🔗Bio

It was the late ‘70s, and Bijette Spencer had just finished walking the runway for Canadian designer, Wayne Clark.

As she hurried to catch the 11:30 train back to Montreal for another booking, the show’s producer stopped her. “Somebody here wants to see you,” he said.

That somebody was the assistant editor for Vogue magazine, who bluntly told her that she had “the face of the ‘80s”. She gave Spencer an offer aspiring models only dream of. “I’d like to take you to Paris to do the collections.”

Where most models would jump at the opportunity, Spencer simply told the editor that she wasn’t interested. “Why not? It’s every girl’s dream,” the editor persisted. “I know, but it’s not mine,” said Spencer.

EARLY LIFE AND CAREER

Bijette Spencer was part of the first generation of Black models who started to make their mark in the fashion industry, especially in Toronto.

Her laid-back, spiritual approach to life is what made the Kingston, Jamaica-born beauty spend 27 years in the industry without a single regret.

Known in the industry as just “Bijette” and as “Bibi” to her close friends, Spencer knew from the age of four that she was destined to be a model.

The ambition was fuelled by her grandmother, who she describes as “the most beautiful, elegant, sophisticated woman that I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Spencer moved to Toronto when she was 7, and started “dabbling” in modelling from around the age of 16. But Toronto’s fashion industry in the early ‘70s saw Black models as “too exotic,”according to Spencer.

“Nobody would have me, nobody. I was too tall; most of the models were five foot seven, five foot eight, blue eyes, and blonde and I was naturally a brunette.”

Rejection after rejection ensued, and Spencer was prompted, with encouragement from modelling agency owner Judy Welch, to pack her bags and move to Montreal, the epicentre of Canadian fashion at the time. She was only 20.

#blackfashioncanadadatabase
#blackfashioncanada
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Caribana 2022 vibes!! A beautiful sunny day of Caribbean culture, costumes, colours and total body positivity. People so ready to let loose!

#caribana2022 #carribbeanculture
#caribanaintoronto
#the6ix
#islandgirl
#jamaican
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Scenes from last night’s VIP Party at @stacktmarket for @sheamoistureca SheaMoisture's Carnival Pop-up BE YOUR BEAUTIFUL!
🎉☀️
An excellent evening celebrating the beauty and culture of Canada’s accomplished and inspiring Black Community. 🎶Reggae set performed by Ammoye Evans! Delicious Caribbean inspired bites and drinks.

#beyourbeautiful #hotsheasummer
#shaemoistureca
#blackfashioncanadadatabase
...

Multi-Media Trailblazer Donna Holgate
(Part 3 of 3)
Words by Samira Balsara and Tamia James

🔗Bio

In 1994, she joined the Life Network as a regular on-air lifestyle commentator/expert on Real Life. In 1995, she hosted Just Ask with Donna Holgate, a one-hour national weekly, prime-time interactive show on fashion and style.

With her growing popularity, Holgate was offered her own daily talk show, Images with Donna Holgate in 1998.

It was with this show that she made history as the first Black woman to host her own daily nationally televised show in Canada. Holgate used her position to promote many Black models, hairstylists, designers and makeup artists. “I wanted young Black kids to be able to see themselves on television being valued for their talent,” says Holgate.

In 1998, the W Network recruited Holgate to be co-host and segment producer of a national daily talk show, WTN Weekday. This project allowed her to broaden her range as a journalist and utilize her skills as an interviewer through such topics as fashion, politics, and entertainment.

Holgate’s next role was in radio. In 2002, as host and producer, she launched Voices, a weekly interactive current affairs program on FLOW 93.5, Canada’s urban music station.

INFLUENCE AND LEGACY

Holgate’s versatile career allowed her to experiment with different forms of journalism at a time when opportunities for Black women weren’t readily available.

She was finally able to help contribute to the diverse beauty standard she wished she had access to as a child. Her impact on Canadian fashion and lifestyle media helped open doors for women of colour.

#blackfashioncanada
#blackfashioncanadadatabase
#fashionjournalist
#fashioneducation
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A beautiful summer evening with jazz artist Kyla Charter @kycharter at the BAND Gallery Garden Concert❤️.
🎹
#blackartistnetworksinaialogue
...

David Cardoza - Handsome and Humble (Part 1 of 3)
One of Toronto’s first Black male models made strides in the fashion and entertainment industries for Black representation and modelling opportunities.

Words by Rachel Ecker & Olivea Loo Folkes
🔗in Bio

📸Courtesy Donna Cardoza

David Cardoza was a fashion influencer and model who helped change the way Canada’s fashion and entertainment industries hired individuals of colour. He advocated for Black models to receive work in predominantly white spaces.

By carefully choosing jobs that aligned with his morals and goals, Cardoza influenced how Black models were seen and used in fashion campaigns and on runways, and that broke the stereotypes in which black male models were often portrayed.

EARLY LIFE AND CAREER

David Cardoza was born in 1949 in Kingston, Jamaica. His father was Portuguese and Scottish, and his mother was descended from Maroons, who were the enslaved Africans of Jamaica. He lived in an expansive family of 11 siblings: nine boys and two girls.

Cardoza moved to Canada in his early 20s, but didn’t and start modelling until later in life. His primary source of income was from his full-time job at the aerospace manufacturing company, McDonnell Douglas.

As life went on, he married and had two children, who also became child models. He used to bring his children with him for seasonal campaigns such as the Bay’s Christmas Catalogue, where he often made appearances.

David Cardoza’s career in the fashion industry happened by chance. Donna explains that while taking his sister to a model casting, the agency offered to sign him instead, kickstarting Cardoza’s career as one of the first black male models in Toronto. Donna states, “He was a humble man with great depth that just happened to be outstanding in his looks.”

She explained that David was more connected to the African side of his identity. “He did not call himself biracial, but declared his identity as a Black man. He didn’t identify as BIPOC or mixed; he was black” said his wife Donna.

#blackfashioncanadadatabase
#fashionjournalism
#fashioneducation
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@secondcupcanada at Danforth and Hampton Ave. Courtesy of Winston!! Thank you!!
#secondcup
#latteart
#latteartist
#coffeeshop
...

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