It’s been about ten years since I last attended a fashion week.
Prior to my decade plus-long career in the retail industry, I actually had the privilege of working as a fashion journalist. Though my job never had scope and scale of The Devil Wears Prada’s Andrea Sachs (I saw myself more as a Betty Suarez), the glamour was certainly present. Fashion photoshoots, (D-list) celebrity interviews and major industry PR events were regular occurences. Fashion week attendance was one of those things the entire industry waited bated breath on. I’d argue that in Toronto, the runway shows and designers are not even what attendees are going – it is about that clout.
With clout comes the need to be seen, which then leads to luxury spending. Truly, and arguably especially so in Toronto, fashion weeks are about who, what, and how much we are wearing – the street style of it all. Entire editorial and photography departments, careers and brand activations can be attributed to the content street style produces. It’s not unnatural, street style photographer legend Tommy Ton started his career snapping candid, horizontally-framed shots of Toronto’s fashionistas and sartorialists, further proof of the democratization of fashion in the late 2000’s. Designer brands could reach everybody, not just the celebrities, models and elite parading in their $5000+ outfits.
I will admit I also very recently fell into this trap – I bought the Alexander McQueen oversized sneakers in white/shock pink a week back, specifically for Toronto Fashion Week. Mind you, I’d been saving for months, so I can justify this $850 purchase through my personal shopping rule (debit only: if I can’t buy it twice, I can’t buy it once). I am also not the type to let my designer product sit in a closet; the McQueens will be a regular component in my work uniform going forward. But, fashion week has forced my hand to make the purchase, a least a bit sooner than I’d thought. The rest of my outfit is comprised of some mall fast fashion brands I proudly wear. I’ll never forget my suburban mall rat roots, no matter where luxury shopping takes me (hell, I’m back in mall retail, and feeling gorgeous). But a casual luxury sneaker upgrade is no sin; a simple attempt to look good expensive. Or at least, not look a fool. For the clout.
Excuse the dirty mirror, had to catch this Uber, where I’m finishing this blogpost in. Also, the luxury sneaker bug has bit me again – I’ve got my now wise and discerning eye on the Prada Cloudbust Thunder.
Leave a Reply