Thursday, November 5, 2015


"There are many dark things that speak to me. But for the most part, I think the most twisted, sinister and yet sublime thing that both repulses and yet seduces us and of course myself is human nature itself. This is a very broad thing but, to sum it up, we are capable of great things. Both terrible and beautiful. It never ceases to amaze me how cruel and destructive humans are for a variety of reasons. The passion of any human being, whether it may be for an act of kindness or an act of hatred, is a stunning thing. You can never fully predict the length at which we will go to get what we want. This is a rather debatable thing seeing as people can be more enchanted by our nature or put off by it."
"Why I see it as dark is because my fascination lies in the twisted and at times perverse minds of some individuals. Of course, what they do is horrendous. But the intricate web that is their mind and the nuances within them can sometimes hold the mirror up to you. Not only that, but one gets such and adrenaline rush just to see the horrors we concoct.

Whether we find it beautiful or not really depends on each individual. I can only take on the role of a distanced spectator and watch in awe at the sublimity that is humanity."
"Who knows? Perhaps my views may change when I experience such events. You never know and that's both a scary and wonderful thing all at once."

Follow Tatjana on Instagram and Facebook.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sneak Peek of our Shoot with Asha

Singer/songwriter Asha Pieper knows how to croon a catchy pop tune. Here's a sneak peek of her upcoming feature.
Check out her website and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Photographed at the Lakeview Restaurant located at 1132 Dundas Street West.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cath: The Last Summer Shoot

Now that we're posting our last summer photo-shoot, summer is officially over for the blog, and to help us mark the occasion, Cath strikes several poses in this glorious black and white pictorial.

Last year, we featured Cath AKA Hourglass Cath in our Blogger Spotlight where she opened up about her struggles with body image and bullying. Since then, she married her fiancé, Christopher, and has been happier than ever, but recently, she's been conflicted about something.

"I've been conflicted about my career in advertising and modelling," she shares. 

Last year, Cath acknowledged that she would never wager her career in advertising to pursue modelling; however, her rising success as a model has led her to that proverbial crossroad.

"I truly love advertising, its fast-paced nature and the people I work with, but it can be all-consuming. It's hard for me to accommodate both careers. I don't believe in basing my livelihood on my outward appearance; however, modelling is something I love doing and I love being a part of the positive body image movement."

"Do I quit my advertising gig and get a more flexible job that will allow me to model, or pass up this amazing opportunity and wonder: what if? What I had to ask myself was: will I regret not trying to make it work, or will I just cause myself undue stress at my current job? My ultimate decision was: what do I have to lose in trying?"

"Once I was committed to my decision, my work was willing to be flexible; which, I am forever grateful for. I am blessed with an amazing boss who appreciates my passion [for modelling]." 

Recently, Cath signed with B&M Models. "I just completed my first booking modelling for Nygard Slims at the Toronto Women's Show!" 

Looks like that wager is already paying off.

Follow Hourglass Cath on Twitter and Instagram.

Monday, October 19, 2015


"My dad once told me, 'always trust yourself.' That was his advice after I dropped out of university and was trying to figure out what the f@%k I was going to do with my life. I remember him saying, 'you made this choice, now it's time to find your own path.'"

Follow Tim on Instagram.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


"I'm from Montreal and I feel that the style here is a lot more conservative. Montreal's fashion is more risqué. You'll see girls wearing bras outside and not just in clubs."

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


"My mother once paid me to grow my hair. It was a lot of money too. I grew my hair for about two years, but then it got caught in a revolving door and I shaved it off that very evening. She wouldn't look at me for a week. I'm driven by convenience."

We previously captured Kaelyn's street style 5 years ago.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Supreme Being Unit's Mindbender & Conspiracy

Meet twin brothers Addi and Khari (38). Their alter-egos, Mindbender and Conspiracy, make up the cosmic hip hop band Supreme Being Unit

Addi AKA Mindbender (right): Our music is everything in the universe. Everyone who is touched by it is part of the Supreme Being Unit — whether you love it or hate it. We’re all one entity. It’s the core of Bob Marley’s One Love idea. Without hate, there is no love. As Conspiracy and Mindbender, we’re two of the most dynamic MCs in all of hip hop history — I would humbly suggest to say. We rap about everything in the universe: science, religion, women, art, sex, sports, comedy and cartoons. There’s no subject that will not appear in a Supreme Being Unit song. Both of our minds together pretty much span the entire universe. It’s a wild statement, but if you listen to our music, I think you would agree. 

Khari AKA Conspiracy (left): Personally, I like Mindbender’s fashion. He’s got the GQ style. He’s a gentleman and has that grown up style with a little bit of a vintage and exotic flair. I’m more the original B-Boy. I wear a lot of athletic wear like hockey jerseys. I love wearing black. I was the first born, but Addi is a bit more wiser and mature than me. We’re opposites that are the same.

Addi: I want to redefine sexual culture. Not only within hip hop, but within Canadian society by being the example of living-breathing positive sexuality that I am, and by being shameless; which is why I never hide my sexuality. When I feel sexy, I let it out. I don’t hide it. I’m not breaking any laws by walking down the street with my chest out. I don’t repress myself or my fashion or my flair for being masculine one day or feminine another. I have some asexual clothing. I feel very much a man wearing vaguely effeminate clothing like really tight shirts or a male bustier. I really don’t give a f@%k. Not every man has the balls to wear what I wear. If it’s me and my spirit, then I’m cool with it. It’s not about everybody fitting into one thing.

Khari: I support Mindbender’s pro-feminine and masculine viewpoints. I think human sexuality needs to be developed and explored to divine and cosmic levels. Negativity between the two sexes and against the gay community needs to stop. It’s all about positivity. We want peace for everybody.

Follow Minderbender on Instagram and Twitter
Follow Conspiracy on Twitter.

Friday, October 9, 2015


Heather has recently written a book entitled Of Being Underground and Moving Backwards -- a collection of dark and gritty short stories dealing with addiction and loss. She shared why she wrote such an intense piece of work: "In 2011, I experienced a significant loss. My sister passed away and it really affected me. I couldn't write about my feelings directly so I started writing about them in fiction to work through the pain."

Click here to purchase Heather's book, but hurry! There are less than 50 copies for sale!

We've featured Heather's elegant vintage street style before.

You can also check our her Tumblr to read her poems and find out about her upcoming poetry-reading shows.

Thursday, October 8, 2015


We previously captured Angela's street style earlier this summer.

Angela Argentina is an artist, designer and Holistic Health Coach. Check out her website Kindred Spirits and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Meet Mr. Kassius

This summer, I had the pleasure of meeting Kassius Denizen (34), the founder of Meet Mr. Kaizen, an image consulting company that enhances the lifestyles of professional men. 

I really enjoyed our conversation, which refreshingly veered off fashion to an unexpected but intriguing place.

Kassius Denizen: I call my style James Bond modern and simply because it’s classic, tailored and timeless, but at the same time, very timely.

TorontoVerve: Which Bond appeals to you the most?

KD: Roger Moore is the best Bond there ever was. He was just smooth and suave. A different kind of smooth than Connery. Connery would slap the taste out of your mouth. Moore would charm you and avoid fighting you altogether, and I like that; however, if he needed to, Moore too could slap the taste out of your mouth. Style-wise, I like Daniel Craig’s Bond. When he puts on a leather jacket and slacks or a full tuxedo, he looks just right. Moore couldn’t pull off a leather jacket the same way that Craig can, but Craig doesn’t have Moore’s suaveness either.

TV: What are your thoughts about Idris Alba being Bond? He appears to be a fan favourite now.

KD: I think it would be glorious. People keep asking, “Why does everything have to change?” The simple answer is: “The world has to change.” Why not a Black Bond? Sure, when Ian Fleming wrote his books, he didn’t have a Black guy in mind, but we live in a different world now. Maybe later there’ll be an Asian Bond.

TV: Fleming would roll over in his grave.

KD: [Laughs] Yes, they say he was very racist, which is even more reason why that should take place. We have to eliminate all these limitations based on race. If the guy is smooth, athletic, handsome, and has all the qualities that Bond possesses, his race should be irrelevant.

TV: So you’re a lifestyle consultant at your founded company Meet Mr. Kaizen. Can you explain what that is exactly?

KD: I’m a certified life coach, stylist and image consultant. I help gentlemen develop the best aspirational version of themselves. My tagline is: “I help you elevate your style of life. Not just your lifestyle.” I advise men on their physical fitness, what they put into their bodies and how to act. That’s what Meet Mr. Kaizen is. Kaizen is a Japanese word, and it means good improvements in small increments. Nothing happens overnight. It’s not about being the perfect man. It’s being better than you were yesterday and if you keep at it, you’ll be better than you were ten years ago.

TV: What kind of men seek your mentorship?

KD: It’s definitely guys who have a disposable income. It may be a newly divorced guy. A guy in a new sales job who wants to better compete with his more seasoned colleagues. I help give men the edge that they couldn’t develop on their own. I tell men where to shop, what to wear, how to be fit and where to be seen to attract clientele. Our business gives men a shortcut to be the best version of themselves.

TV: What kind of response are you getting?

KD: It’s been good. I have clients calling saying, “I have a brother-in-law who needs help.” A lot of people think I’m like Hitch (Will Smith’s “date doctor” movie). “He needs to find a wife.” That’s not my main objective; however, if you’re a better man, you are going to attract women, but I don’t coach by saying, “This is how you pick up a lady.” My whole focus is on making a better man and that’s in terms of respecting everyone around you and respecting yourself. Tom Ford said, “Dressing well is a form of good manners,” and I live by that. How you look is a bold statement. It’s a statement that no one can take away from you, and people make assumptions on who you are based on your appearance.

TV: Ok, so let’s say if you were…Stephen Harper’s image consultant. What would you recommend? 

KD: [Laughs] Everything. I’d say, “Get some friends of colour,” and I don’t mean hire them. Hang out and get to know them. Actually go to their houses for a barbecue.

TV: How do you know he doesn’t?

KD: I know he doesn’t because his circle is his circle. No disrespect to him, it’s how he was brought up -- so he gravitates to people who are like him and thinks like him. If there is a Black person around him, it’s only temporary. That’s the difference between Harper and Justin Trudeau. Different generations and mentality. To me, Trudeau is like Clinton because he’s a forward thinker and gets that the human race is not just the White race. I don’t think Harper gets that. Most Canadians don't get that.

TV: And Harper’s style?

KD: Oh, don’t get me started [laughs].

TV: You mentioned that people constantly ask you why you’re always dressed up. 

KD: They do and my response is, “Why are you not? Why are you in jeans and a T-shirt everyday?” It’s so uninspiring and boring. I’m more comfortable in a suit than I am in jeans. I think shorts should only be worn when you’re working-out or at the beach. That’s just me. I’m tired of seeing guys wearing sneakers when they go out on a Saturday night. I don’t care who made the sneakers, they’re still sneakers. Guys should put an effort in what they wear. When I'm at an event, I decide on who I talk to based on their appearance. Some people say it’s shallow. I call it: visual stimulation. I don’t want to talk to someone who didn’t put an effort in being there.

TV: So let me ask: do your principles about outward appearance have anything to do with being Black and avoiding societal stereotypes? 

KD: Being Black absolutely has something to do with it. In my household, you couldn’t leave the house without looking a certain way. Again, the philosophy is: you’re making a statement to the world and you’re not going to make the statement that they expect of you; which is to look thug-like. So that helped shape what I believe today. More than that, from the 1940’s to present day, a suit makes a man look more respectable. It’s no different from the car he drives or the house he lives in. Everything is about making a statement. That’s just life. It’s not complicated.

* * *

Follow Kassius on Instagram and Twitter.

Kassius' pocket square is designed by Baffi Collection and his lapel pin is by Ellis Esq.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Layla: "Sometimes I feel like dressing like a tomboy and sometimes I feel like dressing like the girls in the magazines. It all depends on how I feel in the morning. R&B singer Aaliyah inspires me. My mom always played her music and I watched her videos all the time. I relate to her. She's not Rihanna or the Kardashians."

TorontoVerve: "What's the best advice you've received and from whom?"

Layla: "My boyfriend told me don't tell people your business. It's better to keep it to yourself."

Monday, September 28, 2015

TorontoVerve in Montreal: Isabella

While in Montreal, we met with model and make-up artist Isabella Forget for a little photo-shoot and chat.

"I am not the same person I was three years ago and I won’t be the same person I am three years from now. Three years ago, I was searching for myself. It’s hard knowing who you are and who you want to be in your twenties. I don’t take life for granted anymore. My mother recently passed away from a heart attack. The biggest mistake of my life was thinking that she was invincible. Her death made me think how precious life is. I don’t take it for granted anymore. I always try to live life to the fullest now."

"Fashion tells people who you are. Like every woman, I want to be sexy and provocative, but not too much. I like attention. Everybody does. I get attention with my curves and style. My style is sparkly and fun, but I’m also sparkly and fun on the inside. I’m trying to be the best person. Maybe I’m not the best person for some people, but I’m trying the best that I can."

Follow Isabella on Instagram and Facebook.

Friday, September 25, 2015


"On the very last day of school, my ninth grade teacher told me, 'Never stop being exactly who you are.'  She said that not really in any context. I was kind of an odd duck in school. She was always special to me."

Follow Ren on Instagram.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


If you're guessing I captured Madge's street style because it recalls Jodie Foster in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, you guessed right.

"My style is easy, breezy summertime. When I was 12 years old, I wore this big sun hat and denim jacket and my mom said, 'you're doing a Taxi Driver thing today.' I didn't know what she meant. I wasn't allowed to watch the movie because I was too young, but when I eventually saw it, I totally understood what she meant. Fashion and music had the most freedom in the late 60's to mid-70's. Back then, Gays, Blacks, Whites and Latinos came together and partied. I would love to wake up tomorrow and find myself in 1973. People were more accepting of each other then."

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Talking with Former Mayoral Candidate Morgan Baskin

Last year, Morgan Baskin made headlines when she campaigned for mayor just fresh out of high school. We interviewed her then and this summer, we caught up with her for an interesting conversation about city politics, women sexuality, male misogyny and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

TorontoVerve: How have things been for you since the election?

Morgan Baskin: Things have been great. It’s been nice not being “Morgan Baskin - Mayor Candidate” all the time. There are some things I miss, but for the most part, it’s been really nice to do other stuff and engage in other parts of my life with the same kind of passion that I had in the election.

TV: What was the biggest thing you’ve learned about yourself after running for mayor?

MB: The biggest thing I’ve learned about myself is probably that I can do things. When you run for mayor, you don’t necessarily believe that it’s something you can do, but to have other people believe in you and rally around you and give you their time and money, it's really humbling in a lot of ways. It also showed me that I can do what I set my mind out to do, and it’s possible to change the world and people’s mind if you’re willing to step up.

TV: How do you think Mayor John Tory is doing?

MB: If you asked me that question two months ago, I would have said, “Just fine.” No politician is perfect, but he did some impressive stuff — especially around homelessness. Regarding the cold snap we had and the homeless people dying, he really responded in a way that the people were calling for, but two months later, he made anti-fact decisions on both carding and the Gardiner. You want to spend 500 million dollars that we don’t have on 5000 people? That’s not taking care of a city. You want to continue to support a policy that’s racist and classist, and that’s targeting some of the most vulnerable populations in our city — even though there’s no indication that it actually works as an investigative tool? That's not a great decision — especially for a 65 year old White dude to make (coincidentally, on the same day as this interview, John Tory called for the end of carding).

Diversity in the movies

TV: In terms of diversity, Warner Bros made impressive moves. For their Justice League universe, they hired an openly gay actor (Ezra Miller) to be Flash, a Hawaiian (Jason Momoa) to be Aquaman and they were the first to announce a female superhero movie (Wonder Woman) and their intentions to hire a female director.

MB: Yeah, Marvel’s treatment of Black Widow in the recent Avengers movie was lacklustre to say the least. Aside from that scene where she said she was infertile, what I found most galling was that her new power was basically being able to calm a man. So [the Hulk] has rage issues and our single female character will be able to sing a lullaby to calm him down. It’s not impressive.

TV: At least with a female director, Wonder Woman won't be shot with the male gaze. The same way that George Miller shot Charlize Theron as Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road. He never debased her character by making her sexy. I looked at her the same way I looked at Max.

MB: Which is impressive for a director to do. To make you see her as a full human being and not a sex object.

Young women and sexuality

MB: I think if a young woman wants to portray her body in a sexual light, what’s wrong with that? There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s wrong when young men or men take her image and use it without her permission. That’s the problem. The problem is not that she took a picture of her naked body, but we don’t talk about it that way. The blame is always on the young woman who took the picture. Young women are sexual. We sexualize them all over in society so we shouldn’t find it shocking that young women can experience sexual feelings and want to take pictures of their bodies. We sexualize their nudity regardless of whether it’s sexual or not, and then we shame her for taking the photo. It’s like what happened to those celebrities whose nude photos were hacked on the Cloud. What we talked about was that Jennifer Lawrence took nude photos. The over arching narrative was not how wrong it was for her photos to be stolen, but that they existed. That's really problematic.

TV: Aren’t there laws in Canada against posting someone’s nude photos without their consent?

MB: I don’t know what the laws are regarding that in Canada. I think in Windsor, they’re charging teenagers using child porn laws, which I think is really wrong. When a female minor takes nude pictures of her own body and shares them, she could be charged with making and distributing child porn. That’s so incredibly wrong. We need to change the child porn laws to reflect the new reality of a young woman taking photos of her nude body. It makes sense to charge [adults] for taking nude photos of minors, but not when a minor takes her own photos. And the young men who distribute her photos without her permission shouldn’t be charged with child pornography either. They should be charged with something, but not child porn. It’s not the correct punishment and sends the wrong message. We need to be educating young men about consent and a woman's boundaries.

School dress codes

MB: Dress codes are so often framed around policing young women’s bodies in order to make young men more comfortable. That’s not right. You should be able to wear what you want to wear. Maybe we ban profanity on t-shirts. I could understand that, but I can't understand how a woman’s midriff can be that distracting to young men. Maybe those young men should figure out a way to pay more attention in class. I think it’s important to recognize that young women are exploring how they want to look and what they want to do with their bodies. Also, our conversations about dress codes have not acknowledged race and class. Dress codes are enforced more strictly with students who go to school in poorer neighbourhoods, and we so sexualize young Black women’s bodies in a way that we don’t do with White women. It comes back to that innocence thing. We see White children as more innocent than Black children. The language is so coded too. You’re not allowed to wear gang symbols or have unkept hair. That stuff happens and it’s not ok.

Street harassment 

MB: I’ve been hit on by guys who are 35 years of age and over since I was literally 12 years old. I remember when much older men would constantly sit close to me on a streetcar — even when there’s empty seats everywhere. They won't sit too close for you to call them out on it, but it’s close enough. Or when you’re standing on a crowded streetcar and someone rubs against you just a little bit. Not enough to call them out on it, but just enough to make you feel like an object. That’s uncomfortable and it happens all the time. If you’re a woman in this city, men will whistle at you, slap your ass, grab you and make sexually explicit comments about you. That's the reality for a lot of young women. You just want to go about your day. It’s a problem when men think they’re entitled to a woman’s time and attention because they’re not. “Look at that face. You’d be so pretty if you smiled.” Leave me alone. I just want to buy my groceries. The words are innocuous, but if someone has a 100 pounds on you and it’s eight o’clock at night and you're alone…I mean, there’s so many layered power dynamics that are not just about the words being said, but about physical presence and power. It's not ok.

TV: Aside from graduating university, what are your future goals right now? 

MB: I don’t know. I don’t have goals right now. I’ve been really goal-oriented for the last year and a half of my life. I’m just really excited to be 20 and take things as they come. I have goals like getting good grades, being happy and helping to make the world a better place. I’m really interested in urban studies and the anthropology and sociology side of how we build our communities, but in the next few years I want to actively do things that I thought I would never do. That’s what made me run [for mayor]. It wasn’t a calculated decision. I want to be able to do that again. Think less about every step and just walk through life.

TV: Will you run for mayor again? 

MB: We’ll see. I suspect that I will run for public office of some sort. When, how and why? I don’t know yet. It’s important to engage in elections in a capacity that you feel is the best for you. If an election arrives where I feel that I would be the best person for the job and I feel very passionate and fired up again, that’s when I’ll run. I really feel that we should frame politics around passion and ability because we’re not doing that right now. I would never want to run just to run. I’m happy to be a politician, but I want to be so many other things too.

Follow Morgan Baskin on Twitter and Facebook.