Sunday, May 31, 2015

Brian aka Cowboy

Brian: "Everyone in the Market calls me Cowboy -- mainly because of the hat, boots and attitude. For 30 years, I've lived in Alberta and British Columbia. I came out here in 2000 because of an ugly divorce. But once I get my pension, I'm going back out west."

TorontoVerve: "What do you have to look forward to there?"

Brian: "Cheaper rent, nicer weather and better weed (laughs)."

TorontoVerve: "What are you most proud of?"

Brian: "My son."

TorontoVerve: "What's your biggest regret in life?"

Brian: "Geez, I don't know. There's been a lot of them, man (laughs)."

Friday, May 29, 2015


Jean-Marie: "My style is conservative trendy. I'm a trendsetter to most of the people who know me."

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

Jean-Marie: "Actually, it was a compliment. I received the compliment of my life at the Château de Versailles in Paris. I was there last year with my niece and the guards at the gates started to scream about the way I was dressed. I wore a royal blue double breasted blazer with metallic buttons, yellow pants and gold shoes. I mean, I was before the house of Louis XIV and I was getting all the compliments. What a great feeling."

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Model Audrey Ritchie Drops the Plus

Should the plus in plus-size model be dropped? 

LA-based model Audrey Ritchie says, yes.

Spearheaded by Australian model Stefania Ferrario, the #DropThePlus movement is quickly gaining traction and is asking everyone to stop labelling models as plus-size.

“There’s nothing plus-size about us,” says Ritchie. “We’re just models because that’s what we do. People don’t post a photo of a straight-size model and then add a ‘straight-size model’ hashtag. I shouldn’t be defined by my size. I’m a woman.”

Ritchie began her modelling career just this year and is already making a name for herself. She’s appeared in several fashion magazines and has just landed a new gig modelling fall fashion for Canadian retailer Penningtons. Not bad for a newbie who’s never set foot on Canadian soil before. “I’m very blessed and fortunate that this is my job.”

But Richie didn’t always feel so fortunate. The 23-year old model, who’s a mixture of Puerto Rican, Mexican and African-American, shares that growing up in Los Angeles wasn’t always easy on her self-esteem. “I always knew that I was different looking,” she explains. “All the girls in Southern California didn’t have my curly hair. They had straight hair. Growing up, I wanted to have the California girl look: blond hair, blue eyes, thin, wearing tiny bikinis. I didn’t feel normal.”

Ritchie hit an all time low when she started battling her weight issues in sixth grade. “Once I hit puberty, my body completely changed. All the other girls didn’t have boobs and hips. I remember having breakdowns and asking ‘why don’t I look like them?!’ I thought that I was so fat and no one would ever want me. Now, when I see that young girl in photos, I think she was always average-size and normal.”

Despite her new self-confidence and modelling success, Ritchie admits that her issues with body image is on-going — especially when she’s competing with thinner models. “Straight-size fashion is always going to be the most popular,” she says. “Everyone wants to be the skinniest. When I look at girls in these high-end fashion magazines, I think ‘man, I wish I could look like that.’ EVERY GIRL says that. Every girl.” But Ritchie goes on to explain that there’s an interesting flip-side to that coin. “Sometimes there are naturally thin girls who wish that they had curves. So I think that there’s a cool balance happening. The generation that’s coming up needs to understand the positive aspects of both sides and being comfortable with who you are.”

According to Ritchie, one of the biggest misconceptions that people have of plus-size models is that they’re unhealthy. “We’re not,” she insists. “We don’t sit around and eat all day. Companies prefer to hire fit models now, which is basically a proportioned, hourglass figure. That’s not unhealthy.”

After the fashion industry’s new acceptance of diversity and the success of models like Ashley Graham and Chloe Marshall, Ritchie is very optimistic about her modelling future. She’s planning on relocating to London after she signs with a new agency, but first, she’ll have to make one small concession. “I’m a size 12 and in order to sign with this agency, I’ll have to go down to a size 10,” she says. “Losing two dress sizes is easy for me. Luckily, I can lose weight fast and fit into a size 10 without having a muffin top (laughs).”

Follow Audrey Ritchie on Instagram and Twitter.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Maddi: "I would describe my style as casual Wiccan. It's kinda whatever I can throw together and still keep that dark and light aesthetic."

TorontoVerve: "What's the one thing that surprised you the most about yourself this year so far?"

Maddi: "I think how daring I can go with my style. I recently shaved all my hair off."

TorontoVerve: "What inspired you to shave all your hair off?"

Maddi: "Rebellion, I guess. I wanted to break the stereotype that pretty girls should have long hair."

Follow Maddi on Instagram at @MemoirsOfAQuietSoul.

Monday, May 25, 2015


Ula: "I don't really think about my style. I go for the most minimalist stuff that I can find."

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

Ula: "Well, I just met this Finnish lady and she told me to be non-judgemental in my relationships. I think that's pretty good advice."

TorontoVerve: "Why did she give you that advice in particular?"

Ula: "She said that's how her marriage lasted for 28 years."

Saturday, May 23, 2015


"I'm not on the internet. I'm in the world. I rather be in this moment than false connectivity on the internet. What do I need it for? I rather just call a friend and see them. I think a lot of people feel the same way I do."

Friday, May 22, 2015

Rest in Peace, Boston.

Today we said goodbye to our precious Boston. He gave us the best 9 years of our lives and for that we'll be eternally grateful to him.

We love you, Boston!

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Dawn: "I am heavily informed by Scary Spice and Japanese street fashion. My style is an expression of my infinite divinity."

TorontoVerve: "I like the skulls on your dress."

Dawn: "It's a playful dress that makes fun of evil. I like the juxtaposition of neon into everyday life."

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

Dawn: "The best advice I've received came directly from the universe. The universe said 'everything is everything -- it's all one. So just enjoy it. Even the ugly bits are filthy, delicious, disgusting and sexy in their own way.'"

TorontoVerve: "And how is that advice helping you in life?"

Dawn: "When you're no longer resistant to things, you can start appreciating and approaching them in a constructive way --- instead of out of fear, which is where most of the unnecessary anxieties of human life come from today."

Check out Dawn's website. "That's where you'll find a lot of my innovative insights."

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Reza & Valeriya

TorontoVerve made #2 on Street Style News' Daily Most Popular list!

Reza: "My style is a mixture of traditional British menswear and flamboyant Italian fashion."

TorontoVerve: "What has surprised you the most about yourself so far this year?"

Reza: "I'm taking more risks in my personal life."

TorontoVerve: "Is it paying off?"

Reza: "I don't know yet. We'll see."

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

Valeriya: "My dad gave me the best advice. He said just be positive no matter what, and that's what I'm trying to live up to."

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Ashley: "My style is fun, playful and vibrant."

TorontoVerve: "What has surprised you the most about yourself this year so far?"

Ashley: "The risks I've taken. I decided to quit a full-time job in events to pursue art and it's definitely taking off. Right now I'm working with a fantastic and talented team at the Jessgo Pop-Up Gallery. Come check us out! We're here at 944 Queen Street West until the end of August."

Follow Ashley on Instagram.

Monday, May 18, 2015


Laural: "I would describe my style as summertime metal. I just got my haircut today, and to get inspiration for it, I googled '1980's metal hair Slayer fans' (laughs)."

TorontoVerve: "So what was the inspiration for your tattoos?"

Laural: "She (pointing to the tattoo on her left leg) is the guardian of my unconscious. She's like a dragon and just like dragons, she protects treasure, and the treasure that she protects is the depths of my vulnerability."

TorontoVerve: "And what do you need protection from?"

Laural: "Myself, probably (laughs)."

Laural is an astrologer who does readings for self-development and empowerment. Follow her on instagram: @Uranical_Astrology.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Renee & Brixton

TorontoVerve: "What are you the most proud of this year?"

Renee: "I'm taking architecture in college and I got an A+ in my math class. I used to get low grades in high school, but I've been challenging myself and it's been paying off."

TorontoVerve: "Your son is looking cool today. What's your inspiration for his wardrobe?"

Renee: "I dress him the way I would want a guy I had a crush on would dress (laughs)."

Follow Renee on Instagram.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Nana & Jonferd: "Remain Giant"

Nana (left): "My style is 'Fresh Prince meets Steve Urkle.'

TorontoVerve: "What do you like about Urkle?"

Nana: "He was geeky. I liked how he always rolled up his pants. He never tried to change his style -- except when he became Stefan."

Jonferd (right): "My style is a little thrift store mixed with a little 90's flair. Will Smith from the Fresh Prince era inspires me."

TorontoVerve: "What are you the most proud of this year?"

Jonferd: "I just performed at Canadian Music Week. My band is called Remain Giant and we play indie hip hop. Nana is our producer."

Check out Remain Giant's cool beats on Soundcloud and find out more about the band on their website.

Follow Remain Giant on Twitter and Instagram.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


Dee: "I started my own company in September called Growing Goddesses -- a wellness program for young females. We empower young females through nutrition, yoga and mentorships."

TorontoVerve: "That's great! What inspired you to start your own company?"

Dee: "Working with a lot of teen girls and seeing the difference that I can make."

Follow Dee on Twitter and Instagram.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


"I wear a lot of black and athletic stuff. Alexander Wang inspires me. I love his H&M collaboration and street wear."

We previously captured Yan's cool street style with her friend James last summer.

Follow Yan on Instagram.

TorontoVerve made #4 on Street Style News' Daily Most Popular list!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Carol: "My style is always personal and enigmatic. I don't have any inspirations other than this little girl inside of me who inspires me to wear something different every day."

TorontoVerve: "What has surprised you the most about yourself?"

Carol: "Two years ago, I quit my miserable job as a labour and human rights lawyer, and for the next six months, I rode my bike from Vancouver to Mexico alone. I started working for a fashion designer in Mexico and that's when I really heard my calling in fashion."

Carol is the founder of Prêt-à-Prêter -- a clothing library and stylist service. "We rent and sell unique high-end vintage clothing."

Follow Carol on Instagram and Facebook.

Monday, May 4, 2015


"I'm still developing my style, but I love 90's urban glam. I'm really inspired by Aaliyah and Michael Jackson."