FASHION

There’s only a handful of black models that have hit the runways and become household names in the West, but Stacey McKenzie is not just a black model – she’s a veteran Canadian supermodel who has upheld notions of beauty often ignored by the complex and sometimes monotone modeling industry. Beyond her tall, lean stature, McKenzie stands out with a crown of natural blonde curls and freckles. “When I started my career, it is true that there was only a handful of black models on the international scene in high fashion,” she says. “Transitioning into today, I do not see much of a change overall in the industry,” she carries on. “Because of my lighter skin complexion, freckles and natural blonde hair, there was no category that I fit into. It wasn’t until Jean Paul Gaultier booked me when I became a symbol of a new and very unique category, which ultimately led to my success.” However, regardless of her successes, the modeling playing field is still a jagged journey for models of colour. “When a designer such as Junya Watanabe chooses no black models for a collection based off varying African cultures, it doesn’t surprise me. Fashion is a

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“Normally, at this time of year, I would be sewing 16 hours a day, sleeping at the studio, frantically working to get my spring collection complete.” But Malorie Urbanovitch doesn’t look the least bit in panic mode. The women’s wear designer is delicately perched on a stool across from me in her Edmonton studio, looking calm, composed and confident. She has just returned from a trip to Europe with her business partner where she handed off the sewing reigns to manufacturers in Romania and Italy, who will expertly construct her Spring 2015 samples to debut on the runway at World MasterCard Fashion Week this October. As Urbanovitch tells me about Capsule, a buyer’s tradeshow she’ll be attending in Paris this September, it’s apparent to me how far she’s come over the last three years. I reminisce about the film studies graduate’s Fall 2011 collection at Edmonton’s humble Western Canada Fashion Week. It was a richly hued vision, hand sewn by Urbanovitch with many more bells and whistles than the label’s now refined aesthetic, which has become her signature and what led to her win of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Start Up competition (a Canada-wide competition for emerging designers). Urbanovitch’s swift momentum

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“I’m a fourscore hell ride shredding a wave of whiskey into a bygone era where the ethical and cultural implications of standing tall atop an Everest of integrity wielding the ragged flag of authenticity wouldn’t give a raging mob cause to bring you to sacrificial slaughter.”   As the saying goes, if you looked up “artist” in the dictionary, John James’ picture would be staring back at you. She’s a natural, doer and creator, and she’d make Don Draper weak in the knees with her impressive professional portfolio of illustration, graphic design and creative direction. Originally from Edmonton, she’s got a sweet nine to five gig these days, working as Art Director at Vancouver advertising agency Noise Digital. James’ focused creativity has sat her at the table with some of the world’s most notable capitalist big boys including Nike, Absolut Vodka, Diesel and Mercedes Benz. Off the clock and under the virile pseudonym, John James, she designs and constructs custom jewelry of theatric proportions. “My pieces are meant to evoke the sense of a lover’s weight on your body,” she says. “As they are built to the personality and preference of the wearer, there is often interplay between comfort, discomfort,

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