A killer collection is key, but when it comes to making a splash at Toronto’s World MasterCard Fashion Week, who’s sitting adjacent
to your runway is almost as important as what’s coming down it. Here, a look at the local bold faces that designers want to see in those chairs – the week’s 10 most valuable front-row players:
The starlet: Elisha Cuthbert The actress and hockey wife was the unofficial it girl at this year’s Fashion Week festivities, taking in collections by Pink Tartan, David Dixon, Beaufille, Mackage and Joe Fresh, from a runway-side perch. A Hollywood interloper lends heft to any front-row roster. (And it doesn’t hurt when she’s got the captain of the Leafs as her wing man.)
NYC counterpart: Blake Lively
The supermodel: Stacey McKenzie She has logged more than her share of runway miles at Fashion Weeks all over the world, but this week the Jamaica-born, Toronto-bred beauty gave her famous gams a rest. Ms. McKenzie is known as a fashion fairy godmother, sitting front row at many of the up-and-comer shows and sporting outfits by local labels such as VAWK and Travis Taddeo.
NYC counterpart: Claudia Schiffer
The Queen Bee: Suzanne Rogers The sartorial kingmaker is arguably the most valuable front-row asset a young designer can hope for. Ms. Rogers provides the $25,000 booty for the annual Toronto Fashion Incubator award for most promising new talent. A few years back, she introduced Greta Constantine's collection to Jim Gold, the president of Bergdorf Goodman in the States.
NYC counterpart: Ivana Trump
The Supportive Spouse: Joe Mimran Most of us know him as Joe Fresh, but on opening night, Mr. Mimran was a doting hubby, sitting front row at the Pink Tartan show – his wife, Kim Newport-Mimran’s, line. Like many power couples, these two are greater than the sum of their (pretty impressive) parts. At the Joe Fresh show on Wednesday, Ms. Newport-Mimran was the first one to rise for a standing ovation. Awww.
NYC counterpart: David Beckham
The Irreverent Rock Star: Kreesha Turner Providing a master class in how to get noticed in a sea of front-row stylishness, the Don’t Call Me Baby singer (and occasional Miley Cyrus Twitter nemesis) sported a T-shirt reading “Who the F--- is Prada?” on Night 3.
NYC counterpart: Kanye West
The Socialite: Ainsley Kerr The always-coiffed it girl has made a career out of getting dressed and going out. Ms. Kerr tweets frequently about the labels she loves. She sat front row at Mackage on Wednesday and posted a snap of her new Mackage purse the next night.
NYC counterpart: Olivia Palermo
The off-duty designer: Stephen Wong A front row full of fellow designers is a sure sign of fashion-world dominance. Mr. Wong (one half of the Greta Constantine design duo and a Project Runway Canada alum) sat front row at the Mélissa Nepton show on Tuesday, the day after scoring a Designer of the Year nomination from the Canadian Art and Fashion Awards.
NYC counterpart: Marc Jacobs
The Editrix: Bernadette Morra The editor of Fashion magazine is a must-seat for designers hoping to score coverage in the Canadian style bible. Homegrown sartorial success stories such as Smythe and Greta Constantine benefited from early-days coverage in Fashion.
NYC counterpart: Anna Wintour
The big-deal blogger: Anita Clarke The brain behind the I Want – I Got blog is known for her selective sense of style. After live-tweeting the Matthew Gallagher show, she gave the collection an unreserved rave which will no doubt bring attention to the up-and-coming designer.
NYC counterpart: Tavi Gevinson
The media maven: Jian Ghomeshi The Q host took time out of his insanely busy schedule to sit front row at Joe Fresh. Having the city’s cerebral radio star up front brings highbrow cred to frothy Fashion Week proceedings.
NYC counterpart: Jay McInerney