On July 18, join us for REPRESENTATION: A Conversation on Fashion and Intersectionality, a panel discussion exploring the current landscape of inclusivity in fashion and its future, followed by a mixer. Refinery29 staff writer, Lainey Gossip contributor and TV producer Kathleen Newman-Bremang led the conversation with esteemed panelists Malia Indigo (Founder & CEO of Malia Indigo), Aisha Fairclough (co-founder, Body Confidence Canada), Heidi Ruggier (founder & president, Matte PR), Michele Taras (clothing designer & artist) and Mic Carter (creative director & owner, L’Uomo Strano).
The event includes a fashion design showcase featuring Michele Taras Art Apparel and L’Uomo Strano.
Staff writer at Refinery 29, contributor at Lainey Gossip & TV producer
Kathleen Newman-Bremang is a Toronto-based writer and producer. A graduate of Ryerson University’s journalism program, she has worked for some of the biggest media networks in North America — including MTV, MuchMusic, and CTV — and was the celebrity and entertainment producer on The Social for six seasons. She co-wrote the 2018 iHeartRadio MMVAs and was part of the producing team for the 2018 eTalk: Live at the Oscars TV special. Newman-Bremang has contributed to publications like Lainey Gossip, Cosmo, Elle Canada, Corduroy Magazine, and The Kit. She is currently the sole staff writer at Refinery29 Canada.
Josiane Laure Modjom (Malia), Founder & CEO of Malia Indigo
Josiane Laure Modjom also known as Malia Indigo, founded Malia Indigo Corporation in 2016. Beginning her career as a successful accountant, her deep interest in fashion led her down a new path. As a model and fashion show producer, she uses her influence to inspire others to be seen and heard in an often-marginalizing industry. With Malia Indigo, Josiane is fostering an inclusive, safe space for fashion professionals to network, grow their businesses, showcase their talents and benefit their communities for generations to come.
Heidi Ruggier, Founder & President of Matte PR
Heidi’s strategic approach to public relations is the driver behind Matte PR’s success. Her passion lies in identifying and facilitating newsworthy stories in partnership with clients. She taps into the influence of PR storytelling to help amplify voices and brands that are advocating for issues and causes she believes in. Her work focuses on building meaningful relationships with media, influencers and industry leaders, with the goal of driving entrepreneurship and culture. Success is defined by motivating audiences to participate, share and talk about the content Matte PR creates.
Heidi holds a Communications degree from the University of Malta, with her career in PR beginning in 2012 through a mentorship by the late Nina Budman. Today, Heidi is a mentor with Toronto Fashion Incubator and sits on the following advisory councils: Ryerson’s School of Fashion, Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario and Toronto Entertainment District’s John St. Cultural Corridor.
Michele Taras, Clothing designer & Artist
Michele Taras started designing clothing in 2018 out of a desire to have fun patterns on leggings.
She started painting that same year – and after a push from her friend Judith Maria Bradley, thought it was indeed time to get going, and take the patterns and colours from her paintings and put them onto textile. She then also began designing scarves and shortly after upcycled old jean jackets by painting them or decorating them with old chains or buttons. She also puts her designs in dresses and kimonos. For Michele Taras, it’s all about the print – whether it be taken from one of her paintings, or from computer graphics, everything is bright and cheerful. “You cannot help but feel vibrant and beautiful when you wear my clothing,” she says. And it is also super comfortable. You can use a pair of leggings at the gym and then dress it up with a kimono, scarf and pair of heels and voila! You are ready for a night on the town.
Michele Taras also emphasizes inclusivity and has represented seniors, LGBT, models in wheelchairs, models who walk with a cane, a model with Alopecia and recognition of Canada’s minorities and First Nations. For Michele it is not just about selling clothing, it is also about making a statement.
Michele Taras from Michele Taras Art Apparel will be showcased during the evening.
Aisha Fairclough, Co-founder of Body Confidence Canada
Aisha is a body image advocate and producer with over 10 years of film ,television and digital production experience. She has produced content for numerous networks including OWN Canada, Slice, HGTV, Showtime, Global TV, Food Network Canada and CBC. And has guest lectured at York University and other academic and community spaces on film politics, representation and industry policies. She co-founded Body Confidence Canada (BCC) which advocates for body diversity. In this capacity, Aisha has led fundraising initiatives such as the Body Love Ball which raised necessary funds for organizations such as the The 519. BCC also produces the Body Confidence Canada Awards, Body Confidence Awareness Week – a week of significance recognized across the TDSB and Winnipeg School Division two of Canada’s largest school boards to support educators and students addressing bullying including body, race and gender-based violence. BCC is also home to #SizeismSUCKS a national campaign to eradicate size and appearance-based discrimination. She currently sits on the board of Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, the advisory council for the Ryerson University School of Fashion and is also a community co-owner of Glad Day Bookshop – the world’s oldest LGBT bookstore. She is the editor of the fashion lifestyle blog FatinTheCity, and was the lead stylist on the primetime series Sex With Sunny Megatron that aired on Showtime. Aisha is currently on the cover of Chatelaine Magazine’s June/July 2019 Issue.
Mic Carter, Creative director & owner, L’Uomo Strano
Mic. Carter is a Toronto-based educator and creative that through experimental design and stylization, has developed an interest in fusing social justice, futurity, abjection, and community with fashion. They are particularly invested in understanding how clothing can be used to embolden those on the slippages of cis-gender heteronormativity and femme-phobia, primarily through ethnographic embodiment. L’Uomo Strano is the result of this, a brand invested in creating responsive beauty for the feminine non-binary wardrobe.
Tickets here with no extra fees.
Looking forward to seeing you there.