If you take a peep into the fashion scene in Toronto, you are bound to catch a glimpse of Spiro Mandylor. He is the Torontonian behind itsallstyletome.com, which is an informative online magazine with blurbs on various fashion shows and events nationally & internationally. Career-wise, Spiro didn’t start out in fashion. After moving back to Toronto from England, he was perpelled into it by using his love for the art among a lengthy resume of skills (including photography, writing, marketing, etc) to create his website. Check out our Q&A below.
1. How would you define your job description and is it everything that you had imagined you would have been doing? If not, how did it change along the way?
I was working as an international marketing manager for a medical device company, living and working in London, England. I returned to Toronto in 2008 because I didn’t want to be relocated to Holland. I thought that I could find similar work here, but I was wrong. Toronto is a major hub for finance, telecommunications and automotive – but not much in medical, so finding work in my field was proving impossible. I worked a few project management consulting contracts with the Canadian government between 2008-2010 and honestly hated it every minute of it. When I saw the abuse of power and how nothing got done, I wanted out. The politics were stifling. Trying to figure out what to do next, I always had an obsession with fashion and decided to pursue it by blogging about men’s fashion in particular. It was a great way to blend my IT, marketing, branding, writing, and photography skills into one project and learn more about the industry.
2. Describe a typical work day (Duties, responsibilities, demands) and what is your favorite part of your days/least favorite part of your day?
Each day is different and naturally when it’s fashion week the insanity is around the clock. I usually filter through 40-80 emails/day and various news feeds to see what’s happening or what is coming up. I then fill my schedule with upcoming events. I write at least one post/day, sometimes more and always try to take the weekends off. I spend a lot of time on social media tools such as FB, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Some of my day (not enough of it) is spent on business development like trying to get advertisers on board or working on special paid social media activation projects. The best part of any day is covering fashion shows and events. The worst part of my day has to be dealing with all of the junk mail and people looking for free promotion.
3. Would you say that living in Toronto influenced your career choice, if so how did/does it do so?
Well given my answer to question #1, you could say that in a round about way it pushed me in that direction. I wouldn’t use the word influenced though.
4. How do you feel about fashion in Toronto and how does it compare to other fashion cities of the world?
There is an amazing fashionable ‘subculture’ here and as far as North America goes, this has to be one of the more fashionable cities. It’s nowhere near London, New York, Milan, or Paris though. Now if you’re talking fashion industry, that’s a different story. Toronto and Canada for that matter have incredible talent in all sectors of the fashion industry. We have the best models in the world as far as I’m concerned. We also have some of the best designers, makeup artists, hair stylists, fashion stylists, photographers, journalists, etc. The problem is that both our government and our people aren’t very supportive of the industry. Most Torontonians can’t name a single Canadian designer let alone buy Canadian fashion. The system has no money. Everyone except Joe Fresh seems to be working for free.
5. What are your plans for the future in regards to your career in the city?
Honestly, my plan is to get out. It’s been a fun 5 years in Toronto and I’ve enjoyed working in the local fashion industry. I know that my future and success is firmly capped here in Toronto. If I want to grow and take this to the next level, then I need to make a move. London, New York, Milan, or Paris is where fashion lives. That’s where all the big fashion houses, retailers, and media outlets are and hence – the opportunities. Todd Lynn knows it, Jean-Pierre Braganza knows it, Dean and Dan Caten (DSquared2) know it, Joe Zee knows it… and the list goes on. Fingers crossed.
Photo by Jeffrey Chan
Posted by Jessica Franklin