Coffee with a Toronto Fashionisto
“Favourite fashion magazine?
Don’t have one, I find they are all doing the same thing now! #basic” - Christopher Mello
I had the pleasure of sitting down with an up incoming Toronto fashionisto, where I got to hear about some of his up and coming projects as well as steal some advice for anyone who wants to tackle the fashion industry. Christopher Mello is a recent graduate from The Academy of Design and Technology; there he studied Fashion Marketing and Merchandising. Of course this isn’t where his passion for fashion started; Mello’s interests for the fashion industry began at the tender age of 13 while modelling for various companies such as Hollister and Abercrombie. “When I would be on set, I would watch the artistic director, PR person and stylist closely as they would do their job, which lead to me always asking them questions, and helping them out whenever I wasn’t needed on set.” Soon after Mello found himself drooling over the stylish clothes more intensely, which lead him to move more and more towards the fashion industry. During his years at The Academy of Design and Technology Mello was able to work with many fashion forward/ well known people and companies. There he had the opportunity to intern for Fashion Weekly Magazine, SCPR, Hil & Gertner Capitol Corp along with Ink Entertainment and more recently Conde Nast International, at Vogue Brazil. This was only the beginning of Mello’s inspiring journey to success. He was fortunate enough to have also worked and learned from some of the biggest names in Toronto such as Farley Chatto, Stephen Cara, Christopher Bates, Jay Strut, Greta Constantine, Keith Richardson, Doris Montanera, Jennifer Dares and Mark S Doss. Having been able to learn/ work closely with such big names, Mello decided to continue his education further and now studies Public Relations as a post-graduate at Ryerson University. He has also started a new project, his very own company Nudite Communications which has slowly been appearing around the Toronto Fashion scene. This busy 22-year old took time out of his hectic schedule to sit down with me and answer some questions about his personal style, fashion in Toronto as well as advice for any aspiring fashionista or fashionisto. First off I couldn’t help but burst out and ask Mello wear he shops, his style is so unique and ahead of the time that I had to make sure that I could share with you guys where his cool threads were from. Mello stated that he generally shops online, random stores on Queen or with the designers themselves; he does this because “I find retailers are basic and boring, carrying the same pattern, cut and drop over and over again. So going directly to the designer like Som Kong or NARCES, makes life easier and gives me a sense of couture like garments, where the piece is made to measure for me”. Mello also shared some trendy places in Toronto to shop “ best places to shop in Toronto I would say are Serpentine, TNT, Jacflash (online), Lavish & Squalor, SSENSE (online) and of course those random little boutiques on Queen West”. Mello’s style is so unique that I wasn’t surprised that this fashionisto doesn’t subscribe to just one brand, but dabbles in many different stores that have many different styles. This trend setter describes his style as a “city slicker” meets a “bohemian grunge” type with an occasional “smoking jacket” look in his words “If it’s not black or white, it’s not for me.” Mello continued talking about his style, touching base on key pieces in his closet such as his black YSL destroyed jeans and his Bottega loafers, where I interrupted asking him about up and coming trends and fashion must haves for his closet. “I can’t say I know what my next must have item is, since I’m generally changing up my look and wants daily. Generally if I want something, I get it if I’m still still thinking about it, after a few days.” a rule personally I think we should all follow. Mello’s unique style and mature attitude towards the fashion industry is what keeps him fresh and successful. At 22-years old Mello has already created a name for himself. With the amount of experience Mello has you’d think he would be confused as to where he sees himself in the future. I had asked Mello what his dream job was and with no fear he confidently responded saying “My dream job would be a trend forecaster for a big company such as Pantone or WGSN, or working for a fashion brand such as Oscar de la Renta under their PR team or even under a fashion based PR agency.” This guy has no fear and is definitely aiming big in terms of his future career. Christopher Mello claims his inspirations and passions came from his elders who raised him to have the beliefs and strength he has today, that has also helped guide him to become who he is in the Toronto fashion industry. Mello continued on to speak a little bit about Toronto’s fashion industry and why he enjoys being a part of it “Ideally what I love most about the fashion industry in Toronto, I guess would be the fact that for such a small city, that does not really implement or care much about fashion or arts, it seems to always be doing just fine. The fact that Torontonian’s seem to always be turning heads in a good way, even during the recession. But who are we kidding, I love the industry parties, nothing like being young and being able to enjoy the pressence of others like you, loving what you love and partying the way you do. Plus VIP on a invite or pass always makes you feel better, but don’t let your ego grow!” After a long coffee break from Mello’s busy schedule he concluded the interview by sharing some advice for up and coming fashion gurus “Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer, volunteer! Volunteer, until they tell you, your past that point and then note that it is time for you to make something from that name you created, and know that everything has its timing. Getting a job in your industry and field is a little bit of timing and hard work. Luck doesn’t exist!” Christopher Mello is definitely someone we should all keep our eyes out for, this fashionisto is a face we will all see around for while! Best of luck to him and his success!