Since it’s winter and we’re all dreaming of sunshine, I’ve decided to get a little more organized with my travel stories. Starting this week and each following Tuesday, I’ll be writing about my adventures past, present, and future. As part of my quest to keep more memories, it’s great to relive those moments and what better time than RIGHT NOW. Guys, it’s -5 in Toronto right now and I’m wearing a big fur hat as I work.
This week, we adventure to Cuba! I visited Havana back in 2010 w/ a friend. We stayed at Hotel Nacional, a famous spot where gangsters, famous people, and socialites used to hang out. The hotel opened in 1930 and Notable guests include Ernest Hemingway, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Backstreet Boys, Naomi Campbell and tbh there’s so many!
I absolutely love being in a country that speaks another language. Best way to learn I reckon! I danced to the sounds of Buena Vista Social Club, ate delicious fresh fish, and took in heaps of history about Cuba. Each day I watched different coloured taxis roll up with old white walled tires. It was like going back in time, I loved it. My dad builds hot rods so I’ve been around old cars like this my whole life.
My friends at Air Transat made this video a couple weeks ago and gave away all-inclusive trips to passengers. Did any of you guys see the Cuban Cab? Would you have taken a ride? I can’t imagine the being handed a trip so random like this! I could love to go back to Cuba. Especially today!
Was great to be on the comittee with this group of young ladies. Thanks to the lovely Gail McInnes for including me and for making this event a HUGE success. My dress was vintage black suede peplum from Timeless Apparel and jewellery was graciously provided by Swarovski Canada.
— Gail McInnes (@gailmcinnes) May 10, 2012
“Over 700 of Canada’s fashion elite flocked to the Royal Ontario Museum this past Thursday to take part in a milestone event for the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI). Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the TFI hosted guests at a champagne reception, VIP dinner, Barbie(R)-inspired celebrity fashion show, the annual TFI New Labels(R) fashion show competition and an after-party in the ROM’s Crystal. Thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000) was awarded during the evening which was emceed by award-winning performer Jully Black and over $100,000 in net proceeds was raised for TFI. TFI25 also featured performances by award-winning student dance group the Wexford Gleeks and recording artist Anastasia A and an installation of 25 looks from the past 25 years curated by FLARE Magazine’s award-winning Fashion Director Elizabeth Cabral.” Read full release on Reuters.
Thanks Spiro for this lovely shot of me & Nancy from Peacock Parade. She’s wearing Greta Constantine. My dress in vintage black suede from Timeless Apparel and jewels are from Swarovski. I love this collar, it was a hit. Sadly, I have to return them to the head office today.
I absolutely loved the jackets by Jameson Kane in the TFI New Labels show. Winner was Sid Niegum which wasn’t much of a surprise to me. Patrick L’Arrivee had some awesome avant garde style with nylon & hats. Loved it. Very gaga-esque. Runway Photos: Owen McLeod, The Style Lense. I was socializing & trying to ignore the hurt caused by my 6′ shoes.
In other fashion news, last week I was Trump Toronto for the premiere of the first short film from Greta Constantine called ‘From Sketch to Runway‘. It’s now online. watch it.
I’ve mentioned 3F a couple times over the last month. The brand is new in Canada and I’m on the Board of Directors. Fancy, huh? I felt like ‘Young & The Restless’ joining the board! The 3F flagship store is at Dundas Square & the company was launched to compliment and integrate the family business KTC (Kazareen Textile Company).
KTC is a leading supplier of apparel and textiles for some huge brands in North-America and Europe. Notable clients are Marks Work Wearhouse (see my posts on Mark’s here!), A&F, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy, and Calvin Klein. They have some agressive growth targets to open 33 stores in the next three years so you can see why I wanted to be part of the action!
The other day they had pop princess Aleesia in the store for a meet & greet with fans. 103.5 was on site broadcasting live too.
Next weekend at Metro Toronto Convention Centre all the girls from America’s Next Top Model will be in town and 3F is one of the Social Media Lounge sponsors. I’ll be backstage hanging out and probably feeling like a midget around all the models. Ha!
In other fashion news, Toronto Fashion Incubator celebrates it’s 25th Anniversary on May 3, next week. I’m on the Social Committee and I’d love to see you there. Get event and tickets info here. It’s almost sold out!
Now I am faced with the DAUNTING task of finding something to wear. Have some ideas? Your bff/sister/friend/mum is a fashion designer? LMK. I need to look fabulous!
We’re really lucky in Canada to have all the luxuries we want, when we want them. We’re also really lucky to have such warm positive attitudes.
They’re not really as nice in Cuba as I originally thought. It’s like they look at us and see only money…and they want it. I learned they make something crazy like $20-50 Cuban pesos a month. So, I can see why…
They do this thing where they say “hi” and compliment you, then they ask if you need help finding something or to buy something and then ask for money.
We met a real asshole on the last day. He started chatting to us about how beautiful Cuba was and that he loves Canada but it’s to cold for him. He spoke pretty good English and was wearing a gold watch. He was persistent and kept with the handshakes which I didn’t like.
We tried to get away but then came the pitch “No money, don‘t want money but can you buy me some milk for my baby”. I didn’t see a baby anywhere. He said it was to take to the hospital for the baby. Ok, fine, its just milk, gonna be like a couple pesos.
We waited with him in this line at a small merchant shop in Old Havana. He asked me to order milk and the lady gave me a bag with about 4 litres and told me it was $20.
WTF. How the hell can it be $20? I was pissed. I told him that wasn’t cool and refused to pay for it. He tricked us.
We ended up returning 2 bags and paying the lady $10 for 2 litres of milk to get him off our back. We walked away cursing the dick as he walked behind us for a minute before disappearing. I’m sure he went back and returned the milk for cash.
It made me look at the people differently. They’re not nice, they’re poor and hungry and live in shit conditions. They’ve really got begging from tourists down to an sneaky science.
It may be cold in Canada but we’ve got warmer people and attitudes.