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Fashion & Style

Plaid Magazine to cease publishing in December

Posted by Alexandra Grigorescu / November 13, 2012

plaid magazine closing torontoSad news: Plaid Magazine, the Toronto-based fashion and style publication, is shutting down as of December 1, 2012.

I spoke to co-founder and editorial director Odessa Paloma Parker, who recalled starting the publication in March 2010. Now, the publication boasts a roster of several editors and a large pool of freelance contributors; the website is updated daily, and the bi-annual print publication has showcased independent Canadian designers, musicians and artists.

Over its two and a half year run, the brand has exemplified its unofficial mantra of "inspirational, not aspirational," and unlike other mass-market fashion glossies, has presented fashion as approachable, rather than intimidating.

From Parker's farewell letter:

"When Plaid began in 2010, it was with few expectations above and beyond promoting the work of the talented people I knew and wanted to know more about. What it grew into was a community of readers who cared about Canadian fashion, and about supporting artists and retailers of all kinds. Our print issues frequently sold out at stores, and there wasn't a better compliment I could receive than from someone we featured saying thank you for the coverage."

Parker couldn't reveal the reasons behind the publication's closing, but says she's personally looking forward to freelance writing and styling.

Plaid's closing seems indicative of the grim forecast for publications--particularly independent ones--at a time when the market for the written word is very much in flux. While we can speculate on the costs of printing and their role on the decision to close, the only thing that's certain is that Plaid will be missed.

Cover photo by Mike Lewis



PJ / November 13, 2012 at 02:49 pm
Terrible to say this, but I've NEVER HEARD of Plaid Magazine before... :(
Robert replying to a comment from PJ / November 13, 2012 at 03:16 pm
Never seen it or heard of it.
Dan / November 13, 2012 at 03:57 pm
I used to work in a supermarket not too long ago, and I can safely say I never saw this on the stands.
Commenter / November 13, 2012 at 04:03 pm
I work in media and buy advertising space in magazines and I've never heard of it!
Big Fuckin Mega Boat / November 13, 2012 at 04:20 pm
Ditto to all of the above. Then again my idea of high end fashion is paying $30.00 for a pair of factory second jeans from Winners so, perhaps I was not their target reader.
Pk / November 13, 2012 at 04:22 pm
Ok ok, enough with the pile-on.

It's a fashion magazine that never found it's footing. Too bad. Canadian fashion journalism faces an uphill climb. Finding distribution is a huge task in itself.

Ace McNugget / November 13, 2012 at 04:49 pm
Echo all of the above- I have never heard of this magazine or website. And a twice yearly publication? Sounds like a passion project (read: parent/partner/friends funded project) to me. The writer is probably a friend of the "Odessa Paloma Parker" and this article we have all read is a part of a final promotion push of her brand before heading out into freelance work. / November 13, 2012 at 05:11 pm
Another remnant of a past era, not surprising to see more fringe publications who don't embrace the internet go bye bye.
Mark / November 13, 2012 at 05:57 pm
Do people really have so much time on their hands that they can comment on everything they HAVEN'T heard of? Well a bunch of people haven't heard of it, therefor logic dictates it must not have been relevant, interesting, well put together or worthwhile. And as for Mr. McNugget, do you just troll the internet negatively speculating on things you admittedly know absolutely nothing about??? Canada is a ridiculously small market, which makes distribution and selling ad space next to impossible. If the magazine were funded by some megabucks benefactor, why is it shutting down then?

By the way, Odessa is a real live human being, an awesomely smart and hard working one at that, so the quotation marks don't make a whole lot of sense.... way to research though dipshit.
John / November 13, 2012 at 06:34 pm
Well I for one had seen an issue of Plaid on a coffee table in a menswear store and after quickly skimming through it, I'm not surprised to read they are ceasing operations, with all due respect.
um / November 13, 2012 at 07:04 pm
this magazine was a circle jerk. odessa is a snotty, ego-maniacal, social-climber. it was bound to fail. the end.
Jake / November 13, 2012 at 07:45 pm
Whe does this post even exist? Base on the quality of the content featured in Plaid, I'm not surprised it's done. Actually, I'm surprised it got to print to begin with. Maybe there should be an article focusing on other independent Toronto-base publication that are amazing quality and still running? I'm sure people care about reading this article as much as people cared about the actual magazine....ZERO!
James / November 13, 2012 at 08:59 pm
You guys (except pk and mark) are all dicks. Doesn't this response seem disproportionately negative for someone who tried to create something in this city? You people should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves. You're allowed not to like something, but the cruelty isn't necessary. Ask yourselves if you'd like to read something like this about something your spent years of your life doing.
Josh / November 13, 2012 at 09:23 pm
Only the strong survive! Only the strongest of business cases can survive good times and bad times...
Anna / November 13, 2012 at 09:45 pm
Wow, for a bunch of people that haven't heard of this magazine, you all seem of a lot of opinions on the matter. I work at Chapters in the magazine section, and yes, while it was a twice a year publication, it flew off the shelf and got a huge amount of requests. I am not their target demographic, but to be honest, to see a magazine focused on Toronto fashion, I thought it was awesome.

I am really disappointed at the comments here from many of you. It's pretty disgusting when Torontonians can't even support other Torontonians. While some people as cited above may not miss it, I can think of a legion of customers who will.

Alex replying to a comment from um / November 13, 2012 at 10:21 pm
Wow, you must feel like a bad-ass... anonymously name-calling Odessa. Unfortunately for your hate-on-parade, anyone who has met/worked with Odessa will knows that she's nothing short of amazing.
Sara replying to a comment from Anna / November 13, 2012 at 10:24 pm
The fashion scene in Toronto is not strong enough to support such a magazine at this time..they gave it a good try... Toronto Fashion is not a major scene, most people in the industry are still most interested in whats happening in NYC, Paris, Milan, etc. when it comes to spending $$$ on a magazine most will spend it on international magazines before a local magazine not to mention the influx of online options...

Its not that Torontonians don't support it, but when it comes to paying for content we choose other magazine options...
Anna replying to a comment from Sara / November 13, 2012 at 10:29 pm
I totally understand that. They had an ambitious mountain to climb, and hell, at least they gave it a go - far more than most would.

My comments more were about some of the comments I saw up here - just were mean for the sake of it.
Kerri / November 13, 2012 at 10:35 pm
I liked PLAID. Their blog had great stuff. I can't speak for the magazine, but the online content was just as good as a lot of the other fashion sites. It was particularly cool to be able to actually find everything locally. It made me appreciate the talent, especially in funky jewelry, that we have here in T.O
ML / November 13, 2012 at 10:37 pm
Plaid was an amazing project by a inspired team. Everyone's an expert and critic until they actually try to do something themselves (which for most people, including most people on this post, is never). I will miss Plaid and what it represented to a large element of the fashion & arts community in Toronto.
Ace McNugget / November 14, 2012 at 12:24 am
Whoa you can really tell who the "Odessa Paloma Parker" lackeys are.
Sean / November 14, 2012 at 12:47 am
I think it's really easy to sit behind a computer and antagonize someone for pursuing their dreams. I say, if you want to take a shot at someone, try it in person (which is not going to happen based on the "first names" and "nicknames" people used).

I don't think there is anything more admirable than the pursuit of ones dream. It's easy to disregard or dismiss the efforts of those that are trying to make their way in this industry, but the truth is people need to start somewhere and PLAID was a valiant effort. Artists, agents, models, and photographers from some of the best agencies in Toronto were willing to contribute to the magazine because they believed in it's potential and the quality of work within.

My impression of those that are leaving some of the nasty negative comments on this blog are that you're most-likely bitter and jaded about your own life pursuits, so you have nothing better to do than to antagonize those that are happy to be taking risks and creating the kind of life they want for themselves.
Alex replying to a comment from Ace McNugget / November 14, 2012 at 01:28 am
Yes, they are the people who actually have read the magazine as opposed to those who just blindly criticize.
jgshazz / November 14, 2012 at 07:22 am
Odessa -- stop reading these comments. You made a creative contribution to the city and that is commendable no matter what the end results. The bulk of these comments are coming from people who think THEY'RE making a creative contribution by ripping apart shit they know nothing of on blogto's comment board.
Alison / November 14, 2012 at 07:27 am
It's sad that we don't support independent publications like Plaid with the same enthusiasm put toward dumping on a magazine that most of these posters have never read (as they pointed out!). Plaid was a fabulous magazine that supported local artists and businesses in Toronto - we need more of that, not less!
AV replying to a comment from Mark / November 14, 2012 at 08:45 am
A passionate defense..... of someone who is receiving generally normal internet feedback about a magazine that was so poorly promoted that no one had heard about it before its demise.

Mark, your friend/girlfriend/sister/mom Odessa will be A OK buddy, don't worry.
Stevie / November 14, 2012 at 09:03 am
Odessa! You made a beautiful magazine over the years. Proud of you. Screw these comments from people who probably never bothered trying to follow their dreams.
Jason Hudson / November 14, 2012 at 11:38 am
This is sick. I sincerely question the mental health of people willing to log onto the internet and slag a stranger about anything, let alone something like the end of a project which brought dozens of creative people together to make great work.

If you've ever been inside a magazine shop or the huge section in a large bookstore, I'd be willing to bet you've "never heard of" 99% of the magazines. There are HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS of print magazines on the market. Something for everyone, no matter how niche.

I am proud to know Odessa and to be her friend. Her passion and talent have brought something new to the Toronto fashion scene. She is thoughtful and smart and clever and would never say a terrible thing about anyone. Particularly on a website, under an anonymous name.

All of this is why our city has a reputation for eating its own. Why is it so hard to celebrate each other? I'm so grossed out and disappointed.

JT Stevenson - ElectriCITY Events / November 14, 2012 at 11:53 am

I've thrown a couple events with the people from Plaid Magazine, good people & friendly crowd. The images from the magazines were usually projected onto the walls and they looked great. Also checked up on the blog every so often. Sad to see a Canadian independent magazine go under. Best of luck with your future endeavours.

JT Stevenson
Scott / November 14, 2012 at 01:01 pm
It is really easy to be an internet thug. It's actually really funny to see all these people try to make some douchey statement about how you have never heard of the magazine or that it sucked. Why don't you all post links to your fantastic fashion, arts, and culture magazines ? Oh wait you don't have them because you are pathetic. Odessa will work harder, be more successful, and have a lasting influence on the Toronto fashion scene more than any asshole sitting at home in their pyjamas. Oh shit you're probably late for your shift at Starbucks.
Klh / November 15, 2012 at 09:11 pm
I am squarely in the camp of Odessa supporters and amazed at the arrogance of those who would slag someone for taking an integrity approach to showcasing incredible Canadian design and artistic talent across style genres - fashion, jewellery, art, music, etc. Canadian publishing is a brutal segment right now, and those of you who feel compelled to tear down someone knowledgeable who pasionately supported talent with beautifully written and photographed info must have small lives. I have seen it on shelves at Chapters and Book City and I am sorry it won't be there now. Odessa will be around long after the naysayers (who are pathetic)
Tara / November 18, 2012 at 07:21 pm
Plaid is a wonderful publication I'm deeply sorry to see end. Few Toronto publications own a unique perspective. Most read like a d-bag list of "what is important". For those few who have never heard of it, I can only assume you reside under a small rock or frequent STD ridden bars. But we all thank you for your valuable input on this subject. Truly useful.
To anyone who knows her, Odessa is someone who stands for integrity and style. Anyone who states differently has no idea who she is. Plaid was another way Odessa made her mark on the fashion world. And like it or not she will again. Anyone of consequence makes enemies along the way because their ideas are challenged by the status quo. I cannot wait to see what she does next. And I'm sure the hilarious fall outs from small minded plebs will provide as much hilarity around my circle of friends as most of the above comments have. Keep them coming, you precious mistakes of humanity.
Just a thought / November 18, 2012 at 09:06 pm
To the negative writers:
If you're one of these "meaningless beings" that claim to never have read or heard of the magazine yet you dare write a comment well then your juvenile opinion means less then the breath you inhale. Stop breathing, you're wasting precious oxygen.

If you're one to have had the privilege to read this magazine but find yourself angry enough to sit hunched over tapping you're twisted fingers upon your tablet sickly driven to write horrible mean words to offend someone you've never met then I can only assume you yourself have tried your luck at success and failed miserably. Now you can't help the negative crap that slips out of your mind and flows through your nasty body to your fingers and shits all over your tablet like an elderly person that lacks the control of their bowls, I suggest you spend more time wiping your own ass and spend less time with your nose up others. You're soon to get shit on and you wont like it, don't be a shitty person.. Lol

Otherwise live your own life drink you're own wine breath your own air and die.
Life is poetic, beautiful and full of metaphors so go out and get laid its good for the soul..

Written under the influence of my very own healthy positive mind

Just a thought

Tara replying to a comment from Ace McNugget / November 18, 2012 at 09:19 pm
I can totally tell you're a used condom :)

Jerome / April 19, 2013 at 03:31 pm
I am split in between getting a bigger coffee table and
getting a couple of little side tables for lamps and so on.
Thoughts? Maybe this - Jerome?
michal replying to a comment from Mark / November 11, 2014 at 03:12 pm
Believe me, I was a co-owner of a Mens' Lifestyle magazine in Toronto in the mid/late 90's and our publication sold out in Canada, US. Ireland, England and South AFrica every single month but it cost too much $ to reprint back issues so a publishing house conglomerate came in bought us out of our debt and then closed us down for a tax write-off ! Thats publishing in Canada, I imagine it's 200% harder now with digital pubs than it was then.
Canadians never support their own, always going for the US. based trash... sad
Phillis / January 11, 2015 at 08:50 am
My old company once contracted a freelancer to complete my
search engine optimisation and after a few weeks our site had gone down in the rankings, did I pick a bad SEO'er?
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