mens fashion week toronto

Is this too feminine for Toronto Men's Fashion Week?

Toronto's first-ever men's fashion week, TOM*FW, got underway last night at the Fairmont Royal York, featuring collections from local menswear luminaries like Benji WZW and Christopher Bates. One up-and-coming designer who won't be showing: Mic Carter, whose L'Uomo Strano line was set to kick off the second night of shows.

According to Carter, who's previously shown his line at FAT and other Toronto events, his line was pulled at the eleventh hour by TOM staff due to concerns that L'Uomo Strano's signature androgynous aesthetic would not be masculine enough to be a fit for the event.

"I've been removed from the Toronto Men's Fashion Week schedule due to their concern that the line is too femme/androgynous," he wrote on the line's Facebook page, adding he was "pretty disappointed". Writer Kevin Naulls originally reported that TOM staff feared that media would ask if designers were "presenting womenswear" at Toronto's men's fashion week, then began suggesting changes to existing looks, like adding army boots.

At the event's opening night Tuesday, executive director Jeff Rustia confirmed Carter's collection would no longer be appearing, but said the decision had to do with the workmanship and quality of the line. He added the event, which was set to be attended by members of the international fashion media, was about putting the city's best foot forward.

Rustia also said he personally identifies as a member of the LGBT community, and that androgyny doesn't run counter to the spirit of the event, pointing to finalists in the fashion week's EMDA competition as examples.

One thing's certain: Carter won't be showing his collection as planned at TOM, and though the fashion week doesn't charge its designers runway fees - a reality at many other fashion events - the fledgling designer is still out approximately $10,000 in production costs for his as-yet-unseen line.


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