fashion santa toronto

Toronto's Fashion Santa just closed the Jean Paul Gaultier show at Paris Fashion Week

Toronto Fashion Week may be dead, but Toronto exports continue to take the fashion industry at large by storm, from Raptors big man Serge Ibaka working with brands like Balmain Boss to Canada's own "Fashion Santa" walking for Jean Paul Gaultier in Paris.

Model and philanthropist Paul Mason, who first made us all very confused about our feelings for Santa Claus back in 2015, just participated in what will surely go down as the most memorable Spring 2020 Haute Couture show in Paris.

Not only did Mason walk for the beloved French designer alongside stars such as Bella Hadid, Karlie Kloss and Winnie Harlow on Wednesday night, he closed the freaking show — a show that Gaultier said would be his last ever after 50 years in the business.

Working with JPG at all would be a dream come true for most models.

Presenting the final look in his final show ever at Paris Couture Fashion Week before Boy George takes the stage, while legends like Christian Louboutin, Isabel Marant, Dries Van Noten, Christian Lacroix and Martin Margiela look on?

That's some next-level, fever dream fantasy shit.

"Having the opportunity to walk in the final show for such a legendary designer is a dream and an honour," said Mason of the surreal gig in a release on Friday.

"I've always been so inspired by his fearlessness as a man who unapologetically carved a new path for couture. It's been an incredible journey for the world to bear witness to."

Mason's career journey has been likewise incredible.

While he may best now be known around Toronto as Fashion Santa — a role he originated for Yorkdale Shopping Centre to international acclaim some five years ago and eventually won the trademark for —he's actually been working as a professional model for more than three decades.

The Fashion Santa persona and all of its related press has set Mason's career on fire in recent years, however, landing him lucrative campaigns with Hyundai, Indochino and Walter Craft Caesar, among other brands, in 2019 alone.

This is in addition to his extensive charity work, which includes making international appearances with the Ritz Carlton Hotel chain in support of the Children's Miracle Network. Mason also works with and champions such charitable organizations as Toronto's SickKids Hospital, the Daily Bread Food Bank, Big Brothers and Sisters of Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

"Wow wow wow!" said the model in a more candid post on his own Instagram profile Thursday.

"I would say last night I was part of fashion history! I'm so lucky to share the night with fashion elite and royalty! I have to say that certain parts we’re unbelievably surreal! I am so lucky to be part of @jpgaultierofficial’s last haute couture collection showcase on the runway."

"It was such an honour not only to be in his last show, but to be the final look of the evening!! I want to thank Jean Paul, his team, and my amazing Paris agents!" Mason concluded.

"It's yet another highlight in my 36yr career."

Lead photo by

Jonas Gustavsson/Sipa USA via AP Images/Paul Mason

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