A few months ago, women's fashion magazine, Verily launched a "no Photoshop" mandate, removing all image altering applications to its photos. Now, Aerie, American Eagle's sister store has done the same.
Moving forward, the company has decided to shift the norm by focusing on un-airbrushed models of all sizes to defy the supermodel standards. Aerie hopes that their movement will inspire young adults as well as other fashion brands.
Check out Aerie's latest fashion spread, and see how real the models appear.
What do you think of Aerie's no Photoshop mandate?
Montreal is such a creative hub. When it comes to fashion and design, I think that there's a lot of talent here. But it's not always easy for designers here in Montreal to broadcast their message where it needs to go.
There's a sensitivity to local production, which is something that we're really putting forward — local talent, local expertise, celebrating that through the production of all of our garments.
I think a lot of people are striving to revive the industry. With the new generation coming in, there's going to be also a new way of consuming local products and local production... it's nice to have a strong local economy and I think people are more and more sensitive to that for sure.
Can you give us a preview of what you'll be pitching to the Dragons?
Dragon's Den was excited to hear what we had to say and allow us to pitch the product and the brand to the Dragons. We're still waiting for the exact pitch date, but we're so excited to be able to show our project in our movement to the Dragons.
What we're looking for is obviously a key investor to help us take this worldwide. The goal is to be able to dress every wide man with quality products that are made in Canada, that are designed here in Montreal and bring this vision to the world through the magic of the internet age.
Our Kickstarter launched only weeks ago and we're already over our target. The demand is there and I think [the Dragons] were just also impressed with the branding, the story. What we really want is to offer to the wide men of the world something that they can be proud of for once.
Why do you think Wide The Brand important to you and the fashion industry as a whole?
The notion of sensuality and masculine fashion is all about chiselled bodies and there's this notion [that] wide bodies are not viewed as being attractive.
I also think that there is this misconception that plus-size men don't care about the way they look. And I think that for us, that's the root cause of everything.
It's not that we don't care about how we look. It's that we have no options to change the way we look. So if we have no options and no possibilities, how can we change our reality?
And that's what Wide The Brand is about. To give these men options, giving them the possibility to build their own persona show to the world instead of having to deal with the one that's offered to them because no one has ever shown them. There is no reason why plus-size fashions should not be as stylish comfortable.
When it comes to supporting Indigenous creators, the best place to start is by educating yourself, says Rebekah Elk, a.k.a. @mocassinmama, an Anishinaabe woman from Chippewas of the Thames First Nation and a moccasin maker.
It can be difficult for non-Indigenous consumers to show love for these communities without thinking you're overstepping a boundary or appropriating rich histories instead of supporting them, especially when it comes to art.
MTL Blog got the chance to ask the artist a few questions about Indigenous art and culture and how non-Indigenous people can support the plethora of talent here in the city in an authentic and genuine way.
In your opinion, what’s the difference between supporting Indigenous culture and appropriating Indigenous culture?
There is not one Indigenous culture, there are many diverse nations or tribes across North America and the world.
A good starting point for supporting Indigenous is getting to know whose traditional land you’re on and familiarizing yourself with a bit of their history and practices. Learning from Indigenous sources is key to understanding what is considered respectful behaviour and what holds sacred meaning to their community. Learning is the first step to supporting any group and approaching that learning with humility and respect is a must.
Appropriation happens when non-Indigenous folks take up Indigenous practices lightly, without education about the roots of what they’re participating in.
In Canada, it was illegal for Indigenous people to practice their culture for decades, with the last Residential school closing in 1996. These schools were part of a mass-imposed assimilation project by the government and caused harm in many forms to Indigenous people.
This is one of the reasons why Indigenous people are protective of their practices. It is an odd (and hurtful) feeling when it was illegal for your family to do something because it was part of their culture and only a few decades later the very same thing becomes a trend for the non-Indigenous population.
Do you think it’s okay for non-Indigenous people to wear Indigenous clothing? What are the dos and don’ts of buying?
There are so many amazing Indigenous designers. Non-Indigenous people can support Indigenous fashion by purchasing and wearing our designs. Buying Indigenous creations and fashion directly from the source is the best way to rock Indigenous fashion.
While some people worry about what is appropriate to purchase and wear when it comes to fashions from other cultures, usually if it is available for the public to purchase for example in an online shop, you’re okay. The designer or brand has put their clothing into the world with hopes of succeeding as a business and selling their items to whoever appreciates them.
Do: buy from the source, Don’t: try to negotiate the price down — Our creations are valuable, unique, and a reflection of how we as Indigenous people interact with and perceive the world around us.
Many people want to support Indigenous creators, but don’t know where to start. What advice do you have for finding great Indigenous artists in Montreal?
With the current situation of the world, essentially everything is happening online. While in the past I would have suggested going to a cultural event such as Montreal’s Annual Pow Wow where native vendors from all over set up shop for the weekend, right now I would encourage one to look on places like Etsy or Instagram.
With Etsy, you can search a hashtag such as #IndigenousBeadwork, narrow your search locally and find beautiful items from Montreal’s native creatives. Instagram can work similarly, although narrowing your search may be more challenging.
Some of my favourite Indigenous creatives in Montreal who are on Instagram include:
There is no shortage of Indigenous artists in Montreal, and with all of the time at home these days there is plenty of time to create. Indigenous creatives share their work publicly with the purpose of connecting with others, sharing their art form, and often selling their pieces.
The 60 cities in the U.S. and Canada on the list are notable for their "affordable housing, fast gigabit, reasonably priced internet connections, and remote-work-friendly lifestyles," PC Magazine explains.
It also notes that "84% of residents pay less than 30% of their income for their homes."
Indeed, a quick glance at available real estate in the Montérégie town reveals some treasures, like this four-bedroom, single-family home on the market for $295,000.
In the adorable artist colony of Baie-Saint-Paul, meanwhile, a comparable "82% of residents [spend] less than 30% of their income on their homes," according to PC Magazine, which also mentions the city's dozens of galleries and restaurants.
The summer tourist destination has an eclectic mix of homes on the market, including this retro bungalow for sale for $275,000 and this $269,000 heritage home with a view of the surrounding hills.
So if you're one of the many Montrealers considering a move to another region, you might consider settling in one of these top-ranked work-from-home areas.
Sale: Up to 70% off, plus an additional 30% off on select items
One of Montreal's greatest exports, Dynamite never fails to stay on trend and on budget. You can nab some adorable sets and pieces for whether you're sporting sweats or something a lil' more fancy for another day of WFH.
Named after one of Montreal's coolest neighbourhoods, Little Burgundy offers footwear and accessories that do the neighbourhood proud. Calling it the "sub-zero" sale, you can find some amazing deals for your next walk (before 8 p.m., of course).