By Jessica Huynh for StyleCircle
The only thing better than two legs strutting down the runway is four! Purina’s PawsWay and Ryerson University’s School of Fashion are inviting man’s best friends and internet’s favourite felines to mosey down the runway in an upcoming fashion show taking place Thursday, November 26, 2015 from 6-8pm. “Strut with Your Mutt: A Pet Collection“ will feature an array of dog and cat breeds bedecked in ‘chic canine couture’. This one-of-a-kind, not-to-miss event hopes to showcase the multi-talented individuals within our local community, keeping the wide diversity of Toronto as an ongoing theme throughout the show. We had a chance to speak with Teresa Chan, a PR coordinator of the event, who shared some behind-the-scenes magic of putting on a runway show, and why this showcase is a great reflection of our beloved city!
SC: How did the idea of putting together “Strut with Your Mutt” come about?
TC: We were so fortunate to collaborate with Purina PawsWay and Free for All Marketing to create this event. We knew it was going to be a fashion show, but we were only given the bare bones. We had a very dynamic vision, and we were able to come up with some amazing ideas for the client, which of course in the end, they decided on Diversity. Diversity as a theme allows us to explore an array of ideas, and we hope that our take on diversity is fun and inspirational throughout the show. We are hoping for a great turn out, ideally 100 people or so, but definitely the more the better, as we want to spread the word about Purina PawsWay to as many people as we possibly can!
SC: What is the goal of “Strut with Your Mutt”?
TC: Not only did we want to bring awareness to Purina PawsWay and the amazing things they do for the community, but also highlighting the bonds between humans and animals as well as promoting diversity in the fashion industry.
SC: As I am aware, there were two casting calls for the show. What were the turnouts for those open calls and what prerequisites and/or expectations did you have for the dog models and owners?
TC: When putting out the model casting call we expected a diverse range of both human and dog models. The only prerequisite was that you have a dog. Other than that, there were no set expectations of how models should look, as we wanted to keep an open mind. We encouraged all sorts of models in joining our team, as we wanted to really embrace and promote the diversity of Toronto.
SC: What was the form of communication to get people aware, involved, and interested in attending these open calls?
TC: To get people involved and aware, we started by posting in dog owner groups on Facebook, Ryerson groups on Facebook, fashion groups on Facebook, and even posted on Kijiji. We put up advertising posters informing our audience about the casting calls as well as sent out notification emails to the students of Ryerson’s School of Fashion. The fact that dogs are included in this event brings a whole other demographic of people who might not typically do something like this. It is an inclusive and fun activity that people can enjoy with their dogs!
SC: For those who are hearing about this for the first time and wanting to participate in the show, is it too late for them and their pets to get involved?
TC: We have already put together an amazing group of models so unfortunately it is too late to get involved with modeling. However, it is not too late to come to the event and enjoy the runway show!
SC: While the show is called “Strut with Your Mutt”, it is noted that there will be some felines in the show. Was this in the original plan or an added feature to include cats? What is the ratio of cats to dogs in the show?
TC: The cats were a surprise that came afterwards, but the more the merrier! The cats that will be at the show are the ones that are available for adoption through the PawsWay. Because of this, the ratio is subject to change and for the sake of the cats, we hope for an all-dog show.
SC: What kind of dogs and cats can we expect to see, and what sorts of design will they be sporting?
TC: With this fashion show we are mainly focusing on diversity, so we will have various different breeds of dogs from Chihuahuas to Great Danes. You should be expecting all kind of cats; different breeds, sizes, age, etc. You can also expect beautiful garments that showcase the many talents that can be found within our own city.
SC: What is one reason why viewers shouldn’t miss this show, and how can people get involved?
TC: It’s a one-of-a-kind experience! Very different from your average fashion show. The event starts at 6pm and ends at 8pm, and the show itself will last approximately 20 minutes. We are encouraging everyone to visit Purina, and learn about all their amazing features they offer to people and their pets! It’s a very welcoming and inspirational venue. We definitely recommend coming in and taking a look– everyone and their pets are welcome!
WHO: Purina’s PawsWay & Ryerson University of Fashion
WHAT: “Strut with Your Mutt: A Pet Collection” Fashion Show (View event on Facebook)
WHERE: 245 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario M5J 2K9
WHEN: Thursday, November 26, 2015 (6-8pm)
WHY: A fun and unique event that blends fashion, diversity, and animals into one
HOW: Free with Registration. Click here to Register!