Jay Manuel, the silver-haired and Toronto-raised fashion personality best known by his roles on America’s and Canada’s Next Top Model was in his hometown yesterday to launch his much-anticipated line, Attitude Jay Manuel, at Sears Eaton Centre. The die hard–fan-filled runway style presentation attracted gawkers and passers-by alike, who—if they didn’t know before—definitely were clued into Manuel’s celebrity status by the 40-foot poster that hung in the entrance to the mall.
As for the actual clothes, the collection is largely filled with affordable basics that could easily work their way into any fall wardrobe. The most important thing for Manuel, he told us, was for his line to have an “exclusive feel, but be inclusive,” and he talked a lot about the kind of woman who would be wearing his clothes: “The working woman, the mom on the go … the line goes from sizes 0–18, so there is something for everyone.” While the size range is great, concentrating on the “everywoman” gives it almost no exclusivity—we’re talking compromising style for fit-for-all—but Jay brought a bit more fashion sensibility into the line during his runway presentation. His five fave looks came down the catwalk: basic suits styled with menswear-inspired accessories, a Mad Men–like dress or two, and some wearable cold-weather jackets.
The die-hards, who had lines up hours earlier, just loved it, and told us that being there was “like a dream come true, meeting such an amazing TV personality.” Whether the big hubbub was more for Manuel or the collection remains to be seen. Guess we’ll be tracking floor sales come fall.