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International Women's Day: Toronto Women Reveal Their Female Icons
"Fran Lebowitz is epic. She is a strong, uncomprimising woman who serves as a constant source of inspiration"

Just like the title says: Happy International Women’s Day! Hopefully, you are taking this day to let all the women and girls in your life know that they are amazing and special. You don’t need to spend the day protesting or burning your bra in an effort to show them that you appreciate and adore them. In some countries today is actually an official holiday but whether or not you got the day off, use it to think about the accomplishments women have achieved and fought for over the years. 

To celebrate I asked a few of Toronto’s most stylish women who their female icon(s) is or are and why.

Alannah O’Neill – Associate Editor, ELLE Canada

I think Jane Pratt is pretty cool. I grew up reading Sassy–which first sparked my interest in magazines!– and now XoJane.com is one of my go-to websites.”

Julia Che – President, Lotus Leaf Communications

Carine Roitfeld, Chloe Sevingy, Kate Moss, Lou Dhillon, and Anna Della Russo. These women epitomize style to me through their creativity of dress, fierce confidence, and fearless sense of self-expression. They so obvioiusly have a deep passion & appreciation for not only fashion and design, but style itself. I think Anna said it best, “I don’t want to be cool, I want to be fashion.””

Katherine Dempster – Fashion Stylist, FASHIONOTES

“I’m going with my fellow Aussie, supermodel and style-icon, Elle MacPherson. She has been the face of Australian fashion for as long as I can remember. Her ability to command attention, even when channelling her signature off-duty supermodel style, is something to be admired! A mother, actress and business woman (founder of lingerie line, ‘Elle Macpherson Intimates’), Elle is proof that women are gorgeous at any age!” 

Taylor Grant Sullivan – Curator, Navillus Gallery

“My style icons are DVF, Stella McCartney, Michelle Williams and retro-inpired little black dresses.”
Serah-Marie McMahon – Editor-in-Chief, WORN Journal

Fran Lebowitz is epic. She is a strong, uncomprimising woman who serves as a constant source of inspiration. She speaks her mind without apology and is the source of great words I try to live up to.”

Becca Lemire – Photographer, SheDoesTheCity

‘My favourite female icon is Oprah. Sorry if that makes anyone hate me. Every day after high school, while doing homework I learned a ton about the world and myself watching her show. She grew up with no electricity in the southern US and has done a lot to normalize a woman (of racial minority) being in a powerful position. Everyone has their controversy and no one is perfect. But me and her have a special thing.’

Hannah Yakobi – Editor-in-Chief, FAJO Magazine

“My mother Julia Yakobi is my inspiration, motivation and support. Ever since I could barely walk, she has encouraged me to pursue my dreams, always keep an open mind and an open heart, and never forget to do things with a sense of humour. Today, I celebrate you, Mom.”

Amina Said – Public Relations Coordinator, Holt Renfrew

Diane von Fürstenberg is my modern day female icon. I think she is incomparable really, she has never stopped working hard — and I admire that kind of ethic. Diane has built an empire around the philosophy of female empowerment — her brand explores cultures and brings them to life through design.  You can be any woman in DVF and I love that. I aspire to be like her.”


Bianca Teixeira writes about style for Toronto Standard.  Follow her on Twitter at @BeeIsTheNewBlog.

For more, follow us on Twitter @TorontoStandard and subscribe to our newsletter.

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