Vancouver-based Writer Lydia Okello Shares Their Gender Journey

Photograph courteSy of lydia okello.

Growing up in a conservative family, Lydia Okello favoured frou-frou frocks. But then their gender journey began.

“Oh. I guess I wear pants now….” It’s a seemingly unremarkable statement for someone to have made in 2016. But the notion was a major turning point that year for both my wardrobe choices and my gender identity. As an AFAB (assigned female at birth) person who grew up adoring frills, floofs and fanciful garments, I would never have been seen in a pair of pants, let alone jeans.

Looking back, it’s easy to see how my history shaped a narrowed view of how to clothe myself. I’m a first-generation Canadian-Ugandan who was raised in a conservative evangelical Christian home. Gender roles were rigid and in plain sight, and my penchant for frocks played right into my assignment as

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A Canadian Fitness Influencer Helped Create Under Armour’s Sport Hijab

Image courtesy Under Armour

“Now that [people] are seeing on social media how us hijabis are doing our workouts and how we’re into fitness, it’s kind of changing their mindset,” says Saman Munir.

When Saman Munir left her job at an aerospace company after the birth of her first child, she had no idea she would eventually become a fitness influencer with over 150,000 followers on Instagram. Now a mother of three, Munir first entered the influencer space by way of hijab-styling videos and beauty tutorials, which she could easily create and share on YouTube while at home with her kids.

Her interest in beauty eventually gave way to a love for fitness. She began documenting her workouts online, garnering thousands of followers, and earned a certification in personal training before going on to become an ambassador for Under Armour in

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12 Fashion Documentaries You Can Stream Right Now

Photo by Anne Deniau/McQueen

From Alexander McQueen to Nike Air Jordans to Helmut Newton, these fashion documentaries span a wide range of subjects.

We may not be heading back to movie theatres just yet, but luckily there’s plenty for us to stream right from our couches. Whether you’re interested in a deep dive into the modelling industry’s body diversity problems or looking for a spotlight on some of fashion’s most celebrated designers, these are the fashion documentaries we recommend watching right now.

This documentary explores the work of one of the most irreverent and iconoclastic designers the British fashion industry has ever produced, Alexander McQueen. Famous for his headline-grabbing fashion shows, created with the aim to make viewers feel either “repulsed or exhilarated,” McQueen was a gifted yet conflicted visionary and the film offers a window into his complicated life.

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Meet the Founders of Yard + Parish, an E-commerce Platform Focused on Black-Owned Brands

Photography courtesy of Yard + Parish.

Jamaican-Canadian cousins Alesha Bailey and Samantha Newell just celebrated one year in business with the launch of branded merch.

“We’ve always been dreaming together,” says Alesha Bailey about her partnership with Samantha Newell and the creation of their one-year-old e-commerce site, Yard + Parish. The platform focuses on promoting the work of Black creatives, and features products from garments and accessories for all genders to décor and beauty.

The inspiration for the site was “born out of the frustration in not finding products that were right for us,” Bailey says. The duo hail from the suburban locale of Brampton, Ont., and Bailey says that “although we lived in a diverse community, the local stores never considered us in terms of beauty and fashion, and even food. We’ve always felt like we had to

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This Collection of Face Masks Was Designed by 4 World-Renowned Artists

Image courtesy of Geoff McFetridge/Vistaprint

Including Canadian illustrator Geoff McFetridge.

E-commerce company Vistaprint has just launched its first artist capsule collection of face masks, created in an effort to normalize mask-wearing while still allowing room for creative expression.

“I have always been comfortable wearing a mask,” says Canadian illustrator/designer Geoff McFetridge, one of the four artists chosen for this collaboration, adding however, “I feel for those who are uncomfortable wearing a mask for whatever reason. Artists and designers can, hopefully, develop options for people. Ideally these designs make some people more comfortable and connected to an object they are putting on their face.”

In addition to McFetridge, the other globally renowned artists tapped for this collaboration are FUTURA2000 from New York, Jen Stark from Miami, and Parra from Amsterdam. The face masks designed by each artist reflect their own unique style

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