Team


Dr. Ben Barry

As Principal Investigator, I’m engaged in all aspects of the project – from its conception, to interviewing participants, to helping produce the fashion show. Spending hours upon hours in our participants’ wardrobes, as they showed me their clothes, was an opportunity of a lifetime. By learning about their fierce sartorial imaginations, I became more confident in my body and more playful in how I dress it. I cannot thank them enough for generously sharing their perspectives and wardrobes with us. When I’m not coding transcripts and writing about this project, I’m working on a book. I’m an Associate Professor of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the School of Fashion and Director of the Centre for Fashion Diversity & Social Change in the Faculty of Communication and Design. I teach classes ranging from studios of 12 to lectures of 279 that aim to help students unleash the power of fashion to celebrate diversity and promote body confidence. Before I came to Ryerson, I completed my PhD and MPhil at Cambridge University where I studied how diverse fashion models boost the body image of consumers and the bottom line of brands.

Twitter @DrBenBarry

Daniel Drak

This project presents an interesting challenge: taking complex, underserved themes and making them accessible to audiences in ways that resonate with them. My role is to ensure that that happens, by designing an experience that will inspire our diverse audiences to think differently about the intricacies of masculinity and fashion. The multifaceted experiences that Stephanie and I are designing, leverage my years of experience in project management and event planning. Specifically, it references the creative output of my undergraduate thesis in which I communicated diverse representations and individual interpretations of masculinity on the runway.

The work that I do is diverse and often perplexing, but it all stems from my deeply-entrenched belief that empathy trumps everything, and so my work is therefore human-centric and social in nature. My mission is to design for good, designing things from disruptive events to pragmatic political engagement strategies. You can hear me pontificate on twitter @danieldrak.

To further my work in design, I am completing my Masters in Strategic Design & Management at Parsons. I also teach and conduct strategy at Ryerson University’s School of Fashion and, in my spare time, operate Drakbarry with Ben, as we dabble in social innovation and well-being in our attempts to better the world.

Stephanie Rotz

I was brought onto the Refashioning Masculinity team as a research assistant to help conceptualize, coordinate and produce the fashion presentation, and its surrounding promotion. Earlier this year, I heard the term “hyphenate creative” and finally felt that I found a job title to encompass what it is I do (shout out to millennials and the freelance economy). After graduating from Ryerson’s fashion communication program, Kiersten Hay, Jeanine Brito and I started Sophomore Magazine, (myself sitting as Editor-at-Large), a feminist fashion magazine for twenty-something’s on their way. Brito and I are currently working with pop artist @princeDCF on the visual identity of his next project “High School Forever”. Here at Ryerson, I am the School of Fashion’s Marketing Coordinator and a TA for Dr.Barry. Ultimately, my life goal is to change people’s perspectives on gender and female sexuality by using popular culture to help communicate and disseminate academic concepts. Also, I laugh at my own twitter jokes (@trippingtoes) and like to dream that one day I’ll be a spoken word artist and DJ by night.

Dylan Martin

I am a graduate of Ryerson’s MA in Fashion program and I currently work as a research assistant for Dr. Ben Barry’s Refashioning Masculinity project. In my role, I have helped execute wardrobe interviews and analyze data for pertinent themes. It has been insightful to use participants closets and personal clothes as a launch pad to better understand men’s fashion sensibilities and shopping habits. Drawing from this innovate research, I have co-authored several papers with Dr. Barry set to be published this year. The first article, Gender Rebels: Inside the Wardrobes of Young Gay Men with Subversive Style, explores the sartorial biographies of three queer participants to illustrate how they eschew gender binaries to develop an idiosyncratic style. The second article, Fashionably Fit: Young Men’s Dress Decisions and Appearance Anxieties, examines the rise of male body image insecurities with a special focus on their dress and social media concerns. Interested in fashion both in practice and theory, I also work as a copywriter for menswear retailer Harry Rosen. I find it nice to engage in the industry from both insider and critical outsider perspectives to gain a dynamic understanding of men’s fashion. I am excited to continue to assist the Refashioning Masculinity team as this dynamic project evolves

Rebecca Halliday

Rebecca (Becky) Halliday is thrilled to be a part of the Refashioning Masculinity team as a research assistant. Her tasks include coding the interview transcripts to determine the key themes and narratives, and connect these to relevant fashion and cultural studies research. Becky is a PhD Candidate in the Joint Graduate Program in Communication and Culture at York and Ryerson Universities in Toronto. She holds an MA in Theatre and Performance Studies from York and a BA Honors in Drama and Creative Writing from the University of Alberta.

Becky’s dissertation research examines recent transformations in the structure and mediation of the fashion show in the online era, as a microcosm of online media’s effects on consumer culture. She examines cases in which the fashion show re-focuses consumer attention onto the live event to re-assert high fashion as exclusive, even as practices such as live-streaming and uses of social media render fashion ‘immediate’.

Her work has appeared in TranscUlturAl, a Journal of Translation and Cultural Studies and Fashion Theory, The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture, and will appear in the forthcoming collection, Bridging Gaps in Celebrity Studies (WaterHill). Her research was profiled in the January/February 2016 issue of The Walrus.

Before pursuing graduate studies, Becky worked full-time in arts and academic administration in Edmonton and freelanced as a writer, editor, stylist and theatre publicist. She has also worked as a freelance and contract writer/editor for the Hudson’s Bay Company in Toronto.

Amy Smith

As part of the Refashioning Masculinity team, I coordinated and conducted interviews, and looked after administrative minutiae. I’ve loved learning and working with Dr. Barry, our amazing research team, and our generous participants.

As an MA Candidate in Ryerson and York University’s’ joint program Communications and Culture, my research focuses on second-hand fashion. I think second-hand clothes can foster both imaginative identities and sustainable economies. I’m a recipient of the Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, a Dennis Mock Student Leadership Award, and a graduate of Concordia University’s Communication Studies BA program. Last spring, I wore mom jeans while serving as CBC Radio’s expert on “normcore.”

Before studying at Ryerson, I coordinated digital culture at the Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre. Currently, I’m a fellow at PEN Canada, a literary and human rights organization that defends our right to freedom of expression.

I’m a big fan of Dr. Barry and the Ryerson School of Fashion’s innovative approach to scholarship. I’m also a fan of my colleague Stephanie Rotz’ feminist fashion mag, Sophomore, which you can check out here.

Jennifer Braun

Jennifer Braun is a freelance fashion & lifestyle writer from Montreal. She is working with the team as a Research Assistant where her main goals are to help create content that easily communicates the complex research behind Refashioning Masculinity – sometimes in a 140 characters or less. When she isn’t assisting the team with social media and content creation, she’s thinking of her next big fashion story. When she isn’t doing that, she’s watching Sex and the City reruns…

Jennifer graduated from Concordia University with a BA in Journalism and is presently completing her MA in fashion studies. She’s currently conducting research on fashion media and how journalism can potentially benefit the Canadian fashion industry. Her work has been published in the Montreal Gazette, cultmontreal.com, askmen.com, and more. Check out her work at justbejealous.com or tweet with her on Twitter @justbejealous.

Nathaniel Weiner

Nathaniel Weiner is a PhD candidate in York University and Ryerson University’s joint PhD program in Communication & Culture. He received his MA in Media and Communication from Goldsmiths, University of London, where his dissertation was based on ethnography of an online community used by members of the contemporary Mod subculture. He has been published in Catwalk: The Journal of Fashion, Beauty and Style, the European Journal of Cultural Studies, Punk & Post-Punk and TranscUlturAl. His research interests include consumption, masculinity, men’s fashion, online communities and youth subcultures. He is currently researching online menswear communities for his doctoral dissertation. Nathaniel’s role in the Refashioning Masculinity project is a researcher.

Jeanine Brito

I’m the designer and developer for Refashioning Masculinity. I graduated from Fashion Communication at Ryerson University and I am currently working as the Art Director for Sophomore, a digital and print magazine that aims to challenge and deconstruct ideas of gender, race, sexuality, and other aspects of identity within the context of fashion and pop culture. In my spare time, I take on freelance design projects like Refashioning Masculinity and I am particularly interested in projects that utilize design for a social purpose. You can keep up with me on Instagram and Twitter.

Lawrence Cortez

“A picture is worth a thousand words”. That’s what I believe. As the photographer for Refashioning Masculinity, I challenged myself to not only portray each man’s individual style, but to also showcase a true reflection of who they are.

I’m a young fashion photographer based in Toronto. I am a romantic and I am inspired by beauty in all forms – be it in nature or in people. I love to create dynamic fashion imagery with a touch of mystery. I live by the mantra: less is more. I have a Bachelor of Design in Fashion Communication from Ryerson University. In addition, I have taken extensive photography training at the School of Visual Arts and the International Center of Photography, in New York City. My recent published works include a Spring/Summer 2016 ad for Kleinfeld Canada, featuring the work of designer Christopher Paunil, as well as a fashion feature of the Mercedes-Benz Start Up Designer Finalists, seen in Mercedes-Benz Fall/Winter 2015 Magazine, commissioned by IMG.

Kostadin Kolev

For Refashioning Masculinity, I was responsible for shooting interviews and behind the scenes footage of models.

I am a filmmaker based in Toronto, Ontario. For over three years, I have worked as a freelance artist on a variety of different projects, ranging from music videos to corporate work. My interest in film was sparked in High School when an old friend needed help on a project. As an open minded individual, I quickly accepted and fell in love with the art ever since. Refashioning Masculinity was especially interesting to be a part of because of its unique nature. It was a great opportunity to hear men open up about their personal fashion sense and their opinions on the future of it. As much fun as I had shooting it, this project was also an eye opening experience.

Cassandrea Xavier

As an image maker, It has always been my goal to tackle the subject of the understated and the unheard. As the photographer for Refashioning Masculinity, I’ve been given the opportunity to harness and embody our society’s optimistically fluid and ever-growing view on men’s fashion. Working alongside the project’s determined team and traveling throughout Toronto, I explored through photography the closets and items of each individual involved in the project. Further exploring their sense of self and opening the doors of not just closets, but of minds. Participating in this project, paired well with my personal work as a third year documentary photography student in Ryerson’s Image Arts program and with my desire to capture, and expose the beautiful yet unseen commonalities of life.

Volunteers

Shazy Gharib Doust, Paulina Mendel, Saria Sawaf, Syeda Ali, Melanie McAlpine, Alanna Furlong, Sehar Imran