Toronto’s Best Dressed: CanCon music mainstay Kardinal Offishall

Toronto’s Best Dressed: CanCon music mainstay Kardinal Offishall

Rapper, producer and avant-garde outfit aficionado

Seen here at Call and Response, Kardinal Offishall wears a hat from Brimz, watch by Diesel, and shirt and jacket from Call and Response. Seen here at Call and Response, Kardinal Offishall wears a hat from Brimz, watch by Diesel, and shirt and jacket from Call and Response.
 Photograph by Vanessa Heins

Kardinal Offishall’s sense of style is all about originality. For most of his decades-long career, that meant adding a funky fedora or heavy gold chain to casual streetwear. Lately, however, his style has taken a more highbrow turn—especially on red carpets, where he’s been spotted in exotic furs and luxe leathers.

He credits the transformation to friend and London-based designer Nana Boateng, who encouraged him to step up his game by telling him in 2010, “You can’t be considered a king and only have part of what you do reflect royalty.” Now, Offishall (né Jason Harrow) designs his own pieces with the team at Toronto’s avant-garde boutique Call and Response (formerly Magpie), who aren’t afraid of his ideas. “I’ll say I’m thinking of something with feathers and sequins, and they’ll be like ‘We got you.’ ”

Together, they imagine one-of-a-kind looks that reflect his boundless energy. “I want every piece I wear to speak for me. I love when my outfit tells people I’ve arrived.”

Current Obsessions

A Bright Accessory
It has to be borderline offensive.” $14. Happysocks.com.
Brimz Mountie Hat
“I love having a plethora of hats that allow you to express how you feel every day.” $225. Brimzofficial.com.
Custom Vest from Call and Response
“We do a lot of fashion brainstorming. I’ll say, that’s great, but why don’t we take off the sleeves?” From $500. 702 Queen St. W.
Bevel Shaving System
“It gives you the smoothest skin.” $30 per month. Getbevel.com.

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