Toronto’s Best Dressed: Brian A. Richards, potential future face of fashion in Toronto
Marketing maven with a penchant for unapologetic fashion faux-pas
It’s been a crazy year for Brian A. Richards and his team at the Collections, the fashion-focused marketing firm he founded with Dwayne Kennedy and Mel Ashcroft six years ago. Their breakout designer Ellie Mae attracted international attention when her chic jackets were worn by Sophie Grégoire Trudeau in Washington, and now that Toronto Fashion Week’s been cancelled, many in the industry are turning to the trio to reinvent the city’s runway scene.
But despite the prestige, Richards has maintained a sense of fashionable irreverence. “I think you can determine a person’s personality by their outfit choices,” he says. Richards’ signature look—a vibrant Hawaiian shirt with wide-legged trousers, loud socks and some sort of oversized chapeau—was inherited from his Jamaican father and uncles.
And although he commits many fashion faux pas (“I like to tuck in my sweaters,” he admits), Richards is charming enough to get away with it. “I get a lot of ‘Only you can pull that off,’ ” he says.