By Rebecca Kahn

The Beginning

In 2008, before Dress to Kill existed, two of the founders, Sylvain Blais (photographer) and Kathia Cambron (stylist) wanted to start a fashion advertising agency, but had no portfolio of work to pitch to clients. Thus, was born the idea for a fashion magazine – a commercial portfolio, but more importantly, a place for creative freedom in the fashion industry.

Fashion magazines in Canada, and particularly Quebec, were wildly different from how Sylvain and Kathia imagined the fashion magazine industry should be. They strived to start something new that mirrored European and international fashion magazines, but with a Canadian focus.

Unfortunately, one thing that was overlooked was just how much magazines cost. Not to mention that getting brands to advertise with a magazine that doesn’t yet exist was nearly impossible. So, talent wasn’t the only thing that Dress to Kill had to borrow to get started, but with the help of Shervin Shirvani (co-founder,)family, friends, and community, a dream became a reality in 2008, releasing the first issue on Valentine’s Day.

The first issue was a flurry of stress and sleepless nights, but came together in the end with everyone’s hard work and putting everything on the line for the vision. The magazine began with people publishing their most creative works that other magazines wouldn’t accept. While Dress to Kill grew to have a more integrated and editorial vision, this start was indicative of the future at the magazine. To this day, Dress to Kill allows creative freedom that is unprecedented in other magazines, celebrating the talented artists that grace its pages.

 

“Over the last ten years, We’ve made a statement by featuring Canadian models and talents, including influencers, trendsetters, actresses, and TV hosts.

From our first cover model Ryan Playground (now turned musician, see interview with her in this issue!), to this issue with our four top models, we’ve had some incredible covers. Many of these have won awards, proving the high-calibre of our models, stylists, photographers, and creative directors.

“These are the kind of magazine covers that are daring, unique, and artistic and captivate you.”

Dress to Kill has always been focused on giving the contributors freedom to express their utmost creativity and produce the content that they dream of. We have never been afraid of pushing the boundaries of fashion, while staying true to ourselves. This makes it so that the photoshoots are extraordinary.

The shoots aren’t just about the clothing, but are also about inspiring the readers and making them dream, in a truly European way.

More than just an avenue for advertising, the photoshoots are truly a form of art. And even more than art, the shoots are also about having fun – the looks are often playful and everyone has a great time on set, which translates into a sense of fun while reading the magazine. Our shoots have a sexy elegance to them.

With a goal in mind for the magazine – creativity, freedom, and elegance, Dress to Kill transcended the original format as a portfolio and became one of Canada’s top places to get the news on fashion, beauty, culture, lifestyle, and more.

The magazine was created to showcase a talented (but untapped) community in Canada, including the core founders of the magazine – Sylvain Blais, Kathia Cambron, Ewa Bilinska, and Shervin Shirvani. Dress to Kill was a window that allowed a creative outlet to the talented photographers, stylists, and other people in the fashion industry. We set out to prove that Canada had just as much talent in the fashion industry as the international industry, and it seems that this has been proven true.

There’s this incredible freedom to the publication of Dress to Kill – the editorial team gives the talents a set of fluid guidelines and inspirations, but then within that space, they can create whatever they imagine. There’s a give-and-take involved between the editorial vision and the talents, creating a blend of inspirations and, in the end, more beautiful and ground-breaking stories.

 

 

 

 

The coming together of friends and community is also something that has lasted from the beginning until now. Dress to Kill would be nothing without its contributors and supporters. From a few friends excitedly planning a magazine, to dozens of friends and talents pushing out another publication each season, Dress to Kill is full of and surrounded by a supportive and accepting environment.

This includes all of our amazing contributors, including stylists, photographers, makeup artists, graphic designers, writers, interns, editors, and more. Just as important, though, are the fashion designers, brands, and advertisers that have given us the wings we need to fly. We’d like to take this space to thank some of our biggest supporting brands: Chanel, Hugo Boss, Valmont, Belvedere Vodka, Puma, BCBG, Moroccanoil, L’Oreal, Viktor&Rolf,  Moët et Chandon, Esthederm, Daniel Wellington, and so many others.

 

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About The Author

Production Coordinator, Writer, & Copy Editor

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