As one of Canada’s premiere fashion destinations—home to luxury boutiques such as Jimmy Choo, Versace, Ferragamo, Burberry and Bulgari—it’s fitting that Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto went ahead and got a super stylish Santa for the holidays played by male model Paul Mason.
This Fashion Santa is not jolly looking or delightfully plump. Nor does he have ruddy red cheeks. He’s not dressed in traditional red and white, either.
He’s lean as a rake and wears a sharp three-piece Ted Baker suit and Jimmy Choo shoes. But he does have a magnificent and lush silver beard—which is all truly his.
“This is Santa for fashionistas,” laughs Mason, who turned 50 this year.
He is one of Canada’s top male models and has been in the industry for nearly 30 years.
He would be the male equivalent to Canadian supermodel Linda Evangelista, having worked for fashion giants such as Versace, Donna Karan, Giorgio Armani and Dolce and Gabbana.
And he’s been photographed by luminary lensmen like Patrick Demarchelier, Peter Lindbergh and Albert Watson.
But while the Toronto-based model has steadily worked and operates his own model-scouting agency, it wasn’t until he grew the beard that his own modelling career appeared to have a renaissance.
He started growing the beard two years ago as a homage to his mother who passed away.
During Toronto Fashion Week, he cut a striking figure on the runway with his full, fluffy, chest-length white beard. Off the runway he found himself the subject of many selfies with random people at the shows.
This ignited the idea that he should be a Santa this holiday season—but with a stylish twist and a charity component. He approached several major retailers with the idea.
Yorkdale snapped him up as the face of their holiday campaign and he will appear in the mall every Saturday in December from noon to 8pm for the #SelfiesForSickKids campaign.
That’s right. This Fashion Santa is not just about looking swank in his tailored suit or handing out presents. To take a selfie with him, shoppers can donate $5 to Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.
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