Jeremy Freed – Jury Member

Editor-in-chief Jeremy Freed has been with Sharp Magazine since its launch in 2008. Beginning his career as a successful freelancer for Toronto Life, Los Angeles Magazine, and National Public Radio, Jeremy had ambitions to one day write for a the likes of Esquire or GQ. “I had never imagined that I’d get the opportunity to build a great men’s magazine from the ground up. It’s been an incredibly satisfying journey so far,” says Freed.
As head of Canada’s premier men’s fashion and lifestyle guide, Jeremy plans to continue growing the Sharp brand across Canada and help Canadian men dress better.

CAFA: In your opinion, what sets Canadian fashion apart on a global scale?

JF: We have a really unique mix of cultures in Canada. It makes for a sensibility that is hard to describe but it inspires our designers to be chameleon-like in their approach to fashion. Since inspiration is coming from so many places and times – past, present and future – it makes it very difficult to pin down!

CAFA: The Canadian Art and Fashion Awards were named to highlight the artful nature of fashion as a craft. What does the concept of “fashion as art” mean to you

JF: Fashion is so unique in that regard. It combines elements of art and elements of utility in a way that feels more like industrial design than fine art to me, especially with regard to men’s fashion. Men seem much more concerned with utility. Generally a piece has to be functional, built to last, and beautiful. It’s such a cool combination of craftsmanship—from the designers who dream up the ideas, to the people who weave the fabrics, to the tailors and shoemakers who put them together. There is so much tradition, refinement, and specialized knowledge there—things that are becoming so rare these days. When I look at a tweed blazer, or a pair of beautiful calfskin boots, I’m seeing something that is worthy of display in a gallery, yet that also serves the purpose of elevating its wearer, which is truly unique to fashion.

CAFA: From your perspective, what has been the most prominent change you’ve observed in the evolution of fashion in Canada? What do you predict for the future of Canada as a global contender in the international fashion scene?

JF: The luxury segment in Canada has seen incredible changes over the last decade. There are so many top-level international brands investing and doing business here, and it seems more are arriving every day. I think this reflects Canada coming into its own as a truly global society, with a robust economy and vibrant cultural scene to rival just about any other in the world. Canadians care more about fashion than ever, and fashion is taking notice. It’s quite exciting to see these brands finally available here.

CAFA: What excites you most about CAFA as a national initiative?

JF: There are so many talented people on board, all committed to joining forces and elevating Canada and Canadian fashion to a global level—that’s really exciting to me. As someone who works hard every day to create a Canadian product that can compete with the best examples in the world, I innately understand how important it is to honour the people in this industry who are doing the same thing successfully.

By: Alexandra Thais Serrano