Monday, 16 April 2012

Jeanne Beker and the End of an Era

As everyone should know by now, Bell has recently suspended production of Fashion Television after 27 years at the forefront of the Canadian Industry. The news has come as quite a shock to much of the industry, though when you think about, it really shouldn't be. With the internet revolution continually evolving and fashion itself becoming larger and larger in this city, the Toronto-based powerhouse had significant competition coming from every corner of the media.

At it's prime, Fashion Television was the premiere broadcast of anything related to not only fashion in Canada, but fashion internationally; new designers, new artists, revolutionary shows, and the evolving aesthetic. Aired in over 160 countries and considered one of the first successful fashion broadcasts in history, Fashion Television was more than a program, it was a piece of Canadian media history. And at the helm of this fantastic, fabulous, flagship? Why, none other than Jeanne Beker, perhaps Canada's most prominent, most influential, and most significant Fashion Icon in this country's history.

Jeanne Beker, who's been a notable part of the evolving scene for over 20 years, quickly rose to significant fame as the host of Fashion Television during it's early beginnings in 1985. Through years of tireless work, writing, interviewing, and critiquing; Jeanne Beker built herself a powerful presence in the industry. Her words were significant enough to launch a young artist's design and alter their career forever, yet discerning enough to humble even the most sought-after fashion houses. It was she who almost single-handedly defined fashion in Canada, and more importantly, pulled focus to Toronto; a young, vibrant city bursting with artistic potential in a historic Fashion World that was already decades beyond it. It was she who pulled the famed spotlight on young, Toronto-based designers; giving them a voice, an outlet, and an opportunity for prominent exposure. And it was she who covered every event, critiqued and interviewed every designer, and made fashion important again in Canadian households all over the country; inspiring local talent to choose fashion and grow through her decades of influential work.

Beker, now 60, remains one of the strongest voices in the industry. To me, she is still as inspiring as ever. Ever fabulous, ever on trend, ever on-point, and ever so timeless. Her legacy through Fashion Television will forever be etched into the hearts of enthusiasts the world over, and her substance will never fade.

Although it is sad to see the icon fade from the helm of her television super-power, Beker remains adamant that she will continue new and exciting projects under Bell outside of the Fashion Television brand, but not outside of fashion. Not ever, I could only hope.


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