THE IT: Celebrating Jie Matar

Story by Leanne Delap. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

The other night at the Canfar Bloor Street Entertains fundraiser, I had the pleasure of being seated beside some bright young things. It was great fun—I enjoyed them and wondered at the verve and nerve.

But I was struck by the lack of history in the fashion industry of this city.

More particularly, mention of some of our classic eccentrics, I was struck by how fleeting fame and infamy is in this city. The currently current generation does not have a clear sense of what came before. Good heavens, someone must retain the grand memory of the years Bentley-driving Babs hairdresser Robert Gage wore nothing but white. Oh, except for the half-decade he wore only red.

Which brings me to Jie Matar. I first wrote about the self-professed “God of Hair” in Toronto Life when he opened his eponymous Parthenon on Avenue Road.

The new, reincarnated Jie is not on the bright young thing’s radar; then again, neither is the tale of his scandal and resurrection. Therein lies the tale: Fashion is a fleeting business. Good news is that we forget bad stuff. But bad news is we don’t celebrate the knotty stories that make larger-than-life legends like our embolden-empower American cousins.

Continue reading