CANDID: with Jewelle McKenzie-Sampson

All images by Lauren Knowles.

“Fashion is how I express myself. It’s not always so much about what my style is. Sometimes I’ll be dressing someone else, but I can still express myself through fashion.”

 

Spring has officially sprung and that means it’s time to ditch the heavy winter jackets, embrace new trends and take advantage of Ryerson’s campus to flaunt some new looks. As for the fashionistas? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Spotted on the stairs of the SLC, cellphone in hand: first-year fashion communications student Jewelle McKenzie-Sampson is redefining menswear with her own feminine flair.

Sampson, also known by her friends and Instagram followers as Baby Kale, was caught candid in all black. Her outfit — an oversized blazer cinched at the waist with a belt, form fitting pants and heeled ankle boots — screams sultry CEO.

 

 

While her rings and earrings are from her mother’s closet, Sampson created her own DIY choker for this look, using a chain she bought from a fabric store and adding a hook — that she says can also double as an accessory for her pants.

As for her coat, like the majority of her wardrobe, you can find it at her favourite place to shop  — a thrift store.

“Thrift stores in downtown Toronto are extremely picked over because it’s such a big city, so I like to go shopping on the outskirts,” she said.

 

 

For those who also prefer thrifted vintage over fast fashion, Sampson recommends trying Bunz, an app for posting and trading items in your city.

“I’ve gotten a pair of vintage Guess sunglasses, a pair of Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses and another pair of Dior dupes all for free because people wanted my old clothes,” she said.

Sampson’s overall style is self-described as versatile, risky and money, honey.

 

 

This diva draws inspiration for her looks from none other than the eccentric Tracee Ellis Ross, and Iranian-Dutch singer Sevdaliza.

“I’m obsessed with Sevdaliza because she’s just so cool, but I don’t think I could wear what she wears. I love to watch out for her outfits,” Sampson said.

Although Sampson admires the fashion sense of others, she sets her own style rules as she confidently struts through Ryerson’s campus.

As stylish as she looks when she’s caught candid, Sampson says she loves the spotlight more.

“When you’re going out with your friends and you plan your outfits, makeup, your whole slay and it finally comes together so you can show it off  — those moments are the moments I live for.”

For this spring season, Sampson’s trend predictions are oversized blazers worn as dresses with tie belts and lots of ruffles, as seen in her own sewing classes.

“In my program, so many dresses have frills and ruffles. I don’t know if it will be a trend I’ll wear because it doesn’t exactly match my own personal style, but I think it’ll be in,”she said.

So, what is Sampson’s secret to walking with purpose and confidence in her style?

“Dress your best every day for any situation. Even if it’s a lazy day I’ll wear my best sweatpants, my best hoodie and my best boots. I know I’ll feel more comfortable and confident,” Sampson says.

 

 

Fashion is about self-expression, and every picture is worth a thousand words, so be sure to dress your best. You never know who’ll be caught candid next.