Creating my visions and turning them into reality is the adrenaline that keeps me alive.
Bobby Raffin is a 20 year old fashion arts student from Toronto, Canada.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live.
My name is Bobby Raffin. I recently moved to Toronto to study Fashion Arts. It’s a basic program with a wide range of leanings that cover photo styling and computer editing to learning the business aspects about the fashion industry. I’m also looking forward to taking on the make-up applications class during my upcoming semester in January. I live in a very overwhelming and busy city that doesn’t feel quite like home yet. I’m trying to figure myself out as I enjoy doing many different creative activities.
What are your passions?
I am passionate towards many things, and sharing my imagination with the world was a gift I was given. I mainly enjoy fashion photography and dream of taking it seriously as a career one day. In my free time I also enjoy drawing, painting and thinking of creative ideas for photo shoots. I sometimes even design my own costumes, collect props and build actual sets for my creative photography projects. Creating my visions and turning them into reality is the adrenaline that keeps me alive. Those who’ve been given the gift of creativity should share it with the world.
How did you first get interested in fashion and why is it important?
My love for fashion began to grow after surrounding myself with clothes, working in retail and visiting many thrift stores. Fashion is like food. I wouldn’t be able to live a day without it. It’s like mixing up a stew, with all the right ingredients, to create the perfect recipe!
How do you describe the fashion scene in Toronto compared to other major cities/fashion capitals?
Toronto is very diverse. People wear a wide range of different styles of fashion. It’s amazing to see what people put together these days. I especially love the vintage shoppers and underground nightlife scene. It’s also a city that becomes very influential and inspiring to it’s people.
What do you love about living in Canada?
I love how green Canada is. We have a very multicultural and diverse community. I could say a lot of the people around are friendly and accepting. I am proud to say a lot of interesting and inspiring people come from here!
Top 3 places to visit in Canada:
If you plan on visiting Canada, I highly recommend checking out Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Montreal—if you want to have a fun and wild week while still sight-seeing some pretty architecture. Toronto—is a city that ever sleeps. Literally, people are always on the go and there’s always something to do! Vancouver—I’ve never been, but I’ve heard many stories and met some pretty cool and inspiring people from there. I also heard they have a great music scene.
Describe your personal style and its influences / inspiration.
My style is very versatile and unpredictable. I’m wearing something completely different each day. I love all different styles of fashion, especially vintage and rocker’s edge. I am inspired by childhood memories, fragmented dreams, fairytales, and the circus. Overall, My biggest inspiration is my mother for she has taught me so many lessons in life. I look up to her hard work and dedication in achieving long life goals. She always tells me “be the best that you can be.”
Favorite designers and places to shop?
To be honest, I don’t have the money to wear anything designer being a penniless fashion student but I would have to say my favorite places to shop are Black Market, Value Village and The Salvation Army. I’ll also check out any vintage boutique that has an eye-catching theme. The coolest place to check out in Toronto is Kensington Market.
The first thing you look at in another person's outfit is:
I look at colours of the outfit and if they harmonize well with each other. I also look if the colours compliment them as a person and if they are the right colours for the season.
What do you skimp on?
I skimp on pants…even though they are the most essential item to wear on a guy, I don’t really go out of my way to purchase pants over anything else in fashion. I do own many pairs but they are just cheap or basic. Yikes, I even look back and remember not even wearing pants around the house when I lived back at home.
What do you splurge on?
I splurge on a lot of things! Mainly vintage hats. I’ll buy them all as long as they ain’t givin' me head lice!
A fashion rule you always break:
Creating the wrong optical illusion. Well, a few of my favorite shirts are vertical striped. Vertical stripes give the illusion of elongating the body. Having an ectomorph body type, I am breaking the rule by making myself appear taller and slimmer than I already am. With my body type I should be doing the opposite, but I can’t help that I love 'em stripes!
A fashion rule you never break:
Wearing crocs. I’ll take a bow to that ;)
What do you think is the most recent notable trend to appear/reappear, and what are your thoughts on it?
Knitted patterns on scarves and sweaters. I think they're so cute! Lots of layering which is perfect for the cold season. Oh! And fur is back. Poor little dead animal tails! People be wearing them all around town!
What is the most underrated item in menswear and womenswear?
I feel that suspenders are an underrated item for men and for women, it would have to be gloves. I would really like to see more women wear laced gloves.
What is your next "must have" purchase?
If I could find it, a nice black leather messenger bag to big enough to carry all of my books to class in, but also fit a blanket and maybe a few sandwiches, an umbrella, and an extra pair of socks just in case it rains outside. And even a few secret compartments where I can store my chapstick, bus fare, and extra pencils.
Are there any fashion icons or famous people whose style you admire?
I don’t think I get my style inspiration from either. Most of the time I’ll get inspired from a movie or a character from a video game.
What's on your iPod / bookshelf / DVD player at the moment?
I listen to a large range of music from indie, pop to electro and trash. Some of my favorite artists of all time are Air, Air France, Black Kids, Jónsi, Mika, Mylo, Mother Mother and Of Montreal.
My bookshelf just has textbooks from school and many many piles magazines! My favorite magazines are SuperSuper! and The Block. I suggest checking them out if you want tons of crazy inspiration.
I don’t have a TV or DVD player and right now, I don’t have that much free time to watch movies as often because of college, but if you would like to know… I like Studio Ghibli Films and really scary horror movies where lots of people die suspensefully.
What can't you live without?
I can’t live without a pencil and a pad of blank paper. It has to be blank, to give me the right to exercise the freedom of my imagination. Whenever I travel, I find myself always making sure I bring this for doodling and especially for writing down things that I need to remember. I have a terrible memory. Of course I can’t live without my mother. I struggle living alone as I remember and appreciate all the amazing things she’s done for me.
Tell us a little bit more about the relationship between you and your mother and why she's so dear to you.
I may sound like a complete “momma’s boy” in this interview but I’ve learnt to appreciate all that mothers do for their children. Ever since her long battle against breast cancer I’ve been scared of losing her. As I step into the real world, knowing that one day I’ll have to take on such responsibilities like she does. I look up her hard work as she has 5 different jobs to support our struggling rotten family. I’m kind of like my mom, we joke; we butt heads. I need to thank her for giving me this life as I’ll live it to my fullest!
Next place you want to travel to:
I want to travel anywhere and everywhere. This question kind of makes me sad thinking to myself and realizing I don’t actually have the money to do so. I’ve once been to Spain to visit my aunt. I fell in love with Barcelona and it’s beautiful masterpieces of architecture. It’s like a dream come true for me! Then again, I’m sure I would say something just as nice about any other place I would have traveled too. I would love to backpack travel across all of Europe and meet many interesting people and write them letters in the mail when I return back home.
What is your personal favorite outfit on LOOKBOOK by you, and by another member?
My favorite outfit of mine is hands down Darker Days because this outfit has a lot of personal meaning and reflects my personality. I am wearing my favorite vintage bowler hat along with my DIY bone shirt and biker accessories. This look is inspired by the circus and the idea of running away.
I couldn’t decide my favorite outfit by another member because I liked way too many! This was the hardest decision of my life! But if I had to choose one girl and one guy it would have to be Dagger’s I’m not gunna be your cookie cutter lover and Casper’s Mehmeh.
In the year 2015 you will be:
I don’t know the answer to this. My life changes drastically every week, so who knows? I could be lying with my eyes closed and my armed crossed over. Or I could be a very happy and successful fashion photographer. I would hope to be living in a flying castle hoarding collector tea sets and living happily ever after. But I don’t wanna jinx anything!
What would you say to someone seeking fashion advice?
Never be afraid of what you're wearing, just try to be as comfortable as possible with your body and shapes.
Chiara F. wants to know: How much does an outfit affect people's thoughts about others, especially when we're talking about people they've never met before?
I feel that an outfit can tell a lot about one's character. Just by looking at what someone is wearing you can get a good idea of their working environment and lifestyle they choose to live. It’s very important to make a good first impression because sometimes it may be the only one you’ll get, especially in the fashion industry!
What should we ask the next interviewee?
What colour(s) best represents your personality and why?