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can thank Canada for the web­site’s ex­is­tence. Founder Im­ran Amed cred­its his grow­ing up in Cal­gary and study­ing com­merce at McGill Univer­sity in Mon­treal with the world view that shapes the fash­ion in­dus­try’s mus­tread news source. “I was sur­rounded by peo­ple from all over the world— dif­fer­ent cul­tures, dif­fer­ent lan­guages,” says Amed, who is now based in Lon­don, Eng­land. “I’m not look­ing at fash­ion through a Cana­dian lens, or even a Western lens, but a global lens.” Like many In­ter­net suc­cess sto­ries of the mid-2000s, BoF started as a per­sonal blog dur­ing Amed’s days as an

in­de­pen­dent man­age­ment con­sul­tant liv­ing in Not­ting Hill. In fact, other than work­ing on a char­ity fash­ion show and having a pas­sion for CBCTV’s Fash­ion File, he had no fash­ion train­ing. Ten years later, it’s safe to say that Amed is “in”: The site is a hub for anal­y­sis, op-eds and break­ing news of the “Ric­cardo Tisci leav­ing Givenchy” sort.

As ed­i­tor-in-chief of a site that fre­quently re­ports on such de­signer com­ings and go­ings, Amed has some thoughts on fash­ion’s re­cent game of mu­si­cal chairs. “In an ideal world, de­sign­ers shouldn’t be switch­ing ev­ery two or three years,” he says. “Look at Chanel and Cé­line: The de­sign­ers there are de­vel­op­ing a long-term cre­ative strat­egy.” He points out that even Gucci’s overnight su­per­star Alessan­dro Michele was ap­pointed after years spent work­ing out of the spot­light at the Ital­ian lux­ury house. It’s this en­cy­clo­pe­dic fash­ion knowl­edge that has guided the site’s growth; Amed launched the BoF 500 (a list of top names in fash­ion), a rank­ing of fash­ion schools as well as an in­dus­try hir­ing ser­vice. He also ap­proves each reader com­ment—chalk it up to Cana­dian cour­te­ous­ness.

His suc­cess hasn’t gone un­no­ticed at home. Amed was re­cently hon­oured with the Hud­son’s Bay Van­guard Award at the Cana­dian Arts & Fash­ion Awards in Toronto. The prize rec­og­nizes ca­reer achieve­ment, some­thing he shrugs off: “It’s not my plat­form but the in­dus­try’s plat­form,” he says. “I have to use my in­flu­ence and my voice re­spon­si­bly.” We’ll take that as an ac­cep­tance speech.

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