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Philip Minaker

Philip Minaker

Philip Minaker has been a regular contributor to since its inception in 2009.  Many of his pieces on fashion, style and pop culture for have also been reposted on numerous sites around the world. 

Being diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1983 (when it was literally a death sentence) he initially chose to keep it to himself and continued to forge an extensive career in the fashion industry. It was not until the death of his grandmother (the love of his life), also in 2009, that he became comfortable with the idea of coming out regarding his HIV status. “For me, it was yet another ordeal I had to learn to live with while I continued to hope for better days ahead. Like other unpredictable and disturbing events that had occurred in my life, I have done my best to not let it fully define or consume me. I have however, recognized it as a part of who I am and made the necessary concessions over the years in my efforts to live a fulfilling, productive and happy life.” Philip has now been “undetectable” for nearly ten years. 

He officially moved from Winnipeg to Toronto in 1990 and continues to make a life for himself, which is an ongoing work in progress. Recently, Philip chose to combine his professional and personal passions into the pet industry by forging a unique ambience and perspective in managing and buying for an independently owned full service pet shop, naturally, right in the heart of downtown Toronto. He is having the time of his life!


Moschino lives on

Thursday, 05 March 2015 Written by // Philip Minaker - Style Categories // Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Philip Minaker

Our fashion guy Philip Minaker gets excited about a new line of men’s and women's fashion from an old name, the original Moschino having died from AIDS in 1994

Moschino lives on

From time to time various fashion designers have been selected to breathe new life into European designer brands that have lost their namesakes. Rarely do a select few manage to ignite the spark from the greatness the brand once had and run with it. Whether they relate to the mindset of the original designer or channel their own ability to absorb the nuances that are well documented in the labels archives it's a difficult balance to create collections that are still relevant and appealing. 

Expectations run high. Living up to the greatness of the original designer is a tough challenge. The business side of the brand can also be a daunting force to reckon with as pressure to produce successful seasonal collections amongst a surplus of other brands is at an all time high. And then there are the personal demons one must put aside to kick-start a brand that you pour your heart and soul into that may even compete with the success of your own brand. Fashion is not always pretty. 

Moschino (top left) left us far to soon at the age of 44 from complications related to AIDS in 1994. As per instructions from his last will and testament, The Franco Moschino Foundation was created to help children and others afflicted with HIV and AIDS. To this day the foundation continues to raise funds and awareness by various means including sizeable contributions from the brands various labels and through a variety of fund raising projects the brand participates in around the globe. 

During his reign, Moschino was hand-picked to dress a wide variety of pop icons. From Princess Diana to Madonna, he captured their passion to be a relatable identity. Jeremy Scott (below) has also been called upon to dress superstars like Beyoncé, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga. His latest feat was dressing Katy Perry for her half time show during the 2015 Super Bowl. He cleverly chose pieces inspired from his own label as well as a gown tweaked exclusively for Katy from his Fall 2015 Moschino collection.

After a bitterly cold winter what better way to look forward to Spring than checking out the upbeat designs from both collections? One of the big trends in fashion this season is a look back to the 70’s and 80’s that coincidentally was when Moschino launched his own brand to critical acclaim by satirizing the fashion industry. It was also a time when AIDS had yet to over-shadow the sexual liberation movement that had evolved from the 60’s. As this decade has yet to coin a defining label perhaps a “positive” attitude will be the foundation that will be an integral part of this period.


As the world takes note, hopefully Jeremy Scott can continue  artistically, socially and provocatively to build upon the legacy Franco launched as a renegade, rebel and philanthropist that truly represents the times in which we live.