The All Jacked Up Designer & Rosie Show Off Ties To Love™
By The Get Leashed Doggy Style Team
The man with the dog with the matching dapper bow ties – that’s how Jack is known around town after his move from The English Channel to Toronto’s Queen Street. Jack found his true passion in designing not just for style but for a cause, launching alljackedup to explore his creative side and as a way to support the trans community. We caught up with Jack at one of his favorite coffee shops along with Rosie the Great Dane, a perfect model to show off alljackedup’s latest styles. Read on as we get to know Jack and learn more about the Ties To Love™ campaign.
Please tell us about yourself, your profession, and what a typical work day is like:
In 2011, desperate to connect with a queer community and leave behind a suffocating, yet financially secure corporate life in Guernsey, I went on a trip that completely changed the course of my life (and for which I am eternally grateful). Now five years later, I have my own company doing work I love and am living in an amazing city where for the first time in my life I feel like I belong and have found somewhere I am able to call home. Since moving to Toronto I have changed both my body and gender – it’s an ongoing process, but it’s something that makes me happy every single day.
Through my work I get to travel to fashion shows such as the ones coming up next month in Brooklyn and Oakland, and for the first six months of this year I was involved in organizing the queer fashion show — the first of its kind — in Toronto. I feel incredibly lucky to work in this field being surrounded not only by people like me who share my passions and frustrations but also in a community where the designers and everyone involved is so passionate about helping each other succeed. We come from the same place – of never fitting in, of never finding clothes that fit.
A typical work day? No two days are the same; the only constant is fitting in a work out. My days involve social media work, marketing, meetings with prospective clients/collaborators, working on new lines and products and of course administration and finance. I also do a lot of my own photography – so I spend a lot of time editing photos. Right now I am focused largely on the two fashion shows next month.
What is the Ties To Love™ Campaign? How can readers get involved?
The Ties to Love™ Campaign is an international movement of solidarity, love and support for the gender non-conforming and trans community. Its aim is to raise awareness around some of the very serious issues affecting the trans community in a simple and fun way all whilst creating community ties. The Campaign also runs competitions via the Facebook group, offering prizes donated by alljackedup Inc. and other community supporters.
Ever wanted to show your support for the trans community but didn’t know how? Join the group, post a photo of your pupster wearing its bow tie and invite your friends to the group. It’s all about building community, being visible, showing support and educating each other. It’s such a simple act of sharing your voice to spread awareness of the very real issues the trans community faces and ultimately trying to bring down the attempted suicide rate of trans people that stands at 43% (compared to 1.6% in the general population).
Last year at a fashion incubator I was involved in, someone asked me about the Campaign and why anyone would care about the rate of trans suicide – and therein lies the answer – I think this person assumed that trans people were killing themselves because they hated being trans, and there was nothing really that she could do about that. However research has shown that trans suicide is largely the result of societal, systemic and legal discrimination and family rejection and nothing whatsoever to do with being unhappy about being trans. I’m so happy and proud to be an out trans person, but this hasn’t always being the case. It’s also cost me financially and emotionally, and I’ve faced brutal discrimination and loss. I’ve come out the other side, I’m one of the lucky ones and I’m determined to do something about it. As Leelah Alcorn said in her suicide note – Fix Society.
Have you always been a dog person? How did you decide to add Doggy Ties to alljackedup collections?
Yes, I’ve grown up with dogs and have never lived without them (until this last year, and I’m very dog broody right now!) A lot of queer people don’t always go down the typical ‘family’ route, many have dogs or cats that feel very much like family so it just seemed like a very natural progression. Plus the modeling opportunities it affords are worth it alone, not to mention the babe magnet effect it has when you’re walking down the street wearing a matching bow tie with your dog. People just love their dogs in Toronto, and want to spoil them – it really was a no brainer.
How would you describe your personal style?
Grown up skater-boi.
What does your ideal weekend look like?
My ideal weekend consists of working out, followed by a little work (because I love my job) and at this time of year getting across to one of my favorite spots in Toronto – Hanlan’s Beach to spend time relaxing with friends at a body positive, trans inclusive beautiful beach. I love this city so much, and can’t believe how fortunate we are to have the islands only a 30 minute bike ride from home.
What inspires you?
My work inspires me – bringing about awareness of the issues facing trans and gender non-conforming people and being in a community of designers who are providing clothes for those who have never been able to get clothes that fit their style, identity and body. Humility, vulnerability and honesty inspire me. Seeing beautiful, talented people succeed against great odds inspires me.
Finally, can you leave us with one of your favorite stories about Ryder, the alljackedup spokesdog?
Definitely his ability to pose for the camera. I always have my camera on me and I couldn’t resist the urge for a doggy action shot, a moment that captures how violently happy I am to be in this city and living this life. Ryder knew he would always get a treat after each shot, and sometimes he would make me laugh so much, I think it just made him so happy that he would work even harder. The camera became purely associated with something he should stare at, wait for a timer, flash (or signal from me) and then get a treat, or me laughing and cuddling him. Because I work mostly alone, I often had to use the timer on our shots, and he would simply stare at the camera until the flash went off. The only downside to this behavior was at the dog park, he became somewhat possessive and would do his upmost to distract me when I was taking photos of other dogs. When I was on the floor waiting for that all important action shot he would actually sit by me and move the camera with his paw – no joke.
Follow Jack on Instagram @alljackeduptoronto