Toronto fashion week: Do fashion and feminism make strange bedfellows?

Marketing Professor Eileen Fischer of York University’s Schulich School of Business says consumers shouldn’t be too quick to write off the entire industry as anti-feminist. “It’s hard to make sweeping claims that fashion is this or that, or empowering, or anti-feminist. It’s just way more complicated than that,” said Fischer in the Toronto Star Oct. 18. “Fashion is not in the business of addressing women’s issues. It’s about selling, making a profit. And it’s a brutal industry to try and make a profit. It’s cutthroat, has slim margins and is affected by every trend going.” Read full story.

Former Argos player, coach ‘Nobby’ Wirkowski dead at 88
One of the most decorated and respected football officials has passed away, reported the Toronto Sun Oct. 16. Norbert Wirkowski, better known as Nobby, died peacefully with his family at his side. He was 88…. It was Wirkowski who brought football to York University, overseeing the program as its first head coach, juggling his duties as athletic director while serving as a professor in the school’s faculty of phys ed. Read full story.

Why Brandy Melville should listen to its plus-size fans
“Brandy Melville offers fashion for ‘diverse California girls.’ And in Brandy Melville’s opinion, this diversity is reflected in one size: small,” wrote Schulich School of Business Professor Markus Giesler in The Huffington Post Oct. 17…. “In the day and age, when a brand’s image is no longer authored by the brand’s owner but co-authored by a host of cultural brand architects including journalists, activists, bloggers, celebrities and consumers, Brandy Melville’s extreme one-size-fits-all policy can easily turn into a full-fledged doppelgänger brand image crisis.” Read full story.

Getting more women into the ‘black box’ of corporate power
The percentage of women on U.S. corporate boards has been stuck at around 17 per cent for almost a decade, while the percentage of female chief executives is even lower, at around 15 per cent, reported Forbes Oct. 17…. Aaron A. Dhir, a professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and a visiting professor of law at Yale, writes about this discrepancy and the case of Norway in particular in a forthcoming book on boardroom diversity, Challenging Boardroom Homogeneity from Cambridge University Press. Dhir writes that law is essentially used in two ways to address the lack of gender representation in boardrooms: to establish quotas and to encourage disclosure of diversity. Read full story.

Ousted Silicon Valley CEO preaches reinvention, advice for Canada
Douglas Bergeron has had a rough ride in the past few years, and he’s just fine with that, reported The Globe and Mail Oct. 17. As an investor in and chief executive officer of VeriFone Systems Inc., the Windsor, Ont. native turned Silicon Valley resident made a fortune he pegs at about half a billion dollars…. Much of his giving comes to Canada, including $10-million he and his wife Sandra have donated to York University, where he earned his computer science degree. That money is going mostly to create a new building that will be home to the engineering school, a gift that was just announced a few weeks ago. Read full story.

Has Canada seen the last of the boat people?
This week, it was revealed that migrants have become so suspect here that the Canada Border Services Agency, now equipped with greater powers to detain them, has looked closely at using federal penitentiaries to house them – despite the risk of exposure to violent offenders. The government’s model in all this has been Australia, said Jennifer Hyndman, director of York University’s Centre for Refugee Studies, in The Globe and Mail Oct. 17. Read full story.

Investors shaken as S&P 500 reversals ignite volatility
David Wolf, a fund manager at Fidelity Investments in Toronto, says equity spasms such as those that shook global stocks this week scare professionals as much as everyone else. “My dad has been quite panicky,” Wolf said of his father, Bernard Wolf, a retired economics professor from Canada’s Schulich School of Business. “He knows what markets are all about and he knows what the economy is all about, and even he gets scared” when stocks rise and fall this fast, reported Bloomberg Businessweek Oct. 18. Read full story.

York track centre won’t be expanded
Plans to redevelop the Toronto Track and Field Centre for the 2015 Pan American Games have been scrapped, leaving Canada’s top sprinters outraged, reported the Waterloo Region Record Oct. 17. And delays in replacing the centre’s indoor track at York University have left the athletes literally out in the cold. A spokesman for the Pan Am Games organizing committee confirmed Friday that the plans, which included building a new weight room and meeting rooms, and extending the straightaway of the indoor 200-metre track at York, have been cancelled. Read full story.