If anyone were to boast as much passion for fashion as Jeanne Beker, it would probably have to be Jeanne B — her miniature, albeit plastic counterpart.
That’s right: the renowned, globetrotting Fashion Television reporter now has a Bratz doll modeled after her. And as Toronto-born Beker recalls, the two share not only a career in common, but also a similar motto.
“What happened was the Bratz people sent me a doll,” she explains. “So I saw this wonderful Bratz doll sitting on my desk and I thought ‘this is really cute,’ and all of the sudden I looked at the tagline or motto for the Bratz doll and it was ‘the only girls with a passion for fashion’ and I had just sent (my new) book off to my publisher and I had called it Passion For Fashion.”
This inspired Beker to call Bratz and suggest a fashion reporter doll that could tie into her new ‘tween book, a guide for young people wanting to break into the fashion industry. Naturally, Bratz decided to name the backstage pass-carrying beauty Jeanne B and package it with the book.
Also available in bookstores, Passion For Fashion: Careers in Style is Beker’s third book, following 2001 memoir Jeanne Unbottled: Adventures in High Style, and 2005 children’s book The Big Night Out.
The aim of Passion For Fashion, an 80-page illustrated book, is to demystify the fashion world for adolescents, says Beker. The book summarizes the training required and responsibilities involved in a variety of fashion-related jobs — from a model booker to a show producer, and everything in between.
“A lot of kids just look at the obvious jobs. They love fashion so they think: ‘I’ll be a designer or I’ll be a model.’ But it’s such a multi-faceted, multi-layered kind of arena that they could explore so that’s hopefully what the book will inspire them to do.”
With 23 years of fashion reporting experience, her current editor-in-chief roles at FQ Magazine and SIR Magazine as well as her experience as a Canada’s Next Top Model judge, Beker is the perfect mentor.
However, the Toronto York University theatre graduate, who has two teenage daughters, admits her own future in fashion wasn’t always so apparent.
“I started hosting Fashion Television in 1985, but honestly…. I always thought of myself as an entertainment reporter first and foremost.”
Eventually her interest in fashion’s constant evolution and excitement drew Beker, now 56, in for the long haul. “What attracted me to fashion in the first place was the great theatrical quality to it.”
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