Imagine walking down the streets of Toronto when suddenly I pop up on you, bearing gifts! That’s exactly what happened to several women I spotted rocking their Fearlessly Independent Style last week in Yonge and Dundas Square.

I had a blast teaming up with New Balance Canada to Exception Spot. Exception Spotting is essentially shining a light on people that don’t follow standard fashion rules and recognizing them as being the independent exception to the same. It’s so easy to follow trends, but being the exception means going your own way and expressing your unique point of view. As you know, I’m totally into self-expression through fashion. I loved being able to celebrate and empower people that are not afraid to step out of the norm and be different.

The day started out with me heading Yonge & Dundas Square. My job was to spot exceptions and celebrate them by gifting fashionable passers by with a new pair of Fresh Foam Cruz Nubucks. The Fresh Foam Cruz Nubucks are the perfect way to showcase different styles. They are both comfortable and stylish, with fresh foam technology and a knit and leather design.

There are 5 common trends you are sure to see here in Toronto: All Corporate, Solid Colours, Plain Fabric/Textures, Urban Centric, and the Traditional Two Piece/Dress.

I set out to find women who were serving up their own unique versions of, or exceptions to those trends and the New Balance team was there to capture it all.

Surprising and delighting unsuspecting fashionistas with sneakers made me feel like Oprah. It was like, you get a pair, you gets a pair, she gets a pair, WE ALLLLL GET A PAIR OF SNEAKERS!!

Below are pics of some of the ladies that I spotted and a break down of each exception:

All Corporate. This is a timeless trend that includes slacks, skirts, blazers, blouses, heels and loafers. It’s classic, but some of us manage to put the perfect spin on it. Corporate elements paired with a sneaker and a tee makes it the perfect exception. @missarrai16 and her fashionable friend were the perfect exceptions to this rule. Especially Arrai with a gorgeous head wrap to match her skirt and gingham print boots!

Solid Colours. A solid colour outfit creates a nice silhouette and that effortless feel. But, a woman who isn’t afraid to play around with colour really makes a statement. I love how @ohrasheeda paired a leopard print cardigan with a textured white sweater.

Plain Fabric/Textures. A classic tee and a nice fitted pair of your favorite jeans is trendy and comfortable. But sometimes it’s fun to ditch your denim for a cool pair of pants. @PriyaHall did an excellent job of this in her mustard pants.

Urban Centric. Edge can come in the form of leather and dark colours, or denim on denim can help you totally switch things up. Below are pics of Laura aka @lauetapitys (who’s from Spain and studying in Toronto for the summer) isn’t her black and white monochromatic outfit so fab?

Traditional Two Piece/Dress. Who doesn’t love a dress or a skirt and shirt combo? I know I do. But sometimes it’s great to switch it up, just so you’re not predictable. A T shirt dress is a great alternative to a standard dress or two piece combo. This is one of my favorite exceptions. (How cute is @JessieeKimm in her grey Tshirts dress?)

I had a chance to celebrate differences, to encourage independence, and recognize other women for having the courage do go their own way. This partnership was so fun and empowering! I hope it inspires you to live fearlessly independent.

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