Dani Kagan is finalizing the last minute details of an annual gala that celebrates dance, philanthropy and Canadian fashion.
Kagan, 26, a dancer and event planner, is part of a four-women team producing City Moguls, a charity fashion show that will be held at District 28 in Toronto on Oct. 5.
The fashion show combines live music and dance performances. But there’s a twist: the people walking the runway are not professional models; they’re City Moguls.
Kagan explains that “City Moguls are entrepreneurs and influencers between the ages of 25 and 45 who represent a variety of industries – media, fashion, marketing, finance. They are all innovative and they all do something a little bit different.”
Moguls must also be active in some form of philanthropy, or have a way of giving back to the community, she says, noting that participants have to be nominated and that “people vote for these leaders to become City Moguls.”
The moguls are then paired with designers. “Our event is unique, because we don’t use professional models,” she says. “It’s a platform to honour these moguls. A lot of these people don’t get the recognition for their work.”
And it’s also a way to promote Canadian fashion by using “a mix of stores and designers.”
Kagan stresses the importance of educating people and building awareness about Canadian fashion. Designers being showcased that evening include Christopher Bates and HendrixRoe.
Kagan is producing the event, along with Monica Gold, Victoria Marshman and Jessica Domingo.
The idea is the evolution of another charitable event, called Raise the Rhythm, which Kagan co-founded in 2012 with Marchman and Domingo, when they were on the University of Toronto dance team.
“We all loved dance and fashion and so we created an annual charity event to promote dance and fashion communities in Toronto,” says Kagan.
“At one event, we had non-models walk the runway. It was such a magical evening that it sparked the idea of having entrepreneurs and influencers – moguls – walk the runway. That’s how City Moguls was born.”
When the women revamped their charity in 2015, they were joined by Monica Gold.
“She was the missing piece. She added social media and vision to the team and she has strong connections to the dance world,” says Kagan. “Monica is one of my oldest friends – I grew up with her at USDS (now Robbins Hebrew Academy). We danced together from kindergarten to the end of our high school at CHAR (Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto – Richmond Hill).”
Proceeds from this charity event will go to UforChange, a non-profit group that provides youths with socioeconomic challenges the opportunity to become involved with hands-on creative workshops led by creative mentors.
UforChange, which targets Toronto youths between 19 and 29, has served 1,500 people since its inception in 2009.
“We thought this charity was a perfect fit for us this year, because they are helping to give youth resources to work in various arts fields,” says Kagan. “Without these mentors, it’s difficult to get exposure and make connections in the arts.”
Gala tickets can be purchased online at citymoguls.com