A longtime YP staple for the latest and greatest in denim, Yorkville’s Over the Rainbow opened its doors on Friday afternoon for their Movember celebration and shave-off. By 5pm, a crowd had gathered in front of a media wall to witness the shaving off of well-maintained Movember mustaches of some members of TOMS RainBROws, a group (and accompanying multi-media campaign) organized by Daniel Carman, the son of Joel, the store’s fixture and owner. For an end-of-the-week energy boost, all kinds of sugary sweets were served for the occasion, like candy and baked goods, along with popcorn and vitamin water. Barbers from Crow’s Nest (the Kensington barber shop where the campaign kicked off on November 1st) were in-house for the task.
TOMS RainBROws unites a group of men in the fashion industry for the cause and carries on the impactful Movember campaign started last year, when Over the Rainbow teamed up with TOMS Shoes and Joel agreed to shave off his iconic moustache for Movember. With the slogan How Much is Joel’s Mustache Worth to You?, last year’s campaign raised $42k by the time Joel graced the barber chair to part with the beloved moustache that he has maintained since 1968. Before and after pictures, plus an assortment of retro shots of Joel sporting his ‘stache over the years, can be found on this year’s campaign video. As there would be little shock value in repeating this again (we are going to assume that moustache will remain safely in tact for at least another 20 years) this year, Over the Rainbow’s initiative needed a new direction.
Team RainBROws includes a team of 12 men, all big players in the city’s fashion industry who work for brands like Slavin Raphael Agency, John Varvatos/Throat Threads Apparel, Scotch & Soda/Freemark Apparel Brands, Paige Premium Denim/The Finchley Group, PRPS Goods & Co./Triluxe Fashion Group, Braemore Neckwear Company and Original Penguin/Jaytex Fashion Group. With a campaign tagline of “Fashion Loves Movember,” the goal of Team RainBROws is to “connect fashion to the foundation” and the group managed to raise $34k for Movember. Daniel tells us that he was inspired by the Movember cause after meeting the young men behind the now global charitable initiative a few years back.
“The unfortunate reality is that most men are lazy when it comes to their health and, unless pushed by their wives and mothers, are not as on top of it as they could be. I know way too many people whose lives have been affected by prostate cancer because they failed to get checked until it was too late,” Daniel tells us.
All members of Team RainBROws are of various and differing networks and are interviewed in a video montage where they discuss reasons for their personal participation (which includes everything from inspiration from Joel, envy at how much work has been done for women’s health and the general want to give back) and compare moustaches to clothing items. There was a general consensus that, when it came to the moustache, “like accessories, certain people can pull them off, others not.” Toronto clothing company Killigrew Fashion heard about he campaign and reached out via social media in an effort that resulted in 30 campaign t-shirts that were sold in-store for $28, all proceeds going to Movember Canada.
As for the moustaches, some choose to keep them on a little longer, either for the weekend or until they (or perhaps their significant others) grow tired of them. The goal is to get more guys and raise more money every year. In total, Over the Rainbow has raised over $75k for the cause.
Find the RainBROws on Twitter and Facebook.