City MOGULS is going into its third year, hosting an annual event to showcase and feature up and coming entrepreneurs in Toronto. [Space Is] met with Dani Kagan, one of the founders of the company, to gain some insight on the fashion and charitable based organization. City MOGULS has been making a name for itself in the city, repping unique young entrepreneurs who give back to their local community. We were curious to know how the concept began and what it means to be a City MOGUL.
People get highlighted at the ends of their careers rather than on their journeys and paths, when they’re not necessarily as well known. City MOGULS likes to honour and celebrate people doing amazing things who are also philanthropic. “All of our MOGULS (aka entrepreneurs) give back to the community personally or through their business; that’s a requirement to qualify. We want to honour them and their work by telling their stories. All of our MOGULS are nominated by the public, based on whoever deserves to walk the runway. And from there, its taken to our trusted committee and advisory board.”
Dani provided us with some background on how it all began, “When I was at University of Toronto, I met two girls on the dance team, Victoria Marshman and Jessica Domingo, and we were passionate about giving back - specifically through arts and dance. We created an event to help raise awareness for Canadian charities while showcasing local fashion designers and dance companies. This morphed into City MOGULS when we left university, and we brought on another team member, Monica Gold. We showcase Canadian fashion and entrepreneurs in the city doing innovative and interesting work. We honed in on tailored events to young professionals, highlighting the top upcoming entrepreneurs, rocking Canadian designers. From our first event until now, we raised over $75k for charities such as UforChange, We, and Mount Sinai, among many others, and have featured over 40 MOGULS all from different industries. We take MOGULS from all backgrounds - media, finance, arts, medical, etc. We like to showcase a lot of different people and want people to meet and connect; get people together with individuals they may not otherwise meet. If that’s done, our mission is accomplished.”
Why did you decide to mix philanthropy causes with fashion?
“We’re trying to make giving back sexy. I don’t think people are super interested in getting to know the charities that are local to Toronto - it’s hard for them to get involved. So this project is a way of spreading awareness about the wonderful work going on around the city. We’d like to recognize smaller charities as well who need the support - so we can let young professionals know giving back is cool and doable. We’re showcasing how designers and people in the arts are also giving back at these events. We can all give back one step at a time. We’re trying to make all the charitable events more attainable through ticket sales and sponsorships.”
Besides the main City MOGULS event, do you have other events throughout the year?
“We had a spin off event March 22nd - “Talk the Walk,” providing a more intimate space re: other entrepreneurs and MOGULS around the city. We are also trying to build a database of charitable campaigns and events that are happening in Toronto so people can choose our site and pick a cause with something that they connect with. It’s about awareness and hearing what’s going on around the city. People interact with charity organizers and with others working for nonprofits - so it’s nice to attend the event and meet people who are inspired to get involved with charities. Hopefully, we’ll do something again like this in the summer - bigger and more catered towards what people are looking for.”
How do you choose which charities to work with?
“It’s actually an awful process because you’re choosing who to give your money to and they’re all so deserving. We’ll be announcing our partner soon for 2018. We sit with our advisory board and they give us insight based on applications. We look at a lot of different things - for ex. how big the charity partner is with databases, so we can reach a lot of people, where the money is going, etc. We comb through all the details of each application and have phone calls with the charities to review. People on our board and committee choose based on City MOGULS’ criteria by looking at application forms and how willing they are to partner with us. Every year we donate to a different Canadian charity and they work with us throughout the year. Now that we have smaller spinoff events, we’re hoping they get involved as well.”
Describe your ideal or favourite event space. Have you found it? What are some features of different spaces that you enjoyed?
“Our first year of City MOGULS, we held our event at the Burroughes - one of my favourite event spaces. The features of it are still historic, like their elevator, exposed brick, and rooftop terrace, it’s a great spot. District 28 is another good one, with more industrial vibes. That’s something we seek out, as our events have a more underground and rustic feel to them. All of the other events we’ve done recently are at old hotels, like the Fairmont Royal York. The Broadview Hotel is another staple in Toronto, along with the Great Hall. It all depends on the event, for City MOGULS - a must for us is in house A/V, coat check, accessible via ttc, and other similar logistics.”
The nomination process just started, do you know someone who deserves to be honoured and walk the City MOGULS runway? If you do, go to their website and nominate that person!
For more about City MOGULS & upcoming events, check out: