Photo provided by Bell Media
As a teenager, I really looked up to music VJs and MTV hosts. I’ve always been a huge music fan and thought that the people who worked at MTV not only had the coolest job in the world but also seemed like the raddest people. Meeting MTV Host Lauren Toyota a few years ago in Toronto, confirmed what I had always thought growing up. Not only is she incredible at her job, she is also one of the sweetest and smartest girls I’ve met. I think Lauren is not only an inspiration for the youth across Canada but also for young professional women. You can catch Lauren hosting the MMVAs on June 15th on Much and CTV and can also follow her as she continues her vegan mission through her “hot for food” blog. Here are my 5 Questions With Lauren Toyota:
1) Can you talk to us about your style evolution from your teens until now? How would you describe your style today? (you can provide us with photos if you’d like)
Well if you dig deep enough online you can probably find some old photos of what I used to look like. I’ll leave that to you! But I look back in embarrassment at my teens years. I know everyone does, but I just feel like I tried so hard to be unique and different and it just looked weird. Even though in high school people thought I had cool style at the time. My hair, especially. At the time the short ‘do was in and I was one of the first people to do it. Of course, now I have long hair that I’ve been growing out ever since and I will never cut it again. I even wear extensions to make it longer and thicker! I feel like I’ve just grown in terms of confidence and having a real sense of identity. I still incorporate unique pieces and statements in my look but everything about the way I dress is just so much more refined.
2) Who are your style icons?
I guess I’ve always looked to a music scene and how fashion styles play into that to draw inspiration. But that was more when I was younger. Especially the punk and rock inspired sense of fashion. But honestly I’m not one of those people that scrolls through fashion blogs and magazines and comes up with looks and ideas of how I want to look. There really aren’t any celebrities that I pay attention to either. I think I absorb trends and looks naturally just by watching music videos and stuff, but it’s never an intentional “I want that look” approach. It’s just more about how I feel when I wake up and what I’m going to do that day to function in my clothing.
3) Over the years, you’ve had the chance to interview countless musicians, celebrities and public figures. Could you tell us who your most memorable interview to date has been and why?
There’s a few. One would be Kermit The Frog, because that is just a childhood dream come true, and he’s so charming. Will Ferrell was so adorable, sweet and funny, and he was always one of the people on my list of interviews I wanted to do. And an amazing memory I’ll never forget is interviewing Lady Gaga. A few months before she was releasing “Born This Way” I had the chance to sit down with her. She played me her album from her own ipod before anyone else could hear it. Only a few people were allowed in the room and she was dancing to the music, we were all dancing in front of her, and she ordered champagne to the hotel room where the interviews were taking place. She was describing all the feeling and meaning behind every song and she just came off as totally genuine and excited about what she created.
4) For those who don’t know, you are also the creator of a vegan cooking blog called “hot for food“, what inspired you to create this blog? What is your mission with the blog?
I started the blog at the end of 2009 when I decided I wanted to become vegan. It was a way to motivate and inspire myself to experiment, research, and get creative with the transition phase and process of changing my life. It definitely helped and it just became a passion of mine. I like taking pictures of my food and sharing the recipes and tips for eating vegan. I now create the blog and recipes with my partner, John, who also became vegan after we met. We just want to share how fun and delicious eating vegan is and really try to get rid of the misconceptions and preconceived ideas about eating a plant based diet.
5) Since you are a big foodie, could you tell us what your favorite vegan restaurant is in Toronto?
I can’t pick just one! Weekend brunch at Grasslands is amazing. The Hogtown Vegan is the place I would go first if you’re curious about eating vegan, or to show a non-vegan that they won’t miss a thing! Live Organic Food Bar is a favorite staple when I want to eat healthy and not cook myself. And Through Being Cool Vegan Baking Co. is my absolute fave place to go crazy for baked goods!
Thanks so much Lauren! All the best to you!