When asked by my professor, Chantel Guertin, whether I would like to profile one of the instructors, Afiya Francisco, from my upcoming course (my first year was in Publishing, and second year starting September, is Lifestyle Media), I immediately said yes. But it wasn’t until I Googled her that I broke into an embarrassingly enthusiastic jig.
Afiya Francisco is a go-to style expert for fashion advice that applies to the real world. After years as an editor at publications such as Canadian House & Home and LOULOU she now appears regularly on various national talk & news programs, including The Morning Show, Steven & Chris and Entertainment Tonight Canada, and is the Editor at Large of Real Style magazine. She was named as one of Canada’s Hottest Bloggers by Fashion magazine for her site The Style House.
And she is going to be my instructor for the year to come. How awesome is that?
Q1. How did the opportunity to be a part of the Lifestyle Media program come along? And why do you think this program is one-of-a-kind?
Program Director Chantel Guertin and I have worked alongside each other for many years. She reached out to me when the program was looking for instructors. The Lifestyle Media program is unique in North America as it addresses a burgeoning industry that is not yet acknowledged in many schools.
Q2. Touching upon your professional and personal experience, how do you think vlogging/social media present a lucrative opportunity for a great career?
Today, an online presence is a great opportunity to expand your interests and dive into content that rounds out (or allow a completely independent outlet) from your day job. It’s also an opportunity to showcase talents that may have otherwise remained private or dormant such as writing, creative direction, photography, etc.
Q3. How did the idea for The Style House came along, and did you ever think it would go on to be this successful?
After my position at LOULOU magazine was terminated, I came up with The Style House as an outlet to highlight a paired back, simplified approach to dressing and finding joy in beauty and style. It was a natural expansion of my experience as an editor to then include broadcast and online. I’m so grateful and happy with how it has grown.
Q4. Style Expert-television and fashion personality-speaker-brand ambassador-editor. What’s a typical day like for you and how do you make time for everything?
As you might imagine, from this multi-hyphenated title, there’s not really such a thing as a typical day! But it usually does comprise of some assortment of the following: pulls, scouts, shoots, returns, creative direction, scheduling & booking, learning key messages, writing. I try to work on bite-sized portions of a big project which helps me to get through the list without becoming overwhelmed.
Q5. What do you love the most about your job and what aspect do you find most challenging?
I love that it’s always different, that I get to explore the city and work, meet interesting new people and get to be creative. It is also difficult to not always know what the following month will bring.
Picture credit: Afiya Francisco
Born and raised in India, Anisha Dhiman moved to Toronto to study Publishing and then Lifestyle Media at Centennial College. Writer, social media strategist and content creator, Anisha is the founder of Five Question Series, where she profiles people… you guessed it, by asking five questions. In her free time, she enjoys reading and trolling people with puppy GIFs and memes. Her only phobia? Losing her sight, but staring at the screen all day long doesn’t help much.