This Charming Man
Cambridge-raised Michael King, chair of Fashion Cares, the AIDS Committee of Toronto fundraiser that sits at the intersection of fashion, culture and the city’s queer community, is described by Canada’s Globe and Mail as a cross between George Michael and designer Tom Ford but with a New Zealand drawl. Renowned for his vague accent, restless résumé and tomcat smile, King made his name as a magazine publisher and squire of fancy women. But these days, David Hayes finds, he’s the owner of neo-burlesque-club Jezebel, out to conquer Toronto’s hottest street, the Ossington strip. Toronto, King’s idea of transforming a sleazy strip joint into a stylish burlesque house is an example. “What I love, what I’m passionate about,” he says, “is looking at the world we live in and figuring out where it’s going, what’s next.” He’s a self-made man with a self-created aura whose business interests are considered by some to be smoke and mirrors (branding and the magic of creating buzz) and ephemeral (glamour and celebrity).