Re-watching Canadian TV classic "Degrassi: The Next Generation", which is on its 13th season, brings back so many memories: Teen angst, ridiculous plot points and of course, the hilarious and questionable style (it seems that Jimmy Brooks lived in nothing but basketball shorts, oversized t-shirts and hoodies.)
Well, the joke is on us because a bevy of “Degrassi” alumni have gone on to become major successes and blossomed into stylish entertainers to watch on and off the red carpet. (Hi, Drake!)
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Aubrey Graham/ Drake a.k.a. Jimmy Brooks
The “Hold On We’re Going Home” singer and newly minted Raptors Global Ambassador showed up to the Raptors press conference in a sleek tailored blue suit accented by a black silk tie, sans socks with velvet loafers. Then again, it's easy to look stylish next to Toronto mayor Rob Ford, who was sitting beside Rihanna's ex love.
Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, started from the bottom and made it to the top of the music industry and with the style crowd. The 26-year-old cemented his fashion icon status on the cover of GQ magazine's July 2013 issue, where he rocked white jeans, a silver button up and black belt all by Tom Ford, a Rolex watch and Cartier bracelets. We don’t blame Amanda Bynes for losing her cookies over our favourite "Degrassi" export. You’ve come a long way Jimmy, we mean Drake!
Shenae Grimes a.k.a. Darcy Edwards
Former “90210” actress Shenae Grimes got her start on "Degrassi" playing Spirit Squad Captain and all around do-gooder Darcy Edwards.
Grimes made an unconventional choice when she sported a black Vera Wang wedding dress on her big day back in May but generally, the actress is right on the money.
The 23-year-old discussed her love for tailored blazers (amen!) in a recent Teen Vogue article, describing her style as “edgy, rocker-tomboy.” Shenae tends to favour a grunge aesthetic with outfits that feature black and leather and which appear unusually comfortable for red carpet looks.
Even though she's not on the fashion-forward "90210" anymore, the actress makes her love for fashion clear by regularly attending New York Fashion Week, keeping close ties to Teen Vogue and hinting at plans to start her only jewellery line. Stay tuned!
Nina Dobrev a.k.a. Mia Jones
It’s safe to say then that Dobrev is pretty style savvy. “The Vampire Diaries” actress recently won “Sexiest Style” honours from Victoria's Secret and is often seen walking the red carpet in drool worthy gowns and flirty form-fitting dresses.
One of our favourite Nina style moments came when the 24-year-old wore an epic Donna Karan gown made of vintage gold mesh at the 2013 Met Gala in May. Swoon!
Lauren Collins a.k.a. Paige Michalchuk
She played snooty head cheerleader Paige Michalchuk on “Degrassi” but in real life, actress Lauren Collins is pretty cool and very much sartorially inclined.
These days, Collins hosts MTV Canada’s show, “1 Girl, 5 Gays”, wearing her favourite vintage pieces. The actress described her personal style in a 2009 Toronto Star article as “eclectic with emphasis on vintage” and references her grandmother’s closet as a favourite shopping destination.
Cassie Steele a.k.a. Manny Santos
You remember her as Manny Santos, but her days in that cheerleader outfit are long gone and have been replaced with someone who's a lot edgier (and less peppy).
Steele, who now stars in The CW series “The L.A. Complex”, is often asked about her signature style, which she has described as “girly edgy.”
The 23-year-old loves wearing goth accessories, such as the awesome black spiked platforms she wore in a Toronto Life feature but admits that she "look[s] scary when I go out."
Adamo Ruggiero a.k.a. Marco Del Rossi
If you’re into youth pop competitions, you’ll be familiar with the style of former “Degrassi” star, Adamo Ruggiero who played openly gay student, Marco Del Rossi. The always fashionable Ruggiero hosted YTV’s “The Next Star” and will be starring in a new series called “Boystown."
Ruggiero’s style reflects a put-together hipster, but he always adds an edgier element like a hat or a patterned scarf or a more conservative blazer and jeans ensemble.
It's no surprise then that the 27-year-old enjoys mingling with Toronto's fashion elite. Adamo was spotted enjoying Toronto Fashion Week with his “Degrassi” colleagues looking great in a plaid shirt, motorcycle jacket and black tasseled loafers .
Oh, the memories!
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