TORONTO - Fans showed plenty of summer love for Justin Timberlake as the pop superstar promoted his fashion label north of the border during an in-store appearance.
To the delight of throngs who crowded the main floor of the Bay's flagship Toronto store, Timberlake joined his childhood friend Trace Ayala on Tuesday to tout the fall collection of their label, William Rast.
The brand's name originates from combining Timberlake grandfather's first name (William) and Ayala's grandfather's surname (Rast).
Following an introduction by Hudson's Bay Co. vice-chair Bonnie Brooks, the duo took to the stage with Timberlake sporting a slicked-back 'do, blazer, white William Rast logo tee with a cassete tape and jeans. Following the brief photo opportunity, media were ushered out and Ayala and Timberlake conducted an onstage interview with ETalk reporter Traci Melchor.
Sophia Villanueva stood front and centre behind the rope line clad in a grey tank and knee-length denim, both from the collection.
The 26-year-old said she'd been waiting since 7:45 a.m. for a chance to have a glimpse of the singer. Villenueva said she's been a fan of Timberlake well before his days as an 'N Sync frontman, when he was on "The Mickey Mouse Club."
"I think he has a really good sense of style. He has a lot of swag, as you call it," said Villanueva, who hails from Mississauga, Ont.
"He just carries himself really well whether he's wearing a plaid shirt, shorts, a suit and tie, a tuxedo for his wedding ... he just knows how to work it. He just has amazing style."
Founded in 2005, the label draws influence from biker culture and American denim heritage. While William Rast initially comprised only denim, the brand went on to expand to encompass a sizable range of goods including leather, outerwear, knits, footwear and eyewear.
"We call it wrecked elegance," said Noah Stern, CEO of Montreal-based FDJ French Dressing Jeans, which designs, manufactures and distributes the collection for Canada and Europe.
"Really, it's an edgy line, it's a little bit cutting edge, it's for the rebel in the man and the woman. It's really based around jeans and motorcycle jackets and sexy moto looks."
Timberlake made the appearance a day prior to the kickoff of his 12-city "Legends of the Summer" tour at Rogers Centre in Toronto alongside hip-hop hitmaker and mogul Jay-Z.