Podcast Episodes

Episode 25 – The Real Deal Inside the Fur Industry

Often maligned and even more often misunderstood, we decided with winter upon us we would tackle the subject of fur in the fashion industry. We invited our former design school instructor and fur expert Alexandra Suhner Isenberg to talk about exactly what goes on at fur farms around the world and Evan speaks to his family’s deep connection to the fur trade in Manitoba.

We realize this is can be a polarizing and deeply emotional subject for a lot of people. A big part of why we wanted to talk about it was because the breadth and depth of misinformation out there can be overwhelming. We aren’t looking to change opinions necessarily,  we are just trying to make sure that more of  what actually happens in fur farming and manufacturing can be known.

We are firm believers in the idea of informed opinions so we hope you can be open to listening to this discussion and hearing us out. We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions but know that we will not tolerate or respond to any posts or messages the include graphic images of animals or insults. Just, be cool okay? Don’t be a jerk.






Katie is off to her mountain home town to celebrate her wedding reception wth all the family and friends she didn’t invite to her fabulous Las Vegas elopement. Evan and I can’t make it so she better not have had any fun with out us! Here is a little shot from the wedding, can’t wait to see the pics from the party.



Evan is keeping his head down at work and hustlin’ so hard he sewed through his damn finger! A common injury in our line of work but terrifying none the less. Trying not to cry at work or get any blood on the dress is hard, you guys!


Abby is on a sewing jag to end all sewing jags with some incredible fabrics from Cotton + Steel and super cute pattern for a kid’s top from Oliver + S. And there will be more to come, be sure of that.


Alex is back in town after a few years away and always knows when she is headed home by the amount of yoga pants on her flight. The surest sign that you are in Vancouver is the Yoga Pants Army that forms around you everywhere you go.



Now to the main topic this week – the use of fur in fashion. We live in a country that would not exist as we know if today if it weren’t for the Fur Trade; a large segment of our natural resource-based economy has been and still is reliant on the trapping, farming and trading of fur.


A fur trader in Fort Chipewyan, North West Territories in the 1980s

Evan’s family and heritage has relied heavily on trapping and trading muskrat pelts. So in no small way we are ALL in the fur trade’s debt for giving us our wonderful Evan.
Thanks, hunnies!

Here are some resources if you are interested in learning about the cultural, economic and environmental aspects of the fur industry that you might not know about.

The Fur Council of Canada

Truth About Fur + the Truth About Fur Facebook page

Fur is Green

We Are Fur

Kopenhagen Fur


Beautifully Canadian

Here are some links to Alex’s blog with posts specifically about fur –

5 Observations about the Fur Industry

5 Interesting Facts About the Kopenhagen Fur Auction

5 Interesting Facts about Danish Fur Farms

100 Days of Fur

Some examples from recent Haute Couture shows highlighting some of the finest craftsmanship with fur from Ulyana Sergeenko and Fendi –

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and now… OBSESSIONS!

Katie and her husband have an ingenious and hilarious idea for their thank you cards. It took some finagling and planning but boy, oh boy. They don’t disappoint.


Evan was blown away by, where you can listen to music from around the world from the last 100 years FOR FREE! Ever wonder what people in Greenland were listening to in the 70s? FIND OUT!


Abby has been mulling this obsession for a while – a vest that she wants to completely cover it with as much cute shit as possible. She has recently been able to make an amazing addition – a patch from Winnipeg designer Kristen Lourie’s Kodiak Milly. Check out her Etsy and her Society6 pages for some of the cutest stuff you’ll ever see.


Thanks for listening!
As always, you can follow us on:

Twitter @fashionhagspod
Facebook at Fashion Hags Podcast.

LISTEN, RATE, SUBSCRIBE on iTUNES! Don’t forget to tell your friends how great we are.

Got an idea for an episode? Email us at, we love hearing from y’all!

Find Abby on Instagram @abbyshumka
Find Katie on Instagram @redbirdsuite, also check out her blog,
Find Evan on Instagram @evanducharmestudio & @evndchrm, also check out his website at




Podcast Episodes

Episode 24: Fashion Lookbooks

What’s a lookbook? Why does it matter? Who even cares?
Well the Hags do, so let’s get into it.



First off, Abby has been exercising some self-care during the science-fiction nightmare we call pregnancy with a weird orange drink, a relaxing massage, and a manicure. Ooh la la.

Then she yelled at a dumb lady talking through a comedy show and ate a donut like the fucking champion we know her to be.



Katie celebrated a birthday we agreed was probably somewhere in the early 30’s with ribs and bourbon and a cozy new blanket scarf. But more important is the new turn-crank popcorn pot of her dreams. Fall 2016 is now called Popcorn Time.4153Z0G472L.jpg


Evan went to the Hermès exhibition in Vancouver that was highlighting their handwork and techniques of the iconic French luxury brand. Do yourself a favour and look at some videos of how their goods are made because it will make that price tag make sense.

Evan grabbed a couple lookbooks from the exhibition so let’s get into what the whole deal is, shall we?


Basically a lookbook is a fancy way of showcasing a product or a collection or a collaboration for marketing and promotional purposes. It’s basically a mini magazine used as a selling tool. But fancy. And specific. And usually not for the public (sorry, suckers) although more and more are available digitally on brand websites.

Shopbop has a collection of lookbooks that are fun to peruse, like this tiny selection from DVF. Notice how it says ‘shop this look’ at the bottom? Don’t be fooled by the pretty pictures, this shit is all for you to BUY:

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Evan has been working on his lookbook for his latest collection, Origins, and chats about the process, the work involved, and the story associated with the imagery created. Here is a sneak peek at some of the images that will be in the final digital lookbook, launching soon!




Brands use lookbooks to create an image and tell a specific story in order to sell it. Sometimes it is beautiful and sometimes it is garbage but either way it is designed as a selling tool. You might check out a lookbook and love the imagery they create or you might feel skeezy and gross because it sexist or misogynist or just kinda icky (American Apparel we are looking at you a little bit…):


Next time you are shopping online, take a look to see if there is a lookbook to browse. A lot of time and money and energy likely went into making it and it may affect your purchasing habits. If you like what you see, you’ll be more inclined to buy. If you don’t, you may want to pass on that set of stockings or skeezy cotton underwear.

A sideways tangent takes the Hags down a bitch-fest about the Kardashian Klan dominating the September issues this season. Boo hoo.


Line sheets are different from lookbooks but often go hand in hand. They are a tool created for buyers to select different pieces from a collection for their particular store. They don’t get shown to consumers because they are not public information. They can also be beautiful or garbage as well, but these at least have a way more limited audience – boutique owners, buyers, PR people, etc, but not regular Joe Civilians.

Once again, go see The Eye Has To Travel.

Pinterest is a pretty great place to get an idea of what kind of images a brand would use in their lookbook and there are tonnes of places to see more, including brand webpages themselves. Trendland, Coolhunting, and of course brand Instagram’s and Tumblr’s are also good places to see what kind of stories these companies are creating. Check ’em out or whatever.


After some technical difficulties (not pressing the only button needing pressing) it’s time for our obsessions.
Katie is still on the true crime train with a podcast called My Favorite Murder. It is worth a listen but if you are not into true crime, you probably won’t like it – it is about murder, after all. But if you are as sick and twisted and interested in crazy stories about crazy people, it is definitely a good listen.

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Evan is obsessed with Julie Houts‘ instagram @jooleeloren, for obvious reasons:


A photo posted by jooleeloren (@jooleeloren) on

🖕🏻🐸🖕🏻 wat ⭐️⭐️

A photo posted by jooleeloren (@jooleeloren) on


Abby is obessed with a new album by local indie group, Tuns. It features three rad Canadian musicians from three rad other bands coming together for a rad new project. It has been heavily on repeat at the Shumka house.


Thanks for listening!
As always, you can follow us on:

Twitter @fashionhagspod
Facebook at Fashion Hags Podcast.

LISTEN, RATE, SUBSCRIBE on iTUNES! Don’t forget to tell your friends how great we are.

Got an idea for an episode? Email us at, we love hearing from y’all!

Find Abby on Instagram @abbyshumka
Find Katie on Instagram @redbirdsuite, also check out her blog,
Find Evan on Instagram @evanducharmestudio & @evndchrm, also check out his website at

Podcast Episodes

Episode 23: “Bad Girls of Fashion” Author Jen Croll

In this episode the Hags welcome Jen Croll, author of a badass book about badass women in fashion through the ages called Bad Girls of Fashion. We obviously needed more information.




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Her gorgeous book, beautifully illustrated by Ada Buchholc (to whom these images are all copyrighted) launches on September 22, 2016 at the Projection Room in Vancouver at the Fox cabaret (7:00pm) so come by if you can!

Check it out at your favourite independent bookstore (Vancouver’s Book Warehouse has it) and give it a read.

Anyway, lets not get ahead of ourselves. Evan is finding inspiration for his new collection and sometimes it goes smoothly and sometimes it’s a bit more spastic. It’s all part of the creative process…

Abby spent some time with the fam on Gabriola and went to all the hippy farmers’ markets, googly eyed driftwood included.

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And if batik is your jam, check out Rohana Laing‘s work –



Katie took up Evan’s recommendation and listened to the Charles Manson story on the You Must Remember This Podcast.
So. Good. So. Disturbing.

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Also Reese’s Pieces cookies.

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Now the fun stuff: Jen Croll stops by to chat about her very cool new book, Bad Girls of Fashion which has just been published. She spent the last couple years putting it together and finally it is ready for the fashion-hungry masses!
It focusses on women who used fashion to get ahead or further their own causes, crossing historical and geographical lines illustrating how powerful clothing and style can be (especially for bold, strong, fearless women).

Published by Annick Press, a young adult publishing house, Bad Girls of Fashion is geared towards a younger audience and delves into the lives of famous women who use fashion to their advantage. Some examples include:





Rei Kawakubo


PS – The illustrations are all done by the fabulous Ada Buchholc and they are dope as hell.

This book follows up Jen’s first, Fashion That Changed The World, available on amazon and your favourite independent bookseller.

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One of the Bad Girls in the book is Madonna – remember her? She was kind of a big deal long before sex as a theme was as accessible and unprovocative as it is nowadays:

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After a pretty hilarious discussion on Evan’s Fashion Club (pictured below), Jen and the Hags go over their own high school fashion choices, for better or worse. Ooof.


Jen (left):


Katie (in the plaid pants):

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Evan (on an excursion in London, England pretending to be fancy and cosmopolitan):


Abby with two of her favourite pairs of shoes – the suede Pumas and the heeled Caterpillar boots:


Also, a hilarious connection between Jen and Abby is their bizarre appreciation for Happy Hardcore, which was apparently a thing:



Katie always gets obsessed with LL Bean boots this time of year;Screen Shot 2016-09-18 at 1.57.30 PM.png

But more importantly this sweet Navy Cardigan sweater from favourite Vancouver vintage store Mintage which will serve as the official uniform until May when the sun comes out again:

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Evan is obsessed with documentary The Women He’s Undressed about costume designer Orry Kelly:


Abby is obsessed with the new Fjallraven Kanken backpack for baby Margot because it is ADORABLE.

Dead. Straight up dead and dying from #minikånken cuteness 😵😵😵

A photo posted by Abby Shumka (@abbyshumka) on


Jen came with an obsession ready to go: Pallas Cats. Weirdo, wild cats from Russia that are basically corgy cats. Give it a google search, you will not be disappointed.

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Thanks so much to Jen for joining us and make sure to check her out on Twitter @jencroll and her website at She will be at Word Vancouver at the end of the month and find her book at your favourite independent bookstore!

As always, you can follow us on:

Twitter @fashionhagspod
Facebook at Fashion Hags Podcast.

LISTEN, RATE, SUBSCRIBE on iTUNES! Don’t forget to tell your friends how great we are.

Got an idea for an episode? Email us at, we love hearing from y’all!

Find Abby on Instagram @abbyshumka
Find Katie on Instagram @redbirdsuite, also check out her blog,
Find Evan on Instagram @evanducharmestudio & @evndchrm, also check out his website at






Podcast Episodes

Episode 22: Fashion School Stitch n’ Bitch

Hi Gang! So sorry for the delay in getting this episode out! Life happened and we had to respond accordingly.



Catching up, Evan celebrated a birthday but more importantly, QUIT HIS JOB!
It went something like this, at least in our minds:


Congrats, Evan! No more retail, ever again.

Abby, still pregnant, is stuck in compression socks and trying to catch them on. Vim and Vigr is a company that is trying to do the same, although not as cool as we want them to be.  Come on, where’s the pizza print?

More importantly, she got a kid-free getaway to LA, staying at the supremely cool Standard Hotel.

Katie dealt with a plethora of events, including a run-in with a grizzly bear, as illustrated by husband @lebigfun:

Also watched an important documentary on Netflix called The Mask You Live In about masculinity and the dangers of the phrase “Be a man.” A must-watch:

On to the topic at hand: Fashion School: Stitch and Bitch. Hold on tight for some personal reminiscence from all the Hags as we trip down memory lane.


There are not a lot of fashion schools in Canada and each of us did quite a bit of research before arriving at the school we chose. There are many ways to enter the Fashion industry and going to school is only one way of doing it.
For example, a degree program (Bachelor) is a 4 year program that gives you a more generally-rounded education that usually requires a portfolio for acceptance. There is only one in Vancouver (Kwantlen Polytechnic University). A diploma program (which the Hags all chose) is a shorter program that is more hands-on and more fast-tracked. It gets you a diploma instead of a degree but depending on where you want to go, can easily be enough to open the right doors.
PS – a job is never guaranteed at the end of it, regardless of the education you acquire.


PPS – Katie’s blog ( was started as a chronicle for the fashion school experience so if you are interested in how it looks, give it a read. It is from a few years ago but if you start here on Day 1, you can follow along. Shameless plug.


Being in fashion school can be both tremendously frustrating but also a source of great pride. Abby found great frustration in digital pattern drafting, using programs that look like this:


as well as just the sheer fact of sharing a workspace with other students (which can be a fucking NIGHTMARE).



But her final collection, Spotty Recollections, was a source of major pride, because it is fucking awesome and she and everyone else knows it:



photos courtesy of Searching For Style, photographed by Matthew Burditt, styled by Deanna Palkowski


Evan’s collection featured colour and it was fucking gorgeous too:



Katie’s final collection was likewise a source of pride but not as much as the portfolio itself:



Photos courtesy of Searching For Style, photographed by Matthew Burditt, styled by Deanna Palkowski

(The story about the snaps is here.)


What a trip down memory lane! If you have any proud moments of fashion school (or fucking nightmares that are totally worth sharing) please feel free to drop us a line or comment below and we’ll mention them on the show (if you want). We love that shit.

We will also talk again about fashion school in a bit more detail in future episodes so let us know what you want to hear about.


Katie has been searching feverishly for the right pair of shoes for the wedding party. These are not them:


Neither are these monstrosities (egad):

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The struggle is real.

Evan is obsessed with the podcast You Must Remember This

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Check it on iTunes or the website above. It features such good storytelling and throwback glamour and is currently lighting Evan’s fire. (PS – Katie just listened to the Charles Manson series and could NOT STOP. Much excite. Very good.)

Abby’s obsession is the sister brand to H&M called COS. It is Abby’s dream wardrobe factory and there is a new location opening in Vancouver (shit yeaahh). She stopped by a location in LA and nearly died.


Thanks again for listening and apologies again for missing the last episode – we hope you are still tuning in!

As always, you can follow us on:

Twitter @fashionhagspod
Facebook at Fashion Hags Podcast.

LISTEN, RATE, SUBSCRIBE on iTUNES! Don’t forget to tell your friends how great we are.

Got an idea for an episode? Email us at, we love hearing from y’all!

Find Abby on Instagram @abbyshumka
Find Katie on Instagram @redbirdsuite, also check out her blog,
Find Evan on Instagram @evanducharmestudio & @evndchrm, also check out his website at



The Other Stuff

Summer Sabbatical – Sorry!

There is no podcast this week due to an unexpected dose of life happening.
Sincerest apologies to our listeners who were hoping for some Haggy diatribes, obsessions, and a bit of fashion talk (I guess).

Don’t fret, we’ll be back on schedule in no time!

To hold you over, take a gander at this collection of photos (courtesy of Trendland) of 1970’s beach life in Rio and either:
a) be inspired and/or horrified by its sexiness
b) be thankful you aren’t there in the blistering heat
c) wish your beach bod was a little more “Rio”
d) all of the above




Find the full collection here.

Until next time!

The Fashion Hags



Podcast Episodes

Episode 21: Swimwear Designer Lisa Siperko!

In this episode we welcome a lovely guest, local designer Lisa Siperko of Siperko Swim! We are very excited to chat with her about her new line, designing in Vancouver, and a wealth of other tangents we bumble into.


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But first!

Abby has some exciting news! She and her husband Dave are expecting their second baby! We are all terribly excited to welcome a new Hag to the team.
PS- Katie and Evan have known this big fat secret for ages and will certainly rub it in…


There are three Shumkas floating in this donut!


Evan’s dreams came true and he made it to the Adele concert here in Vancouver and cried basically from start to finish (as if there was any doubt).


A video posted by evndchrm (@evndchrm) on


And our Prime Minister’s wife Sophie Gregoire’s outfit for Pride was OD FIRE. Made my Canadian designer Aleks Susak.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau along with his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and kids Hadrien, Ella Grace and Xavier take part in the Pride Parade in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, July, 31, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward


Katie has been upping her Dip Count on her Dip List by dipping in as many lakes and beaches as possible. If you can beat 4 dips in 1 day, you’ll be beating the record and frankly you are doing summer right.

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Mystery Lake at Mount Seymour near Vancouver


Our special guest Lisa has been slaving over her new line of swimwear and figuring out all the nitty gritty behind-the-scenes details that go into launching a small business and online presence. She shares with us her design process and how she came to land on swimwear as well as some obstacles she’s encountered along the way, including the difficulties of producing a collection in Vancouver.

Check out her collection at and start shopping! Here’s an overview:

Bib Top

Triangle Top

Boycut Bikini Bottoms


Cayman One Piece (Katie’s personal favourite)


Classic One Piece 


Lattice One Piece


Swimwear is a different battle in a lot of ways because it requires a more specialized type of fabric as well as specialized tools, machines, and techniques that don’t apply to other areas of the fashion industry. It’s been a lot of work and after about a year of development, Lisa’s line is launched and ready to rock the beach!

Follow Lisa’s amazing instagram @siperkoswim (here’s a taste – so beachy and summery!)

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and check out her facebook page to keep updated!

Lisa’s talents do not end at swimwear design – she also designs the prints she uses in her collections. Say what?

Popsicles, anyone?

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Palm leaves, anyone?

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Yes please.



Evan has been recovering from Pride and can only think about the food that will help put his life back together. He is finding a way with Meet, a Vegan/Vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver that makes the best effing fries around. This poutine has been instrumental in his health and well-being:


Abby bought herself a fancy new nightshirt (that may or may not be used as a night shirt) from Montreal’s The Sleep ShirtThis is a rad company that makes gorgeous high-end sleepwear that makes you feel like a fucking queen going to bed. Or to the couch. Or to the grocery store.

Thanks to a new cable subscription, Lisa is obsessed with My So-Called Life, that lovely 90’s throwback that is a direct reflection of everything in fashion today (insert eyeroll emoji).




Katie (and the rest of the Hags) are obsessed with Stranger Things on Netflix because it is just delightfully spooky scary. If you haven’t seen it yet, why? and if you have, you’ll understand why it is a must-watch even if you don’t love it as much as the Hags did. It’ll remind you of those films you watched as a kid that kept you up at night for really reals.

With a title font like this


and a poster (by Kyle Lambert) like this


you know it’s gonna be good.

Thanks for listening! And thanks to Lisa for being such a fun guest!
Don’t forget to check out her website at and give her a follow on instagram @siperkoswim and on facebook.

As always, you can follow us on:

Twitter @fashionhagspod
Facebook at Fashion Hags Podcast.


Got an idea for an episode? Email us at, we love hearing from y’all!

Find Abby on Instagram @abbyshumka
Find Katie on Instagram @redbirdsuite, also check out her blog,
Find Evan on Instagram @evanducharmestudio & @evndchrm, also check out his website at


20 Kate fur snuggie
Podcast Episodes

Episode 20: Fashion’s hot and cold relationship with Copyright Law

The Fashion Hags are back for our 20th episode, as sassy, tangent ridden, and foul mouthed as ever! This weeks topic is Fashion’s odd relationship with Copyright Law, listen to the Hags discuss below:



Right off the top we remember to get to our Worn Stories and share one from a listener too!

Katie regales us with a tale involving her sister, a coyote, and her sassy Aunt’s fur coat that she was lucky enough to inherit.

The coyote was no match for Katie’s aunt (allegedly).

Evan reminisces about his time spent in Northern France, where he fell in love with and left behind a beautiful WWII era military jacket. Fast forward a few years later and he finds a very similar version in Vancouver’s now defunct Deluxe Junk.

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A major TBT featuring the surrogate jacket from Deluxe Junk. The signature RBF is ever present.

Abby’s favourite sneakers have seen many bands over the years. Thanks Vision Streetwear!


Abby’s Aunt Sheila gifted these sneakers to her after a trip to Bangkok, several years before Evan was born.

Our topic this episode is the tenuous relationship between fashion design and copyright law. Did you know that here in North America you can’t copyright or trademark a specific design or design element on a garment? Europe has different laws but have the same result – which can lead to knock off and companies copying each other. But is that a bad thing?

A TedTalk by Johanna Blakley acts as our main resource for the topic; Super insightful and choc-a-bloc with information. Check it out here:

We mention the famous court battle Christian Louboutin VS. Yves Saint Laurent and The Case of the Red Sole. Read all about it at

Below are some links to other fashion copyright cases and snafus, give ’em a click and wince at the blatant “CTRL+C” mess of it all. Thanks to The Fashion Law, Fashionista, and The Business of Fashion for the hookup!

And now! Obsessions!

Look no further because Katie has found the perfect summer beverage: Broken Ladder Cider from BC Tree Fruits Cider Co. Crisp, cool, and refreshing for those days on the beach.

Evan takes us on the wild ride that is Joanne The Scammer. Created by Instagram personality Branden Miller, Joanne is the expert on all things forgery, fraud, and drama. As Evan’s choppy explanation shows, Joanne needs to be experienced to be understood. Do yourselves a favour and check it out at @iambranden on Instagram and @joanneprada on Twitter.

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Abby’s taste for phone cases are nothing if not consistent. This is the one she she keeps buying, by artist Brandon Bird.

Screen shot 2016-07-26 at 2.28.49 PMAnd some more of Abby’s favourites for your viewing pleasure.

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Thanks for listening! As always, you can follow us on:

Twitter @fashionhagspod
Facebook at Fashion Hags Podcast.


Got an idea for an episode? Email us at, we love hearing from y’all!

Find Abby on Instagram @abbyshumka
Find Katie on Instagram @redbirdsuite, also check out her blog
Find Evan on Instagram @evanducharmestudio & @evndchrm, also check out his website at

Remember: keep your pants on, it’s only fashion.