Catching Up With Jessica Hayes And Christopher Altorf Of Istoica

In our Behind the Scenes series, we highlight the video producers who bring Toronto Fashion Week to life. 

As the creative duo behind video production team Istoica, Christopher Altorf and Jessica Hayes are responsible for documenting the excitement of Fashion Week—from the runways to the front row—in real time. We caught up with them to talk fashion emergencies, how technology is changing the fashion game, and why Toronto Fashion Week is so special.

Where did Istoica get its name?
Jessica: “It’s a name we made up when we were 17 years old, and it kind of stuck—it’s the beginning of Christopher and the end of Jessica, mashed together.”

What do you do during Toronto Fashion Week?
Jessica: “During Toronto Fashion Week, Istoica is responsible for all the shows on the runway, as well as some of the behind-the-scenes footage of the fashion environment. I stand at the end of the runway with a camera and Chris talks in my headset, calling the live cutting of the show.”

Chris: “We’re in constant communication about what is the best shot so that we can stream it directly to Facebook Live. We also shoot the street style and reactions from the front row.”

Have you ever experienced any Fashion Week emergencies? 
Chris: “When it comes to streaming, it’s exciting but also stressful because anything that’s live can go wrong. One fashion week, we were live-cutting and a model came down the runway and fell. So we had to cut really quickly. Then the next model came down, and fell. At this point you don’t have a lot of options. There were actually five models who came out who fell. You have to go with it. In the back we were like ‘Is this happening for real?’”

Why is Toronto Fashion Week so exciting? 
Jessica: “There’s an amazing community here, everyone is in the same space together, taking chances and doing interesting things. We love being part of Toronto Fashion Week because it is the fashion city of Canada, and we want to represent it to the world.”

Chris: “We’re so lucky to have this technology at our fingertips, and to be able to use it to offer accessibility in the Fashion World.  I really like being part of this community, and to help promote Toronto as one of the coolest fashion weeks going.”


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Photo/video by @michaelwilliamsphoto