Model says she doesn’t feel safe wearing designer clothes in Canada’s biggest city

A model says she feels like a “sitting duck” wearing designer clothes in downtown Toronto amid a general state of unease in the city in response to an uptick in violent crimes.

Hanya Kizemchuk posted a video on Instagram and TikTok where the local model claimed that she sprinted two blocks to her car after a recent modelling shoot in Toronto after being overcome with the sense that her expensive attire read as “a stop sign screaming ‘rob me.’”

In the video, Kizemchuk describes the scene on a cold, rainy night after finishing a shoot, explaining, “I wrapped my head in my Louis Vuitton wrap. I had my Louis Vuitton duffle bag with all my shoes and makeup and whatever I need for that job. I was wearing my Gucci crossover and I was wearing my black leather Burberry coat.”

“And as I jumped out onto the street, I have to say that I realized for the first time ever in the city of downtown Toronto, I was truly like a sitting duck and that this is no longer okay to be running around like this, that I need to be a little more downplayed so that I don’t attract attention.”

Kizemchuk says she was “a little unnerved” and felt compelled to run “two blocks to my car and continuously check to see if anyone was popping out from somewhere because I was like a stop sign screaming, ‘Rob me.’”

“And that’s how I felt for the first time ever in this beautiful city of Toronto, which I grew up in and don’t recognize anymore.”

A few chimed in, sharing comments siding with Kizemchuk.

Others questioned why she would run away without identifying any specific threats and then make a post online about feeling unsafe.

One user pointed out how this video is another example of wealth inequality and the ever-growing divide between the rich and poor in Toronto.

According to Toronto Police data, major crime indicators have spiked year-to-date in several categories during 2024, including assault (+10.9%) and robbery (+19.7%).