Fashion Santa says he is at Yorkdale mall 'for the adults'
Selfies with the stylish St. Nick are raising money for Sick Kids
He's not your average mall Santa.
For starters, he's missing some padding around the middle and his beard is groomed. He doesn't wear cheap and fuzzy red suits, opting instead for velvet burgundy blazers.
But Paul Mason is still putting smiles on the faces of shoppers at Toronto's Yorkdale mall.
"I often say I'm Santa's younger brother — the thinner version," said Mason, who is also known as Fashion Santa to Yorkdale customers.
Mason has been a fashion model for 30 years and his look inspired his collaboration with the mall to create Fashion Santa. Just to be clear — the mall still has a traditional Santa for children to visit, they just have a second one as well "for adults," he told CBC News.
"This is a first," said Mason. "On Saturday, I had a woman, she must have been 70 years old, she said, 'I haven't taken a photo with Santa since I was like five' ... so I love it."
Those photos are the drive behind the Fashion Santa initiative at Yorkdale.
For every selfie posted to social media using the hashtag #YorkdaleFashionSanta, the mall will donate $1 to the Sick Kids Foundation, up to possible total of $10,000.
But you won't get to sit on Fashion Santa's knee. "Fashion Santa doesn't have a chair," Mason said, adding fans can take a photo with him in his winter wonderland setup in the mall on weekends.
Pictures of Mason as Fashion Santa have already inspired a lot of reaction online.
He even gained the attention of some international media outlets such as Time magazine.
I think the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YorkdaleFashionSanta?src=hash">#YorkdaleFashionSanta</a> may actually be a <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jedi?src=hash">#Jedi</a> in disguise. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StarWars?src=hash">#StarWars</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FashionSanta?src=hash">#FashionSanta</a> <a href="https://t.co/aRwSBcwlgz">pic.twitter.com/aRwSBcwlgz</a>—@alouzon
Dear <a href="https://twitter.com/YorkdaleStyle">@YorkdaleStyle</a> - whoever put together <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YorkdaleFashionSanta?src=hash">#YorkdaleFashionSanta</a> needs a big fat Christmas bonus. <a href="https://t.co/0cIuHIFO6s">pic.twitter.com/0cIuHIFO6s</a>—@RyanTylerThomas
Ummm...they are certainly not making Santa Claus like they used to: <a href="https://t.co/dHZpRRPj1r">https://t.co/dHZpRRPj1r</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YorkdaleFashionSanta?src=hash">#YorkdaleFashionSanta</a>—@Journeywoman