Because the only way to make gripping television this year involves ripping off Jersey Shore, a Canadian production company is already at work on Lake Shore. Producers want “eight vibrant and volatile 20-something Torontonians from different backgrounds, cultures and sexual orientations,” and they let web visitors vote on who to add to the cast. One of those possibilities is Salem Moussallam, a stylist and designer, dubbed “The Lebanese” in his audition video. He’s a homosexual, surprise!
Salem is apparently BFFs with Lady Gaga and Missy Elliot, because they once wore his clothes, and he wants to be on Lake Shore not to party and get wasted, but to teach viewers … values.
Salem’s system, whether shopping for himself or for a client, is first to determine a total gift budget, and then to break that down into an amount for each gift. For Salem, category A, the bigger-ticket items, are for his family, while category B, the smaller share of the budget, is divided among friends. Where does a boyfriend fall in this scheme? “It depends,” Salem replies. “Depends if you consider him A, family; or B, just a fuck.” Leaving holiday shopping till the last minute, Salem admonishes, is not the most cost-efficient plan. “All the mainstream labels, you can get at a fraction,” he says, by shopping at sample sales where designers sell overstock of their product to retail stores. Many well-known labels have their Canadian head offices in the Dufferin/Lawrence area; giving your email or mailing address when you shop at retail stores gets you on the list for those companies’ one-day sales.
[...] While Salem would spoil a boyfriend “like crazy” with gifts, he makes clear that it’s not the price tag that gives a gift meaning. He cites a friend who knew that Salem was longing for a pair of shoes. The friend didn’t have the budget for them, so he bought Salem a tiny charm in the shape of a shoe to wear on his bracelet. “It’s always the thought that counts,” says Salem, shrugging at the truth in the adage.
Is the appropriate thing to say here … “Good luck”?