Has Fashion Santa got more 'selfie' game than Justin Bieber?

Justin Bieber might be a king of selfies, but Fashion Santa says, after taking hundreds of snaps with strangers over the last few weeks, he might be able to wrest that title away.

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Fashion Santa has been such a big attraction at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, even Bieber wanted in, and headed over earlier this week to snap a pic with the hip mall Santa.

Fashion Santa – real name: Paul Mason – says it was an exciting moment.

“He’s a little bit famous, that guy,” Mason joked to CTV’s Canada AM Tuesday, noting that the bad boy pop star was on his best behaviour with him.

“I have to say he couldn’t have been more of a delight. He was great.”

Mason recounted that he tried to take the selfie with Bieber but couldn’t seem to get the angle right.

“I held the phone, and he said, ‘I think I do more selfies more than you,’ and grabbed the phone out of my hand,” he said.

“I was going to challenge him on that because after this campaign, I think I’ve done enough of them.”

For weeks now, the dapper mall Santa has been taking hundreds of photos with shoppers. For every selfie and photo posted on social media with the hashtag #YorkdaleFashionSanta, Yorkdale has been donating $1 to the SickKids Foundation, the charitable fundraising arm of Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.

Fashion Santa says he’s delighted at how popular he’s been.

“The way it went viral, I couldn’t be more pleased,” Mason said. “Unexpected, but really great.”

Mason, who has been modelling for more than 30 years, says he did the same campaign at the mall last year. But this year, it went viral, which Mason ascribes to some artfully-shot promotional photos.

The shots included Fashion Santa standing in various parts of the mall wearing the finest holiday fashions. There was Fashion Santa in a tweed jacket and black jeans, dragging a Christmas tree; Fashion Santa in a red leather jacket taking a selfie, Fashion Santa in a white parka and boots in a glass-enclosed walkway.

Mason says those images of him as the more stylish version of old Saint Nick likely helped get the word out.

“This year, we upped the ante a little bit with the photography and the styling. And look what happened,” he said.

Fashion Santa has been the subject of headlines across Canada, the U.S. Europe and more.

As for how the big guy at the North Pole is reacting to Fashion Santa stealing all his thunder, Mason says it’s all good.

“Santa’s really pleased,” Mason said. “He told me: he’s really pleased.”

(Even us here at CTVNews.ca couldn't resist taking a shot with the dapper man in red.)

The morning crew on the @CTVNews digital team had a special visitor in the newsroom #YorkdaleFashionSantapic.twitter.com/0P1qiTBcLa

— CTV News (@CTVNews) December 22, 2015


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