We’re flush with talent in the fashion and beauty biz, but how does Canada inspire everyone’s work? We asked a few of our favourite style influencers to answer – in 150 words or less, natch.
Gwyneth! Gisele! Karlie! Born in Vancouver and now based in New York City, this celebrity hairstylist boasts an A-list clientele. “There’s this sense of humility that I grew up with in Canada that just really doesn’t exist in America. It’s an innate quality – and inner light – that I think everyone born in Canada has, and I notice it immediately when I cross the border. That’s something I feel very proud to have in myself.”
The owner of Tips Nail Bar in Toronto is renowned for her must-have manis. “From pop culture to fashion to the environment, Canada inspires me. We have so many incredible designers, musicians and artists that I am lucky enough to work with and create looks for. We are strong. We cross boundaries. We aren’t afraid to step outside the box.”
She is senior vicepresident and fashion director for Hudson’s Bay. “Whether I’m working with the team on the fashion direction for the season or in the market looking at the latest designer offerings, I always consider what is relevant to the Canadian consumer. I’m very proud to be Canadian.”
Kate Middleton, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and Meghan Markle agree that the designer and creative director of Sentaler knows her way around a coat. “Growing up in the Canadian climate definitely inspired me to start designing coats. I always thought of a coat as a candy wrapper. A lot of times, people will only see you in your coat, and I think investing in a quality coat is important.”
A driving force in the beauty industry, this lead makeup artist for
Maybelline New York Canada was most definitely “born with it.”
“I feel so fortunate to live in a country that is so diversified and accepting of all backgrounds. I find inspiration in everything that is part of my daily experience, from food and textures to clothing and people.”
JUDITH RICHARDSON & CHARLES LE PIERRÈS
There really is a Judith & Charles behind this Canadian clothing label: She is vicepresident and creative director, and he is president. “We honour the tried and true while continuing to improve and refine our line. I believe these values relate easily to Canada.” Judith Richardson
“I am moved by the country’s continued evolution and strong sense of community. It reminds me to keep learning and discovering.” Charles Le Pierrès
As CEO and creative director of her eponymous jewellery line, jenny bird balances simplicity with statement pieces. “Canadian women and our dramatic seasonal shifts in wardrobe really inspire and influence my work. The amount of clothing we have to wear impacts what jewellery we want to wear! If I’m working on fall/winter, I focus on chunky pieces, like big cuffs and earrings, that will work with bulky knits and coats. If I’m designing for spring/summer, I’m very conscious about keeping it lightweight and providing more delicate, layered pieces that won’t weigh my Bird girls down. When I’m showing off in international markets, I feel as though I’m representing Canadian women and the country’s creative industry – it fills me with pride.”
This CoverGirl makeup pro and hairstylist also happens to be Canuck supermodel Coco Rocha’s go-to glam squad.
“As a child and an immigrant from Vietnam, I watched my mom become an aesthetician and embrace Canadian culture. I would try to mimic everything she did. Today, I am still inspired by her and the many amazing multicultural Canadian women I meet on a daily basis. It helps shape my mind and eyes to see beauty, and I use that to keep me focused on my goals.”
She is the founder, CEO and creative director of Zvelle, a head-turning footwear label that refuses to sacrifice style, comfort or budget.
“I’m a designer who is inspired by global influences, and there is no better place on earth for that than Canada. You can immerse yourself in any culture here. My work is all about creativity and, to be creative, I need to feel free and inspired. Canada gives me that and more.”
MICHAEL BUDMAN & DON GREEN
The duo co-founded Roots in 1973, and the rest is fashion history.
“One of the best decisions I ever made was moving to Canada. Its nature, values, lifestyle, sports and culture have always been the main inspiration behind Roots.” Michael Budman
“From the outset, Canada has informed everything we’ve done. For inspiration, the main source has always been Algonquin Park – the colours, light and textures of this incredible, unspoiled nature. In terms of designing products, Michael and I have always used Algonquin Park as the ultimate test and seal of approval. If something doesn’t look good and feel right in the park, we know it’s not suited to us.” b Don Green