We’re proud of our “made in Canada”-themed issue. Every time you see this maple leaf, you’ll know we’re giving props to fellow Canucks—people like B.C. rocker Kandle Osborne (page 54), Smythe designers Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe (page 38) and our gorgeous cover models, Kayla, Pamela and Sophie (page 40). Be sure to check out the world-class fashion from top Canadian designers (page 80) and spread a little love for indie beauty brands like Skinlove (page 92) and Leaves of Trees (page 98).
e’re used to making all the “best countries to live in” lists; it’s a point of national pride. Take this year: We ranked fourth behind Norway, Denmark and Switzerland. What Canadians aren’t used to is being cited as trendy outliers. The Koreans and Brazilians tend to wear that badge of honour, says Lidewij Edelkoort, a Paris-based trend forecaster who makes her living tracking socio-cultural movements for her various clients in the fashion, cosmetics, retail and automotive sectors. I had an opportunity to interview her recently when she was in Toronto to launch a pop-up showroom for Samsung. She’s one of those women who command your attention. It’s partly her abstract style (Issey Miyake skirt, Eskandar top and Céline slipons) and strict beauty uniform (grey bob and red lipstick), but mostly it’s the languid yet authoritative cadence of her voice that pulls you in. During our 40-minute chat, the topics ranged from the death of eccentricity to why we’re craving “ordinary spirituality” to an emerging trend she calls “bland” or “beyond basic.” And, no, that’s not the trend in which Canadians excel. Being happy, as it turns out, is what we do really well. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Better Life Index only ranks us as the fifth happiest, behind Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Australia. But according to Edelkoort—who travels extensively—we’re right up there with the Aussies. “You’re a bit like Australia; you’re an outside-insider,” she said. “You’re a world country, yet you have preserved your own identity. I have been completely seduced by the openness, friendliness and happiness of people here. That’s not happening in the rest of the world so much.” At least not yet. Edelkoort told me that society is experiencing what she calls an “embryonic moment,” in which people are re-energizing themselves in preparation for a revival or renaissance. “We’re fed up!” she said. “We need to go bonkers! We want to be happy.” “So are we early adopters of this trend?” I asked. “Yes, I think so,” she replied. “I do believe the lifestyle here could be an example. There’s no sense of urgency. It’s not that there’s no ambition, but there is not blind ambition. I think that’s very cool and contemporary—being able to design your pace.” Take that, Denmark!