To be able to live up to your passion is extraordinaire!
And Denis Desro is a passionate man. He shoots around 30 editorials per season, attends all shows in all major Fashion Weeks in the world (Yes, that Anna Wintour’s picture on Elle Quebec Instagram account was his), edits two of the most important magazines in Canada. And just when you’d think he couldn’t get any more impressive, Denis Desro participates in a major collaboration between RW&Co and Elle Quebec! The holiday capsule collection includes 8 exclusives dresses, all for different shapes, in different forms, for different tastes. The collection- launched in a private event last Tuesday- was beyond expectations. I mean, have you seen it? It’s gorgeous. If you didn’t, please do!
Anyway. It was last Tuesday afternoon and we sat down with Denis at our favourite Bistro-chic La Société on Rue De La Montagne. We had drinks, we talked, we laughed but we mainly got inspired by the humble yet profound character behind Elle Canada‘s Editor In Chief. Of course, the main subject of the discussion was his collaboration with RW&Co and I believe my first wonder was how it all started. ” I remember it was right after last fall-winter shows, we’ve been working on it for the last 6 months. RW&Co approached us with the project, the idea was to create a holiday collection with a high-end edge. They asked me if I was interested, I couldn’t say no – I accepted with great enthusiasm”
But you have been fashion illustrator years ago, and also a fashion designer for some time, did this collaboration make you feel nostalgic of your past?
D.D: ” Absolutely not! I was a fashion illustrator indeed and a fashion designer for a season – So I didn’t fall into a field I didn’t know. But I need to give back credit where it lays; I didn’t design the collection per se. The ultra-talented of RW&Co did, I edited some pieces, took charge of the artistic direction and was part of the design’s processus.
Exactly, we joined forces and we complemented each other. We had the chance to explore and pick high-quality fabrics, offer many choices to different tastes and body shapes. We worked jointly to offer both our readership and their clientele a capsule collection that is trendy, on-point and fashionable.
Talking about your readers and their clients, how do they get along?
In many ways. We can’t affirm for certain they’re similar, but we can’t say they’re different neither. We do hope their clients become our readers, and our readers become their clients. Elle Quebec and RW&CO get along very well. I know for a fact our readers will love the capsule.
Well, it is getting a lot of attention – Can we affirm you got your win?
I’m happy of the result, the collection was well-received. We made sure to translate femininity in the design in many ways, we aim to please as many fashionistas we can. I do so many shootings, and I’ve seen so many shows, I know what women want. We did our best to meet their expectations.
Denis, you’re a globetrotter , you travel the worlds and you’ve been working in the magazine for the past 22 years. You’ve witnessed fashion globalization – A huge revolution in the business of fashion. How do you see the future of Fashion?
Fashion lost a lot of its individuality. The world have changed, it became more reachable. Today, because of social media, a new trend goes out and the whole wide world sees it within minutes. The whole wide world wears it within days. It’a bit too bad because everyone wears the same things, we don’t see any cultural differentiation anymore. Fashion has been democratized and the world became way too similar.
Montréal, as an example, has known a unique approach to design. Can we say we preserved our very own cultural identity?
Once a fashion designer makes the decision to have a presence in the world, we’ll see see his designs everywhere. He’ll standardize them to optimize the sales, he’ll have a bold marketing to reach a common clientele and this has happened everywhere since the apparition of the mass-retailers. In Montreal, it’s no different. I’m not saying the designers are unfaithful to their spirit, they have to be more competitive and this is where it’s interesting for them to explore furthermore their options. And if you think about it, the world is competing with them.
But not all our designers are international…
No but the reality of mass-retail hit them hard. They have to be competitive in many aspects, including design, price and branding. To be international is not always a desire, some needs the satisfaction alone to live their passion, and earn their living through it.
You’ve lived in Milan, Paris and Montreal. Which city is better for living?
Definitely Montreal. I left Paris and Milan for a reason. In Montreal, everything is possible when you have a passion or a dream. Paris and Milan are harder to break through. If you want to do something or be someone, it will take you five years in Montreal, 30 years in Paris and Milan. People have a wonderful energy in Montreal, there is a lot of opportunities, and you can be very happy if you want to.
What did you like best about this collaboration with RW&CO?
Everything. I was very impressed by how passionate the team is. They’re very dedicated to the company and that’s very significant. It says a lot about the company, it’s the best evidence on how good the company is. I had a lot of fun working with them.
We loved this Behind The Scenes footage! Check it out to learn more on the collab.