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” I am wearing spring shoes. I guess that’s what we do when we’re tired of Winter, we pretend it’s spring already”. We were sitting in the blue lounge of the W Hotel – where, oddly enough, I’ve met Francisco Randez for the first time, two summers ago, at Decastelbajac’s private party. He didn’t change much of my souvenirs. His legs crossed, his hair groomed, Francisco is a very composed man. He talks very quietly, and his answers have a certain profoundness, one can only enjoy. “It is spring, and yes, it’s good to be in denial for a little while” I answered.

His debuts in the fashion industry seemed to be a natural part of his growing process. ” When I was young, I used to work for my aunt’s boutique Mousseline. I learned so much from her, she’s audacious; She was among the first to bring Fashion’s post-modern, rock culture in the city. That universe always fascinated me…  John Richmond, monochrome looks, unexpected fierceness that crashed the traditional perception everyone had about the Fashion industry! And there was also Jean-Paul Gaultier…”

Photo By the sensational Josée Lecompte

With whom you worked! You were Le Male for five years…

” I wanted to be Le Male, I visualized it. My aim wasn’t to model, but to model for Jean-Paul Gaultier. I grew up with his vision, I understood his interpretation of beauty, I wanted to be part of it. Back then, my head was shaved, I was all tattooed, I was exactly who I wanted to be. Now I sound very wild but I was a very reserved person – And I’m still like that – It’s just that I had this fire inside me, this passion that nurtured me.”

How was shooting as Jean-Paul Gaultier’s perfume face?

“I think it didn’t last more than half an hour. I arrived, I knew exactly what they wanted, and how I should give it to them. I think that’s what makes me the most proud about this experience…”

What happened afterward? I guess you were very demanded…

” I never wanted anything else after Gaultier. I was satisfied afterward, I was at peace. Again, modeling wasn’t a career I was striving for. I did some commercials, then some ads then became a TV host – Which fulfilled me as well…”

From Model to Role Model. Although he stopped modeling to focus on his TV career, Francisco accepted few modeling contracts, and shows here and there, with people he liked working with. ” I think that’s what life is about. Working with people who inspire you, who are generous and authentic. It’s more important than being famous. It’s being dedicated and engaged in what you do. Fame should never be a goal. It’s an extension of what you do, but it’s shouldn’t be a goal”

What’s your goal then? 

” To wake up every morning and be excited about the day ahead. I just want to be myself. Now, I’m thinking about our society, and I believe we should be more careful about teenagers, and make sure they learn the values that matter the most. I look at them, and sometimes, I feel they’re lost. Especially, those who don’t have a masculine figure in their lives, it makes me want to be there and inspire them the most I can… it’s tomorrow’s generation, and we should care about them…”

You’re also engaged in various causes… Lately you’ve been Bal Du Mont-Royal’s spokesperson…

” I love Sainte-Justine’s foundation and I’m proud of Le Cercle Des Jeunes Leaders. to see these young professionals gather their strength to mobilize the society, and raise their awareness to give to others… It’s beyond admiration. This year, the ball benefitted the hospital’s neonatal care facilities. We tend to forget about these premature newborns, who open their eyes to world with the challenge to stay alive…I’m more than happy and honored to be involved.”

-> Check out Le Bal Du Mont-Royal’s style insider pictures here.

But you’re also a business man… I heard you own a restaurant? 

Ha is my first restaurant experience, (He also owned la Porte Rouge, on Mont-Royal, for a while), and I love every bit of it. Don’t be surprised if you see me with my sleeves rolled, in the kitchen or serving food. It’s all about passion, I guess, I have a kick ass team, we’re like a family and our clients are very faithful to us… What’s not to love about this…

And you still do radio and TV? How do you manage all this?

Yes, I still host some TV and radio shows but lately, I had my debuts in my first TV Show on TVA. It’s the first time I have an acting role, but the character is very much similar to me. I’m having fun with that. So, how I manage… I don’t know, it must be passion. As I told you, my goal is to learn the most I can, so I love take risks, do new things, meet new people, work with passion. everything I do, I do it for me.

… Let’s talk about Fashion, I love your style, you always look dapper!

I have a very ambiguous relationship with the fashion industry, I don’t like how pollutant and unfair it is. They use billions of resources to makes few garments – We end-up throwing away after few washes. And don’t let me start about those poor people who work in sweatshops in Asia. But in the same time, our body is our temple, and we tend to forget it’s the house we live in – For a lifetime. We have to take care of ourselves, but also take care of the environment. Thank God for the ethic guys, Like Sartorialto, who use organic and sustainable fabrics. All my suits are from there, they’re not designers, they’re artisan – and I value that more.

What are you gentleman’s essentials to go to a ball ?

A good suit. I’m happy to see more young men wear suits. They’re starting to assume this elegant side of them, they were repelling for so long. They always associated suits to something chic, something occasional… when it’s not. They are many kinds: sporty suits, elegant suits, casual ones… I also love pocket squares.I have hundreds of them. Other than that, the most essential thing for me is fabric. I hate wearing bad fabric… it kind of ruin it all.

Cufflinks or no Cufflink? No cufflinks, It’s uncomfortable!

Montreal In Manhattan is a series of outfit posts. I’ll be including at least one piece of Montreal Local designer in all my outfits – whether to attend #NYFW events or street style pictures for style inspiration. 

I woke up like any other morning. I took the time to make my coffee, jump in the shower, read my e-mails, post on Instagram, put my make-up on, fix my hair and dress-up.

But see, it wasn’t like-any-other-morning.

The quiet sound of Brossard’s birds in trees is replaced by the urban symphony of the city that never sleeps. Instead of heading to the office, sit down and quietly start my day, I’m putting my highest heels on, jumping in a cab to go to Tiffany’s. Yes, I’m having breakfast at Tiffany’s – A dream that is finally coming true (remember? I talked about here!). 

So when I started putting together my outfit, an obvious yet interesting wonder came to my mind: If Audrey Hepburn, in the role of Holly Golightly, were to go to Tiffany’s today, in 2014, what would she be wearing?

If Holly Golightly /Audrey Hepburn was fashion forward, always a step ahead on her time, modern and very “New-York”, I couldn’t help but wonder on how she  would have evolved – Which lead me to think on the modern woman today’s position. She’s fun, fierce, minimalist, career-oriented, sober but tasteful, she loves to party until dawn, independent and she protects her heart. She doesn’t like to be taught what to do, she’d rather fail 10 times and learn by herself. But again, what would she be wearing?

I asked my friend, Serge Jean Laviolette (who’s a style connoisseur), and he didn’t hesitate: ” Pair of pants! Very YSL, à la Betty Catroux“. I immediately thought of Nisse. It was a perfect fit with Tiffany’s new architectural design direction (we’ll talk about it later), modernity, it’s fashion-forward, full of movements and style. I went down to their boutique on Saint-Denis, and I fell in love with so many pieces, it was very hard to choose. Until the brand’s manager pulled this outfit, saying that I should totally try it. It was exactly what I was looking for: perfectly cut, strong fabric, and light colours. Very modern breakfast at Tiffany’s.

I really do love Nisse. There is a vision beyond the design and I just appreciated every piece I tried. The fit is amazing, the quality superbe and the structure excellent. I can’t wait to show you more of this brand. Untill then, stay tuned for my next post. It’s about Tiffany’s new collection and you’ll love it!

Top: Nisse
Pants: Majari Trouser from Nisse
Bag: Karen Millen
Shoes: RW&CO

A new flag was raised at the Sofitel Hotel yesterday while a very fashionable crowd was getting inside. No, Montreal didn’t welcome a new ambassador, but something more interesting—in my opinion: The launch of the notorious Eden Park, historical French brand born from a rugby field. ” They are very loved and popular in Europe. I am happy they are finally introducing the brand here, they will have a huge success.” Explained to me a French colleague while I was preparing myself to go to the Sofitel. Later that night, not only I discovered how great the concept is but I also found out about their hilarious history.

Back in the late 80s, five friends were professional rugby players for le Racing Club de France. Far from being ordinary, they distinguished themselves through their facetious side on their most important games. Among their most popular farces were playing with a beret Basque, making an entry on a bicycle in the field or even funnier, play with black stained skin. There is also this pink bow, which is now the emblem of the brand. Yesterday, I had the chance to meet the president of the brand, Mr. Franck Mesnel, to whom I asked some few questions about Eden Park.

How did you shift from the rugby game in the stadium to rugby wear in podiums ? What’s the story of Eden Park?

Mr. Franck Mesnel : Rugby and fashion didn’t have any legitimate connection but for us, the link was clear. When we started to play for the racing club de France, I have to admit we were not the best players out there but we were certainly the most creative and facetious. We used to surprise the public and our opponents very often. However, our sense of humour was attached to a certain refinement and very quickly we had the reputation of the gentlemen who play a bully sport. I have to admit it was quite a paradox but in the same time it was complementary. When we decided to launch the clothing line Eden Park, it just made sense. It represented and still represents, who we are. From the beginning, the brand was effortlessly publicized. People were curious to understand how we shifted from sport to ready-to-wear. Everything was so spontaneous and harmonious, from the logo – which is very symbolic of who we are, to the cuts…

Talking about the pink bow, what does it represent exactly? I saw you wearing it on some pictures, but what’s the story behind it ? 

Mr. Franck Mesnel : It represents everything – All the funny things we did; our refinement; the color of our Mascot who was the pink panther… It’s a small touch of fantaisie we integrated in a rigorous sport. It added a je ne sais quoi to the brand. This is also what we wore in 1990, when we won the championship. When we launched the brand, the bow was already famous. Making it the logo just made sense.

since 1988, how did Eden Park evoluate ? 

Mr. Franck Mesnel : Eden Park is the first rugby wear brand, and it was characterized by the chic, the haut de gamme and the sport from the beginning,.  The rugby jersey remains the main inspiration of Eden Park. In 1988, we were the first who actually developed it in a way where we democratize it. Then, you also have the blue marine Blazer which is what players used to wear after the game. What constantly evoluates with Eden Park is refinement. The brand stays true itself, to our values. However, the pink bow is less obvious than before. it’s more discreet now, we rather suggest it than exhibit it.

Tell me about the feminine line? 

Mr. Franck Mesnel : It’s among the biggest project I am working on now. We already have  a line for women but we want to develop it further more. I am working with feminine competences, they are very good. It’s going to be huge!

Eden Park is growing bigger and bigger, we can find it in many countries. How do you feel about the launching here in Montreal ?

Mr. Franck Mesnel : You have no idea how happy I am. I am happy to be on a city where everybody speaks french and everyone is smiling. It’s different from Europe. Montreal has such a positive energy, a very inspiring Joie de vivre. The decision to launch Eden Park here was very legitimate and we are so happy to finally get here.

Who is the Eden Park man? 

Mr. Franck Mesnel : The Eden Park man is synthesis of every man in the world. He is very rigorous and works very hard. He may seem very serious. But he is waiting for these five minutes in his day to get up on a table and shout : ”Carpe Diem”. He is very civilized, well-educated ad has a great knowledge. He is also very Haut-de-Gamme and aesthetic. He loves  noble fabrics and clean line

Any advice you can give to young quebecer entrepreneurs? 

Mr. Franck Mesnel : If anything, I think it’s the young entrepreneurs who can give advice to the french people. Since I have been here, I was very pleased to see how motivated they are, they work very hard. Rigorous work is a value in the business world.

However, I can share with you an advice that was given when I was a student and that helped me a lot : wake up very early in the morning to work – I would suggest from 5:00 am to 12:00 pm. Not only you will be productive, but you will gain the rest of your day to do other things instead of waking up late and spend the whole day trying to work or study. It works!