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It was 2 p.m. I was waiting for him at the Palm Court of the Ritz Carlton. To be honest, I was a bit nervous. I was expecting Dick Walsh, one of the most important creative gurus Montreal has ever known.  I’m sure he can’t fit all his achievements in one C.V, but long story short: he did windows for Dior, Shieshedo, Valentino; He produced Celine Dion’s wedding, the amazing balls of many museums (like Guggenheim) and charity organizations, he launched Carine Roitfield’s magazine, he did the Grammy’s… And the list goes on… and on. Yep, you can tell I had done my research. I knew his bio so well , but nothing can ever prepare you to meet someone who has such a tremendous influence in the world of design and lifestyle.

The revolving door of the lobby opened and he appeared… he looked very dapper in his double-breasted suit, his funky green and blue velvet loafers… and of course, his great smile that makes you feel instantly comfortable! And that’s the thing about Dick Walsh; Smart, witty but never pretentious. He was very generous, talking about his career; his vision of Montreal’s design and fashion scene… He even shared some of his design secrets (yup, you might want to read until the end!)

Just like any giants, it only comes natural to start by asking: Where and how did it all start?

Dick: I was 17 and I was looking for a summer job. Eaton was opening in Quebec city, and I really wanted to work there but I was underage. I guess I can confess this now, I slightly bumped my age up while applying and they took me. So  like any beginners, I started by opening boxes. I was fortunate enough to be handed what were to be used in the store’s windows. After opening all the boxes, I pulled out the wigs, the mannequins and the accessories… And I had no idea what to do with them. I instinctively dressed the mannequins and used the accessories around them in a way I liked. Next day, Eatons’ GM saw my work and he loved it. Six Months later, I moved to Montreal. They’ve put me in charge of all the windows and I was working with over 40 employees.

During 3 years, Dick created the most amazing windows For Eatons. He Perfected his art and changed the face of Montreal. The secret of his success?

Dick: One of the first thing I did when I arrived in Montreal was to ask for the windows to be lighted-up at night. Back then, downtown was the place to be. All the best clubs where there. So at 3 am. when the clubs closed, everyone stopped in front of the windows. At one point, we had to put ropes in front of them because they were so many people looking at them. I was also asked to make them a little less provocative, because they had a certain sexual undertone to them. Maybe that’s why Karl Lagerfeld is still one of the biggest fans of my Eaton windows.”

He swiped some photos  from his iPhone to show me some examples. The first thought that came across my mind is how windows displays are an art form that needs to be brought back, in all international fashion scenes. Looking at his previous work, I found it interesting how it’s a mix between interior design, photography and cinema. They were like a scene, it always seems to be a story there. It makes you want to pause, reflect, savor and dig into what you see. Paul Klee once said: ”Art doesn’t represent what we see but teaches us how to see”. It’s like a call to stop from walking, to take a break from your routine, to take the time, a moment to really appreciate what you see.

What was your ah-ha moment? When did he know exactly what he wanted to do?

Dick: I never really decide on anything. I’m not career-oriented so all what happened to me wasn’t part of a plan. I just never said no. Like the time when I was still working for Eaton, Famous MUA Serge Lutens suggested I should go to Japan with him for a Shisheido project. I just followed him. For someone who comes from a little town, Donakota, it was amazing. Then, I went to Paris. Then other cities. other projects… I just really never said no.

Then you became an event-planner…

Dick: That was another outcome of not being able to say no. In 1996, I was working for Elle Quebec as a creative director. I got a phone call, they wanted me to to do Celine Dion’s wedding. I never ever did any events, except fashion shows. It was the first time I planned an event A to Z… Actually, now more than ever, I realize it’s really because I have always been open to new opportunities. I always said yes to new projects. I’ve never had any insecurities about my job or trying something new… I’d just jumped right into it. At the end of the day, I’m not a surgeon. If I make a mistake, nobody will die… so I might as well go for it.

What is your secret to great design?

Dick: Lighting. I like simplicity in my home. I don’t like to have many objects, but lighting is the key. Even when you don’t have the budget, you can have a great set-up with the right lighting. I did an event here, in Montreal, last year at L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel. We had no budget but we created a great concept: The models were on Black cubes and we’ve put a nice dramatic spotlight on them. It was gorgeous!  At home, I have different lights for different mood. But I found a great little lamp, here in Montreal: It’s a minimal strip of led light but it produces a great halo. I bought a bunch of them, so I have them everywhere at home now!

What’s next for you now?

Dick: I want to go back to my roots and do more windows. I’m moving to New York, as I’ll be collaborating with MAC Cosmetics for Henry Bendel & Saks. But I would love to come back to Montreal. I find it very sad that many talented people leave the city, because there is only so much you can do. I keep bumping into so many Quebecers, working in the industry, either in Paris or New York.  People blame it on money, they say there is no budget but I don’t agree. I think it’s more about taking risks and being more outgoing. Because otherwise, you can do a lot without much!

What would be then your advice to the next generation? 

Dick: We simply need the new generation and the government to get involved to make the city alive again. In the 80s, everybody would come to Montreal! I remember there were some crazy parties with Fellini, Picasso’s family and others legends. We didn’t to get out to the world, the world was coming to us. But people forgot what it used to be, they need to know the city’s history, what we came from, and what we can do to make the city great again. People wait for opportunities, but they forgot they can create their own opportunities.

***

There was it. A wonderful afternoon with Dick Walsh. He made me proud to be and feel Montrealer. Our Quebec moto is ‘Je Me Souviens’. Let it always be a reminder that Montreal is the city where all dream can come true. All opportunities can be a success. Our DNA can lead many industries. Talent & creativity is part of our heritage and our future.

What do Patricia Fields, Scooter Laforge, Vincent Leret, Adam Katz Sing , Stephen Jones have in common? Yes, they all have a stellar career. And yes, they’ll all be in the city for five days – as speakers for Festival Mode et Design. But I’m mostly referring to fact they all responded to one man’s invitation to be part of this public celebration of fashion. The man in question, Stéphane Leduc, is the absolute key-play to why we’re having these a-list players in our city.

If you’re part of the fashion industry, you know who’s Stéphane. Editor-In-Chief of Dress To Kill Magazine, he’s that discreet and polite man you’d bump into in events. He’s also that dapper gentleman, whose love for fashion leads him to rock gorgeous textures and fabrics… And he’s also that successful Journalist, one of the few Canadians to be invited to Chanel and Dior shows– every.single.season. (Yes, I’m jealous, who wouldn’t be! #LifeGoal). But above and beyond all, I always liked the man for that kindness that emanates from him, the smart and deep way he looks at people. Down to earth, humble, he’s one of the good ones! It was a rainy morning, sometimes last week, when we’ve met over a morning coffee at the Loews Hotel Vogue. Although the aim of our discussion was to introduce the #FMD15 speakers, I couldn’t help but ask him: Who is he really? How did he make it in the fashion industry?

Credit Photo: Josée Lecompte

“ I started as a reporter for Music Plus. I remember I had this small segment about fashion. What I wanted, back then, was to specialize in movies; I was fascinated by the world of Film and I never thought I’d end up in Fashion. But my segment did so well, we went from 5 min to 30 min, and the show, called Perfecto, became a key-show in the fashion industry.”

How did that happen? What made that show different from other shows?

Probably that I used the same approach than when I used to conduct interviews in the film industry. Instead of just talking about the latest trends, I was more interested in the designer’s process of creation, the behind the scenes… but also women and men fashion. When the subject was good, it was good. We wouldn’t discriminate one gender over the other, and it was good because our real audience were both genders.

How the switch for fashion really happened?

The show was amazing, it was relayed in different channels and gave me access to all sort of people I loved to interview… Among them,  Karl Lagerfeld who’s extremely generous in interviews. Back then; he was doing Chloé, Chanel and his own line, which gave me 3 interviews with him to conduct per season. There was also the Top Models phenomenon that sparked; it was the era of Claudia, Naomi, Kate and others models who became celebrities. Here in Montreal, it was the début of today’s most renowned fashion designers like Philippe Dubuc, Marie Saint-Pierre, Nadya Toto etc… They weren’t known back then, and the show gave them the opportunity to shine and get access to the public. So covering international and national events in the show gave me the opportunity to deeply explore the fashion industry and I loved it.

Impressive path, you’ve witness not only the fashion industry’s evolution but also the society’s! What part of this evolution you find notable?

What impressed me is how the fashion industry was perceived changed over time. Before, people thought of it as a dumb and useless subject, and that people who are part of that universe are completely futile. Today, it’s an acknowledged part of everybody’s lifestyle, people are no more ashamed to dress well, to spend money on clothes, to discuss it… or be passionate about it. But there were many stages and factors that contributed to the society’s development, like Sex and The City …

… Who’s stylist, Patricia Fields, is one of the speakers you invited… 

… Exactly. What I find interesting with SATC is how it liberated women from their complexes. The 4 women were free, modern, career-driven, they loved fashion, they were able to make their very own choices and they weren’t ashamed of it. The wonderful part is that they’d do it without any pretentiousness. They were expressing their love for fashion and freedom, with a lot of humour, fun and in a natural way that set an example to everybody who watched that show.

How about you introduce us each guest, and how you’ve met?

To be honest, I never met Patricia, and I’ll meet her next week at the conference when I’ll interview her in front of the audience. But I liked her vibe when I spoke to her over the phone. One of the speakers, Scooter Laforge, introduced me to her and told her she should trust me. She did, and now I’m ultra nervous 🙂

Scooter Laforge: I met Scooter few years ago when I was in New York. I remember I loved his work so much, I featured it in the magazine although it had nothing to do with our editorial line, We connected, and we kept in touch. I found he was a perfect fit with the multi-aspects of the FMD.

Marc-Antoine Coulon: Marc-Antoine’s is a very talented illustrator. It’s curious how two years ago he was still debuting, while today, his career is evolving by leaps and bounds. I noticed in him a sincere love for fashion, which translated in a different vision of that universe. I can only nod to his success. Before coming to the city, he was exposing in NYC (he’s based in Paris). I can’t wait to see him again.

 

Peter Simons: I find it unbelievable he accepted to be part of the speakers. In my opinion, he’s the epitome of success here in Quebec. Today, Simons is 175 years of success and it still grows significantly in Canada. It’s rare that you see a local company succeed this well in our local industry. He makes us all proud and I’m very happy that he’s taking the time to speak about it openly, with the simplicity and the passion we know he has. It’s rare that he gives interviews, it’s a great honour to have him accept this invitation.

 

Adam Katz Sinding:  an amazing guy, who’s very successful and has a great vision as well. He’s a well-know blogger but refuses to call himself a blogger per say. He always says that his work is more like photo-reportage than street style blogging. What you need to know about Adam is that he’s super exigent with his work. If the photo doesn’t answer to his criteria, even if it’s a celebrity shot, he’d automatically cut it. Let’s say if it’s a photo of Kanye West coming out from a show, and there is a lot of people around him, the photo is deleted. It’s better to go see his work on his website than his Instagram – it’s much more revealing and deeper than what he posts on social media… Which makes sense.

 

Vincent Leret: I met him once, when I was interviewing Chandler Burr, a journalist who wrote a book on Dior Perfumes. Vincent was there, and he was contributing to the interview in all-things related to the history of the brand. I found he had interesting anecdotes. Later that day, Dior hosted a supper to celebrate the new J’ADORE fashion film with Charlize Theron. I saw him again and we took the time to discuss furthermore. It was a very laid-back discussion and I discovered him in another light. He’s a very interesting guy, he has such a deep savoir about the history of Christian Dior, it’s impressive. He’s the one who curates all the Powerhouse’s museums and archives. See, there isn’t much information about the designer himself, I find there is many movies about YSL and almost none about christian Dior. It’s a true privilege to have Mr. Leret talk to us directly about the genius who started La Maison Dior, and the heritage he left behind them.

 

 

He makes every day your prettiest day, and every woman is looking for her prettiest day.

                                                                                                                                                          Oprah Winfrey about Derrick Rutledge

Two of America’s grandes dames make-up depend on beauty expert Derrick Rutledge, who has been practicing in the  industry for 25 years now. Today, Rutledge is the head make-up artist of United States First Lady Michelle Obama, and also Oprah, who gets “second dibs” when he’s not working for the White House. If Rutledge is famous for having many celebrities as clients and respected for his talent, I was quite blown away by the man’s humility, his desire to achieve more and mostly live his passion to the fullest. In addition to his work as a make-up artist, Rutledge created a beauty line, OOH Lifestyle, that he’s launching soon in Canada. Being the world’s first full line featuring Naturalceuticals ™, OOH Lifestyle includes skin, make-up, body and hair care products. Since he accompanied Oprah on her tour in Montreal, we had the opportunity to ask him some questions about his parcours, his work and also some expert beauty tips. Not only he kindly answered, I also appreciated his genuine and inspiring responses. Read up the unedited interview right here:

OHH_Derrick

Fati Zed :Tell me about yourself! How did your passion for beauty start, and how did you know that a career in that industry was intended for you? 

Derrick Rutledge: It all started by me wanting to become an opera singer. However, my teacher told me I would never make the lead because of my weight. I decided to move on and pursue a career in the arts, something a little more behind the scenes. I was producing, directing and studying fashion photography. I loved to take pictures of beautiful women, but I felt that it wasn’t coming through properly in the film. So I started asking the models if I could do their make-up and they loved it. Now, I simply see the beauty industry as a natural fit for me. I feel very blessed to be doing what I love and to be working with such inspiring women.

F.Z : You’ve become a prominent figure in the beauty world and worked with oh so many celebrities!   Who was your first celebrity? And how did it happen?

D.R: My first celebrities were Patty LaBelle, CeeCee Wyans and Chaka Khan. I met them all from my days at BET. In the early 90’s when I was working in television, I was recruited to be a make-up artist for them.


F.Z: Who did you first work with: Michelle Obama or Oprah Winfrey?

D.R: I first started working with Michelle Obama then with Oprah. I did Michelle’s makeup for her cover with TIME magazine and this caught Oprah’s attention. She was amazed by how I had transformed her image and called me in for an audition. Oprah was really pleased with the way I made her look and I got the part – the rest is history.

Michelle and Oprah are very good friends so luckily they don’t have a problem with sharing me! Oprah actually once said in the Washington Post, “The first lady comes first. When she doesn’t need him, I get second dibs.”

 F.Z: How is it to work with the world’s most influential and inspiring female figure? How does it influence you as a person?

  D.R: Working with Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey inspires me everyday to be a better person and artist. Michelle is a great example of what you can achieve with persistence. When Michelle Obama launched the “Let’s Move” campaign to help battle childhood obesity, her work in that area helped me to overcome by own weight challenges – I’ve now lost 325 pounds! She is also a great mother, a genuinely very caring individual. What I love about Oprah is that she is so spiritual, compassionate, and confident. She’s one of my greatest mentors and has taught me so much already. Both Michelle and Oprah are some of my biggest supporters – I am so grateful to them for all they’ve done for me.

 

F.Z: I love how both Oprah and Michelle Obama’s skins look glowing and perfect. What is the beauty trick behind it? Can you explain the process?

D.R : Both live very healthy and active lifestyles. They drink lots of water and pay close attention to what they put into their system. Because they ingest such clean foods, it reflects outwards on to their skin. It really makes my job easier as a makeup artist because I don’t have as many facial flaws to cover up and detract from their look.

I look at each woman’s face as a canvas. The glowing look comes from gradating different colours: from dark chestnut to burnt orange to peach to  apricots and yellows. By blending a variety of colours I can create depth and highlight certain features on a woman’s face.

F.Z: Any tips on how women can turn their daily look into something that can work for a night out?

D.R: A daily look can be easily transitioned into the night. Since daytime looks are usually kept light and natural, you simply have to add a little bit of a heavier shadow for the night to make your eyes appear more piercing. If you just add more liner and mascara, this can really bring your look a long way. Deeper, richer lips as well as more shimmer on the cheekbones can create a sexier look.

F.Z: What are three makeup items should no woman leave home without?

D.R: Concealer, mascara and lip gloss or lipstick.

F.Z: What is the mandatory step for a healthy and flawless skin?

D.R: Make sure you always prep your skin with moisturizer before your apply makeup. Try to buy makeup that has natural properties and nourishes your skin. A lot of makeup these days have chemicals that damage instead of protect the skin. Remember to take your makeup off every night to let your skin breathe and apply nourishing night creams to hydrate and replenish it.

F.Z: What is the faux pas most women make? How can they avoid it?

D.R : One of my biggest pet peeves is when I see women with lip gloss that bleeds into the skin. My rule is to line the lips, blend the lip-coloured pencil in with a brush, put powder on it, and then apply the gloss. This stops the gloss from bleeding outside the parameters of the lip.

F.Z : At what extent do you believe makeup boosts women’s confidence?

D.R: I find all women to be beautiful inside and out, but sometimes it takes a bit of makeup to boost their confidence. I see it in women all the time when I am making them over. It’s about defining their natural features and creating a polished, confident look.

F.Z : You’re launching your cosmetic Line OOH Lifestyle in Canada. Tell me about it! What makes it different from the other product lines?

D.R: What makes OOH Lifestyle different is that our line of products contains Naturalceuticals ™. Our approach is essentially about combining organic elements for the wellbeing and health of the human body. I work with a team of chemists and we’ve re-invented conventional hair care and beauty products by embracing nature scientifically.

F.Z : Your favourite product from this line?

D.R: My favourite products in the hair care line are Hair Milk Debut, Swag and Limelight.

F.Z: Where can Canadians buy it?

D.R: OOH Lifestyle will be available in professional salons across Canada, OOH Hair Care is the first one to come out in May. Locations are still to be determined, but you can stay tuned by visiting our website: www.oohlifestyle.com. Check out our Facebook page OOH Lifestyle or Twitter @OOHLifestyle for updates on locations and any new information coming out.

F.Z: Is it your first time in Montreal? How do you like the city so far?

D.R: This actually is my first time in Montreal – it’s a beautiful city! I am glad that Oprah’s tour has brought me here. We were actually supposed to fly out of Montreal earlier to go to Hamilton for our next show, but we decided to stay here for an extra night to explore more of what the city has to offer!

There are so many inspiring things about BCBGMAXAZRIA’s Creative Designer, Lubov Azria, that makes her an indisputable role model for the modern woman. In fact, there is a litany of fine descriptors for her: She is a talented fashion designer, a strong entrepreneur, a loving mother of six children and a devoted wife. Her grace, her boundless energy, and her strong personal style show off her passion for life. Ukrainian-born, Lubov moved to Los Angeles to study at the Fashion and Design Institute before joining the BCBGMAXAZRIAGroup few years later. The rest is history. Sometimes, her personal parcours reminds me one of those brave women in a Danielle Steel’s glittering novels. Bref…

Anticipation. This is what drove me to the New York BCBG Showroom on the eve of the Spring/Summer 2013 fashion show at the Lincoln Center, where I caught up with Luboz Azria… And I didn’t leave you out, dear readers, I also included some of your questions in my interview (thank you for the e-mails folks!).  I asked her 10 questions that she kindly answered.

Fati Zed: You work very closely with designer Max Azria, who also happens to be your husband. How does it work exactly? How do two great minds work together to jointly create one unique collection?

Lubov Azria : Well, we’re a great combo – we complete each other very well. Max is a visionary, he likes to think global. I’m very detail-oriented. When conceiving a collection, we sit down and talk about what we want to say about that particular season. There is no big difference between our collections, there is a continuation – a bit like a story that keeps evolving. So once the vision is set, we create boards, share ideas, do research and this is how the collection happens.

F.Z: So what is the vision behind the Spring/Summer collection we’ll be discovering tomorrow? 

L.A: Max was talking about the strength of women, how powerful they are and how some of the top CFOs nowadays are females. We were inspired by some films noir and also by this book of Helmut Newton called Polaroids; We were attracted by the way Newton portrayed the modern woman: strong, powerful and always in control… We wanted the woman to be a bit different this time – a bit edgier and more in the forefront. We thought this woman should just seduce just standing there, without saying anything and without showing skin. It’s another type of language – the language of a ‘femme fatale.’

F.Z : What are the key pieces of the collection ? What should we expect ? 

L.A : Our pieces will be more consistent this time. I think the runway will be all about workwear. so you’ll see a lot of dresses. And harnesses. The rest is yet to discover.

F.Z: Geometry and fluidity were the main components of BCBG  fall collection. I sensed that the geometry reflected a certain eastern european influence and if you add the belts to the fluidity, the dresses were a bit caftan-esque. Was it influenced by your Ukrainian background and Max’s Tunisian origins? 

L.A: Of course, it’s part of the DNA! Every single time, our pieces can be perceived either as a russian tunique or a caftan while being super-trendy! And I love caftans ! It’s funny that you picked up on that, because by the end of this particular collection, I was so tired that all I was dreaming about was our vacations in Morocco. So by the finale, the ten last looks had nothing to do with the first looks.

F.Z: And did you end up going to Morocco ?

L.A: No, unfortunately!  We couldn’t get the flights!

F.Z: How would you describe the prototypical BCBG woman ? 

L.A: I think my girl is a dynamic woman, in the forefront of fashion. She is savvy and she doesn’t hide behind the clothes. She celebrates life and enjoy it to the fullest.

F.Z: Talking about celebrating life, what does it take to a woman to embrace happiness according to you?   

L.A: Well happiness is a state of mind, it doesn’t come from a man, or children but comes from doing what you love and be constantly in harmony with yourself. And you have to be confident about who you are. In other words, you love what you do, you can see how passionate you are about it and this is why you’re confident in yourself. And this is what brings you happiness. So If you get to grow this feeling and make it evolve, it’s just fantastic.

F.Z : So I guess creating is what makes you happy! So you’re the creative designer of a multinational brand and also the mother of six children, how do you handle your different roles and still manage to have time for yourself ? 

L.A : Love. You don’t handle things, you just enjoy every moment you have. And you don’t set rules. There are no rules when I go out with my children, I don’t impose to them to behave in a certain way. I just enjoy my time with them and surround their growth with love.

There is this quote from the Dalai Lama that says : ”When asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered “Man…. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

This is exactly my point : You just need to enjoy the present. If all what you do is worry about what is going to happen tomorrow, well… you’re missing what is happening now.

F.Z : Amen ! Tell me more about your personal style, how would you define it ? What is a typical Lubov Outfit?

L.A: This is a difficult question, I have so many favourite outfits. A perfect outfit will be composed of a great shift dress. A harness, a belt or a leather accessory and a nice pair of shoes. I love shoes.

F.Z : What will  be the ultimate advice you’d give to a fashionista seeking for her own personal style? 

L.A: You have to dress based on your body shape.  The moment you know what is good in you, that is when you start having your own personal style.

 

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!