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Bonjour Mesdames, Mesdemoiselles et surtout…Messieurs,

One of the most stimulating things about summer (beside that it is warm, comfortable, joyful, playful, bright, sunny, happy, humid, sticky, AC friendly, sandy, rooftop parties…) is the fact that gentlemen can finally wear lighter colours. I mentioned some possibilities in my last article, here is one of them: Earthy colours.

Earth tones colours, as the name states, come from our natural environment: brown, tan, green, as well as different shades of greys. These colour schemes are best used when mixed and matched, such as this jacket and trousers. The result is warm, chic and perfect for a classy yet understated summer look. Matched with a white shirt and blue knitted tie and pocket square, the effect is complete. Of course, brown Oxford shoes and belt are in order here.

Jacket: Ted Baker (The Bay)

Trousers: Simons

Shirt: Clusier (Clusier habilleur)

Tie : Sur mesur

Belt : Canali

Shoes : Rudy’s Paris

“Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.”  – John Locke, English philosopher

Sneakerella. Camille’s modern version of sneaker girls. Someone I became until very lately. See, I’m definitely a high heels girls. If Cam would wear sneakers with dresses and skirts, I’d wear heels with jogger pants or boyfriend jeans. I love heels, I love the assurance it gives you when you walk with them. I also love how it ”sexifies” your outfit instantly. (What’up Julia Robert runaway bride pose remake! I always wanted to do that. minus the bride dress).

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But, once I owned my first pair of Converse, I was hooked. Comfort never seemed that classy. So just like Cam, I started wearing them with almost everything. Skirts, dresses, jumpsuits… except maybe boyfriend jeans. Converse and boyfriend jeans made me feel like a retarded teenager in an adult state of mind. Not cool. BUT. A perfect skirt, white t-shirt and leather perfecto is totally my new ”Casual is the new Chic”. In her article, Cam was discussing Nike vs Converse girls. According to her definition, Converse girls are the careless, free spirited, comfort junkies ladies who still look sexy in their outfit. Hope I rep well her interpretation of those girls, since I’m certainly not a Nike Girl.

” 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!

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!

Read more: {Style Insider} Elle Quebec x RW&CO Collaboration Launch Party

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.
So this is when we talk about a collaboration…
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.