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.