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Profile Stories 003

Pamela Hackett - President of Proudfoot Consulting

For this edition of profile stories we interviewed Australian, Pamela Hackett. The globetrotting President of Management Consulting firm Proudfoot shared her thoughts on ambition, commitment, and what makes living in Canada exceptional.

Pamela Hackett
813 1606 coccon hero 1new
AKEN Jacket Belted jacket.Asymetric flange front.Slash pockets.

At 23 you joined the company that you are now the President of. What advice about commitment and loyalty would you give to young people at the early stages of their career in a time where ongoing change and speed seem to be the norm?

I speak about the importance of being brilliant in the role you are in. I try to help people see they need one foot in the present and one foot in the future. You need to commit to what you do today. Because what you learn today helps build your tomorrow. It’s important to focus on the future, but if you want to get there, you need to deliver on the present.

Brilliant ideas need brilliant execution.

You are a big supporter of Ryerson University in Toronto. What qualities do you admire most in young people and students?

The art of the ‘what if’. I see so many young people start out with all the gusto of a hurricane. They want to disrupt and innovate. They want to be or do amazing things. Their heads are swirling with ideas.

You lived in Germany, Singapore, Australia, and the United Kingdom. You first moved to Canada in 1990 and still live in Toronto some parts of the year. What makes Canada special?

I consider Canada my home, and it has been for 25 years. And I love where I live in Toronto. I’m 15 minutes drive from Bay Street and yet I feel I’m in cottage country. I live at the far end of the Toronto Beaches, overlooking the lake. When I come home, and I drive from the airport to my house, I feel the vibrancy of a forward thinking country, filled with diversity and immigrants just like me, but at the same time I feel settled, a calmness. What makes Canada special is its natural beauty and diversity – people and landscape.

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CN Tower, Toronto, ON Skyline
Photo by Ania Boniecka

What architecture in Toronto inspires you?

It’s less a specific architecture and more a street. I love a certain section of Front Street. There is a tiny home with the painted façade and a back drop of modern city scape behind it. It’s a building from a moment of the past that has remained strong over time, and blended with the modern world. It reassures me that the past still has a place in the future.

You once wrote to us from you “favourite little hotel in the world” – The Covent Garden Hotel in London and mentioned that you are Judith & Charles’ biggest fan. What makes places like that hotel and a brand like Judith & Charles so special?

Comfort or perhaps it should be confidence. When I wear Judith and Charles I feel comfortable in my own skin and I’m confident. It’s as if Judith & Charles designed with me in mind. That’s a remarkable thing about a brand. Being able to be true to your brand but still surprise. The Covent Garden Hotel gives that same feel. I feel like I’m coming home, not going away. It’s the comfort of what you know blended with the anticipation of a new look, a new style. These brands are true to their style and they never disappoint.

You said that you wear Judith & Charles dresses nearly every day. Why is that?

I do unless of course I’m in the field. I love the clothes. I’ve never walked into one of your boutiques and not found a dress to add to my collection. And I love the idea of a husband and wife team. To bump into Judith and Charles in LaGuardia airport, in the security line no less and have a couple suddenly say “I’m Charles, and I’m Judith” was great to see. So when I’m in my London office, or I have to attend a Board meeting, I am in a Judith & Charles dress without fail. The girls in the office tell me they love my wardrobe of dresses. I grew up seeing women in power suits, which seemed manly. Judith & Charles is something more important, soft confidence. Women in the executive suite are not men and don’t need to be manly to win. We need to use our own characteristics, our own DNA. Judith & Charles dresses help me to do that. A power suit doesn’t help me. But in a Judith & Charles dress I know I look and feel my best self – quietly confident in my own abilities, my own voice.

As someone who has moved so much and is constantly travelling, how do you stay truly connected to the people you love?

That’s my challenge. Work is my hobby. I love the challenges it affords me each day, so it consumes me in a positive way. But I think my friends and family know that. I’ve been together with my best friend for 30 years, we work for the same company, travelling the same amount with a passion for the same things so that really helps. I think what is important is your friends and family not judging you for that lifestyle, but loving it with you because it’s what makes you, you. We all enjoy the time we have together and don’t waste it on complaining that it is not enough. We make that time valuable.

Do you have any routines that keep you balanced and strong?

Despite all my bubbliness when I am with people, I am quite the introvert. I struggle with too much noise, too many people and action in the one place at the one time. I don’t think anyone would really know that. So I need to shut down regularly so I can keep up with it in a healthy way. That’s my hotel and my home time. They are my sanctuaries, my routine. When I get home or when I can get to ‘my hotel’, it’s my quiet time.

Throughout our dialogues you seemed to be enthusiastic and quite grateful for the life you live. How do you stay motivated?

There is not a day I don’t sit back and say ‘Wow, how fortunate am I to be here, right now, today’. Whether here is with an amazing person, one of my brilliant team members; possibly a next generation leader or a Baroness in the British Parliament giving me and my ‘lean in’ group a guided tour of the houses of parliament at 11 pm one evening, or whether I am 4000 meters up in the Andes in a gold mine. I think, what an amazing life.

As someone who has seen most parts of the world, is there any cuisine that you are surprisingly fond of?

Chilli Crab in Singapore is my favourite meal. Nothing beats a big bowl of crab swimming in chilli sauce, a Tiger beer, and the outdoor eatery scene. And then there’s Marks & Spencer’s Victoria Sponge cake. Whenever I land in Johannesburg, I head to Woolworths, buy the chocolate sponge and grab a plastic spoon, then go to my hotel, turn on the news, and start eating. It’s the perfect moment in time; me, the news and a chocolate sponge cake and no people, for just a brief moment. It’s like being a kid again.

Any final thoughts that come to mind after this interview?

To be brilliant in today’s world you need to find the environment where your best self will shine. But you also need to be truly comfortable with ambiguity. You need to succeed in the environment you sometimes find yourself in rather than the one you want to be in. It’s always that balance. So I find myself realizing that life is really about that ambiguity and succeeding in a world full of ambiguity. You also need to be constantly learning, and choosing, you can’t do everything, so you need to pick wisely. I guess life is about navigating the journey of ambiguity and being brilliant where you are.

Pamela Hackett
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ROTHCO Jacket Double-breasted jacket.Two by three front button closure.Two flap pockets and one breast pocket at front.

Profile Stories 002

Willow Lindley - Contemporary Market Editor at Vogue

For our second profile story, we approached New York based Willow Lindley to gain insight into what makes the city so alluring and what drew her to a career in fashion. Before meeting her in Montreal for this feature’s photo shoot, we had several conversations regarding working for a major magazine, fashion essentials and the joys of living in NYC.

Willow Lindley
Vaughan Dress
Dee Cardigan
Vaughan Dress Slip dress.V-neckline.Side slit.
Dee Cardigan Long sleeve cardigan sweater.

How did your childhood interests lead you to a career in fashion?

I was very lucky to grow up around creative people who love what they do for work. I also have always been fascinated with photography, partly because my father is a cinematographer, and that really led me to love fashion photography, magazines, clothes and beautiful things in general. Also, growing up on movie sets led me to have that desire for fantasy that is so important in fashion.

What did you study and where?

I studied history at Barnard College in New York City and wrote my thesis on a war photographer named Lee Miller who worked for British Vogue during World War II.

Have your parents influenced your career or work ethic?

My parents without a doubt have influenced my work ethic. My father has managed to work freelance his whole life, which I greatly admire. I saw him make all the tough choices that freelancers have to make, especially when it came to missing family vacations for an important job or, equally as hard, turning things down during our summers so we always got our much needed family time in. I also watched my mother go back and get her degree in her 50s to reinvent her career completely, which showed me that you can do anything you want and you are never stuck if you are willing to work hard enough.

What is it about working at Vogue Magazine that people find so incredibly fascinating?

I think Vogue has an incredible history that people are drawn to. Vogue has also attracted some of the most flamboyant and brilliant creatives in the industry that are not shy at sharing their point of view.

Growing up on movie sets led me to have that desire for fantasy that is so important in fashion.

How do you switch off from work at the end of the day?

I always try to put my phone down for a half hour whether it's to go out to dinner with a friend, cook for me and my boyfriend, or go to the gym and have a little alone time.

How do you determine what clothing is essential or will add value to your wardrobe?

Mainly quality and fit. I’m all about comfort because I will only wear things more than once if they make me feel good.

What lessons has your career in fashion taught you about personal style?

That the best looking people wear clothes that fit them beautifully.

What traditional fashion rules do you believe in?

I’m not sure that I do – I love winter whites, navy with black, and booties in the summer. Rule breaker?

What is it about Judith & Charles that keeps you loyal to the brand?

The best thing about Judith & Charles is how long the clothes hold up - both design and quality-wise. When you buy a Judith & Charles piece, you know it is a piece that is going to take you through many seasons.

What is it about living in NYC that people find so alluring?

It’s such a melting pot from the food to the people to the buildings and, in New York, you are forced to interact with people from all walks of life all day everyday. You can’t help but find inspiration here.

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World Trade Center Transportation Hub, New York City, NY by Santiago Calatrava
Photo by Mark Lennihan

How does working in the Battery Park neighbourhood of NYC affect your lifestyle?

I think Battery Park is in such a great spot. I love being able to get out of work and go to the gym at Brookfield Place, stop at Le District and get some nice cheese to take home, walk over a couple blocks to TriBeCa and hit Whole Foods. It’s so centrally located and easy to access but also has a beautiful waterfront that is breathtaking in the evening.

Willow Lindley
Milt Coat
Oliver Sweater
Milt Coat Single-breasted coat.
Oliver Sweater Long sleeve knit sweater.Crew neckline.

Profile Stories 001

Dana Ades-Landy - President for the Association of Québec Women in Finance

This feature profile is the first of a new series, which looks to provide inspiration for women and allows us to get closer to our clients’ stories. In December 2015, we met with Montreal-based Dana Ades-Landy, for an early morning chat to discuss career, her advice to young professionals and her love for the brand.

Previously listed as one of Canada’s most powerful women, Dana currently resides as President for the Association of Québec Women in Finance (AFFQ), in addition to being a mother of two.

Dana Ades-Landy
Newman Dress
Newman Dress Sleeveless dress.Crew neckline.

What makes Montreal a great city to live in?

Montreal is a multi cultural city combining the warmth of a small city with the arts, education, restaurants and city life of a larger North American type city. It has amazing restaurants, hotels, ivy league schools, theatres, and a symphony to name a few reasons.

Is there any specific architecture in montreal that inspires you?

The Museum is magnificent and world renowned, the building I live in is over 100 years old with amazing architecture.

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Montreal Museum of Fine Arts - Founded in 1860 as the Art
Association of Montreal by a group of art collectors and patrons.

The advice I always give to young women is start building a network early on.
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Jude Jacket
Oliver Sweater
Oliver Sweater
Jude Jacket Single-breasted jacket.
Turnham Top Sleeveless blouse.
Liam B Pant Two-way stretch flat front pant.

Do you have any advice to share to young women starting their careers?

The advice I always give to young women is to start building a network early on, get involved in your community, school, associations, and charity work; you never know who you will meet. LEAN IN, promote yourself, ask for what you want and be a risk taker.

How do your fashion choices empower you in your daily life?

If I feel like I look good, and I am comfortable, I project confidence and feel like I have one less thing to worry about in my day.

What is it about Judith & Charles that makes you a loyal client?

I am loyal to the brand because the fit, quality and style of the collection are exactly me, they allow me to go to work with confidence and comfort. For me, there is no other brand name that really makes clothing for executive women.

How would you describe elegance?

Elegance is classic chic dressing with little fuss, someone who always looks put together, at ease in their skin and knows how to put an outfit together which is appropriate for the occasion.

What is your favourite thing about spring fashion?

The change in fabric and colours, lots of cream and white, and the feeling of taking off all the heavy layers.