Fashion week is off to a strong start, and we can’t wait to see what else is in store for the rest of the week!
Deb has over 15 years of experience in public relations and communications. After completing her Master’s degree at the London School of Economics, she worked as a communications advisor to cabinet ministers in the Ontario Government before rounding out her communications experience across a number of sectors with Hill & Knowlton and GCI Group in Toronto and Hill & Knowlton, New York. Deb worked in-house for a media agency during the dotcom boom, and ultimately returned to Toronto to set up her own shop, launching Deb McCain Communications in 2004.
Since starting DMC, Deb has worked with many HGTV personalities from Sarah Richardson and Tommy Smythe to Peter Fallico, Suzanne Dimma and the original Designer Guys, Steven & Chris. She was involved with the creation of Inside Entertainment magazine and FQ Magazine (with editor Jeanne Beker) and has worked extensively with Canadian fashion brands Ron White, Smythe jackets and Dealuxe. Deb has substantial experience in Canadian television across a range of production companies and networks including CBC, CTV, W Network, HGTV, Slice, Discovery and TVO.
DMC works with a number of charitable initiatives throughout the year including CAMH (Unmasked Fundraiser 2008-2011), The Ron White Foundation (White Knight Galas 2009-2011), The Writer’s Trust (Gala Dinner 2010), and Casey House (Snowball 2012). Outside of the office, Deb stays busy on the home front with a husband and two young girls.
How long have you been in your current position?
How does your company leverage PR (i.e. to generate press, to build reputation, to manage crisis communications, etc)?
We use media to extend our client’s brands. We look for opportunities to layer stories and create multiple points of contact. We know the right people to get it done.
What qualities are most important to you when hiring a PR team member (PR degree, internships, etc.)?
Strong knowledge in the sector and loads of initiative.
Who gave you your first big career break?
Mike Coates, CEO of Hill & Knowlton Canada. He let me talk him into transferring me to the New York office. The rest is history.
What’s your biggest piece of advice for PR pros, both junior and senior?
Know your journalists and what they’re writing about. Read as much as you can and stay current. Some of the best pitches have a hook that ties in with this week’s news.
What do you love most about your job?
The thrill of the kill. There’s nothing like opening three newspapers on a Saturday morning and seeing our stuff in ALL of them.
If you weren’t doing PR, what would you do?
I’m a media junkie so I don’t know. Maybe work in TV? Or magazines? I should definitely NOT own a bar.
Smythe – I’m biased, but I’ve loved their stuff since day one and probably have one of the largest existing collections outside of the designers themselves (and Sarah Richardson).
Again, biased…Ron White Shoes. But, c’mon, where else can you go and get a foot massage and luxury water (chilled or room temp) and get to try on things for hours??
Naked by David Sedaris and Catcher in the Rye both have a perm spot on my nightstand. Guiltily half-read at the moment is My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler.
Rainforest crisps with any and all cheeses.
My daughters Davis and Daphne.
Plenty of white wine.
Motto in two words:
Under promise/over deliver (take your pick but they are best together).
Idea of perfect happiness:
The sweetspot of the weekend – Friday night 7 to 11 p.m.
Owen Wilson, hands down.
The need for a new fall wardrobe has us dreaming of the shops of New York, L.A., Paris and London. We’re not saying Toronto is lacking in the shopping department, our office is just a stone’s throw away from many great stores on Queen Street after all, but the appeal of stores like H&M and Zara begin to wear thin when you show up to work and three other girls are wearing the same shirt as you. Here are three boutiques that we think will satisfy your craving for a shopping vacation.
We just about died when we heard there was going to be a store in Toronto that sold Topshop. Excited by the prospect of getting to shop at our favourite London-based store, we got there as soon as humanly possible and were not disappointed. While Topshop was the initial draw, the designers that continue to fill the racks like Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone, Marc Jacobs and Pamela Love make it hands down one of the best boutiques in the city.
What’s your favourite boutique in Toronto? Tweet us @rockitpromo or comment below.
We love a savvy business woman, so we were super excited when Joanna Track popped up to the fourth floor to tell us all about her latest venture, Dealuxe. Read on to learn more about this inspirational lady.
Where did your inspiration for Dealuxe.ca come from?
As a consumer I was always frustrated with the process of shopping in the US because of unknown duties, returns and shipping fees. I realized there was a gap in the Canadian marketplace to offer a premier online experience eliminating the barriers from shopping in the states.
What is your idea of a “savvy shopper”?
1. High and Low – someone who knows how to pair investment pieces with the trend of the moment.
2. Versatility – know how to wear one item in many different ways. Maximize your statement pieces.
3. Confidence – wear what’s right for you and avoid making impulse purchases just because something is trendy.
You were dubbed a “Yummy Mummy” by the Toronto Star. What are your fashion tips for moms?
Try to invest in items that fit well and are functional. For instance, a classic trench coat, like the Smythe Double Breasted Nylon Jacket, or a pair of dark denim skinnies like the Rich and Skinny Sleek Denim.
Accessorizing is also key. It can take your outfit from casual to chic in an instant.
What is the first section of the newspaper that you read?
The Style section! Followed by the business section, of course.
You have mentioned that your grandmother was a shopaholic. What is one trend of her era that you would be timid to try out? One that you would love to try out?
Trend to try: super glam style. Heels, red lipstick, dresses, etc. They knew how to dress to impress back then.
Trend to avoid: I would skip the fur fetish. That was very popular in my grandmothers’ day, but not so much now.
Fave spots to shop in Toronto?
Dealuxe, Corbo, Nyla, Joe Fresh and Gee Beauty.
Thanks Joanna, we loved chatting with you. Come back soon!
*We’re giving away $50 to spend on wonderful items from Dealuxe.ca. To win, tweet us @rockitpromo and tell us what you’d love to buy!
UPDATE: Thanks to all who participated. The winner is @kristinabreckon. Congratulations!
We especially loved the half sheer/half knit bias cut tunic from CCP and the triple strap backpacks were also killer.
Pink Tartan was top knot central – this hairstyle popped up on nearly half of the models.
Loved the the neutral, military-inspired pieces, especially with the chic hats.
Kimberley Newport-Mimran gave a subtle nod to the ballet trend with softly coloured chiffon skirts with simple oxford-style tops. She also had an amazing music mix for her girls to stomp down the runway to. (You can download a copy here!).
As usual, Joe Fresh was fun, colourful and… fresh.
A lot of bright pop orange was infused into the collection which will lighten up the dreary days of winter.
The clean, versatile shift dresses are suitable for so many bodies.
Joe Fresh proves again that they are the go-to source for basics with a bit of a twist.
Can’t wait to see what the designers bring us tonight! What are your favourite looks for far? Tweet us @rockitpromo.
As the agency of record for the FDCC, we had our hands in blogging, seating, registration, coordinating backstage interviews, calming nerves, bringing bagels and water, and working with some great creative minds. We were everywhere, every day, and had a great time.
Many thanks go out to the talented designers, the amazing PR teams, both internally and externally, who helped out all week, the FDCC crew, who are incredibly hard-working, the media who help give a voice to our talented designers, and of course, the volunteers. Literally, this week could not have happened without volunteers.
Here are our favourite moments, from the rock-it promotions team:
The entire week fuels me with inspiration and energy. I love seeing the massive amounts of people that support LGFW and the fact that the Fashion Design Council of Canada (located in Toronto) produces the second largest Event of its kind in North America. It’s still quite young (only 12 years old, compared to say TIFF, which is 35 years old) and I am really proud that we are part of something that is growing so quickly.
In terms of shows, it’s never easy to pick just one, but I really enjoyed Thomas. I thought they had a really interesting execution to their show in terms of production (music, lighting, etc) and an edgy, but wearable collection. I look forward to seeing more from them. I also really enjoyed Denis Gagnon. He’s brilliant. Period.
TOFW SS 2011: THOMAS from istoica on Vimeo.
My favourite moment during any fashion week is the first five seconds before a show begins, when the lights go out and cell phones light up around the fashion environment. The anticipation and energy is fabulous!
My favourite moment was the Pink Tartan show. Not only were the clothes bright, beautiful and summery, but the show was a bit of a family affair, as two of my sisters were there as well. One was backstage helping to dress the models for Pink Tartan and the other was enjoying the show with some co-workers. Fun!
The Dare To Wear Love show – the entire production was fantastic, and it was fun to see Dina Pugliese ham it up on the runway in her Ines di Santo gown and toss her bouquet into the crowd. It was really incredible to see the number of people who came out to support the Stephen Lewis Foundation. What a feel-good way to end the week!
The ethereal, barely-blue wedding gowns at Romona Keveza’s show. It made me want to get married again.
So many good moments to choose from! I loved seeing all my favourite fashion media in one place. And of course, working with Hoax Couture on the Dare To Wear Love closing show was fantastic. This is my second year working on this fundraiser, and it’s so inspiring to work with a charity in the context of LGFW. A great way to close the week – the Stephen Lewis Foundation does important work. Plus, the designs were so fun.