Introducing Mackenzie Yeates Textstyles’ newest Favourite. At 23, Yeates has been a really busy girl, having just earned a promotion at Holt Renfrew to the title of Manager of Brand Strategy, fancy right? We sat down together at her home uptown this summer to talk the heavy questions you know, shoes, shopping online and fashion show invites. It’s a serious business. She’s a Hitchcockian blonde with curves to die for, but I’ll let her speak for herself…
1. Age, and you’re preferred title
23. Manager of Brand Strategy at Holt Renfrew (preferred title: Fashion Futurist!)
2. When did you fall in love with fashion, precisely?
When I was 3 I took ballet class for a year. When it was time to sign up for the 2nd year of classes my mom asked me if I wanted to do it again. My response was, “Nah, I only really did it for the shoes.” I also wore a feathered headress my grandfather made me out of seagull feathers and painted newspaper on the first day of kindergarten. I think it’s safe to say, I was born with a love of fashion.
3. When did you know you wanted to make a career out of fashion?
Both my parents had their dream careers and always encouraged my brother and I to discover our own. My dad was a photographer so I was always surrounded by beautiful images in books and magazines and I new that the fashion world was where I wanted to exist. Travelling to fashion week for the first time when I was 20, solidified for me that I had found my dream world and I was hooked.
4. Tell us about what school you went to and how did you start at Holt Renfrew?
I went to Ryerson for Fashion Communication. The summer before 3rd year I entered a contest to become the Holts Contemporary Correspondent. I competed in 6 weeks of fashion related challenges and won, going on to blog for holts for 6 months. That was how I met Fashion Director Barbara Akin. We hit it off right away and when I returned from studying in Amsterdam for 6 months I went on to be her intern, and then landed my current position one year ago.
5. What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is the emphasis on newness. The challenge is to stay on top of trends but also keep myself educated on cultural events, popular design, music, film and current tastemakers.
6. If you were reincarnated and could do anything you wanted, what would it be?
What I do currently is really hard to explain so sometimes I try to describe my role as somewhat of a curator of inspiration — that’s what I really love to do. I love poetry because poems are like little recipes for inspiration, combining words in new ways that allow you to create your own visions. For that reason I think maybe I would try to be a poet.
7. Favorite Canadian designers?
Erdem, Jeremy Laing, Pink Tartan, Sid Neigum.
8. Favorite Toronto boutiques?
Working at Holt Renfrew, being surrounded by all the clothes (and getting a discount) makes it hard to shop anywhere else. I am very nostalgic however and love to shop for vintage mostly at Courage my Love, Silverfalls, Penny Arcade and Cabaret. I like to buy things when I travel – the vintage markets in Europe are hard to beat. I also like collecting interesting old objects, I recently went to Aberfoyle Antique Market with a friend and we didn’t want to leave!
Terroni, Grand Electric, Five Doors North, The Harbord Room, Japango.
Bonjour Brioche, The Drake, School, Lady Marmalade, Grapefruit Moon.
Snack Bar, Cocktail Bar, Czehoski, anywhere outdoors!
I usually just follow my friends wherever they go, good people make the party. I pretty much like dancing anywhere there’s room.
13. Favourite spot?
Summer: The beach/the outdoor ping pong table at my cottage with a Pimms Cup.
Winter: Snuggled on my couch with a strong coffee, a big comforter and an old movie.
wearing: vintage tee, Asos pants, Manolo Blahnik heels.
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