Powerful Ranking: The Canadians ruling the fashion industry

Canada’s power players

ROSEMIN MANJI
 When it comes to style supremacy Canadians often downplay their sway, but Janna Zittrer’s list of homegrown success stories in fashion design, media and retail demands attention

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SIMON HUCK – principal, Command PR

While most celebrity publicists run themselves ragged trying to contain controversy, every bit of Kardashian-clan drama is buzz-building gold for their gatekeeper, Simon Huck. After several appearances on the family’s reality series, the self-proclaimed “PR Prince” even landed his own show. Although it was cancelled after one season, The Spin Crowd solidified the Ottawa native’s status as a small-screen-slash-social-media star in his own right.

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TOBI LÜTKE – founder and CEO, Shopify

Tobi Lütke chanced upon the inspiration for his online-retail platform shortly after moving to Canada from Germany 14 years ago. Dissatisfied with the e-commerce software available for his own online snowboard shop, Lütke shifted his focus and Shopify was born. Ten years later, the Ottawa-based company boasts over 300,000 merchants in more than 150 countries and counts celebrities including Adele and Kanye West as customers.

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DANIEL LALONDE – president and CEO,
Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot
(SMCP)

In his nearly 30-year career, Daniel Lalonde has climbed the corporate ranks through Nestlé Nespresso, LVMH and Ralph Lauren. Since the Cornwall, Ont.-born executive took the helm at SMCP in 2014, the French fashion group has opened more than 100 new stores each year and seen over 30 per cent annual increase in sales. In true Canadian fashion, Lalonde has been known to credit his success to good sense and hard work.

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ROSEMIN MANJI – founder and managing director, RR&Co

As head of one of the leading luxury management firms in the Middle East, Rosemin Manji hosted Burberry creative director Christopher Bailey on his first trip to Dubai and helped to launch Vogue Arabia. When she’s not overseeing the global expansion of brands like Céline, Max Mara and Sotheby’s, she can be found starring in campaigns for the likes of Roberto Coin and socializing with such fashion icons as Tom Ford and Christian Louboutin (she even has a red-soled shoe named after her). London, Ont.-born Manji is disarmingly down-to-earth, gravitating to the softer side of power. “Being Canadian teaches you to be humble, tolerant and kind,” she says.

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