clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What the Team at SSENSE's Montreal Office Wears to Work

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

There are hundreds of online shopping destinations to choose from these days, but the Canadian retailer SSENSE has remained on the forefront of the fashion industry since its inception in 2003. After over a decade in business, the Montreal-based company — which operates a local brick-and-mortar boutique in addition to a thriving online store — continues to innovate, both in terms of the brands it carries and the way they're merchandised. With a roster that positions up-and-comers (like Off-White's Virgil Abloh and Nomia's Yara Flinn) alongside established luxury brands; and its experimentations in e-commerce (like the debut of the world's first-ever shoppable music video three years ago) SSENSE is where you go to find the next big thing.

We stopped by the HQ to quiz the staffers on their personal style and which designers they're banking on this season.


Gina Deyoung, Strategy and Planning Director, is wearing a Loewe dress and Lanvin boots.

What’s one item of clothing you currently own that you could never get rid of?
On the night of my engagement, my husband offered me not only a diamond ring, but also a beautiful knit dress from the Louis Vuitton fall/winter 2011 collection. It always makes me feel special when I wear it.

How would you describe the fashion scene in Montreal?
Montreal is regarded for its unique fashion scene that's fueled by both local designers and high-end fashion. This diversity and openness is also evident in the melting pot of cultures present in the city; it’s endlessly inspiring to see how these influence the local street style.

How would you describe your personal style?
I love to express my mood when choosing an outfit. I can easily go from a casual look —like a Céline oversized shirt with jeans and my Raf Simons for Adidas Stan Smiths — to something more formal with Valentino or Saint Laurent. Now that I'm pregnant, I’m having fun exploring and experimenting with different styles to see what I'm most comfortable with.

Besides SSENSE, where do you like to shop?
Unicorn, a Montreal boutique that features local designers. Also, Céline and Dover Street Market.


Joshua Brinksman, Menswear Buyer, is wearing a Yohji Yamamoto shirt jacket, Comme des Garçons pants, a Pearls Before Swine ring, and Y-3 sneakers.

Which up-and-coming designers are you the most excited about?
Wales Bonner, a brand that we just picked up for spring/summer 2016. What the designer, Grace Wales Bonner, is doing is untouchable. I haven't been this excited about a new brand for some years now.

What’s one item of clothing you currently own that you could never get rid of?
I have these huge super baggy washed out Yohji Yamamoto jeans that I've literally worn for years. I can't and will never part with them.

What’s your go-to work uniform?
I mean, I wear pretty much the same thing everyday: a black merino knit, wide wool pants, and Nike Air Max 95s.


Lesley Schouela, Womenswear Buyer, is wearing a Raquel Allegra top, Jacquemus wool pants, a Pearls Before Swine necklace, and YMC x Solovair shoes.

How would you describe your personal style?
Practical and comfortable, with a hint of "little girl playing dress-up."

Besides SSENSE, where do you like to shop?
My mom's closet. She has an incredible archive that I was fortunate to inherit.

What’s your favorite styling trick?
Wearing vests or harnesses over T-shirts is an easy way to have a little fun and make a white shirt more interesting.

Which up-and-coming designer are you the most excited about?
Nomia. Every season I'm excited to see the new shapes and fabrics that designer Yara Flinn comes up with. She perfectly captures everyday life; I could live in her collections.


Camille Gilbert-Trepanier, Studio Coordinator, is wearing an Off-White Hoodie, a Junya Watanabe skirt, and Robert Clergerie shoes.

How would you describe the fashion scene in Montreal?
In many ways, Montreal is like an aggregator for different styles and influences. And because of this, people tend to develop a very distinctive personal style. There's a sense of freedom in this city that's reflected in the way people dress. No matter how trendy or expensive an outfit is, the approach is always laid-back — it gives it a little extra swag.

Who’s your style icon, and why?
Right now, I'm really into [stylist] Ursina Gysi. I just love how playful she is with style, particularly how she mixes elements of kitsch with couture, vintage and new. I love that she always seems effortlessly dressed, and that no matter how slouchy her look is, she contrasts it with hyper-feminine heels.

How would you describe your personal style?
On days when I'm feeling fun and flirty, I love to wear conceptual dresses with interesting shapes and textures. And on days when I'm feeling really focused and productive, I like to wear loose shirts with loose trousers and sneakers. Overall, though, I guess you could say my style is quite sporty. No matter what I wear, I always try to make it comfortable so I can move around easily.


Alain Lormil, Development Manager, is wearing an Off-White hoodie, Acne Studios jeans, and Lanvin sneakers.

Who’s your style icon, and why?
I like what Kanye West is doing. I've been following his music and style all the way from Pink Polo Kanye to Yeezy right now.

What winter trends are you the most excited about?
I might rock a bit more grey this winter. I usually wear black, so this will help to expand my color palette.

What’s one item of clothing you currently own that you could never get rid of?
My Lanvin sneakers.

Name one designer you’ve come to love from working at SSENSE.
After five years, I’ve definitely cultivated an appreciation for fashion that I didn’t have before. I really like Thom Browne because he designs timeless pieces that have cool details without being too flashy.


Vanessa Joynathsing, Display and Media Specialist, is wearing a T by Alexander Wang top, a T by Alexander Wang skirt, an Acne Studios ring, and Nike Air Max sneakers.

What’s your favorite styling trick?
Layering. You can do so much with so little just by layering the right pieces and proportions.

How would you characterize your personal style?
I would call my style "minimal-street."

Name one designer you’ve come to love from working at SSENSE.
Demna Gvasalia, the head designer at Vetements and now Balenciaga’s artistic director. I love the proportions and silhouettes in the Vetements collection. I have the impression that each piece has a unique story.

What’s your go-to work uniform?
Black pants or a skirt paired with an oversized white T-shirt and a signature pair of sneakers or boots.


Susanne Beauchamp, Analytics Manager, is wearing a Proenza Schouler top and skirt, Chloé rings, and Dr. Martens shoes.

Who’s your style icon, and why?
Kate Moss. She always looks effortlessly cool.

What’s your favorite styling trick?
I never neglect my shoe lacing style. It’s a small detail, but ensuring perfectly symmetrical bows completely changes the shoe and adds a polished finishing touch.

What’s one item of clothing you currently own that you could never get rid of?
My Proenza Schouler Mini Classic PS11. NEVER.

What’s one designer you’ve come to love after working at SSENSE?
Acne Studios. I like the way they incorporate unexpected silhouettes and textures without compromising the longevity of each piece.


Farewell From Racked

Best of Racked

Best of Racked Essays

Best of Racked

Best of Racked Funny Stuff