I first met Jeanne Beker in November 2010 when she was promoting her new clothing line of carefully considered basics, EDIT by Jeanne Beker, at the Hudson's Bay Company. It was EDIT that brought Beker back to Vancouver last week as she showcased her fall/winter 2011 offerings. The line continues to deliver staples that Beker deems essential in any woman's wardrobe, but this time around it also includes plus-size offerings and a denim line "cut for women of a certain age." $5 from every pair of "Jeanne's jeans" sold will go to the charity Dress for Success.
Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of meeting Beker again in an intimate setting with a handful of other bloggers. It was such a treat to see her, and even better to do so while sitting in resplendent comfort in The Room's Platinum Suite for almost an entire hour. Beker proved to be just as personable, lively and well-spoken in person as she is onscreen and in print. Her career may put her among fashion's high-flyers and haute couture superstars, but as she demonstrated during our conversation and the ensuing EDIT presentation, she was still a down-to-earth Canadian gal at heart.
On fashion's influence on the self: "Fashion can be a feel good thing. It can also be a victimizing thing."
On Vancouver being voted one of the worst dressed cities in the world by MSN Travel: "This is the kind of city you live in when you realize that there's more to life than appearances and material things. This city is about living with a capital 'L'. I just think you should dress how you want to dress."
On her favourite Twitter follows: Beker admitted that for the thousands who follow her on Twitter, she doesn't follow anyone, although at one time she did consider following her daughters.
On fashion's next generation: Beker also confessed to being taken aback whenever she meets young fashion fans who say to her "I want your job!" When she started with Fashion Television 26 years ago, such a job didn't exist; she was a pioneer who forged her own path and created a niche for herself. She hopes that the next generation of fashion lovers will push fashion to the next level and invent new roles for themselves rather than repeat what she's already done.
A big thanks to Susan Tyndall and the Hudson's Bay Company for arranging this amazing opportunity, and of course to Jeanne Beker for her time! Check out her EDIT fall/winter 2011 collection (in stores now exclusively at The Bay) and her latest book, Finding Myself in Fashion (which, incidentally, I reviewed earlier this year).