Cut from the same cloth
“Hey if Alfred Sung could make a perfume, so could I…you can now find my signature scent in a strip mall in Etobicoke,” jokes the iconic Canadian fashion designer Linda Lundström to a recent sold-out show at the Elgin Winter Garden theatre in downtown Toronto.
The 62-year old businesswoman spoke at the Top Ten Event, an annual speaking event that brings together ten influential leaders from across the country on stage to talk about life lessons.
Lundström, a tall svelte woman dressed in a sleek white shawl, worked the room with her self-deprecating humor and honesty about the ups and downs of running her eponymous apparel company for 35-years. The Order of Ontario recipient hit the fashion market at the age of 22; working out of a small apartment in the Oakwood and St. Clair area. “It was just me and my little black Singer sewing machine,” recalled Lundström, who went on to build a multi-million dollar empire—setting herself apart as a designer who refused to contract work out to third world countries. Lundström famously bounced back after filing for bankruptcy protection in 2008.
Today, she spends her less-frenetic days espousing her business and wardrobe wisdom as an industry consultant, college instructor, and a public speaker. And she still designs, out of a peaceful cabin in Northern Ontario that she shares with her husband.
To celebrate Mother’s Day, we asked her eldest daughter—26-year-old Mosha Lundström Halbert—to interview her mother to gain a unique perspective into the Lundström life, and of course, to divulge skincare secrets! Mosha lives in New York and also works in fashion as the Associate Fashion Director at The Bay. She reveals to us that the one beauty rule passed on from her mom was to at least put lipstick on before leaving the house. “I often go with no makeup at all, but if I do one thing, it’s lipstick,” says Lundström -Halbert, “[My mom] was masterful at applying it without a mirror.” Here, the other Lundström lessons:
MOSHA: If I’ve learned anything from you fashion-wise, what do you think it is?
LINDA: Fit. And finding colors and silhouettes that work for you and just sticking with them regardless of what’s dictated by fashion trends.
M: How do you define success and how has that definition changed over the years?
L: Being in that place where there is a feeling of total purpose and alignment with my beliefs and values. The relationships with family and people close to me are really important, but it’s also vital to have a relationship with myself that’s accepting and forgiving so you can look in the mirror and like what you see. Feeling like I am exactly where I am supposed to be—that’s success. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m close. And I keep getting closer.
M: Who were your beauty role models when you were my age and who are they today?
L: When I was growing up it was Twiggy and Lauren Hutton. Today my role models are you and [your sister] Sophie! I also love Shania Twain because were both northern girls and I can identify with her background.
M: How have you aged so gracefully? What’s the hardest and easiest part about getting older?
L: I’m really lucky because your father tells me every day that I am beautiful. He’s very complimentary even when I don’t feel that way. When you wear clothes that are comfortable and express who you are it’s very liberating. I think that can show on your face. The hardest part is the changes you notice and being okay with it. Like where the hell did those lines come from between my eyebrows? It happens both suddenly and gradually. The easiest part is that my success as a human being and what people think of me doesn’t depend on the way I look anymore. That’s very liberating.
M: What’s your skincare regime from morning to night?
L: In the morning I just use warm water. In the summer I start my day with a jump in the lake. I go to the gym about 4 times a week. I think its really good to sweat–it’s great for the skin. I’ll finish with a sauna. About once a week, it’s good to exfoliate. Once a week, I’ll use an antioxidant serum and cream. The less I put on my skin, the better it is, so I don’t wear a heavy night cream. That’s the time I want my skin to breathe.
Linda Lundström’s online boutique designedbylindalundstrom.com is a modern mix of leather and fur, inspired by her daughter Mosha.