We met Anaïs Lauvergnat at Café Tommy in Old Montreal Saturday morning while the weekend was still young. Anaïs AKA Blondie In Canada is a transplant from Lille, a city in Northern France that Lonely Planet describes as having a "well-deserved reputation for friendliness." The first Montreal blogger we had the pleasure of meeting, Anaïs was instantly charming and quickly made us feel at home. Although she apologized for her English, she spoke with a lilting grace that I've tried my best not to edit out in her interview below.
What really struck me about Anaïs, besides her excellent posture and her kindness, is that she looked so chic and put-together. We just assumed she was wearing and carrying high end brands. However, when we inquired about her outfit details (below), we were shocked to discover that most of her outfit was highly affordable. Anaïs explained that after moving to Montreal, she found her focus in blogging about mixing very affordable style with (pricier) local brands. Her simple white button-down shirt, for example, looked so classically well-fitted, that I was shocked to discover she had purchased it at H&M. Okay, Montreal, either your H&Ms are superior, or Anaïs is a ninja-style-genius.
Q. How did you get started blogging?
This is a really recent blog. It went online 6 months ago. I'm from France - I moved to Montreal two-and-a-half years ago. I was always passionate about fashion and beauty, but in France, there are a lot of bloggers and I didn't feel like I had a unique point of view. I needed something more to decide to go for it. When I arrived here in Montreal, all of my fashion and beauty routines completely changed. A lot of the brands I used in France are really expensive here. I started exploring local brands and I thought: this is a good point of view for a blog.
What I'm trying to do on my blog is to feature mostly small brands made in Montreal. Montreal is a really great place to start new things, because everyone is really supportive. When I first told people around me that I was doing a blog, I was really scared because people can perceive things like this as superficial. But people are so supportive here.
Q. Why did you move to Montreal?
I moved to Montreal for my job. I'm a communication manager for Elektra Festival. We put on the International Digital Art Biennal and organize exhibitions all over the city.
Q. Has working in digital media inspired your style?
In the digital art community, people are always dressed in black. It's an unspoken dress code. No one would ever say anything if you didn't wear black, but everyone just wears black. So when I’m not working, I try not to wear black.
Q. How would you describe your style?
I like casual and preppy, but one of the most important things for me is to be comfy in my clothes. I hate wearing heels. I don't blog about heels. I want to talk about what I’m really wearing and the beauty products I use every day. There are a lot of blogs I read where I just can’t afford the clothes. I blog about clothes that are affordable for me. It’s quite personal, it’s really about me.
Q. What would you say the style of Montreal is? How do people dress here?
It’s quite edgy. I live close to the Mile End. People are really taking care of what they are wearing. But really, you can wear whatever you want, and nobody will ever judge you here, which is so different from France. There are so many different styles. Downtown people are really chic and wearing heels. Mile End is edgy hipster style.
Q. Would you call your style the Montreal style?
I think I still have a French touch in my style. My colleagues always tell me, “oh you look so fancy.” It’s in the details, it’s not something huge.
Q. How would you characterize French style?
Every french girl has a style, even if she doesn’t know it. When I came to Montreal, I realized we really do care in France. We have so many brands. I think it’s more difficult here, because clothing and shoes are so much more expensive here than in France.
Q. Where do you see yourself with blogging in 5 years?
When I started my blog, I thought "okay, I'm doing this. If one day a brand contacts me to go to an event, then great, but I’m not doing this for free products." Then in the first couple of months, I got an invitation to go a brand’s event!
I hope this will continue but I want to remain myself. It's really cool to see the evolution of the Youtubers and bloggers I'm following. I really appreciate it when they remain true to themselves while they are evolving. I want to work with brands I really believe in.
Q. What do you think about Silkstaq?
I think it’s a really exciting and new idea. I really like the fact that it brings people together. Sometimes, I’m just on Instagram and scrolling and scrolling, trying to find new people I’m interested in, and having this website could really be helpful.
Shirt - H&M
Skirt - Top Shop
Shoes - Converse
Bag - Forever 21
Watch - Komono
black glass ring - Clio Blue (French brand)
Necklace - Top Shop
Later in the afternoon, our new BFF met up with us in the vibrant Mile End neighborhood and showed us her favorite Montreal boutiques and eateries. Look out for our next post where we share some of the amazing things we saw and ate. Follow Anaïs @blondieincanada on Silkstaq!