Daniel MacKinnon — Thursday Q&A
Daniel Mackinnon is co-owner and public relations manager of BLACKBOOK Lifestyle. He took time out of his workaholic lifestyle to answer our many questions.
OCS: Who are your style icons?
DM: Although I don’t exactly mimic their style, I’ve always appreciated the effortless look of creative artists like David Bowie and Deborah Harry. They set the trends … without trying too hard.
OCS: What’s on your bedside table?
DM: My iPod docking station, as I often listen to paranormal radio podcasts in bed. Something about that stuff just fascinates me.
OCS: Best home accessory?
DM: Does a balcony count as a home accessory? I live on the 19th floor of a condo building in the ByWard Market, and the views are just spectacular. After a long work day, there’s nothing better than sitting outside with a good cocktail.
OCS: Best recent fashion find?
DM: I recently hit up the upscale fashion malls in Orlando, and came back with a few blazers and some great summer shoes. Definitely worth the trip … and the weather isn’t bad either.
OCS: Who would you invite for dinner if you could choose anyone in the world?
DM: Gordon Ramsay. It is a dream of mine to have him insult my risotto, and throw overcooked scallops in my face.
OCS: You can see the debut of any piece of music in history. What would it be?
DM: To see Michael Jackson debut anything from Thriller — Live would be simply incredible.
OCS: What’s your earliest memory?
DM: I used to be a competitive swimmer, and I remember getting dropped off at swim practice when I was six or seven. The swim bag was bigger than I was.
OCS: Your biggest fashion faux-pas, when, where and how?
DM: Oversized Club Monaco sweatshirts, about 10 years after they weren’t cool anymore.
OCS: Proudest moments?
DM: When I first launched SPADE Magazine, Lacoste selected me as one of five Canadian magazine editors to celebrate their 75th anniversary in New York City. I took in 11 shows in four days, had a personal driver, a beautiful hotel room, rubbing shoulders with the biggest names in the industry. Definitely a career highlight.
OCS: Favourite piece of furniture?
DM: My style preference is usually ultra-modern, but I have an antique English cabinet that belonged to my grandmother. It smells great, and helps break up all the glossy modern stuff.
OCS: Qualities you most admire in a person?
DM: I truly admire entrepreneurs. To go against the grain, and start your own business, or work for yourself, is no easy task. It takes major guts, and I admire that tremendously. Even if your venture doesn’t make you millions, which I can attest to on more than a few occasions, you are to be applauded.
OCS: Who would you most like to represent?
DM: James Franco. The man is consistently reinventing himself, never afraid to try something different. I don’t think there would ever be a dull day at work.
OCS: Describe a perfect day off (it can be anywhere in the world).
DM: As much as people love to sightsee on vacation, my perfect day is on a hot beach, with a cold drink. If you could throw in a Michelin-starred chef to prepare some good eats, even better.
OCS: Favourite visual artist, living or dead?
DM: I would have to say Andy Warhol. Once you look beyond the Pop Art, and his public persona, there’s so much more there. I enjoy how his works are always open to one’s own interpretation. They withstand time, and could mean as much today as they did when he created them.
OCS: Favourite local artist (if different from above, and doesn’t have to be a visual artist)?
DM: I enjoy and appreciate the work of couture designer, David McCaffrey. Over more than 15 years, he has maintained his spot within the elite designers in Canada.
OCS: Best book you read in the past year?
DM: I read Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger. It’s the story of a woman who gets caught up in the PR world in New York City. I definitely recommend it to anyone who’s ever been called a workaholic.
OCS: Favourite food?
DM: I love dining on small plates. It allows you to try a variety of different things. Side Door is a great place for that. Only downfall is that you probably eat three times as much without even realizing it.
OCS: Most-oft-played song on your iPod or MP3 player?
DM: I go to a lot of concerts, and tend to overplay songs from the artist who’s performing. Lately it’s been a lot of Madonna, Roxette and Glass Tiger.
OCS: Wine, beer or both?
DM: Wine please… or a martini (not the juicy kind).
OCS: Mac or PC?
DM: Absolutely Mac.
OCS: Fine dining or plain old diners?
DM: Love diners for breakfast after a late night out. For all else, fine dining is the way to go.
OCS: Best restaurant in Ottawa?
DM: Personal favourite is the lounge at ARC The.Hotel. I’ve been doing business with the hotel for close to a decade now, and they’ve never ceased to impress.
OCS: Person, place or thing that makes you proudest/happiest you live in Ottawa?
DM: Rich Little. Or the Rideau Canal.
OCS: Fave blog or website?
DM: As much as I love fashion, I’m also a big sports fan. For a style (site), I would have to say The Sartorialist. Those images speak for themselves, no fluff. For sports, you’ll find me on TSN.ca a couple times a day.
OCS: Twitter, Facebook or both?
DM: I am likely the only human being who is not on Facebook… or Twitter for that matter. For myself, social media is crucial for a business, but I prefer to keep my personal life offline. I don’t think the world cares too much about my mood on a Tuesday afternoon.
OCS: What’s your guilty pleasure?
DM: I’ve become slightly obsessed with Big Brother. My partner is auditioning for the Canadian version coming out shortly. Fingers crossed.
OCS: Favourite place to spend time?
DM: I must say, at home. In this business, we are out at least five nights a week. You grow to appreciate the quiet nights and home-cooked meals.
OCS: How would you like the world to remember you? What would your eulogist ideally say?
DM: I would hope to be remembered as someone who gave it everything he’s got. I haven’t always been successful, but I’ve never shied away from a challenging situation. I love good food and strong drinks. As an event planner, I’ll try to pre-plan the funeral to make sure everyone enjoys (himself or herself).