David McCaffrey Q&A
OCS: Who are your style icons?
DM: John Galliano and Christian Lacroix would be my favourites for sure.
OCS: What’s on your bedside table?
DM: On it is water. I drink a tremendous amount of water and I always have fresh water on my bedside table. I keep refilling silver bottles. Water is the most important thing in my diet. I drink several litres in a day, probably close to seven or eight. I work out a lot, too. Water is so good for you; it’s rejuvenating.
OCS: Best home accessory?
DM: Definitely my home Jacuzzi. I take a bath with salt every single night. It’s just so rejuvenating. If I do miss a workout, my body still feels great. Most people don’t use their Jacuzzis. I use mine every day, religiously. It’s a two-person, indoor Jacuzzi. It goes up into skylights and the steam just rises into the sky.
OCS: Best recent fashion find?
DM: I just launched my new collection, Blanc et Noir. I was in Paris and I found this amazing shirt that I was able to wear on the runway at Ottawa Fashion Week. I’m really into my shirts. I get them all over the world.
OCS: Whom would you invite for dinner if you could choose anyone in the world?
DM: I would choose (comedian) Bill Maher. I love that guy. I watch his show religiously on TV. He’s so witty, very cool, right up front. I’d really enjoy that.
OCS: You can see the debut of any piece of music in history. What would it be?
DM: I wish I were old enough to have gone to Woodstock. I was too young.
OCS: What’s your earliest memory?
DM: When I was really small, I remember riding my trike to the public pool and then the police taking me home after my parents called for help. I think I was three.
OCS: Your biggest fashion faux-pas, when, where and how?
DM: When I was about 12 and at Disney World. I was wearing this half-shirt, which were in style at the time, with a big bud of Hawaiian homegrown on it. I went to get on the monorail [to go to Disney] and the park [officials] wouldn’t let me in. I was with my family and my dad was freaking out. Even if I turned my shirt inside out, they said I wasn’t allowed. All my family took off on the monorail and I’m sitting there. That was pretty funny.
OCS: Proudest moment?
DM: As I’m rebuilding [my business] in the past few years, the best moment was when I walked out on the runway at Ottawa Fashion Week, after I launched my collection of 32 looks. I felt so good. I had a glass of wine in my hand and I was so happy in that moment. I’ve never felt that good before.
OCS: Favourite piece of furniture?
DM: My bed. I’m a freak about having a perfect bed. I’m anal that way. I wash my sheets every two days. I have the most incredible bed and I have the best sleeps.
OCS: Qualities you most admire in a person?
DM: Integrity and honesty — people who are real.
OCS: For whom would you most like to design?
DM: I’m already doing it. I design women’s clothing for a lot of beautiful women but [I’d say] designing for my girlfriend, Christina. When you have the design element and you’re in love with someone, that’s just the best. I can put her in anything — she’s already gorgeous. There’s no big superstar out there I wish I designed for. I see amazing women every day.
OCS: Describe a perfect day off. It can be anywhere in the world.
DM: Being able to hop on my Harley Davidson on a beautiful sunny day. It doesn’t matter where I am but I love going up to the Gatineaus and riding through there and into the Laurentians. I love nature and the outdoors.
OCS: Favourite visual artist, living or dead?
DM: Stuart Jones
OCS: Favourite local artist (if different from above, and doesn’t have to be a visual artist)?
DM: Katherine Jeans
OCS: Best book you read in the past year?
DM: There’s this great book that I just picked up called The Business of Heaven by C.S. Lewis. It’s very inspirational, very real.
OCS: Favourite food?
DM: I cook a lot. I make this Mario Batali recipe for a Bolognese sauce with pappardelle. It’s the best meal ever. I make that a lot. It’s so good.
OCS: Most-oft-played song on your iPod or MP3 player?
DM: I love K’naan — The song People Like Me, and 15 minutes away.
OCS: Wine, beer or both?
DM: Always, both. I’m Irish so it’s good for me to be drinking wine and beer. But I never drive. I always take taxis. It’s just not worth it [not to.]
OCS: Mac or PC?
DM: It’s always been PC up until I renovated the store and now we’ve moved over to Mac. Everything from the iPad, iPhone, it’s Mac. But that’s new. It’s only been a month.
OCS: Fine dining or plain old diners?
DM: When I go to a restaurant, very often they can’t do as well as I make at home. I eat really well and I always buy fresh, healthy ingredients. I don’t eat any junk food, except for chips. So I would say fine dining.
OCS: Best restaurant in Ottawa?
DM: Navarra. I love that restaurant. They serve excellent food and the atmosphere — I feel like I’m in Europe.
OCS: Person, place or thing that makes you proudest/happiest you live in Ottawa?
DM: I’d say person — it’s my girlfriend, Christina, who I’m just so in love with. She moved away from Ottawa forever and ever and ever and she came back. And for us to meet later in life… It’s her. But I love Ottawa. It’s a beautiful place and it always has been.
OCS: Fave blog or website?
DM: I love my website. I just launched it [this spring] and it’s amazing how well it turned out. I’m very happy with it.
OCS: Twitter, Facebook or both?
DM: Both. We’re doing a lot of it all the time but it’s not me. I kinda stay away from it. I like that I don’t have to stay on top of all that. It’s a lot of work.
OCS: What’s your guilty pleasure?
DM: It’s not guilty, but I love nightclubs. We go dancing around the world. I dance a lot. It keeps me in good shape. But I’ve only been doing that for the last four years. I’m enjoying my life and it’s really great.
OCS: Favourite place to spend time?
DM: Definitely up in the woods. I go hiking a lot. I love nature. I go camping for a week at a time. I get a lot of inspiration from being outside in the wilderness.
OCS: How would you like the world to remember you? What would your eulogist ideally say?
DM: That I was a very honest, hard-working contributor to the world. I’ve always been a firm believer in pay-it-forward. That I’ve been a good father and husband and a straight-forward person who contributed.