Thursday Q&A with Angie Russell
Bayshore Shopping Centre’s marketing director Angie Russell likes to stand out from Ottawa’s uniform of black and denim, and she does a good job at it. This stylish mother from Kelowna, B.C. has a lot on her plate — everything from taking care of her five year-old daughter to managing what will soon be the talk of the city, the upcoming expansion of Bayshore Shopping Centre. She’s trying to wake up this sleepy city and change the retail mix by bringing in more U.S. and European brands. She spoke with Style intern Deanna Spagnuolo.
Ottawa Citizen Style: Who are your style icons?
Angie Russell: Audrey Hepburn, she’s my all-time favourite. Same with Sarah Jessica Parker. They’re all about timeless classics with something a little extra, like metal. They wear beautiful pieces with an added touch.
OCS: What’s on your bedside table?
AR: My iPad and the new Lou Lou (magazine), with all the fluorescent colours.
OCS: Best home accessory?
AR: I have this beautiful silver candelabra. It’s my favourite, my little piece of femininity in my home. I’ll find any excuse to use it.
OCS: Where did you get it?
AR: It was a gift from my grandmother. It’s just beautiful.
OCS: Best recent fashion find?
AR: My recent purchase was a Rachel Sin dress. I love her pieces and since she was an architect before when you put on her clothing it feels amazing and can really fit a woman’s body.
OCS: Who would you invite for dinner if you could choose anyone in the world?
AR: Anybody? I’d invite Oprah. She has this entirely different vision of the world.
OCS: What’s your earliest memory?
AR: Oh wow, going back to the attic here. I think it would be with my grandma in the garden in Kelowna. It was all about the orchards and growing food. I remember running through the corn and everything being so simple and happy.
OCS: Your biggest fashion faux-pas? Where, when and how?
AR: There have been many. In grade six, I made my bangs into a ponytail and my mom let me do school photos with it. Anyone who experiments with fashion always makes mistakes.
OCS: Proudest moment?
AR: Becoming a mom. It was absolutely one of those moments that change your whole world. She’s five now and she’s trying to be a trendsetter. She changed my whole perspective.
OCS: Favourite piece of furniture?
AR: My bookshelves. Looking at them makes me feel very happy and soothed. I love to read.
OCS: Qualities you admire most in a person?
AR: Determination, compassion, friendliness, authenticity, kindness, optimism and happiness. I’m a people person so I enjoy spirit and personality.
OCS: How would you like the world to remember you? What would your eulogist ideally say?
AR: I’d hope to be remembered as a great friend, mom, sister and daughter. I want people to remember that I do things passionately and that I never like to say that I can’t do something.
OCS: Who would you most like to style an outfit for?
AR: Oh the pressure! I would love to style an outfit for, not a particular person, but for the cover of a magazine because I feel like it would leave a mark in fashion.
OCS: Describe a perfect day off (it can be anywhere in the world).
AR: Being in a city. It could be downtown Ottawa, or New York City or Paris. I would go to cafés, art galleries, shop and people-watch. I’d want to be anywhere in the heart of a city where you can discover it and get inspired.
OCS: Favourite visual artist, living or dead?
AR: She’s an Ottawa artist, Emily Filler. She does absolutely beautiful work. Her pieces are very floral and I adore them. I love colour so anything clean, colourful and bright always inspired me.
OCS: Best book you’ve read in the past year?
AR: I just finished reading The Virgin Cure (by Ami McKay). She wrote The Birth House. I love novels about women and our history.
OCS: Favourite food?
AR: That’s a tough one, I love food and flavour and texture. One of my favourites is coconut shrimp though.
OCS: Most-often played song on your iPod/MP3 player?
AR: Oh there are so many! I love music like I love my food. Probably Madonna. I love anything I can dance to so it’s got to have a good beat.
OCS: Wine, beer or both?
AR: Never beer, I’d have to choose wine. But if given the choice I’d say liquor.
OCS: Mac or PC?
AR: Definitely Mac. Always.
OCS: Fine dining or plain old diners?
AR: Fine dining. I love to eat and I just enjoy the whole experience.
OCS: Best restaurant in Ottawa?
AR: There are so many! We’re very lucky in Ottawa to have so much variety. I’d say E18hteen though. It has beautiful atmosphere and great food.
OCS: Person, place or thing that makes you proudest/happiest that you live in Ottawa?
AR: That’s very tough. I would say my career and being part of the whole experience in Ottawa. We’re on the cusp of retail. We’re making a move forward and changing and I’m very passionate about it.
OCS: Favourite blog or website?
AR: LoveK. It’s very inspirational, it’s about the extraordinary. She writes about Ottawa style, design and lifestyle.
OCS: Twitter, Facebook or both?
AR: Facebook. I think I have too much to say for Twitter, it’s too short. With Facebook you can do your videos and pictures.
OCS: Favourite place to spend time?
AR: On my day off, every day, favourite place to be? With my daughter. I know that’s not a place, but when I’m with her, no matter where we are, it has a purpose.