Franco Mirabelli's blog: Just shoot me

We just put to bed the photos to our latest advertising campaign for the Spring/Summer 2010 Collection. It seems like Spring 2010 is so far away but it’s only six months from being delivered to the stores.

I always try to shoot our campaigns here in Toronto. When it comes to choosing a fashion photographer, a hair and makeup artist, stylists, I really believe in the quality of our local talent.

However, shooting in the city can sometimes be a challenge as I want locations that are special and not over-used or over-exposed.

This season, we were lucky enough to use the home of two of my best friends, Mary Garofalo (host of the wildly popular 16 x 9 television show on Global TV) and her husband, Angelo MacDonald (uber-trial lawyer from New York City). They own the old gate house to the Eaton family estate, in the Casa Loma area of town. The house is about 100 years old and just feels grand. I love homes with old-world character, they exude charm and warmth.

I assembled the key people that will work on the campaign: photographer David Hou, makeup and hair artist Jackie Gideon, and my wife, Nancy. We then begin the search for a fresh face that will help convey the contemporary modern feel of the clothes I design.

This season we used Leanne Proctor, an Elmer Olsen model. Olsen is the model agent credited with discovering supermodel, Daria Werbowy. We think that Leanne is going to be the next great one, so it’s a coup if we can use her now before she leaves for New York or Paris and explodes by launching the next great photo campaign for a large multinational company.

The shoot was a success. The weather worked in our favour and we were very lucky to turn an early autumn day into perfect summer light. Hope you like it.

With three corporate stores in Toronto, Franco Mirabelli continues to distinguish himself as one of Canada’s strongest fashion talents. Keep up with him by following his weekly blog at or by visiting

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