May Sustainably Stylish: Aldona
This month I am pleased to introduce Aldona as May's Sustainably stylish feature. Not only have I known Aldona as a personal friend for many years, but we have worked together in several capacities in fashion. Aldona was one of the first people to style me for an Avenue Magazine feature about sustainable style as well as several other features for 17ave.ca and Swerve magazine! What I find most inspiring about Aldona is that she can spot a stylish person from anywhere and passionately loves to share their stories, including sustainable style ones! She has recently began to share some of these stories on her youtube channel, so take a look for some stylish videos! Aldona is also very inclusive, she profiles women and men of all different ages in her efforts. In doing so, she empowers each and every person she works with. Recently, Aldona and I had the pleasure of working together on two features for the local event Sustainable Style YYC, one of which was a Global TV Segment and the other of which was a street style article about the event for Downtown Calgary. Learn about Aldona below and you will see for yourself why she has such a vest for life and style!
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself?
After attending post-secondary for journalism and photography, I decided to venture out as a freelance artist to expand and enrich my portfolio.
After a few years of art shows and working as a writer and photographer, I accepted my first position as a full-time publicist in 2009 with Alberta Theatre Projects. While working as a publicist, I continued with my other passions, and my love of fashion and photography collided together and led me to become the Street Style Huntress, where I photograph stylish people of Calgary for getdown.ca, and previously contributed to Swerve Magazine and 17thave.ca.
I’ve also been styling and working within fashion in various capacities, including with editorial contributions to Avenue Magazine, and working with individual clients on their styling and fashion needs, including personal shopping and styling for events. Publicity naturally led me to Marketing and Communications, where I created content for print and online materials, got back into graphic design and advertising, and creating marketing collateral, and I’m still doing it now! With my natural entrepreneurial spirit, I expanded my already flourishing freelance business and went full-time. I’m now fortunate and delighted to be working as a publicist with various local theatre companies, helping new businesses brand and market their companies, and taking photos of stunning people in Calgary and beyond, whether it’s at a wedding, portrait session or the street. And I love Fashion (in case that wasn’t clear!)
2. How do you define style for yourself?
One of the reasons that I chose to photograph and showcase the style of friends and strangers on the street is to showcase creativity and to celebrate how amazing putting together an outfit and your personal look can be - it can really shift your perspective, energy and attitude. I love getting dressed and showing to the world a little bit of who I am through my various ensembles. I think my style choices showcase my personality and mood - and it’s usually positivity and fun! I would describe my personal style as creative, fun, and unique.
3. What’s your must have style accessory?
I love accessories, but especially rings. I feel naked without them. Also, red lipstick!!!
4. If there was one piece of style advice you would give to others what would be it be?
Have fun with your personal look and experiment - you only live once, so you might as well enjoy and try new things. It’s just clothes, so if an outfit doesn’t end up working out, all you have to do is take it off!
5. What sparked your interest in sustainable style?
My aesthetic has always been celebrating style no matter what your income or life situation, which very much embraces shopping on a budget and showcasing that consignment and vintage is a great way to put together looks. You don’t have to have a million dollars to look like amazing! I also think it’s important to be conscious, aware and supportive of sustainability within fashion - we waste too much and I’m concerned for our planet, so do your part and participate in sustainable style!
6. What’s your favourite vintage, sustainable, or eco fashion stores? Why?
There are a few that I love and religiously visit. SalvEdge Boutique always has some amazing finds, especially higher end/designer pieces that are stylish and beautiful. I also love Peacock Boutique - the vibe in their store is welcoming and I always walk out having purchased something that I end up treasuring. One of my favourite sustainable designers is Bano eeMee - his work is beautiful and l love that he’s aware and conscious of sustainability within fashion as well, and implements these practices into his work and design process.
7. Currently wearing?
My style is ever-changing, and flows with my mood. I’m very much into my fitness right now, so I’ve naturally been wearing more athletic inspired pieces during the work week (I work from a home office so anything goes!) - this includes my converse shoes that I’ve had for about a decade, faux leather leggings that I purchased at salvEdge Boutique, and or course, red lipstick. I’m also really big into hats and toques, so I rock those most of the week, and I pretty much live in my Bano eeMee black leather jacket.