Plus, the best Olympics gear to rock while watching the games on TV.
Tessa Virtue is having a major moment. Along with her skating partner Scott Moir, the most decorated ice dancing team in Canadian history took home an eighth Canadian National Championship at Skate Canada in Vancouver — securing themselves a spot to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, along with the honour of being named flag bearers for Canada at what will be the duo’s last Olympics. Now, the budding fashion icon is the latest high-profile Canadian to collaborate with Montreal eyewear brand BonLook, launching a stylish and sporty capsule of glasses and sunglasses available in stores and online now. We chatted with Virtue about her love of figure skating, the upcoming Olympic Games, and the inspiration behind her new eyewear collection.
Editors Inc: What motivated you to return to the sport and aim for a spot at the 2018 Olympic Games?
Tessa Virtue: After Socchi, we knew we needed to step away from the sport and give ourselves some time to breathe. At that point, it had been 17 years of competing and training together, and we needed to look after ourselves and see what else was out there. Unexpectedly, after just a few months, we really missed it and felt like we still had more to give. So, once we got to talking about who would coach us, where we would train, and what kind of music we would skate to, we were so invigorated and so inspired again. We had this renewed passion for it and perhaps that’s just what we needed, to take a step back and gain some perspective.
EI: Why were you so passionate about skating to the Moulin Rouge medley for your Free Dance?
TV: When we thought about how we wanted to leave a mark at our third Olympic Games, we knew that it had to make a different statement than both 2010 and 2014. We wanted to stay away from classical music. Instead, we wanted drama and passion and love and aggression and heartbreak — and Moulin Rouge ticked of all of those boxes. It also feels Olympic-worthy, and I think that’s the true test.
EI: What does competing at the Olympic Games mean to you?
TV: In a lot of ways, that’s the reward for all of this work and sacrifice and dedication. You know, it’s all been delayed gratification for those moments on the Olympic ice. More than anything, it’s such an amazing opportunity to represent Canada, wear the maple leaf and put our country on the world stage. We just want to make Canada proud.
EI: How did you approach creating this collection with BonLook?
TV: What was so fascinating to me was that I really had carte-blanche, and walking into the BonLook office — which conveniently is between my apartment and the arena, so I pass it every single day — I felt like that world was my oyster. They would have said yes to putting Ninja Turtles on the glasses if that’s what I had wanted, and having that sort of creative freedom was so stimulating.
EI: What inspired the collection?
TV: I was drawn to a vintage, Old Hollywood feel — I’m a huge Audrey Hepburn fan and I love Grace Kelly — but I wanted a sense of modernity to it, too. My style is quite simple and refined, with a bit of an edge or a twist here and there, so I wanted it to be subtle and neutral and flattering for all skin tones, especially the optical frames. The sunglasses are bolder and oversized with a pop of colour behind the ear — a bit more fun and free.
The Tessa Virtue x BonLook collaboration is available now at ca.bonlook.com.