A lot can change in a decade.
Ten years ago, I was in my senior year of high school. I was probably sending text messages to my friends on a flip phone (it was red, I loved it) and walking the halls of Richmond Centre mall like I owned the place. I was definitely writing opinion pieces in my student paper and studying English literature by correspondence, because my school cut the class from the roster due to lack of interest. I always liked reading over math. Actually, in my house, I was famously bad at math. Please don’t ask my dad to relive those study sessions.
Anyway, while I was dissecting the words of Geoffrey Chaucer and waiting to hear if my application to Ryerson University’s journalism program was successful (it was!), Pasquale Cusano was launching this very magazine. I could never have imagined I would one day work for it, let alone be its editor, helping celebrate its first exciting, enriching decade.
But here we are. And 10 years later, the vision that Pasquale founded MONTECRISTO upon remains as strong as ever: we aim to produce the highest quality product, upholding values of integrity, sincerity, passion, and craft. This standard is sustained thanks to the hard work of the entire team, both past and present; I send my sincerest gratitude to all those who have helped shape this publication over the years. In addition, we owe incredible appreciation to our many supporters, partners, and readers—thank you for believing in and championing the importance of boutique, independent local publishing.
Since the beginning, MONTECRISTO has been about taking time. We meet our subjects one-on-one, engaging in long discussions over coffee or food; we also take our own photographs, providing intimate portraits of the world’s most interesting minds. This, to me, has been one of our biggest assets: our continued pursuit of excellence, even as the publishing industry changes around us.
To commemorate how far we have come, we dug into our expansive image archive and have published in this issue a special eight-page spread showcasing a selection of our favourite original photographs. This is our hurrah, our nod to the past before we turn to the future.
Of course, this issue also has all of the regular components that make MONTECRISTO what it is: compelling imagery and inspiring storytelling, featuring industry leaders both at home and abroad. There’s Ola Volo, an up-and-coming painter who was born in Kazakhstan but raised right here in Vancouver; it was my pleasure to have coffee with her and explore her practice, which is expressed beautifully in Alana Paterson’s photographs. Then there is our cover star, the elegant Giovanna Gentile Ferragamo: daughter to the late, great Salvatore. Poorna Bell travelled to Florence to learn how Ferragamo honours her father’s legacy, and the story is paired with stunning portraits by Stefan Giftthaler. And in Toronto, Chelsey Burnside sat down with Alex Mustonen of New York studio Snarkitecture, thus inviting us into their playful oeuvre.
From the prolific designer Karim Rashid to a woman obsessed with Japanese paper, this issue celebrates the unique, the refined, and above all, the passionate. What is music therapy? Who designed Claire Underwood’s outfits for becoming the first (fictional) female president of the United States in House of Cards? Why does a Napa Valley-based beauty company sell one product and one product only? Read on to find out.
Ten years ago, all I knew about my future was that I one day wanted to work in journalism. Today, I stand proud as the editor of a locally-made magazine whose journey has really just begun. So here’s to the next decade. It is a pleasure to be part of the story.