Sitting in the serene dining room at The Teahouse in Stanley Park, Lisa Tant looks out the window with a clear gaze to the trees, ocean, and mountains beyond. The view seems fitting when meeting to discuss the creative communications professional and media personality’s return to her hometown of Vancouver. True to form, the fashion industry influencer is dressed in chic and modern clothing by Canadian designers, including a Marie Saint Pierre jacket and Pink Tartan skirt. The year ahead will be a time of exploration for Tant, who has recently returned to her freelance roots and purchased a Vancouver home.
“I had been thinking for quite a while that I wanted to come back and explore Vancouver again and just to kind of hit reset,” says Tant. “It’s an opportunity for me to take a step back, press pause, and find out what’s next.”
Chronicling her journey on her website, Tant opens up to readers about embracing change, carving new paths, and learning to take things one day at a time. Through her writing, she reflects on her illustrious career in fashion, provides a candid look at the highs and lows that come with a big move, and the hard work and hustle necessary for a career transition. “I consider myself a storyteller and I’ve always been open with my readers. I’ve had so much great feedback from people who also want change and are wondering how it’s going for me,” she says. “I also love to read about other people doing the same thing because it’s not easy. Change can be messy, exhilarating, and sometimes disappointing, and that’s what I enjoy sharing.”
In 1997, Tant left Vancouver to take a beauty editor position at Chatelaine in Toronto. Since then, she has held jobs in the upper ranks of the Canadian fashion industry and made an influential name for herself in journalism and publishing. She went on to become executive editor at Chatelaine and later transitioned to the role of editor-in-chief and associate publisher at Flare. Tant travelled the world to attend fashion shows and red-carpet events, and her team featured the likes of Mila Kunis, Gwen Stefani, and Jennifer Lawrence on their first Canadian fashion magazine covers. Most recently, Tant held court as Holt Renfrew’s vice president, exclusive services. Additionally, she’s been an in-demand guest on TV programs such as Breakfast Television, The Marilyn Denis Show, eTalk, and ET Canada.
With the landscape of publishing changing dramatically, Tant seems to have her finger on the pulse of the industry’s current climate. “In the past, you had certain editors who had a very strong voice, and some still do, but now we have social media influencers, and I find that absolutely fascinating. It’s a very personal way of interacting,” she says. “It’s a tough magazine market out there, but the strong magazines will survive, and we’ll see more and more happening in the digital space. If up-and-coming journalists have compelling content, keep up their own blogs, and are engaged in social media and digitally savvy, I believe they can write their own ticket.”
Carving out a unique path is something Tant embraces wholeheartedly, and she is determined to remain versatile in regards to her own career. When asked what the year ahead will look like, Tant says she will be writing, teaching, and continuing to appear on television shows. She has already been an expert guest on CTV Morning Live in Vancouver, and, eager to learn more about the city’s emerging designers, is starting to connect with the team at Vancouver Fashion Week.
While setting up her new home on the West Coast, she will also maintain a home in Toronto, dividing her time between “Canada’s two most vibrant cities.” This spring, Tant will return to Toronto to attend the Toronto Fashion Incubator 30th anniversary gala and the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards. “I feel like I’ve come full circle, and I’m taking this time to learn about what I really want to do. I do know that after 20 years of working with a lot of people around me, I really enjoy that environment, so I need to figure out how I can get that balance in this new venture,” says Tant. “I truly am an extrovert and I love networking, talking to people, and trying to find that right fit. It’s exciting and also a bit nerve-wracking. But I’m giving myself the time and permission to explore that.”