WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 26, 2014
 
Blog TORO WOMAN
THE SOCIALITE
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Why is everyone so mean to Ainsley Kerr? During Toronto Fashion Week, she was vilified online for the fatal flaw of being, among other things, too nice. In the same article, she was accused of having “a predilection for turquoise satin” – which is hitting below the sequined belt, no?

Don’t people (and by people, I mean fashion bloggers) realize that it’s not easy being a socialite? For one thing, just look at the alarming suicide rate: Ethel du Pont, Frances Ford Seymour, Kiki Preston and Winifred Rockefeller Emeny are just a few of the upper-class women who’ve taken their own lives. Clearly, there’s pressure that comes with the territory. For outsiders (and by outsiders, I mean people that work for a living) it may look like fun and games. But it’s not. Try showing up at three different fashion shows in one day wearing three different outfits – oh, and looking fabulous in each.

 More images of Ainsley Kerr

But wait. Hold on. I’m doing it now, using too easy sarcasm when my intent was to paint an all-too-humane portrait of the besieged Ms. Kerr. Just because someone is young and pretty and wealthy, and unyoked from the labour force, does that automatically justify derision? Why is it the knee-jerk reaction to tear down our most glittery idols? Why did the Greek gods (immortal, after all, and quite buffed) always succumb to such cruel and humiliating fates – Narcissus turned to a flower, Actaeon turned into a stag, Atlas stuck shouldering the globe, etc. Why the ongoing pattern – must beautiful privileged people, real or imagined, always suffer our resentment-tipped slings and arrows?

Let’s reverse this petty tide, beginning with a sympathetic sketch. Kerr is warm and gracious in person, well-mannered too. Her upbringing was atypical; she lived in Japan during her formative years. And while it sounds exotic, she comes across as a normal Canadian girl in her late 20s – she studied Theatre and Film at Queen's University in Kingston, worked at a matchmaking firm out of school and later at a small film company.

Yes, she’s now a ubiquitous figure on the Toronto party circuit, dolled-up and smiling on red carpets, but she’s had her share of heartbreak too – especially after a high-profile engagement fell apart quite suddenly. She did some travelling to clear her mind but has since returned and is keeping busy and productive. That’s right, “productive” – versus the stereotype of the socialite who spends her days floating from pedicures to luncheons, sipping Prosecco while gazing vacantly through the glass walls of a Bridal Path solarium. Kerr, on the other hand, is president of the board for  The Style Box and sits on the board for the Style Advisory Council of the Textile Museum of Canada; as well, she is on the committee for the Green Gala, LG Innovators' Ball, Booby Ball and Bloor Street Entertains.

Sure, she’s happy and shiny and nice – but we don’t necessarily have to hold it against her, do we? Ainsley Kerr visited the studio of photographer Franco Deleo, where she posed for an  exclusive TORO Woman photo shoot and revealed more insights into her personality with this questionnaire.

Q: What is your present state of mind?

A:
Excited! I have so many projects on the go right now that my head is spinning. I have had a huge self-discovery year. Last year I had two major changes in my life. I went through an extremely tough breakup and was let go from a job I adored in an industry I loved. I was convinced that I had everything figured out and my life planned out for me, which later I learned is not always the best thing. Over the past year I did a lot of travelling and soul-searching and believe that I’m heading down the right path for me. I am not sure where that path is going but I’m OK with that.

Q: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A:
Have a good laugh every day and learn not to take yourself or anyone else too seriously. I believe that you need to create your own perfect happiness every day. I could be having the worst day and I just light some candles, run a bubble bath and draw myself back into that state. To be perfectly happy you need to do things that you love and that challenge you, and surround yourself with positive people.

Q: Which living person or persons do you most admire?

A: The living persons that I most admire in my life are my parents. They have always been my greatest cheerleaders and supporters. I am blessed to have had such role models to look up to not only in how I live my life but in relationships as well.

Q: What is your greatest extravagance?
A:
Bubble baths and champagne.

Q: What is your most treasured possession?

A:
Probably my 21st birthday watch. My mother is from South Africa and traditionally, for women, your 21st birthday is a fairly big deal as it’s when you finally become a woman.

Q: Which talent – other than ones you are blessed with – would you most like to have?

A:
To see into the future! The women in my family all have a sixth sense so it is not too far a stretch.

Q: Other than your present occupation, what occupation would you like to try?
A:
A journalist. Growing up I thought that I would be a writer and/or a news reporter. However, I am too chicken to publish anything I write, let alone show it to others – so I am always secretly in awe of writers.

Q: If you were to die and come back as a person and/or thing, what do you think it would be?

A:
One of Valentino’s pugs. I watched his documentary a couple of weeks ago and there cannot be a better life then the life his dogs lead. Watch it and you’ll see what I mean.

Q: What is your greatest fear?
A:
Not exactly a fear – but being misunderstood. I guess that comes from me wanted to be liked by everyone. As I get older I realize that no matter what you do not everyone is going to like you but as long as you stay true to yourself that is the most important thing.

Q: What trait do you deplore most in others?
A:
I cannot stand when people lie or embellish the truth.

Q: What trait do you deplore most in yourself?

A:
Always trying to see the good in people. Most of the time it’s a good thing but sometimes I stretch it too far.

Q: What is your greatest regret?

A:
I don’t have regrets, only things I wish I had done differently.

Q: The qualities you like most in a man?

A:
Top three for men: a man who can make me laugh, has patience and believes in romance.

Q: The quality you like most in a woman?
A: Top three for women: warmth, honesty and strength.

Q: Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

A: "Absolutely" and "fabulous," or “absolutely that sounds fabulous”

Q: What is your most defining characteristic?
A:
That’s a tough one – probably my personal style. I know how to dress up and dress like a bum. Thankfully, most people only see me dressed up so that’s how they think I dress all the time.

Q: What or who is the greatest love of your life?

A:
My future husband! I am, however, unmarried, but I know that my husband will be my greatest love story.

William Morassutti is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TORO.

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