Spotlight on Suzette Hernandez:
Embracing Minimalism in a Luxury World
Through hard work and diligence, Suzette Hernandez has experienced a remarkable transition from retail worker to being crowned Miss Canada 2013, graduating with honours from UBC Sauder in 2014 to a career in marketing for two of the world’s top luxury brands – De Beers diamonds and Hublot watches.
Suzette was born in a barangay (village) on the coast of Balayan Bay in the Philippines. She was very young when her family moved to Canada and settled in East Vancouver. Always a dedicated student and hard worker, after graduation she held multiple jobs. At one point simultaneously working part-time for a marketing company, two retail stores, modeling, and attending college!
As a woman who loves nature and wide open spaces, she is drawn to the Seawall at Stanley Park where she walks, bikes, and rollerblades next to the rolling waves, and to Spanish Banks where she loves playing beach volleyball.
In today’s cultural atmosphere of social media fame and the pursuit of personal glory, Suzette finds herself embracing minimalism as a lifestyle choice and extends this philosophy to her wardrobe, which consists of key pieces by luxury brands known for longevity, style, and elegance.
Can you tell us about others aspects of your day-to-day routine that you have modified to be more sustainable?
For me, it is making little changes that add up, like walking more and driving less, recycling, even choosing cold water over hot on laundry days. I like the idea of embracing minimalism these days, where the focus is on quality over quantity. Living on the west coast makes being more environmentally conscious easy because the people in our lives are so aware and supportive. The movement to address the use of plastic is encouraging, particularly single use when shopping I find myself actively opting to go for foods with less packaging.
What are your thoughts on garment sustainability, especially as it pertains to your high-profile career?
Well, although my pageant days are behind me, I do have a closet of beautiful gowns that I continue to wear to charity fund-raisers and important work events. They are very well-made, and the investment in them was well worth it.
For my work-out wear and everyday clothing, I purchase items that are created with natural high quality fabrics and materials which are versatile and easy to care for. Having quality garments is very important to me as it reflects who I am as a person. In a single-use disposable world that has dire consequences for the environment, we all need to focus on well-made, beautiful products rather than disposable fast fashion.
Suzette at the United Filipino Canadian Association 119th Independence Day celebrations.