The Wonderful World of Ethné Grimes-de Vienne
Her style differed from that of her colleagues. Ethné’s unique approach to her modelling career was that of an interpreter of sorts. A link of sorts between designers, stylists, show runners and the public.
The idea that “you [could] be the interpreter of someone else’s dream or even your own, for that matter, could potentially [give] women and especially young women of color, a hell of a lot of power – maybe even too much power.”
Ethné always worked to simply “sell the damn clothes” and her style and walk were applauded by designers and the public alike.
Her status in the industry was further anchored when legendary fashion editor, Iona Monahan regularly featured her in the pages of the Montreal Gazette.
“Of course, I knew that I was treated differently, maybe because I was taller, or skinnier, blacker, or maybe even because I didn’t have much hair!” says Ethné.
“In fact, I applaud being treated differently, after all, each and every one of us is a unique, singular individual,” she adds. “There should, however clearly be an important and implicit distinction between being treated differently and being treated equally!”
INFLUENCE AND LEGACY
In spite of the many challenges that modelling oftentimes presented, Ethné remained focused.
“It was a wonderful profession that provided me with many advantages and a great deal of independence. It also afforded me a wonderful lifestyle that enabled me to enjoy a fulfilling life, embark on other business adventures, travel extensively and meet amazing, talented people, from all over the world; what’s not to love?”
Ethné eventually moved on from her career in fashion to owning and operating Épices de Cru, a spice company she founded with her husband Philippe de Vienne. She has co-authored five books on spices and spice hunting and is a Taste Canada laureate.
When contacted for this interview, she was relaxing at home with a glass of wine, dressed in a royal blue Salwar or traditional drop crotch slacks, from Urfa,Turkey, paired with a hand dyed, block print indigo top she bought in Shanghai.