There’s just something about New York City. The chance to go, whether for work or pleasure, always puts an insta-smile on my face. Having only been a handful of times I’m by no means a seasoned vet and still have so much to explore. It seems to me that every time I go and discover a new area of the city, I have such a great time that it becomes my new favourite. 

So when Joe Fresh confirmed that the talented and generous photographer Steven Sebring would once again be getting behind the lens to shoot our Fashion Targets Breast Cancer (FTBC) campaign and that I was going to get to be on-set at MILK studios in the meat packing district, I was beaming. The Meat Packing District was on its way to becoming my next new NYC favourite enclave.

I have to admit being a Toronto girl, the big apple comes with its intimidation factor and this trip was no exception. First on the itinerary was a meeting with our friends at the Council of Fashion Designers of America (headed up by Diane von Furstenberg, what EVER does a girl wear to that!? Not that she was going to be there, but still!!) followed by a day on-set at MILK studios shooting Patti Hansen and her model daughters Theodora and Alexandra Richards for our FTBC anniversary campaign. Patti Hansen?! Supermodel and wife of Keith Richards?! And their two-drop dead gorgeous daughters?! What to expect from such a ridiculously good-looking family?

As it turned out graciousness, warmth and charm all round. The distance you sometimes see and feel between celebrities and those working on set (myself included) was non-existent as Patti showed off the line of handbags she had just launched with a friend and Theodora and Alexandra chummed around with Steven and the rest of the staff and crew. A hilarious “caught on video” moment brought the whole group of us together at the floor to ceiling windows of the studio (that overlooked a hotel) for a big laugh and that fun and casualness continued throughout the day. 

The love between mother and daughters and the closeness of the sisters was palpable both on and off-set and brought an honest emotion to our campaign shots and those selected for the Chatelaine cover and spread. It was obvious that they were a tight family and that Theodora and Alexandra adored their mom. I could only imagine that Patti’s battles with cancer had brought an already close family even closer and the present bond amongst them was more than apparent to us all. Jane Francisco, Editor-in-Chief of Chatelaine, had the chance to interview Patti and the girls for the May issue where Patti opened up about the effect that her cancer scares have had on the family. Her story is truly inspirational and very relatable.

There was really nothing not to love about the Hansen/Richards girls and the day we shared with them on-set. I left thinking what a beautiful family they were in all regards but also how totally normal they seemed- something you kind of don’t expect out of celebrities these days. I guess family is family no matter who you are and the kindness and generosity (they all donated their time for our shoot!) of this one certainly will not be forgotten by me or the rest of the Rethink team that was on set. ―Katie Gellespie.

© Photo by Steven Sebring.

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