Calgary Avansino has been hailed as the “new Gwyneth Paltrow”, not for her similarly willowy frame, flaxen hair and au naturel beauty (though the physical resemblance is striking), but for her passionate belief in the benefits of clean living – values that have informed her recently launched health website (move over, Goop). We chatted to the British Vogue Contributing Editor (and SL Leading Lady) about her food and health rules, workout motivation and how she balances business with motherhood.
What is the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
1. Don’t respond rashly to emails, comments or interactions that anger you. Let the dust settle, take some deep breaths and then respond with a much clearer head. It always works out for the better.
2. You don’t have to be friends with everyone you work with in order to work well with them. Look for the best in people and don’t be too quick to judge.
And vice versa...
Learn how to express yourself clearly no matter who you are speaking to, exude confidence but not arrogance and be helpful no matter how junior or senior you are.
What advice would you tell your 21-year-old self?
Self-love isn’t indulgent or egotistical. It’s imperative.
Why do you think you have made it in your industry?
Hard work – always hard work.
What can someone do in an interview or during the job process to impress you?
Show confidence and respect at the same time, have good manners and seem genuinely interested.
Which other women inspire you?
Any woman who puts her mind to something and does it! But well known ones I look up to are Hilary Clinton, Martha Stewart, Natalie Massenet, Sheryl Sandberg, Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Oprah…….who doesn’t admire them?
Do you have any personal goals you're currently working on?
Yes – a few:
1. Not to let “homework time” stress me out.
2. To see my dearest friends more often.
3. To tell the people I love that I love them a lot and mean it.
4. Let go of perfection.
5. To enjoy my new little baby (Calgary has two daughters and a new son) wholeheartedly.
How do you think a woman can successfully balance her career and personal life?
With a lot of patience – forget about trying to be superwoman and just do the best you can on that day, in that hour, at that very moment. I always say, “You can’t do everything, but you can do anything.”
One of the main reasons I transitioned from full time to a contributing editor at Vogue was to spend more time with my children. I try to manage my time as effectively as possible, often waking up at 6am to get lots done while my kids are sleeping. I always block out space in my diary so I can collect my daughters from school which gives me so much joy but that means doing extra work when they’ve gone to bed. Most importantly when I am with my kids I try and leave my iPhone on my desk and really BE in the moment with them. It’s hard sometimes but I give it my best.
Having just launched your healthy and wellbeing website, we presume you're not one for faddy diets?!
Never! Healthy living is about making life-long habits, and filling your body with nourishing, wholesome and fresh food that boosts your health and energy. Deprivation is not the answer. Just eat real food, eat more greens and eat less processed food! I really try to limit the amount of sugar and processed food I eat and I adore avocados, coconuts, blueberries and almonds.
Do you workout?
Yes – it is one of the joys of life to be able to move your body, sweat and keep strong. I love how exercise makes me feel afterwards – a true natural high – so I always think about that if I’m feeling sluggish.
How would you describe your look?
Quirky and colourful with a dash of 70’s. I wear what I love, not what anyone else says I should.
What was your last fashion buy?
An Emilia Wickstead leather dress, a J.Crew skirt and shoes from Gianvito Rossi.
As a busy working woman, do you have any tips for coping with a long haul flight?
Stay hydrated!! Drink plenty of water (no alcohol) and take some greens sachets to mix in to all that water to stock up on plenty of nutrients too. Take plenty of healthy snacks on the flight - I always take organic facial oils in mini bottles to apply to my face throughout the flight to keep dry skin at bay.
Which is your absolute favourite long haul hotel to visit?
Maalifushi, Maldives – they offer incredibly healthy menus in the most idyllic setting.
And your favourite hotel in Europe?
George V, Paris and Hotel De Russie, Rome
For the mums, any tips for traveling with children?
People always say pack extra clothes for the kids on the flight, but I always bring an extra shirt for me too because you never know what can happen. Never leave the house without healthy snacks – because who wants to deal with kids on a sugar high – and bring a few new inexpensive projects/games/activities that will hold their attention. And of course a well charged IPAD.