The York University Magazine

Fall 2015

The alumni magazine of York University

Issue link: http://digital.yorku.ca/i/592293

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H E R R E S U M E R E A D S like the plot points of a Lauren Weisberger novel – think "Canadian design up-and-comer takes New York City's creative scene by storm." And as is the case for literature's most beloved heroines, the journey to career success for York grad Berkeley Poole (BDes '10), albeit swift, wasn't entirely without its obstacles. "I went to a lot of portfolio reviews where directors of design studios told me my work was too creative and I shouldn't be in design," she says. But that didn't discourage her. Poole continued to follow her instincts, and it soon paid off. At just 27 years old, a mere five years after graduation, she is now the art director at high- end department store Barneys New York, working under the tutelage of design industry heavyweight Edward Leida, who has left his mark on magazines such as W, Details and Town & Country. The Toronto native's enviable CV also includes stints at MTV Canada; V, Visionaire and V Man magazines; and New York ad agency Laird + Partners, where she handled design and branding for fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld. While attending high school at Richview Collegiate Insti- tute in Etobicoke, Ont., known for grooming successful business types, Poole initially envisioned herself pursuing a career in marketing. It was ultimately her mother's subtle nudges that led her to consider the switch to design and art direction. "She obviously knew better in terms of it being a combination of the things I'm interested in, passionate about and good at." Selecting the York University/Sheridan College Joint Program in Design for her postsecondary studies was a no-brainer, says Poole. "After visiting York and seeing how intense and enthusiastic the professors were, my heart was dead set on going there." Poole lived in residence for two years and spent her third year at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany as part of a study abroad program – a decision that would prove to influence her esthetic for years to come. "The Bauhaus is very conceptual and process-driven," she says. "I brought that back with me and it still informs what I do now." Her eventual move to the Big Apple was more happenstance than strategy. A chance introduction to a former V staffer led to several rounds of interviews, test projects, a job offer and two weeks to pack up her life in Toronto. It wasn't long before a head-hunter came calling, bringing her to Laird + Partners, after which she was soon poached again by Barneys. She hadn't planned to move from job to job so quickly but, she says, "To be able to work with [Leida] was a huge, fantas- tic opportunity that I couldn't pass up." This year is off to a terrific start for Poole, who was named one of Flare magazine's 30 Under 30 Canadian women who are changing the world and earned a mention in the New York Times for her passion project, Adult – the magazine of "con- temporary erotics" she co-founded in 2013 with fellow Cana- dian Sarah Nicole Prickett. This year also marked what she considers the high point of her career to date, getting to work on Barneys New York's first print publication, The Window. Poole credits much of this early success to what she calls her "insane work ethic." She has gotten ahead by teaching herself new skills, familiarizing herself with emerging software programs and keeping busy with countless side projects. Burning the midnight oil has served her well, but this classic over-achiever recently started acknowledging the necessity of downtime. "More and more I'm realizing how important it is to go to galleries and make time for exercise and vacation." That new outlook on work-life balance is what led her to make the difficult decision to step away from Adult after its second issue. Proof that unconventional thinking and good old-fashioned hard work can take you far, this York alumna is in no hurry to map out her future. "Whenever I say I'm moving back [to Toronto] soon, I end up moving on to another path or adventure, so we'll see," she says. "I'm leaving it open-ended for now." l Fall 2015 The York University Magazine 21 BY LINDSAY MACADAM PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAI LENNARD

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