The colour blue has been a common thread woven throughout Genevieve (Evie) Begy’s life: Trafalgar’s blue on blue uniform, shades of blue hydrangeas at her wedding and even the Toronto Star’s corporate colour, where Evie works as the General Manager of The Kit and Managing Director of Sales, is blue.
You can even say Trafalgar Castle School has been a family affair – her sister, Alexa was Head Girl, her mother was a French teacher, her father was Chair of the Board, and her brother worked one summer as part of the maintenance crew. “My family loves Trafalgar. We believe in the School’s history and its impact on the next generation of students and leaders,” said Evie Begy, Trafalgar Castle School, Class of 2008 alumna.
As a young woman, Evie knew she wanted to work in the fashion industry and as part of her post-secondary application to the London School of Economics, she wrote a letter outlining her goal of pursuing a career in fashion. She was the only Canadian student accepted into the school’s Managerial Economics and Strategy program in 2008. After graduating, Evie obtained her MSc in International Management degree from LSE, which included a Masters of Business Administration exchange at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Although she started her career in investment banking, she never lost sight of her dream.
“My education and experience in banking provided me with transferable skills and a solid foundation for business,” said Evie. “When I decided to make the leap into fashion and media, it was a humbling experience. At first, it came with ghosting and rejection, but with hard work, dedication and a commitment to learning a new industry, I grew from intern, to coordinator, to manager, to director and to general manager and managing director.”
Some of the keys to Evie’s success have been keeping an open mind, building relationships and learning from great mentors. In July 2023, Evie was named one of the Peak’s Emerging Leaders for 2023 in Sales, Marketing and Advertising. The Peak identifies up-and-coming young leaders shaping Canada’s economy, culture and society.
“Throughout my journey in fashion, it has become abundantly clear that my passion is also media. Every day is dynamic and different, and it keeps me on my toes. I’m managing the P&L at The Kit, pitching an amazing roster of clients, working with business partners to understand market trends, and learning about news in real time,” said Evie. “More importantly, I work with a wonderful team – including The Kit team of all women – who are challenging my mind.”
When asked what advice she would offer students considering a career in fashion she said, “Learn from your mentors, accepting guidance and support. Then pay it forward. When you get more developed in your career, guide the next generation.”
Evie added, “Remember that the fashion industry has so many sides to it – there’s business, there’s creative, there’s parts in between. Consider blending your love for fashion with other elements. If you’re great at communications, consider PR or sales. If you’re great with numbers, consider finance or buying. It’s not just all about designing – although that is a great role.”
One thing that Evie is seeing in the younger generation of employees is a timidness to extend themselves and build relationships. “Don’t be afraid to ask someone out for a coffee if you want to learn more about how a person got into their career or obtain advice. Genuine interest and polite persistence will pay off.”
As a member of Trafalgar’s Carter House, Evie noted that her time at the School taught her how to use her voice and, more importantly, the value her voice can have in a male -dominated environments or industries. “Trafalgar taught me to be confident, share my voice and ideas,” said Evie. “I owe Trafalgar so much, but I especially value the friends I made while at the Castle. They are still some of my closest friends today.”
Looking ahead to the future, some skills students should develop before entering the workforce include never underestimating the power of relationships and networking. “Conversations followed up with a personal note will help you stand out from others,” noted Evie. “So, don’t be scared to take the risk! Huxter would like this: the math (decision theory) literally proves that it’s worth it.”
Class of 2008 alumna, Genevieve Begy believes in celebrating personal style, working hard and volunteering, which she does as the Co-Chair of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation’s Catalyst Council and as an Innovator for the Sick Kids Foundation. Evie and her husband live in Toronto, but enjoy travelling in their down time. “Life is precious and life is short, so take the trip, buy the shoes—just enjoy!”