Carmen Condeescu – Photographer

Tell us in your own words, “Who is Carmen Condeescu”?
A restless and passionate traveler who believes in the power of colors and dreams.  A Canadian photographer from Montreal who has been living in Milan for the past ten years.

How do you love to spend your spare time?
Traveling, taking photographs, painting, reading, and surfing. Despite the fact that I grew up in Canada, I have always been drawn to the sea.

Describe a typical day.
A typical day starts with green tea as I try to convince myself that I can live without coffee. If I have a day off work, I usually like to drive to the nearest beach spot in Liguria. In the winter these beautiful and colorful beach towns are tourist free and become that much more charming and picturesque. I usually like to read, listen to music and end the day with a glass of wine on the beach.

Do you have an everyday uniform? If so, please share your favorite look with us.
Black skinny jeans, a white t-shirt, a double-breasted blazer and a pair of white running shoes (possibly converse or Reebook C85)

As an independent le Rú woman, what women inspire you most?
Independent women that are not afraid to speak their minds and follow their dreams even if that means standing out from the rest of the crowd. Patti Smith has always inspired me for being unapologetic and raw, Lou Doillon for her creative energy and Nina Koltchitskaia for her poetry. As a photographer, I am inspired by Jessica Backhaus which I also had the privilege to meet.

Tell us a little bit more about yourself, your background and the path you’ve taken to arrive at this precise moment.
I am a proud Canadian from Montreal who moved to Italy about 10 years ago. After graduating from university in Canada, I moved to Europe to continue my studies and travel the world. After years of working in the fashion industry, I decided to leave that world behind me to focus on my real passion, photography. Every since I was a young child, I was fascinated by photography and I use to spend hours looking at old photographs and taking pictures. After years of disposable cameras, I still remember the day when I got my first “real” camera and that instant feeling of happiness..

Have you had a turning point in your private or professional life that led you to become the woman you are today?
Moving to Europe was definitely a big turning point in my life. It taught me to be independent, to go with the flow and to appreciate the struggles just as much as the beautiful moments. Another big turning point was when I changed careers paths to focus on photography. While I enjoyed working in fashion, I always felt like something was missing. The urge to focus on photography became something that was constantly on my mind… While I am still fairly new at this, in the past two years I have started selling my own fine art prints. I have to say that nothing beats the surreal feeling of knowing that your work hangs in someone else’s home. I hope to continue to grow and evolve with my work…..

What advice would you give to your 20 year old self, if you met her today?
Go with the flow and as obvious as it seems, follow your instincts!

How do you balance being a woman with your work?
I definitely feel like women have a lot more to prove in the work environment to get the respect and credit they deserve. Just the simple fact that in many countries there still isn’t an equal wage between men and women speaks for itself. In the work environment, the most important thing is to collaborate with people and companies that respect and value you. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to put your values, ethics or ideas on the back burner, than that job isn’t worth it… I have always lived by this principle and staying true to myself remains the most important factor in growing professionally and as a person.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
Escape to the ocean or the seaside. If I am in the city I paint, meditate and chill out with some good music.

What is one of the most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
Investing in your physical and mental health is the most important investment anyone can make. Once you have that covered, invest in travel and education! The more you discover, the more you read, learn and explore the more you acquire a sense of well-being and inner peace.

What features do you value most in a garment?
Timeless, Effortless Elegance and Quality. I don’t believe in following seasons and the latest trends of the moment. When purchasing a piece of clothing I always try to ask myself if I will love it just as much in one year from now. In my opinion, a good piece of clothing has to transcend seasons and trends. You will never get sick of a quality black blazer or a beautiful wool coat!

Carmen wears le Rú’s Diana coat.

Please tell us something unusual about you.
I know it sounds a little strange but as a child I secretly dreamed of being either a marine biologist or a war photographer….

What is your favorite travel destination or secret escape?
Somewhere by the ocean in Portugal or France but I can’t tell you where or it wouldn’t be a secret anymore.