the portrait: helen krispis

The Portrait_Helen

Helen Krispis is the National Visual Presentation Manager at The Room. Located within the flagship Hudson’s Bay stores in Toronto and Vancouver, Helen (or as I affectionately call her, HK) is responsible for curating all visual presentation for the historic luxury boutique, as well as special event, window, and trunk show installations.

So next time you’re at The Room and you’re wondering who came up with that fanciful Instagram-worthy entranceway or window display, HK is your girl. Among her most notable installations for designer personal appearances at The Room include; Viktor & RolfNicholas Kirkwood, Mary Katrantzou, and Rodarte, to name a few.

I’ve known Helen since 2007, when she and I worked for Pink Tartan at their Toronto HQ + showroom. She is without a doubt one of the most talented and creative people I know, and has been a personal mentor for me throughout the years. Trained as a fine arts photographer, HK brings an unique perspective to the world of luxury goods — one that’s evident in her work across the board, be it a window display or a fashion show. There’s always an element of surprise, always something a little unexpected.

On a personal level, one of the things I admire most about HK is her carefree spirit. Although you can find her working through the night on installations, she’s always made conscious effort to make time for travel and leisure. Her favourite mode of transportation? Her white Electra bicycle, of course.


{ SS14 windows | Mary Katrantzou | The Room }

photo 2

{ 3D floral installation | Giambattisa Valli | The Room }


{ SS13 | The Room }

Without further ado…


Q: You’re planning a picnic. Who are your dream guests (dead or alive, celebrity or little-known)?

Photographer Joel-Peter Witkin, artist Yayoi Kusama, Isabella Blow, Amanda Lepore, and my dad. I’d love to know what he’s been up to, and fill him in on everything that has transpired in my life since his death in 2009.


Q: Sunday is my favourite day of the week. What does your ideal Sunday look like?

My ideal Sunday can vary depending on the season. When it’s warm out I like to wake up early, have a cup of tea on the deck, then spend the rest of the day on my bike exploring new areas of the city with my partner Ryan, eventually ending up by the water. In the winter, I can spend all day in my pj’s by the fire flipping through photography and fashion books.


Q: If beauty is in the details, what’s a “small thing” that brings you joy?

The feeling of the sun’s rays on my bare arms for the first time every spring.


Q: Everyone has a signature cocktail. What’s yours?

I don’t think I have a signature cocktail, but a vodka tonic, classic margarita, or cold beer are on regular rotation.


Q: What inspires you?

Inspiration can come from anything at anytime, anywhere. When I travel, I always make an effort to visit the galleries and museums of that city, as well as walk through the various neighbourhoods, taking in the street art. But I have to say, I feel most inspired when surrounded by nature. The colour, shapes and textures which naturally exist will forever be a source of awe for me.

Photos via Helen Krispis | The Room
See more of Helen’s work by clicking here