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FN Spy: Ron White's Big Night

Canada's first lady helped the retailer-turned-designer celebrate his Holt Renfrew debut.

Mark Derbyshire Ron White Laureen Harper

It’s a big moment for Ron White.

The Canadian retailer-turned-designer is lauching a men’s line this fall, testing his first handbag collection and making his debut at Holt Renfrew.

“When I was growing up, I remember saving up my money to buy my first designer item at Holts,” said White, who will launch in three locations for spring, with more rollouts for fall. “Now, my shoes will sit alongside the world’s leading luxury brands I grew up admiring — truly surreal.”

White welcomed some big names to his launch celebration with the retailer, held late last month at the Shore Club in Ottawa, Ontario. Holt Renfrew President Mark Derbyshire and Laureen Harper, Canada’s first lady, both made the rounds at the event.

“Since we met, Ron and I became fast friends,” said Harper. “We both grew up in rural western Canada. It’s great that we are able to talk about small town life and shoes in the same conversation.” During her remarks at the event, Harper added, “I am on my feet all the time and I don’t know what I would do without your heels. No matter where I am, they’re with me all day, every day.”

For his part, Derbyshire said White’s label will be a strong addition to Holt Renfrew. “We celebrate over 30 Canadian labels,” Derbyshire said at the cocktail party. “This season, we’re pleased to enhance our esteemed international offering with the gleaming white soles of Ron White shoes.”

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