Jessica Mulroney Talks Fashion, Empowerment, and Giving Back

Photographed by Ted Belton.

While she is known around the world for her close relationship with Meghan Markle, in her native Canada, Jessica Mulroney is cherished as a national style expert. Through her TV appearances on shows like Cityline, her work with Kleinfeld bridal at Hudson’s Bay, and her position as brand spokesperson for nail lacquer brand CND, it’s clear that Mulroney is a true force.

To say that style runs in her blood would be an understatement. Née Brownstein, Mulroney is a member of the family behind Canadian footwear brand Browns Shoes, and says her love of fashion began at an early age. “I took control of my wardrobe very quickly. I used to run around my father’s factory through all the garments and thought I was in heaven,” she says. Her parents had a lasting influence on Mulroney’s style, providing inspiration that reverberates to this day. “My mother is the most elegant woman I know and would always wear the chicest pantsuits. I think that is where my love for them began,” says Mulroney, who regularly documents her love of fashion on social media.

When styling her high-profile clients, a list that includes Canadian royalty like Shania Twain, Mulroney takes a nuanced approach, turning to the elegance of modern classics by brands like Oscar de la Renta, Greta Constantine and Carolina Herrera. “The process is less creative and more intuitive,” she explains. “If I understand and listen to my client, the process will always be easy. I usually have a vision and it will normally play out at some point.” That detailed vision goes from head to toe, and includes nails. “I have always been a CND girl,” Mulroney says. When it comes to her own nails, she describes herself as a “creature of habit” with a signature polish cocktail that consists of one coat of CND’s “Uncovered” followed by two coats of “Romantique.” Working in bridal and fashion, how-ever, has opened her eyes to the unique beauty of nail art. “It can be an accessory for women and should be an extension of their style.”

The passion that Mulroney exudes for style extends far beyond her work on the red carpet. Along with her three sisters-in-law, Mulroney is the co-founder of The Shoebox Project for Shelters, an organization that collects and distributes shoeboxes filled with $50 worth of empowering gifts—beauty products, journals, mittens—to women who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness in communities across Canada and the U.S. “I wanted to create a movement and not just be a part of one,” Mulroney explains. Since 2011, The Shoebox Project for Shelters has distributed over 91,000 shoeboxes, valued at over $4 million. And they’re not stopping there. “Our plans are to expand into many other countries in the next few years. We are currently working on developing a curriculum for school boards to adopt that would teach kids about homelessness, as well as an indigenous woman’s fund to reach women in remote areas of the country.”

If her schedule doesn’t already sound full enough, add raising three young children alongside husband Ben Mulroney to the mix. To keep a sense of balance in her life, Mulroney never skips her workout. “I have always loved sports but after having children, I started working out to lose the baby weight. I fell in love with weight training, Pilates and boxing,” she says. “They are also excellent outlets for me when I feel stressed out or overwhelmed. As work gets busier, it helps keep my mind focused and on track.”

For Mulroney, staying on track comes with a sense of empowerment. “I feel empowered as a working mother. I feel empowered that I get to love what I do. But I mostly feel empowered because I have a husband that supports me and cheers me on no matter what.”

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