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#ZESTWoman: Dominique Hanke is Donning a New Hat

This British-born designer, stylist, fashion writer and lecturer emigrated to Canada 10 years ago, with her young family. She may have started in architecture, but soon found a love of fashion coming to the forefront once she had found her feet in her new homeland.

Immersing herself in the local fashion scene, Dominique become known for her dynamic sense of style and unique one-of-a-kind millinery designs.

dominique hanke, stylist, managing editor, blush vancouver, helen siwak, vancouver, bc

Royal elegance meets Alice in Wonderland | Charles Zuckerman Photography

Since then, Dominique’s designs have taken her around the globe and have been seen on the runways of Vancouver, New York, and Paris. Her work has appeared in both local and international media. Travel for work and love of the fashion industry made it an easy transition for her to segue into fashion writing, sharing her knowledge and passion.

dominique hanke, stylist, managing editor, blush vancouver, helen siwak, vancouver, bc

Comfortable on the Runway | Kuna Lu Photography

What ignited the spark in you to live a life with zest?
My family: I was blessed to have an incredibly giving mom, who dedicated her life to her family. She spent her entire life looking after others, and then when I, the youngest of her three children, left for University, she finally decided to start focusing on herself. Tragically, fifteen months later, she was diagnosed with cancer. Three weeks later, she was gone. Losing her was crushingly hard, but I carry her with me, and I take the strength and love that she gave to me through my daily life. From her, I also learned the importance of living your life for yourself as well as others, and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking the time to do things for yourself. As a mother, I think this is even more important to acknowledge. Now I have my own family and they inspire me to better myself, and I love standing back and watching how they navigate life and its obstacles. I find it fascinating and inspiring— we are all very different people.

What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
I have a huge fear of not making the most of my time and the opportunities given to me. One year, I made the conscious decision to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity I was given, as a way of pushing myself to face my fears and take on new challenges. I learned a lot about myself that year, but I pushed myself too hard and burnt out. It is important to be selective with your time and commitments and being comfortable to let things go that aren’t working for you. However, that doesn’t mean you should not occasionally trying things that challenge you, stepping out of your comfort zone is vital to success.

dominique hanke, stylist, managing editor, blush vancouver, helen siwak, vancouver, bc

Eco Fashion Week Panel with Jason Matlo | Julia Buckingham 2014

How do you define success?
Enjoying what you are doing— being happy is the greatest reward. Loving what you do also makes doing it sustainable, and allows you to work to your fullest potential. Using happiness as a barometer also allows you to see what isn’t working more clearly and allows you to be willing to shed what doesn’t work. There is no shame in letting go and shutting doors on things that just aren’t right for you. You get one chance at this life, so make sure you enjoy it!

How do you build successful friendships?
Mutual respect is vital as well as committing time to your relationships. Spending time with one another just to hang out is the best way to keep the friendship healthy. It sounds obvious, but when we all get super busy we can often fall into a trap of only reaching out when we are in need or it is a marked occasion such as birthdays, etc. You can only really be there for each other if you truly connect in a mutually beneficial space.

What advice do you have for other women looking to take a big step in their lives?
Take risks.
If in doubt, make sure you have those key people in your life to help you navigate those decisions. You can not move forward if you are never willing to take the leap.

10 years ago, I emigrated to Canada with a 4-month old baby and a 2½ -year-old to a country where we knew no one, it was one of the craziest things I have ever done. I remember that feeling of “what did I do?”, sitting in an empty apartment with a colicky baby and a bored toddler with no friend or family to call on. But taking that leap lead to some amazing opportunities that would not have been available to us if we hadn’t moved when we did. It taught me to take risks and break out of my comfort zone.


dominique hanke, stylist, managing editor, blush vancouver, helen siwak, vancouver, bc


Dominique was delighted to be asked to come on board with Blush Magazine as a regular contributor back during its inception in 2015, so taking on the role of Managing Editor was a natural and exciting proposition.

When not working, Dominique finds her happy place with her husband and two children in the beautiful North West Pacific wilderness.

Follow her at @hankestyle.




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Welcome to BLUSH Vancouver!

Dominique HankeDominique Hanke (60)

Editor-in-Chief / Publisher
Dominique is a designer, stylist, fashion writer, and milliner. Her work has been seen on the runways of Vancouver, New York, and Paris and has appeared in local and international media. High-profile clients have included Katie Cassidy (Gossip Girl, Arrow), Erin Cebula (E.T. Canada) & Miss America, Mallory Hagan.

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