Chenlu Qiao

“A stylish person doesn’t spend a lot of time fussing on their outfits. They dress for themselves, not for other people.”

Photograph by Jared Sych, at RGO Office Products. styling by Kara Chomistek. hair and makeup by Teslin Ward.

Nordstrom Signature by Caroline Issa jacket and Alice and Olivia top, both from Nordstrom; Zara skirt; Givenchy bag, Alexis Bittar necklace and Alexander McQueen bracelet, all from Holt Renfrew; Manolo Blahnik shoes from Barneys San Francisco; Tory Burch belt; Thomas Sabo rings; Banana Republic bracelets.


When Chenlu Qiao was younger, she would read fashion magazines without letting her parents know. Qiao’s parents prioritized education over sartorial desires, and it wasn’t until she was in university and on her way to an engineering career that Qiao started to express herself through clothing.

“I don’t dress like a typical woman in the workplace,” she says.

Much like her smart, polished style icons Amal Clooney and Anna Wintour, Qiao has struck a balance between playful and professional. When she arrives at the office, she might be wearing a chic dress or a skirt under an animal print coat or her silver fox fur collar. It’s the addition of bold pieces that sets Qiao apart from the rest.

“My style has been constantly evolving; however, in the past couple of years, it has stayed relatively the same. I think I’ve finally found it,” she says.

When she’s shopping, Qiao looks for unique, yet versatile pieces. Though she’s not loyal to any particular brands, some of her signature pieces include her black Givenchy Antigona bag and a Tory Burch kissing fox belt, which she expertly combines with pieces from places such as Zara and Aritzia

“I think it’s all about finding a balance,” she says. 

Lightning round with Chenlu Qiao


This article appears in the April 2016 issue of Avenue Calgary. Subscribe here.


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More Best Dressed

Carol Ryder

“You want them to remember you look good, but you don’t want them to remember what it is you’re wearing.”

Chelsea Kindrachuk and Ryan Green

“Style is an expression and enhancement of who that person is.” – Ryan Green

Sharie Hunter

“Confidence is a big part of personal style. When I see a confident person, style oozes out of them.”

Liam LaFrance

“True personal style is the way you pull from different influences, muses and trends and take your favourite parts of each and create your own personal trend or style.”

Paul Lavoie

"Someone stylish is someone who makes an effort, and they do it instinctively.”

Jenny Steele

“True personal style is all about confidence. When you exude confidence, you’ll look more put together, no matter what you’re wearing.”

Wilson Wong

“Style to me is when a person is comfortable in their skin and their clothing is just a reflection of that.”

Alexandra Gibson and Jennifer Gibson

“Alberta Ballet influenced my style at lot. My fellow dancers hold me to a higher standard.” – Alexandra

Elliott Thorpe

“One style icon who isn’t famous was a guy my sister was friends with. He didn’t have the same style as me, but, to me, he had style. He lived it.”

To help us choose this year’s 10 best dressed, the Avenue editorial team consulted with a crew of Calgary’s style elites (Hedkandi Salon and Butter Beauty Parlour co-owner Wray Bokitch, fashion blogger Chloe Cappelletto, creative director and stylist Kara Chomistek, interior designer David Crosson and publicist Todd Hawkwood) to find out who is on their radar. The conversation was lively and uplifting, and we all came away feeling a little bit more excited for Calgary’s fashion scene.


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