Lise Gibeau entered the world of fashion at the age of 19 when she married designer John Warden. In the years that followed, she immersed herself in every aspect of the industry, from garment design to retail sale. John Warden opened his first store in 1966 and Lise was a proud contributor to its success. In 1973, after their divorce, she worked at the Designers International boutique in Holt Renfrew.
In the late 1970s, she opened a modelling agency that lasted two years, and in the early 1980s, she started a company to promote and produce fashion events. She organized numerous events, like the one featuring Canadian designers presented at the 1988 World Expo in Brisbane, Australia. At various Montreal fashion trade fairs, she put together runway shows of Canadian designers and manufacturers working in men’s and women’s wear, including those in the fur industry. She also created an innovative event for the final edition of the Salon de la mode féminine in 1991: a fashion day organized exclusively for manufacturers.
From 1980 to 1991, Lise Warden made her mark by producing hundreds of fashion shows.
For many years, she coordinated the televised Griffe d’Or fashion awards ceremony. At the same time, she taught at LaSalle College and the International Academy of Fashion and Design. Thanks to this experience, she also developed courses and programs.
In 1989, she received an honorary certificate from the International Academy of Fashion and Design for her contributions to education. She was also a member of Fashion Group International, serving as its president from 1990 to 1992. Furthermore, she acted as a judge at various fashion events and advised and encouraged first-time Quebec designers.
In addition to these activities, she worked as an image consultant for on-air personnel at several television stations and for corporate and private clients.
Following John Warden’s death in 2007, Lise was instrumental in organizing and coordinating the tribute fashion show and display of his clothes at Ogilvy’s as well as the exhibition of his sketches and photos at Montreal Fashion Week. Working with her son, Marc Warden, she helped ensure that John’s archives were donated to the McCord Museum. To help preserve his father’s legacy, their son is also working on a documentary of his life.
As of 2019, Lise Warden was still working in the fields of home staging, interior design, and image consulting. In 2011, she began writing children’s stories and autobiographical short stories.
Cynthia Cooper, McCord Museum