From Global Brands to Local Roots


April 7, 2024

Words by: Francesca Roznicki

Photography by: Fontaine Lewis

The remarkable journey of Deidre Hackman

Deidre Hackman is an acclaimed expert in brand management, marketing, and fashion. Throughout her career, she has collaborated with prestigious brands such as Nike, Victoria’s Secret, Mexx, and Speedo, leading her to travel and reside in various cities worldwide, including Portland, Los Angeles, New York, and Amsterdam. 

In 2022, after returning to Edmonton to be closer to her family, Hackman faced a series of heartbreaking losses when both her brother-in-law and father passed away within a short period. The tragedies prompted her and her family to reflect and plan their future. Today, Hackman is embracing a fulfilling life, pursuing her passions by working with brides and brands, alongside cherished friends and family.

You have your hands in a few different businesses. Walk us through your different roles.

I am a Partner at Concrete Global, where we create brand strategy for other companies. This can be anything from creating and positioning a product or revamping a brand, as well as setting up the marketing and strategic positioning, plus managing launches and events.

I am also the Founder of Froxbox, which is a continuation of my bridal-line lovechild that I had in the 1990s called Concrete Clotheries. I feel like a fairy godmother when the bride comes in and she sees herself for the first time in a wedding dress. In many ways, working with brides prepared me for working with athletes, because both of them are very concerned with their bodies performing their very best for this one single moment, on one day.

My background for the past 20 years has been working with numerous fashion and performance brands, with Olympic athletes, and understanding technologies and innovation that would help them do what they needed to perform better.

Tell us more about the rise of technology in fashion and how that’s changed over the years.

The most interesting thing that’s happened is the evolution of 3D design. Now, designs are translated into a pattern

which is immediately sent to the factory. The whole chain of events to create a product has been shortened significantly. We are also able to digitally create samples now, which saves a lot of time and wasted product.

I’ve always been interested in taking construction and fabrics to the next level. It was revolutionary when we created the Fastskin for Speedo. Michael Phelps was wearing the Fastskin LZR by Speedo in the 2008 Beijing Olympics where he broke seven world records and won eight gold medals. Those kinds of events were pivotal. Those are the things that I continue to work on. You need to be in touch with the consumer and understand what they want, but you also have to feel free to create and develop concepts, and learn how to play with ideas.

Tell us more about the concept of “play” and what that means to you.

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, you need that time to play with ideas and concepts. This creates a sense of safety to be able to fail without fear. This has always been my design credo, especially when I’m working with younger designers or designers who are just learning their skills. I tell them, “You have one good idea today and that’s awesome, but you probably have a million more that you haven’t even explored until we start to roll them all out!”

You won’t always have the best or the most brilliant idea, but you’ll get to the point where you find your voice and understand what works for you. The more you do it, the better you are. That’s just the way it is.

What is the most important thing when it comes to both designing and promoting a luxury brand?

Understand who you’re talking to. One of the things I do for corporations and professionals is storytelling courses. The first thing I say is, “In one word, tell me what you do.” The more words it takes you to tell your story, the less power you have behind each one.

The faster you can get to the point, the better you can tell your story, and the easier it is for others to tell your story. That’s really what it comes down to when we’re talking about marketing and brand positioning. The shorter the message is, the easier it is to repeat. Marketing is all about repetition. 

What are the non-negotiable luxuries in your life?

I would have answered this question completely differently before my family’s loss in 2022. At this point, the most important thing is time with my family. I’ve lived all over the world and it’s been marvellous. But now, I’m living on a farm with my dog. There is nothing that I need except to know that my family is safe, that they’re okay, and to know that I’ve got work to keep me busy.

Also, having hope. Knowing what I have today will be better tomorrow. I know this is something not everyone has…so for me it is precious. But when it comes to stuff, it’s just stuff. It means nothing.


Modelling Agency: Mode Models International
Models: Alexis Kelley & Moyosore Oguntimehin

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