Ex-oilsands CEO unleashes artistic passion by designing women’s line of clothing


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Dan Healing, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, October 11, 2016 8:49AM EDT

CALGARY — An oilsands executive known for employing the art of the deal is putting his passion for the art of photography into a new line of silk scarves, spandex leggings and other women’s clothing.

Jean-Michel Gires set French energy giant Total S.A. on course for a massive buildup of oilsands production while heading the company’s Canadian branch in Calgary from 2009 to 2013.

At one point, he vowed the company would spend $20 billion to achieve 200,000 barrels per day of oilsands production by 2020 (a timeline Total has since backed away from, in part because of low oil prices).

He returned to head office in Paris when his Calgary gig was up but says that, after 25 years, he was no longer interested in life as a travelling executive. He resigned and moved back to Calgary, first as a partner in a clean-tech venture capital firm and now as the founder and chief designer for a clothing startup that bears his name, By Jean Michel.

byjeanmichel

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