Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau in a photo from the January issue of Vogue magazine. Photo: Norman Jean Roy for Vogue
As soon as he was elected Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau was heralded the world over as the world’s hottest politician. So between dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis and speaking at the United Nations climate summit in Paris, his assistant made time in his schedule for Trudeau to sit for a portrait for Vogue with his wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau.
The story, which will appear in the January issue, features one image with the first lady (although she’s not officially given that title) wearing a blue and yellow lace dress by Oscar de la Renta. The piece retails for $5,700 and yes, critics have already taken to social media to blast her for spending government funds on expensive clothes (even though no one actually buys the clothes they wear in photo shoots). The Prime Minister wears his own blue button-down and red tie in the shot of the couple (and adds a blazer in the accompanying black and white solo shot).
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looking pensive. Photo: Norman Jean Roy for Vogue
Writer John Powers also sat down with the attractive couple. In the interview, the 40-year-old mother, who’s quickly become a favorite of fashionistas around the world and dubbed the “hottest First Lady in the world” by many, reveals that while her husband has been getting his feet wet (attending G20 meetings, tweeting about the Paris attacks, proposing new laws and tax cuts, etc.), she’s spent a majority of her time — before taking on national projects like her American counterpart Michelle Obama — helping the family get situated in Rideau Cottage, which is very unlike a typical cottage seeing as it has 22 rooms. “It’s very warm, like a nest,” she told the publication, “and very reassuring for our three kids.” They chose the humble abode over Rideau Hall (although it’s situated on the same grounds), also known as Canada’s House, which is the official residence in Ottawa for the Canadian monarch and his or her representative, the Governor General of Canada.
Trudeau’s professional rise to the top has been a dream, but the couple’s love story is sort of a modern day fairytale as well. The pair knew each other peripherally as kids and then reconnected as adults. After working together on a project, she emailed him and he ignored it. “I knew if I responded even slightly we’d wind up going for coffee, and that would be the last date I’d ever have in my life,” he explained. Then, after a run-in a few months later, they went on a date and the rest was, as they say, history. “I’m a dreamer and a romantic and at the end of dinner, he said, ‘I’m 31 years old, and I’ve been waiting for you for 31 years.’ And we both cried like babies,” she said. They got married two years later and have been partners ever since, although he insists they’re more than just that.
After everyone calmed down about his looks, Trudeau made headlines for assigning 50 percent of his cabinet positions to women, just one of the few progressive decisions he’s made since coming to power. “There’s a sense that maybe we’ve reached the end of progress, that maybe it’s the new normal that the quality of life is going to go down for the next generation. Well, I refuse to accept that,” he said. “And I refuse to allow that to happen.”
The appearance in Vogue isn’t as random as it might seem. Unlike many publications, Vogue does not have a Canadian version. Instead, the United States rendition serves North America (minus Mexico) and covers the Great White North when young, attractive politicians get elected to office. Trudeau, who’s been favorably compared to President Barack Obama for his age (43), good looks, and stage presence, isn’t the first of his stature (although possibly the first from his country) to dedicate precious seconds, minutes, and hours to the fashion glossy. The First Family was photographed by Annie Liebovitz in 2006 when Obama was still serving as the junior senator of Illinois, then again on his own in 2009; Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kristen Gillibrand were both shot by Norman Jean Roy (the same photographer behind the Trudeau’s editorial) in 2010; and Hillary Clinton appeared on the cover in an Oscar de la Renta gown in 1998.