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Upon arrival at Aldo HQ, we were warned about the "Kool-Aid." And we immediately came to suspect that it was to blame for everyone's positive attitude, obviously happy demeanor, and team spirit — and by everyone, we mean the 1,300-member team that currently works out of the head office and distribution center in Montreal."It's like a thing," creative director and VP of marketing, Douglas Bensadoun told us. "I don't believe for a second that we're just selling shoes, just like I don't believe for a second that people work here just for the paycheck." But sell shoes they do. To industry insiders, Bensadoun is a name that's readily associated with successful women's footwear — just take a look at his father, Mr. B. First name: Aldo. Turning the big 4-0 this year, as well as celebrating the opening of a new flagship store in Montreal — a city that fosters creative talent and supplies endless inspiration with it's rich culture and European charm — Aldo opened the doors of its offices (and sample closets!) to us, for a peek at the amazing workspace behind the mall brand we've loved since middle school. We must admit, even after a few hours lost inside the footwear wonderland, it was tough to pinpoint the exact secret to the brand's success. Could it be the home-away-from-home headquarters, the massive art collection that fills it, and the seasonal garden that surrounds it? Or perhaps it's the team. Either way, if it really is a special elixir that helps Aldo stay so historically on-point and innovative, then we'll happily drink up.
Photographed by Coey Kerr