This word is of my own choosing, Lisa, although I'm sure it's been said before when describing your eyes.
Backstage, prior to the Pink Tartan show, you had completed hair and makeup, and sat backstage in your robe.
It was a brief lull in what had been a long, busy day, when you gently rested your head on the chairback and looked at me with those deep blue eyes.
I was mesmerized.
Lisa Cant with her mother agent,
Pat Collins of Images Model Management
Lisa Cant's career began at age 14, when the shy, quiet daughter of two geologists was approached at an Ikea store in Calgary and told to consider modelling. The scout happened to be a model herself, and whatever she said to Lisa must have been convincing. Shortly after that fateful meeting Lisa was in contact with Images Model Management.
Pat Collins has operated Images for 20 years, and in that time has placed scores of models. Aside from her work as an agent she also scouts worldwide for several prominent Asian agencies.
"Pat's been great! "says Cant. "My mom gets along really well with her - they always go for lunches and talk about me," she laughs.
Collins recalls their first meeting. "When I first met Lisa I told her I was concerned about her chin, and that could possibly be a big issue for the agencies when I started promoting her."
I spoke with Collins following the Pink Tartan show, while Cant deftly navigated Canada's entertainment and fashion media. As we chatted, Collins glanced over at Cant and muttered "What a difference in that girl."
A few days later I met up with Collins to learn more about her star model, starting with the obvious: What difference in that girl? "Basically how she's grown - how her personality has come into its own. She was very shy when I first met her. But she's got such confidence and poise now. She's grown up."
I asked Cant if she was surprised by Collins's assessment. "No, I used to be really shy. I didn't like talking to people. I was 16 and thrown into this different world and I didn't want to be the center of attention."
"I guess I've grown up a lot because I've had to manage myself as a business. You can't just rely on everyone else to manage your finances and scheduling. You put a lot of faith in your agency, but you have to watch out for everything yourself. You have to have a business head, and make sure all your money is being put in the right place and know that you're booking the right jobs. Your agency does that but you also have to watch."
Trump Models President, Jon Tutolo, when we first met in November, spoke with reverence of Cant's professionalism; how she's on top of her frequent flyer miles and keeps track of her accounts. Now - impressively, but not surprisingly - she is working towards a degree in economics.
Your mother agent used this word, Lisa, to describe your nature.
"She's still quite reserved when it comes to her business," says Collins. "It really doesn't seem to have gone to her head. She's not that superstar we see in print. She's still Lisa.
"I try not to get caught up in it," Cant explains. "Other people obsess a little too much. Even with school - I took it seriously, but not too seriously. I didn't stress out about things."
"I've stopped and started [modelling] a few times. The first time I went away for a few months, then came back to school. Now I've been modelling full time for about two years."
She maintains that despite being away from home, loneliness isn't a factor. "No, I have friends here (among her close friends are fellow Canadians Heather Marks and Jessica Stam; as well as Caroline Trentini, Lily Donaldson and Gemma Ward). I hang out with a lot of girls that are 17, but they all act mature because they've been doing this on their own for so long that it doesn't feel like there's an age gap."
Heather Marks and Lisa CantAccording to Cant, although she hasn't ever worried about living on her own, she isn't sure her parents have found the situation to be as easy. "I don't think they liked that much. But," she laughs, "they get to see me on magazines and get excited, buy 20 copies..."
Last fall Cant graced the cover of Flare. "My mom bought so many and made me sign them so she could send them to relatives. It's a little bit [embarrassing] sometimes, but it's funny. She gets happy, so that makes me happy too."
"She's a family girl," says Collins. "She finished her show her in Toronto and went to visit her grandmother in Barrie [Ontario]. She's still very close with her sisters, so there's a very deep-seeded family connection for her."
At the end of my interview with Collins, she struggled to compose herself. "As you can see," sniffs Collins, "I still get emotional when I talk about her."