Creative Directions: Dani Roche

by Deirdre kelly

photography by Mike Ford

How to communicate with millennials? Ask Dani Roche (BDes ’13), a new-media trailblazer whose Kastor & Pollux digital and experiences company (no, Virginia, they don’t call it “advertising” anymore) speaks directly to young, in-the-know consumers, getting them to listen. At just 28 (she is her own target demographic), the York grad – who moonlights as a design prof in the York University/Sheridan College program in design, YSDN – already has a client list that would be the envy of any professional twice her age: Wealthsimple, Bumble, Frank And Oak and Converse, to name just a few.

I’m looking to change people’s perceptions of everything

The anti-designer designer retooling the ways brands interact with consumers

Born in 1991, Roche grew up in Toronto’s easterly Scarborough neighbourhood, where she honed her entrepreneurial chops at a young age. At 16, she launched her own vintage clothing e-commerce site, and at 19, the brand marketing agency that recently earned her a coveted spot in Forbes’s “Under 30 Innovators You Need To Know.” The influential business magazine praises Roche for wanting to empower independent creatives while boosting representation of Asian women in media. “A lot of people are afraid to be unconventional,” Roche says. “But through my work, I’m looking to change people’s perceptions of everything.”