As the New Year begins, like a lot of you, I took the time to reflect on the year we’ve had in fashion as well as in general. Fashion has become more edgy and nostalgic, innovative and sleeker. Life in general also has been quite interesting for me. In late September 2013, I moved from Berlin to London. I took the time to really get to know London and the city became my new home. It even got me to revisit all the reasons why at the age of 14, I had and still have an obsession with this city (all fashion and music related). I’ve made one of my dreams come true and now my focus is on making my other dream come true, being a designer in London. I’ve met some great people here, seen some great places (although I need to discover some others), and gaining more insight into the mysteries of London. I’m also becoming more inspired by all that’s around me here.
My main goal this year is to design a bit more, and to get my website up and running. It’s been a bit of a trying time, settling in and learning how to get on, even adjusting my networking style to fit my new surroundings (still getting used to that). I’m off to a great start, but I still have a ways to go. The road to the top begins with a single step, so I’ll be taking a lot of steps in this process. I’m also learning more about myself in my new surroundings and loving every minute. There will be more to come and I will try to keep on updating you on the process.
At this time, this is the slow period in fashion retail. This is the period where all the end of the year sales have ended and no one is really shopping at this moment, because everyone is still paying for Christmas and New Year’s. The magazines are starting to preview all of the upcoming spring/summer looks and everyone is preparing for the upcoming Fashion Weeks. London Fashion Week: Men’s begins in a few days (so does Berlin Fashion Week) and in a few weeks time the juggernaut of New York, London, Paris and Tokyo Fashion Weeks are gonna kick off the spring/summer season. Retail will pick up then and all of the fashion peacocks will be out in full force (and so will I).
I’ve been taking this time to catch up on some fashion reading, so I will have a lot to put in this post. Most of the pictures I’m sure you would have seen by now, but these are a lot of the pics I like as well as what’s moving me at this time. Let’s get started!!!!!
As I was going through the December 2014 issue of American Vogue with Amy Adams on the cover, I came across two amazing photos that were simply breathtaking!!!!! Styled by Fashion Editor, Grace Coddington (another autobiography I have to get) and taken by Annie Leibovitz, and co-starring Tim Burton, it is a re-imagining of the Hans Christian Andersen story “The Red Shoes”. Simply gorgeous!!!!!!
I also was going through the December 2014 issue of American GQ with Steve Carell on the cover and loved everything I saw.
The issue was full of all the things that a man should have, staples that outlive the trends and are slightly edgier than the basics. The shots of “Guardians Of The Galaxy” star, Chris Pratt really rocked my world. They totally change my view of him. I always knew that he was a funny guy, but now after seeing the new look and seeing Hollywood take him seriously, he is a force to be reckoned with. He is in with a group of actors that 2014 was the breakout year for them, that includes Eddie Redmayne (star of “The Theory Of Everything”), Jack O’Connell (star of “Unbroken”), and Miles Teller (star of “Whiplash”).
Throughout most of the issues of the other magazines, everyone is talking about confidence. Some are faking it, others don’t have any and all are unsure of how to get it. I can only speak for myself and tell you how I gained my confidence. Sometimes you have to walk alone to do it. In this context, it may come across as a little arrogant. Forgive me if it comes out that way. It’s not my intention.
When I was growing up in Brooklyn, New York, I always knew that I wasn’t like the other boys in my family, in my neighborhood, or in my school. I always hung around the girls, was (and still am) totally into fashion, music and art. All the other boys were into sports, mostly participating, where as I enjoyed as a spectator. I was also quite shy and was always bullied and picked on. I’ve been called all sorts of things and beaten up by other boys in the neighborhood as well as in school. I’ve had bottles and rocks thrown at me and each time these things would happen, it would eat away at my self esteem, my confidence until I had very little left. On one particular occasion, I had a really bad day of being bullied and beaten up and my confidence was at an all time low. I was tired of being picked on and being called names, just for being myself. After crying my eyes out, I had made a vow to myself to never allow that to happen again, no matter what the cost. It took some time, but I developed ways to function when those situations arise.
I found solace in the things that excited me: music, fashion and art. I even began to focus on being a designer, so I began to fall into the world of Vogue, Elle, GQ and Harper’s Bazaar, as well as the world of Rolling Stone, Smash Hits,Q, NME and Mojo. I began to read everything I could about fashion and designers. I even had dreams of designing clothes for Elton John and Donna Summer. I would still be called names and picked on, but little by little I started making my way out of my neighborhood and my high school onto the subways that took me to places where I could find my tribe, more music, more fashion, more art and as I found those things, my confidence began to build. Once you find your tribe, your support system, you can pretty much do anything.
As I learned more about music and fashion, I was learning more about myself. Once you know yourself, you skin gets thicker and you work a little harder, so the things that people say about you or to you will never shake who you are. I always tell people that the things that people say have made me tougher. My belief in what I knew of myself and the things I loved were the things that made my confidence grow like flowers in a garden.
Confidence to me is that belief in yourself that no one can take away. I believe that I am a good person and a great designer, so no matter what anyone else says or thinks, I will always believe that. I can handle critiques and I know how to take what I can use and discard the rest. I can’t get you to believe in what I do, if I don’t believe in it myself!!!!
Today, I am living in the place that I’ve been dreaming about since I was 14 (now I’m 44), and very confident and secure in my abilities, although there will always be room to learn more, not just about art, music and fashion, but about myself. People will always prejudge you, when they are afraid of seeing something that they’re not used to. You just have to get used to that and stand tall, even if it means that you have to stand alone. Sometimes you have to give people a chance to catch up to you.
One of the many phrases that I have picked up and put into my life and mantra is:
What you think of me is none of my business.
I live by that!!! There are others, but that’s the main one. Own who you are and all that comes with it. Your successes, your failures, your obstacles, your triumphs. Don’t be concerned about the others, because we are all meeting on the same roads at points. We all want to be successful in every situation and we all take different roads to get there. Know who you are and what you bring to the party and do it all with a smile. You are responsible for your own happiness, so get out there and take it!!!!
This is the start of a new dawn, a new day, and a New Year!!!! Let’s get out there and continue to build our confidence!!! It’s okay to be afraid, to stumble, to fall down, but as long as you get back up and keep pressing on, you’ll get stronger, wiser and even more confident!!!!!
Stay fashionable and sexy!!!!! Happy New Year!!!!!