Posts Tagged ‘Huffpost live’

Dreaming the Dream

February 1, 2013

Fabric bolts with various types of fabric

Yesterday was a day of contrasts.

Earlier in the day, I participated in a live chat on Huffpost Live with Christian Siriano, the fashion designer who was catapulted to fame after winning Project Runway. Siriano, age 25, has come a long way from those early days, launching an eponymous label and retail store, designing custom wedding dresses and collaborating with other brands such as Payless Shoes. His most recent venture is a lower priced line for HSN, which debuts next week. Known for his big personality and the taglines “fierce,” and “hot tranny mess,” Siriano came across as amicable, yet surprisingly serious.

His conversations leaned towards the business minded, and he appeared wise beyond his years. While Siriano wants to shed his reality show stereotype and be taken seriously as a designer, his career path has been defined by his television persona.

Ruminating on the story of Christian’s success, I wandered back to my office.

When I arrived, I got a panicked phone call; “Tommy is coming!”
The fashion equivalent of an air raid drill is the frantic call to arms when the namesake designer of a brand comes by for an unexpected visit.

I dashed upstairs to make sure that our presentation was up to snuff.

Mr. Hilfiger arrived shortly thereafter, with a group of young aspiring designers in tow, to talk to them about his company and how he got started.

I was lucky enough to be able to sit in, and hear him share his story with the group.

The career trajectory of today, as seen with Christian Siriano is unique: Go on a reality show, have the public fall in love with you and hopefully your designs, and parlay that into a business.

Mr. Hilfiger, more than twice Mr. Siriano’s age, started in a more humble way: with a small amount of money and a big dream.

As a young man, he invested $150 in the inventory of a New York City street vendor selling jeans. He took them back to his hometown of Elmira, New York, and opened a store he called “People’s Place.” He blasted loud music, lit incense and sold out his entire stock. Later, he decided to make the product more personal, and worked with a local seamstress to distort the classic jean and create an item that was unique to his store. As time evolved, he added other denim items to the mix, keeping his niche and expanding it slowly until it became the international phenomenon that it is today. He speaks of stepping outside his comfort zone, as he explored brand marketing and the expansion of his business.

The audience (myself included) was mesmerized, as he offered advice to young designers just starting out.

Tommy generously shared his knowledge, and a few self-deprecating tales of the less stellar moments in his career. His success came from finding a niche, having a strong vision for the brand, and being consumer-centric. He took on partners to help him with the areas of his business he did not excel at, and surrounded himself with young, like-minded talent.

The contrasts and similarities in the two men were stunning.

Both men have a passion for their work. Both began at a young age, and pursued their dreams. One started on a shoestring and built an empire. The other became an instant household name through reality show notoriety. One has their stellar career behind them, and is using his time and resources in a philanthropic way. The other has their whole future ahead of him, and is exploring ways to grow and develop as a designer.

Both proved to be inspirational in their own right.

The lesson was clear:

Vision and drive are essential on the road to success. How you choose to travel is what makes each journey unique.

Who inspired you today? Share your story in the comment section below.

Huffing and Puffing

January 31, 2013

Because I am too freaking exhausted to write anything coherent tonight, here is a screen grab of my Huffpost Live segment, shot today with Christian Siriano of Project Runway fame.

SH On HuffPostLive

I will fill you in on all the deets tomorrow, as well as some tidbits from a chance encounter with Tommy Hilfiger today.

Two very different success stories, from two very different men, who both found a unique way to pursue their dreams.Inspiration doesn’t get much better than this!

Coming soon…

indigo jones on huffpost live

October 20, 2012

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to appear on Huffpost Live.  A panel of people debated the impact that Barney’s and Disney’s re-proportioning of their beloved characters has on the body image of young girls. This subject was also the featured in yesterday’s post on indigo jones.

The conversation was lively, with everyone on the panel other than myself taking the stance that anything we do that sends the message that you are not perfect just the way you are, is wrong. When I came home last night and read the 285 comments on the piece, I was surprised to see that many viewers agreed with me; it’s all in good fun. My own readers also thought that we were losing our sense of humor over this.

Check out the segment on Huffpost Live and tell me what you think: Do these overly exaggerated fashion figures send a negative body image message?

Leave a comment, and join the conversation!

Skinny Minnie Mouse?

October 19, 2012

New York fashion emporium Barney’s is teaming up with Disney for this year’s holiday promotion, entitled “Electric Holiday.”

The campaign features a 3-D film in which Disney’s most iconic and beloved character’s appear as supermodels in Paris, strutting the catwalks in designer fashions.

Early images have leaked, and fury over the reed thin physiques given to Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck and Goofy has caused quite a stir.

Enraged activists and parents alike, have banded together against the re-proportioning of the characters, saying that they send a negative body image message to children.

Granted, the bodies are exaggerated to an extreme. But is it all in good fun, or truly problematic?

Barney’s is one of the most high-end retailers in the country. It has only 11 outposts in the United States, all of which are in status locations.

The company is also known for it’s irreverent and humorous approach to marketing, especially in its holiday windows. Even the Queen of England was not immune to their witty treatment.

Barney’s does not market to children. It is not a national chain. It certainly does not cater to the masses. Those who are the target clientele will most likely respond favorably to this film. So where is the harm? Without all of this press, how many children would actually be affected by it?

Join me on Huff Post Live this Friday, October 19, at 1:00 Eastern Standard Time, as we debate whether or not Barney’s and Disney is sending a negative message to young girls about body image.

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