Monday, April 13, 2015

Waris Dirie

Photo Courtesy Of Waris Dirie 

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE “DESERT FLOWER” AND THE BOOKS THAT FOLLOWED?
Friends of mine convinced me to write a book about my life. They supported me through the process. Afterwards, no publisher wanted my story. I almost printed the book on my own expenses and giving it free of charge to schools and universities. In the end a publisher in New York bought the script and sold 12 million copies. After this every publisher in the world wanted to publish books by me.

YOUR LIFE PLAYS OUT LIKE A MODERN DAY CINDERELLA STORY, A FAIRY TALE. YOU’RE MYTHOLOGICAL ALMOST. IS THIS AN ADVANTAGE IN YOUR WORK OR ARE YOU OVERWHELMINGLY ABSTRACT TO THE PEOPLE YOU’RE TRYING TO REACH THROUGH YOUR FOUNDATION?
I‘ve had a lot of luck in my life, and I‘m very grateful. I don‘t see myself as a mythology, rather as a hard working woman with a mission. Fame serves as an advantage to spread a message, if you have one.

WHY DOES THE PRACTICE OF FGM (FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION) PERSIST DESPITE THE UNETHICAL AND MEDICAL ISSUES INVOLVED?
Because people are ignorant. Ignorance is the worst and most difficult attitude to eradicate.

CAN A PERFECT STATE OF GENDER EQUALITY TRULY EXIST (ESPECIALLY AS SOME MEN MAY BE UNDER THE IMPRESSION IT MEANS A CARTE BLANCHE TO NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR DINNER)?
Absolutely! This is the goal. I can pay for my dinner myself.

HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR DAY-TO-DAY AS YOU’RE ENGAGED IN SEVERAL PROJECTS SIMULTENOUSLY?
I get up early in the morning and I have a very good team at my Desert Flower Foundation.

HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU DID YOUR FIRST EVER FASHION SHOW OR PHOTO SHOOT?
It was pretty easy. They take pictures of you, fly you to beautiful places, and you’re getting paid for this. It‘s an easy way to make money.

HOW DID YOU COPE UNDER THE PRESSURES OF BEING A MODEL AND HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE SIZE ZERO CONTROVERSY IN THE INDUSTRY?
I never felt pressure as a model. I was the one who made pressure. Size zero is stupid and invented by idiots. Good food to me is more important than a modelling job.

WHAT HOBBIES DO YOU HAVE OUTSIDE OF YOUR PROFESSION?
Sports, music and painting.

WHAT IS TIMELESS STYLE AND HOW DOES ONE ACHIEVE IT?
Don’t care about the others. Wear what you like – then you are timeless.

HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR FLAWLESS SKIN AND STUNNING FIGURE, SURELY YOU’VE FOUND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH AND REFUSE TO TELL?
Olive oil is the best body lotion. You can get it in every supermarket. That is my secret.

Mixing It Up

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Natasha Tsakos

Photo Courtesy Of Natasha Tsakos

YOU’RE A SWISS MISS WHO LIVES IN FLORIDA AND IS INTO TECHNOLOGY, CORRECT? ELABORATE
I am a Swiss terrestrial of Hellenic heritage living in the tropics plotting a moonshot.

IS MIAMI BEACH STILL MIAMI BEACH?
Define "still"? Latitude: 25°48′46.89″N. Longitude: 80°8′2.63″W. Still on the map!

If you listen closely you’ll hear the city’s drum beats, start-up frenzy, and parrots' squawk.

WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE ART AS A CAREER?
Theatre pursued me. I was five in a closet with books, shoeboxes, imagination and a flashlight. The rest is a story in the making.

WHAT’S YOUR EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND?
I graduated in Theatre from the University of Florida’s New World School of the Arts, and passionately educate myself in other fields to make the shows that move in my mind. I also love reading about science and technology, and liberate myself through randomness.

AS A CREATOR AND CONCEPTUAL DIRECTOR HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK TO A COMPLETE STRANGER?
I create unique theatrical experiences harnessing the power of imagination and the magic of technology.

WHAT ARE THE STAGES OF YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS AND HOW MUCH TWEAKING IS INVOLVED?
A Show Recipe: Start by cutting one idea. Let it marinate in dreams for a few weeks. Abstract moments from reality. Pour them in fair quantity. Dissolve imagination. Add a pinch of science. An ounce of fiction. Twist reality. Freshly squeeze metaphors. Research abundantly. Let it simmer organically. Dice a meticulous storyboard. Mix it up musically. Stir the right. Talents together. Cook it well. Showtime baby! Note: allow for tweaking, laughing and head banging time.

WHAT ARE THE ISSUES, IDEAS AND/OR DILEMMAS THAT YOU’RE TRYING TO ADRESS THROUGH YOUR ART, AND DOES EXCESSIVE SCIENCE RENDER HUMAN EMOTIONS VOID?
When perfectly in tuned and equalized, I believe science and human emotions make the greatest Works of Art. I like to create stories that are relevant to today in both content and application. Contemporary themes in relationship to the human condition fascinate me! I also love to challenge the norm while using pop cultural triggers, and making unusual connections so that you might arrive at an unpredictable place in your mind.

WHAT DO YOU CITE AS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT INFLUENCES?
Challenges. Dares. And Dreams. Also, Leonardo da Vinci, Salvador Dali., Michael Jackson, Charlie Chaplin, Richard Branson, Jacque Fresco, Elon Musk, Peter Diamandis, Jim Carrey, Ray Kurzweil and Martine Rothblaltt. Now we’ve just moved to inspiration.

WHAT ARE SOM FUN FACTS ABOUT YOU THAT MAY OR NOT BE DIRECTLY RELATED TO YOUR PROFESSION?
I want to create shows for outer space environments.

YOUR STYLE OF DRESSING IS DOWN TO A DISCIPLINE, CATEGORIZE IT LIKE IT WERE A GRADED PROJECT
I Guess there is a Limited Gap in this Republic of Bananas due to the DeKayNY. Is Levi's such an alarming Exchange when you Express your Benetton? Ask Tommy, he’ll figure!

Dinara Nurlan

Photographed By Karen Burgos 

AW15.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Liam Fahy

Photo Courtesy Of Liam Fahy

YOU WERE BORN IN HARARE, ZIMBABWE AND GREW UP ON A SNAKE FARM, CONTINUE THE STORY FROM THERE: WHY FOOTWEAR? AND WHY WOMEN’S SHOES?
I was studying developmental psychology and narrowly chose footwear design over psychology. I didn't want to study for seven years, and had wanted to have my own shoe company since I was about 14. I chose women’s shoes after trying out all the other types of footwear first. Women’s footwear, especially in the super luxury market, allows the designer to be far more creative. It’s more expressive and sexy than other categories.

WHERE DID YOU LEARN THE CRAFT? 
I studied at De Montfort University, the best place to study real footwear making and design. Then I worked for sneaker companies in China for a while learning the technology. When I got tired of that I won the Fashion Fringe and was able to learn how the Italians make luxury footwear in Bologna. There are so many types of footwear and the processes are always developing so I like to think I'm always learning.

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR BREAK?
By luck. My girlfriend gave me a small article, torn off from a "Metro" newspaper, which was announcing the Fashion Fringe competition to be judged by Manolo Blahnik. I gave it a go and won which lead me to design for Rupert Sanderson.

HOW DOES YOUR CULTURAL HERITAGE INFLUENCE YOUR ARTISTRY?
It's quite a mix. I was born in Zimbabwe. My father is Irish, my mother is Portuguese/English and I live in London which is more multicultural than anywhere in the world. Each one of the shoes I produce is named after someone I know, I try to get as many Irish/Celtic names in there as I can. And each collection has some inspiration from Africa, whether the vibrant colours, materials or just the symbols and shapes. Africa is a never ending source of inspiration, the trick is translating it into luxury. Every shoe we make comes with a small dust bag that is made by a charity we support in Zimbabwe. The Shingirai Trust, a group of women (an NGO) that supports orphans.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
I love learning. With every project I do; designing shoes, accessories, websites, books, furniture or cooking food, I love the process more than the result. As Confucius said, “Choose a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life.” I think if anyone decides to have a career in fashion they must find out what it is that they enjoy about it. Don't do it for the money because the money rarely trickles down past the luxury groups, and the hours are longer than in any other business sector.

WHAT PART OF YOUR JOB DO YOU LIKE THE LEAST?
Fashion is becoming less about talent and more about hype. The highest bidder always wins. I guess it's no different to pop music.

ANY TIPS ON HOW NOT TO RUIN THE PERFECT OUTFIT WITH THE WRONG PAIR OF SHOES?
I think you should start with the shoes and then decide on the outfit. My tip is to choose one thing to show off. Don’t’ look like a Christmas tree with all the bells, whistles, colours and the kitchen sink. One of my favourite quotes is by Bruno Munari, 'To progress is to simplify, not to complicate.” Another great tip is to only wear our shoes. You can’t go wrong.

DO YOU HAVE ANY PREFERENCE FOR WHAT A WOMAN SHOULD WEAR?
I like to see women wearing things that show off their personality or have some degree of individuality no matter how small. It's all about expression and doing your own thing. Do something random just because you can.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OWN STYLE?
Very simple. Black and white. No logos. Kind of like the guy in “The Book of Mormon” poster on the London tube adverts. I’m very serious about what socks I wear though. It’s all about the socks!

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