October 8, 2009

Nothing Happens Until You Decide

One of the great quotes is from mountaineer W. H. Murray:
Nothing happens until you decide  Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!"

September 19, 2009

"OK, now let's get started..."

Eleanor Lambert, 1966

SUCCESS… starts with a plan!

It feels like the perfect time to start this blog… summer is over, the weather is beginning to change, it is almost autumn in New York City and we just wrapped up another Fashion Week – showcasing what people will be wearing in 2010 – the dawn of a brand new decade.

It certainly would not feel like fall in New York without the mayhem and excitement of Fashion Week. NY Fashion Week is one of the most established and unsurpassed events in the world. It is the unrivaled stage for established and emerging designers to showcase their collections.

Twice a year since 1943, media and retailers have gathered in New York City for Fashion Week. But before 1943 this was not the case, in fact, when a designer had produced a new collection, he would have a fashion show when the mood hit. This was not convenient for retailers or the media...

So, in 1943 a determined, charismatic and tireless cheerleader of fashion, the publicist Eleanor Lambert created a very simple plan…. She suggested that designers join together and show their collections during one week so they could collectively draw more media, more buyers and more customers to see their work. Fashion Week was born - one in New York, one in Paris and one in Rome (later moved to Milan).

In 1995, I worked for Eleanor Lambert, who was 92 years old and of course, still working. Miss Lambert was the hardest working person I have ever known, she was extremely driven and very focused. I attended the Calvin Klein show in Bryant Park with her. New York Fashion Week had exploded exponentially that season – with numerous foreign designers showing in New York... bringing even more designers, more press, more buyers, more attendees, it was chaos! After Miss Lambert congratulated Calvin Klein on his show and we started to leave the madness of the fashion show tents, I asked her, “Miss Lambert when you created NY Fashion Week back in 1943 did you ever think it would get this big and this crazy?” She turned and looked up at me wearing her signature turban and laughed: “Well actually, I thought it would be a lot bigger than this and I am still planning on that happening!”

Of course, New York Fashion Week has grown each year since 1995. Eleanor Lambert had always planned for her success and she realized that the economy, New York City, and life itself, has its ups and downs, but she stuck to the plan. If things were in a bit of confusion or slight disarray in the office at the beginning of a day, she'd clear her throat and proclaim:

"OK, now let's get started..."