I went through some tough times because if you're used to having a voice in contemporary culture and all of sudden, you don't have that voice, you don't have that outlet. I didn't appreciate that. I didn't understand how important that was to me. And all of a sudden, after investing all this time and energy, I had no identity. I didn't know who I was. I didn't know what I had to say. I didn't have a way to say it. It was very painful.
I'm living the exact life I planned on living when I was five. My life has taken some turns and changes that I didn't anticipate, and it has brought me different things. I thought material things would bring me happiness, which they didn't. But through this, I have learned what things are important and what aren't.
When you are having fun and creating something you love, it shows in the product. So when a woman is sifting through a rack of clothes, somehow that piece of clothing that you had so much fun designing speaks to her; she responds to it and buys it. I believe you can actually transfer that energy to material things as you're creating them.
There's a different kind of comfort that comes from knowing that you are putting your best foot forward. It's called psychological comfort. Look at a picture of the Coney Island boardwalk in 1925. Men were in full-on three-piece suits, hats. They may have only had one suit. But they pressed it. They made it look as good as possible.
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One of the most important things is to figure out what your look is "" I don't wear this black suit-white shirt combination all the time to try and be iconic "" but because I'm most comfortable in this. Cary Grant never turned up in a pink jacket and hot pants and I don't feel the need to experiment when I know I like dressing this way.
I am tired of the cult of youth. The cultural rejection of old age, the stigmatization of wrinkles, grey hair, of bodies furrowed by the years. I am fascinated by Diana Vreeland, Georgia O'Keeffe and Louise Bourgeois, women who have let time embrace them without ever cheating. Society today condemns this, me, I celebrate it.
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My grandmother was probably the first person who I thought was beautiful. She was incredibly stylish, she had big hair, big cars. I was probably 3 years old, but she was like a cartoon character. She'd swoop into our lives with presents and boxes, and she always smelled great and looked great.
To me, beauty and sadness are very closely linked. Truly beautiful things make me sad because I know they are going to fade. When I see a beautiful 20-year-old boy or girl-and they are breathtaking-I am filled with a kind of sadness. But maybe they are beautiful because we know they are not permanent and they are in a kind of transition.
I realized that the way I approached architecture was with a somewhat fashion brain. That didn't get me very good marks in school, because everyone thought fashion was lightweight. In architecture they say, "Well, why is the door pink? Where does it go? What does the pink mean? What does it symbolize? All the other doors are beige, why is that one pink?" I was like, "Well, it's pink because it's pretty."
I am a spiritual person in an eastern religion kind of way. I learned that happiness for all of us is a switch that you flick in your brain. It doesn't have anything to do with getting a new house, a new car, a new girlfriend, or a new pair of shoes. Our culture is very much about that; we are never happy with what we have today.
When I was young, I wanted to be a movie star. But I realized that you have no control being an actor. So I went to architecture school in NYC, because I was crazy about buildings. Then I began to realize that I got more excited about Vogue coming out each month than I was about my projects.
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I grew up in New Mexico, and the older I get, I have less need for contemporary culture and big cities and all the stuff we are bombarded with. I am happier at my ranch in the middle of nowhere watching a bug carry leaves across the grass, listening to silence, riding my horse, and being in open space.
But as an adult working in the fashion industry, I struggle with materialism. And I'm one of the least materialistic people that exist, because material possessions don't mean much to me. They're beautiful, I enjoy them, they can enhance your life to a certain degree, but they're ultimately not important.
I was lucky enough to have had great success early on in life; to have had all the things the material world can offer. And yet, I realized that what I had actually neglected was the more spiritual side of myself, which has always been there. But it's easy for us in our culture to become consumed in a sense by materialism. Now materialism is fine. We live in a material world. I'm not saying that beautiful things don't enhance our lives. But, in our culture, we're never happy.
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I think we are becoming more and more linked, and before long, we'll all be one culture. It's happening in every field, not just fashion. Actually, I think the only hope for peace is if culture is homogenized. Unfortunately, money seems to be the only solution to political disagreements. If we are all linked through culture and trade, it won't be worth fighting each other.
Dressing well is a kind of good manners, if you ask me. When you're standing in a room, your effect is the same as a chair's effect, or a sculpture's. You're part of someone's view, you're part of that world, and so you should dress well. I find it's a show of respect to try to put on your best face and look as good as you can.
A film, since it is primarily a visual medium, should really be like a silent film. You should be able to watch something and understand what was going on and use voice when you need to communicate something you can't necessarily communicate visually. The book is the opposite. The book is an inner monologue which is beautiful.
I love New York. It's given me so much as a designer. When I moved here, I wanted to tap into the glamour of the city immediately. More than anywhere else, New York offers itself up - you arrive and get a rush in a flash. It's dazzling. Everywhere you look, there is decoration, from a pair of jewel-encrusted shoes in the window in Bergdorf Goodman to the Chrysler Building. And New York is incredibly democratic. Everyone is packed into this tiny space. You are confronted with all manner of people, and I love that.
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I told myself that I would not come back to women's fashion until I felt I had something new to say. I feel that fashion has become too serious and that the actual customer's needs have not really been addressed. Fashion needs to make one happy. It is a luxury and should enhance one's quality of life.
Choose your team carefully. So much of your success is due to the people who you surround yourself with. Your friends, your family, and the people that you work with -- they all play an important role in inspiring you and supporting you and giving you stability. These are the people in your life who will be honest with you.