T.B.N Interviews: Lawrence Charles

Posted in T.B.N Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2014 by James Field

With every new year comes new beginnings. For myself and The Black Nouveau, I wanted to kick off my interviews section with a dynamic, entrepreneurial spirit that embodies the new energy that I wish to bring forth this year.

Enter Mr Lawrence Charles, CEO and Founder of the luxury tea company Charles & Company. He is a man of great character and perseverance, and he made his dream come true with true grit and determination. He talks to us today about his struggles growing up in the inner city with a single parent, modeling for one of the biggest names in Fashion, and ultimately creating the brand that bears his name.

T.B.N- Welcome Mr. Charles and thank you for taking the time to speak with me about Charles & Company. Let’s begin with a little background, where are you from?

L.C- I’m from Canton, Ohio. I grew up in the inner-city and was raised by a single mother. My grandmother and grandfather played an important role, but I did a lot of “self-parenting.” It was normal to do things like walk to school by myself in kindergarten, or have to make parent level decisions regarding my education, dealing with counselors, etc. I essentially escaped high school by the skin of my teeth. I wanted to attend college and double major in Industrial Design and International Economics or Finance.

Schools like Wharton made me salivate, but I finished high school with a 1.2 GPA. I found myself navigating a home life of both parents on drugs while fighting with my teachers and an education system that sorted me below my aptitude. I simply gave up fighting and just survived. Upon finishing high school I was able to get into college on my talent alone. I was off to Pittsburgh. I went to design school and studied Industrial Design with an emphasis on consumer product design and interactive software development. To get through school in Pittsburgh I lived in a homeless shelter. There, I learned how to play chess at the level of chess master. You’d be surprised who you may find in a homeless shelter, but being a kid there I was taken under the wing of some caring, brilliant people. There, I learned how fragile life is. I also learned to be present. I learned how to love, care for, and care about people from all walks and circumstances. To this day, although I’ve worked with Royalty, and extremely powerful people and celebrities, I believe that everyone is a dignitary. Everyone.

I finished school at the top of my class and was recruited by one of my professors to be a Head Designer on a start-up children’s television series. It went on to win 3 Telly Awards, beating juggernauts like Fox Kids and Disney. About this time was when Tommy Hilfiger came calling.

T.B.N- After reading your bio I can, on many levels, relate to your upbringing by a single parent in an urban and sometimes discouraging environment. Did that ever deter you from pursuing your dreams?

L.C- Yes I had challenges, but I think the question may have been more about did I feel challenged in my ability to achieve my dreams and goals. Every one of us has talents and fresh passion that helps us in pursuing our goals. But in coming from an urban environment, there’s generally no one there to help you understand the talent you possess. Nor are you just a parent, uncle, or sibling removed from seeing for example an attorney, a professor, an investment banker. I had to set out on a path of defining and understanding what these incredible gifts and talents God gave me were, and then how to use them and hone them. So, pursuing your dreams from there is somewhat of a long chartered flight.

T.B.N- Did you always have the entrepreneurial spirit, and when did it begin flourish?

L.C- Yes. In kindergarten through grade school I would auction off my “hand-me-down” toys to neighboring adults for their kids. In the 2nd or 3rd grade I was always building, constructing things out of paper or whatever spare parts I could find. I rarely built things for the norm, but rather the aberration. I was pioneering then. By 7 years old I stumbled across a flower factory in town that was constantly throwing out what I thought were perfect flowers. I came up with the idea to sell flowers in front of a busy bank on Fridays. Even at 7 I knew that was when everyone got paid. I had category pricing, meaning I would set prices by what I thought commanded more or less. I would also bundle deals, like purchase 2 for “X” price. By high school I started a neighborhood barbershop.

T.B.N- Your work as a model and spokesperson for Tommy Hilfiger must have been an exciting and memorable time in your life. Tell us the story of how that came to be?

L.C- While I was going to design school, I took advantage of the filming that was done in Pittsburgh and the different casting offices as well as modeling and I just turned my photo into as many places as I could. I was a “starving artist.” One day I received a call from Tommy Hilfiger NY that was left on my voice-mail at home. I almost lost my mind. That was a surreal moment. I did a show for Tommy and with Rebecca Romijn. That sent me to New York City and was the launch of my modeling career.

T.B.N- When did your love of Tea begin?

L.C- I began drinking tea while in New York City. New York is a non-stop, 24/7 city, but when I discovered tea I found that it had an almost magical ability to quiet and slow down the chaos of the city. I fell in love with the history of tea and how it was King Charles II that integrated tea in to the higher, social fabric of British society. How it was through the influence of his wife, and her use of it to socialize with family and friends.

T.B.N- What were some of the challenges you faced when launching the company?

L.C- Without question, capital. And I also had no idea what I was doing from the perspective of building a real, organized start-up company. I owned a bicycle, I had a backpack and all I knew was to take my tea to places I thought I could find people to buy my tea. I was literally selling tea on the streets.

T.B.N- What is your favorite tea to drink and why?

L.C- My favorite to drink is breakfast tea because I like that its complex, but I’m fond of its simplicity.

T.B.N- For those who are not aware, what are some of the many health benefits of drinking tea?

L.C- Tea is an amazing elixir that scientists are discovering new things about continuously. If you just take a look at white, green, oolong, and black tea, you will find things like Thiamine, which affect the brain and heightens mental alertness and concentration. Tea contains good antioxidants that thwart free radicals and slows aging. Outside of its ability to help you fight common colds, tea helps prevent cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

One of the most overlooked health benefits of tea is what it does for mental health. Just by sharing a cup with a friend or a neighbor or in your own solitude allows you to take a moment, slow down, stop thinking about the bills, the kids, etc. But it allows you to be present and pulls you out of the challenges of life. This is critical to your mental well-being.

T.B.N- What are some of Charles & Company’s bestselling teas?

L.C- It varies at times, but I would say our Indian Chai, White Blueberry Pomegranate, or Coconut Chamomile. Chai is in many ways the basis of Ayurveda. Our Indian Chai is very traditional, I use clusters of spices like cardamom, pieces of cinnamon, and ginger beautifully arranged in a deep, smoky Indian black tea. With our White Blueberry Pomegranate, to raise the antioxidant and vitamin C levels, I use freeze-dried blueberries and pomegranate that’s laid in a beautiful, open leafed white tea which gives it a deeper, richer brew. Our Coconut Chamomile begins with fresh, beautifully picked chamomile flowers, tossed in with delicious coconut meat and honey bush. I’ve been told by customers it’s so good, and that if you drink too much you’ll hallucinate. Those customers, I believe, may have been enjoying something else along with our tea.

T.B.N- What are some of your future plans for Charles & Company?

L.C- First of all, I listen to the pull of our customers. This is a great barometer as to where we will and can be. In addition, we have built up a ton of cachet that we will begin to slowly cash in on. Our customers have done us an incredible service by giving us the title “luxury.” For this I am deeply grateful. In being a luxury brand, we cater to lifestyle. We are currently in talks with a couple major department stores. We are already looking at expansion in Europe. Our customers have been asking for china, so we will be launching our line of tea ware and china soon. Our customers consider us the “Ralph Lauren of tea,” so I believe this gives us the ability to become a multibillion dollar brand. I’m excited about what’s ahead.

 

Kathy Eldon & Lawrence Charles

Kathy Eldon & Lawrence Charles

 

T.B.N- What advice would you give struggling entrepreneurs?

L.C -

· Be persistent.

· Be persistent.

· Be kindly persistent.

· By all means do what you say.

· By all means, follow through. It’s tough to have so much on your plate at once, so delays are understood, but by all means follow through.

· Following through builds trust.

· Get a financial adviser if you already don’t have one.

· Get a mentor too.

· Listen to your adviser (And learn through your own experience what advice is working. Don’t just think you’re right. Let go a little)

· Listen to your customer. Pursue what you deeply believe is the correct path, but they will ultimately show you the way.

· Learn how to grow with no capital. When you get capital, continue to be resourceful.

· Revenue is deceiving.

· By all means, find your “product-market-fit.”

· Once you have your product market fit, build your network of “strategic” advisers.

· Continually look at growth and how your company fits into this thought of growth.

· If you’re a millennial or generation X African-American, do not carry the weight of your parents, and do not be coerced to do so. Yes, racism still exists in parts. So what, it’s not the majority. As Maya Angelou said, ‘Pick up your crown and wear it!’

T.B.N- What do you love most about your job?

L.C- Building a brand is a magical experience. I love everything, especially the people and the relationships. We get to work with amazing people both famous and not famous. From HRH The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson; Greta Garbo’s Estate; Diane Von Furstenberg’s Estate; to Jane Tranter, BBC Worldwide/The CW Network’s TV show “Breaking Pointe.”

T.B.N- Lastly, please give us some final words about Charles & Company and what you hope people will discover about your products.

Charles & Company Tea founded by Lawrence Charles brings to life the experience of traditional British Tea. The company was started to share the comfort, health, serenity, and togetherness that people experience while drinking tea. With a background as an award-winning Industrial Designer, CEO Lawrence Charles’ passion for creativity and elegance is present from the first step of selecting the leaves, to the last step of sharing Charles & Company Tea with the world. Charles & Company has signature blends you can learn about and purchase at www.cnctea.com

Thank you so much Lawrence for taking the time to inspire us all with your story and speaking for me, it was my pleasure. I look forward to hearing more about Charles & Company and I wish you much success on your future endeavors.

Like Charles & Company Tea on Facebook

Follow Charles & Company Tea on Twitter: http://twitter.com/charlesncompany

J.F

Nouveau Spotlight: Martin de Tours

Posted in Nouveau Spotlight with tags , , , , , , , on March 3, 2014 by James Field

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In our current economic climate, many people are finding themselves spending less on “fast fashion” and investing in more quality pieces with longevity. I  (reluctantly) have discovered the value in purchasing slightly more expensive, but longer lasting pieces for my own wardrobe that I may rotate through the seasons. However, at times the best alternative is made to measure and when it comes to fine suiting and tailoring, that is where quality craftsmanship vs “off the rack” prevails.

Enter a new such made to measure label by the name of Martin de Tours. Founded on the principles of accessibility, efficiency and the revolution of men taking pride in their appearance again, they have created a unique and exceptional tailoring experience for all.

Combining old world techniques and new technology to create custom fitted suits and shirting, this new brand is on its way to menswear sartorial importance.  The use of cut seems to be the most obvious statement as these looks will illustrate…

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I think it very important and economically savvy for more men to have a better understanding of their bodies and what fits their personal aesthetic, so that they may shop with greater confidence. Martin de Tours does just that, with a full-time “Valet” of sorts who will take your exact measurements and present material options for all your suiting needs. They are re-introducing the classic style and taste of custom suiting with made to measure, exceptional quality menswear.

Please visit Martin de Tours for more information, also please support the growing of this brand with sponsorship via Kickstarter, click here.

Thank you Alexandra of Martin de Tours and I wish you guys all the best. I will be meeting you soon for my measurements!

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JF

Honma Golf 2013 Promotional Campaign x OWN Magazine New York

Posted in Art Nouveau with tags , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2013 by James Field

This is short promotional video that was commissioned by Japanese Golf company, Honma by OWN Magazine. We shot all around New York City with a incredible team of people and finished the day on the roof of a private residence in the Chelsea area.

Some behind the scenes photos are below, stay tuned for more OWN Magazine collaborations.

Chelsea Penthouse Roof

Kota (My Editor and dear friend)

www.Honmagolf.co.jp

www.OWN-Magazine.com

Thank you so much to:

Model______________________Andrew Banks
Stylist______________________Shala Rothenberg
Visual Effect_________________Akinori Yamanaka
Director of Photography________Philipp Wolter
Director&Editor_______________Kaname Hatano
Art Director&Producer__________Kota Kuramoto
Stylist Assistant_______________Shonna Williams
Special Thanks_______________Taro Ohtsuki, Jonathan Pozniak, James Field, Erina Abe, Nobu Ouchi

T.B.N Interviews: Chef Jack Lee

Posted in Nouveau Spotlight with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2013 by James Field
Chef Jack Lee

Chef Jack Lee

“You must have Passion, Dedication and Persistence”- Chef Jack Lee

I would like to begin by thanking Chef Lee for taking the time out of his schedule to answer a few questions about his dazzling work and exciting career as a celebrity Chef for the re-launch of my T.B.N Interviews segment.

The Black Nouveau is pleased to introduce Celebrity Chef Jack Lee.

Welcome Mr. Lee, I am honored to speak with you today….

TBN: Lets begin with your love of food, what sparked your fascination with it? Also share with us a little about yourself and your background. How did the Asian/French fusion style flourish into your trademark?

Chef Lee: I see food very differently. I want to honor each ingredient’s natural properties. I want to enhance the unique textures and colors. I believe the food we consume should be as much of a treat for the eyes as it is for the palate. I love dishes to be full of flavor, color and dimension so that you get drawn into each bite. Every bite should be a meaningful, lasting memory.

I came to the US from Vietnam when I was only 10 years old.  I always loved food but at such a young age, I didn’t understand it as a career option. I watched the TV show “Three’s Company” to learn English and I loved how funny Jack Tripper was. When I saw him become a chef, I realized I could become a chef, too. It became my job to cook for my entire family and eventually I started working in kitchens.

As I learned more, I realized I wanted to combine Eastern and Western culinary concepts. I drew inspiration from street food of the Far East and merged it with the elegant plating and presentation of French cuisine. This Asian French technique has become my signature style and I’m always looking at ways to elevate the beauty as well as the flavors of food.

TBN: You are known for creating vibrant and visually appealing dishes that are equally delicious, how important is the presentation to you? How important is color?

Chef Lee: I believe people eat with their eyes first, so good plating presentation is inviting the palate of that taster. It makes the eater anticipate and fantasize about the culinary adventure they will have with forthcoming meal.  Color enhances the taste, since we, as humans, use color to tell us about nutrition and if something is yummy.

Most people prefer eating vegetables that look green and crisp rather than yellowish-green and limp. The second option means all the nutrients have been cooked out and it won’t be fulfilling to eat. It may not be at the front of the brain, but on a deep level we all know that delicious food has certain vibrancy to it.

My presentation centers on five components: high quality protein that will look sexy on the plate, super healthy carb, organic vibrant vegetables, amazing sauce with depth of flavor that embraces the tongue, and beautifully designed garnish. Put all of that together on one plate and it practically dances before your eyes. It’s like food porn.

TBN: How does the inspiration process work for you? When you cook for your clients, many of whom have very high taste levels (Oprah Winfrey, Charlize Theron, Hilary Swank a few among a long list of illustrious names) is there a consultation process? Is a there a balance between what you wish to convey with your dishes, and what the client is requesting?

Chef Lee: Everyone tastes food differently, and a lot can be based on a person’s mood. When you’re in a blissful mood everything tastes good, similarly, when you’re depressed you don’t have appetite. So, I first start thinking about the emotional response I want the taster to have. I deal with clients that don’t just appreciate the Wow Factor, they demand it, so the food needs to excite and even seduce the eater. That’s the main balance that has to be met between myself and the client. This is also where colors and enhancement of the ingredient’s natural beauty starts to come in. It’s the first level of inspiration.

I also get inspired by the people whom I cook for. I often make a plate based on some one’s individual persona. I’ve even named these dishes after the person that inspired the dish. It might start with their favorite type of protein or vegetable, or be based on an item of clothing they wear, or be a place they love to travel. This personalize’s the culinary experience even more.

Chef Lee & Rebbie Jackson

Chef Lee & Rebbie Jackson

Chef Lee & Charlize Theron

Chef Lee & Charlize Theron

Chef Lee & Quincy Jones

Chef Lee & Quincy Jones

All of this lets me use food as my art and outward expression of my voice and vision.

TBN: What was it like when you began your tenure as The Banquet Chef at the prestigious and legendary, Hotel Bel Air?

Chef Lee: I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to work at a Five Star, Five Diamond hotel where we are trained to create gourmet cuisine: Presentation, Authenticity, and Flavors. The training process was hard and intense… and long hours of making garnishes. You have to have the passion in the kitchen or it won’t work. The dispassionate fail quickly in a kitchen like that.

TBN: What advice would you give aspiring culinary students with similar career aspirations?

Chef Lee: You must have Passion, Dedication and Persistence.

I applied to work with esteemed Executive Chef Humberto Contreras. I just wanted to learn from him. At first, he denied me, many times, thinking I didn’t have what it takes. I kept coming back til he finally gave up and started to see my passion and my dedication in culinary arts.

Then, I volunteered at Bel Air for a full year making garnishes 10 hours a day. It wasn’t easy for me, everyone asked me to quit and go home.  It would have been so easy just to walk away but I kept on fighting to stay and believing that all the hard work will pay off.  Which it did. I was hired and eventually became the Banquet Chef of Hotel Bel Air and that was the turning point of my career as a chef.

TBN: Lastly, where do you see yourself in your current career path? What goals would you like to accomplish? What dreams have you always hoped to achieve?

Chef Lee: My first day at CSCA (California School of Culinary Art) I dreamed of being on Food Network one day and I recently served as a guest judge for this season’s finale of “Rachael vs Guy: Kids Cook-off.”  I’m also on a forthcoming episode of Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” which will air on October 27, 2013. So, many of my dreams are materializing.

I just wish to share my cooking passion and spread the love and food gospel to the World.

Thank you for your time today Chef Lee, it has been an absolute pleasure speaking with one of Hollywood’s most talented and esteemed Chefs.

Be sure to tune into Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” airing October 27th.

I would like to sincerely thank Ms Joy Donnell at Do It in Public Los Angeles for making this interview possible.

ChefJackLee.com

J.F

New York Fashion Week Spring 2014 Calender

Posted in Art Nouveau with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2013 by James Field

 

NY-Fashion-Week-Scedule

 

Well it’s finally here!

New York is about witness another blitz of Runway shows, street style super stars ( I use that loosely), presentations, parties, after parties, and after after parties.Yes, its Fashion Week and I have the schedule here for all you crashers, photogs, and aspiring visionaries alike. I think the most exciting thing about Fashion Week for me, is the carelessness of it all, so to speak. Aside from Halloween, it’s one of two times a year that you can dress up like a moody, cross gender bending, space cadet and have your image immortalized by Tommy Ton or The Sartorialist. People tap into the eccentricity that is underlying within them, and present it for the world to see, during the years most fabulous events. I mean you can’t wear a Givenchy leather kilt, and carry a Pashli Satchel to the office everyday (talking to the guys) so it really does become a festival of free will, individuality, and pure creative alchemy.

So go forth New York in all of your splendor and chicness, the French will never take us seriously if we don’t STEP IT UP!

See you at Lincoln Center!

Nouveau Spotlight: Starting Over, Is Easy To Do.

Posted in Nouveau Spotlight with tags , , , , , on August 17, 2013 by James Field

With my back to the past, I charge forward.

This post is dedicated to new beginnings. Not the New Years Resolution, or the false intention sort of new beginnings, this is my promise to myself of starting from the drawing board (once again) and experiencing new and more exciting opportunities.

This past year has been filled with a plethora of highs, lows, achievements and failures for my family and I. After I turned 25 on June 25th of this year, I began to see myself in a different light. A new vision of myself began to emerge, a more resilient, focused, unafraid of judgment, and level-headed James was forming. For those of you who believe that starting over after you have sacrificed so much for something that you THOUGHT you always wanted, is difficult, I am here to tell you that it’s an illusion, just like all forms of fear.

They say that you are the captain of your own ship, if so then mine is a mega-yacht named the S.S Destiny. So if something doesn’t work out the way that you planned, it absolutely does not mean you cannot reinvent yourself, battle the waves, and continue to steer the course. Deepak Chopra put it best “The only goal worth attaining is complete freedom to be yourself, without illusions and false beliefs” (The Book of Secrets)

You have the ability in you to withstand tremendous pressure and sparkle to full brilliancy at the end. Take the pain and the disappointments and channel them, use them a catalyst to make your dreams come true. I’ve done it before in the past, and after the major failures and missed opportunities that I have endured this year, I plan on doing it again. What point is there in feeling sorry for yourself, when there is work to be done, art to be created, and goals to be surpassed? I am starting fresh with a new outlook, one that see’s the silver lining after any hardship, and one that is fully conscious of choices and decisions.

The past is the past, and all we have is the present. I truly believe in Karma, and if you have been hurt or wronged in any way, the Universe has a way of making that disappear and replacing it with immeasurable joy, in the most unexpected and unusual ways. Stay the course and you will reach the olive branch of your dreams.

Take it from me, starting over is easy to do.

Best wishes everyone, and thank you for reading. More post’s to come!

J.F

T.B.N Interviews: Marcus Stewart

Posted in T.B.N Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2013 by James Field

 

 

So its been quite some time since I have had the opportunity to interview any talent for the T.B.N Interviews segment of The Black Nouveau, but today I have the pleasure of welcoming our latest guest, Mr Marcus Stewart. I have known Marcus for a little over a year now from his extensive modeling and acting work, as well as fashion styling. Today we welcome him with a warm and chic greeting, as we talk about fashion, life goals, Bravo TV and staying focused in the whirl-wind industry of modeling and acting.

 

T.B.N- Please introduce yourself. How old are you, where are you from and where do you currently reside?

 

M.S- I’m so honored to be your first interview in almost a year! My name is Marcus Stewart, I’m 24 years old. I was born in New Orleans, LA and relocated to Los Angeles in 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina. I just enjoyed my 4 year anniversary in NYC, I reside in SoHo.

 

T.B.N- I am very familiar with your modeling work. Tell us a little bit about how you got started? Was it a difficult process? What tips would you give to other aspiring African-American models looking to break into the industry?

 

M.S-  Well, modeling has always been a part of my life. My mother was actually a local model in the 70’s in New Orleans so I guess one can say that it has always been in my DNA. As a child I was never good at sports, even though I’ve always been tall and quick on my feet I was never an athlete. One day I was driving in the car with my mother around the age of 11 or so and I heard a commercial for “Model Search America” it caught my attention and since my mother had given up her potential modeling career to be a housewife, she was very supportive of me going on a “Go See” which in the modeling world is basically an audition.

 

She took me and my older brother who was super athletic and better than me at everything to the office and I was picked to come back and meet with agents one on one. My brother who I always thought was way better looking than me did not get picked SO, I knew right then and there entertainment was where I wanted to be. I was better than my brother at something so I went with it. From Model Search America I received interest from a huge agency in NYC but I never was allowed to move to NYC at such a young age so my mother took me to local agencies in New Orleans which is where I got my start and became a model then to LA and NYC where I was signed with BMG models.

 

Modeling is very difficult and competitive for anyone but it’s intensified a 100% for a black male. It is no secret that our fairer skin brothers and sisters work WAY more than us brown people. It’s also a very morally corrupt world that can eat you alive if you aren’t a strong-minded mature individual. I was in school or working a serious fashion industry job while pursuing modeling so I never dedicated enough time and effort towards modeling; I never reached my full potential. My advice is to be solid and comfortable in who you are and not to get caught up in comparing yourself to everyone else, you NEVER know what he/she had to sacrifice to get to the point you see. Work hard and stay focused. I’m not done with modeling yet. Stay tuned!

 

T.B.N- So lets not beat around the bush any longer, you were recently a cast member on the Bravo reality documentary series, “Dukes of Melrose” working with the owners of the ultra chic Decades boutique. How was that experience for you?

 

M.S- Yes, let’s just get to it. HAHA. Well, the first season of “Dukes of Melrose” is over so now re runs are playing. Being a part of “The Dukes of Melrose” was an amazing time in my life. I was actually heading back to NYC after a month-long vacation in Europe when I received the call from the owners about being on the show. I was the last person to be cast. I personally never wanted to be a part of a reality show, I have had some opportunities in the past and I just never thought it was my thing. When the producers and owners approached me I was open because I had been working for the company for maybe two years prior so I was familiar with the brand and I’m friends with the owners so I knew a certain level of class would have to be showcased, which made me comfortable and open to being a part of their project.

 

Because I was familiar with the camera and being on sets I was very comfortable while filming. I knew I was going to be myself the entire time and enjoy the process. I’m very happy to have had the chance to work with Bravo TV. It’s something my kids will be able to see although, my famous line “Your vintage team sucks ass” may have to be edited out for the youngsters…haha

 

CameronMarcus_2013_4

 

I have worked for Decades for 3 years. I started off as a part-time assistant buyer and worked my way up to The East Coast Editor and then to Trunk Show Coordinator. I was responsible for finding amazing and rare couture pieces on the east coast while also being responsible for our travelling “pop up shops” I started to get promoted very fast and mind you I had no prior buying or event planning experience. The last 2 years have been spent in and out of hotels and airports all over the USA. Being the Trunk Show Coordinator was great. Every city was new and fresh and I was the person responsible for creating memorable shopping experiences for the clients. It was a fun job but, in order to be GREAT you must grow so I’m no longer with Decades but wishing the brand continued success!

 

T.B.N- Has the show changed anything for you?

 

M.S-  Has the show changed anything for me? I get asked this question all the time. You have to understand I have been fortunate and blessed to work consistently in this industry for 8 years from being the youngest Dolce & Gabbana employee ever, to my time as The International Sales Rep for Sacred Blue Denim at age 18 to working for Vogue and GQ not to mention styling PJ Morton and other private clients. So, for me I’m still working every day. Building my brand and challenging myself creatively. I do get recognized a bit, but this is NYC so no one really cares. I’m still living the same life I was living prior to Bravo TV. Being on TV does not change things; YOU have to change things for yourself and that is what I’m doing. It’s a step by step process, I want to grow not explode. TV has given me a platform but now it’s up to me to create what I want.

 

T.B.N- What is your ultimate career goal, your biggest dream?

 

M.S-  My ultimate career goal? I would have to say that my ultimate goal is to have an empire. I love what Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum have done post modeling life. They are brands, businesswomen. From TV shows, style corresponding, writing books, and producing. Their hands are in lots of things. I would want to do something very similar. I have always looked at myself as a work horse and a show pony. I love creating and making things happen but I’m just as comfortable being the BRAND. My goal is to create a life and a legacy that last beyond me. We are blessed to be a blessing. I want to get back into modeling and acting while still focusing on women and their fashion needs. I want to build a holistic fashion empire. Fashion is such a materialistic and vain world, if I’m going to be a part of that I need to find a way to address the real issues which steam from the inside and show women how connected inner beauty and inner love is with how one looks and presents themselves to the world.

 

T.B.N- Lastly, where do you envision yourself long-term? What are you doing?

 

M.S- I see myself working for myself. I love the idea of being a contributor editor or brand ambassador for products that I believe in. I do think it’s important to still be connected to the world outside of your own existence but, more than anything I want to work on the Marcus Stewart Brand. I want to bring positivity back to the media and help empower women. This is all inspired by my mother. She is my best friend and has given me the key to the locked door called THE WOMAN. I know what the woman wants. She wants to feel beautiful and refreshed. The woman wants to feel comfortable and enlightened. The woman wants to feel sexy without being vulgar. I’m “The Fashion Doctor” I can diagnose your fashion emergency and give you the exact dosage to cure your fashion illness!

 

Right now I’m doing personal image consulting and working on an amazing aesthetic based non-profit organization for women who have experienced hardships. TV is also in my near future so don’t worry! I will be back. I believe that there are no coincidences, things happen for a reason, always remember that. If I had not done the Dukes of Melrose show I would have ignored my secret desire to be back in front of the camera. I would have ignored the need to help women feel powerful and beautiful. Destiny is a funny thing, what is meant to be will always be.

 

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