Then Zan started telling me about what she did -- the fashion, the photography, the entrepreneurship, the models, the travel -- in her thoughtful, soft spoken way. I was intrigued and still am.
She answered my interview questions during a hectic week while she was running around at thirty nine weeks pregnant and on a deadline. Our Q&A follows below.
Look at her clients: Steven Meisel the photographer, Vogue from every continent, Zac Posen, Kate Spade, J.Crew, Louis Vuitton...
I love discovering passionate and talented people of all walks of life. My company is diverse and we work with a range of models, actors, musicians, artists, etc but we also ‘street scout’ and go into different environments looking unique individuals in different subcultures. That is my favorite aspect, I love to assimilate into different cultural identities.
We walk around specific target areas depending on what type of person we are looking for. Skater kids? go to skate parks or empty lots. Young couples with kids? hit up the farmer markets, flea markets, brunch spots. Subway/Street performers, AfroPunk? etc… We research areas that could be good to go to and then hit the streets with a camera and note pad. We walk up to people we think are interesting, tell them the project details, ask if they’d be interested in being considered, take photos, get contact details.. and then they are in our files!
how did she end up here?
MODEL: Kate Moss was a huge influence in the 90’s, and therefore all the creative directors, photographers, and stylists that presented her to the public. The period of the waif/grunge model was inspiring to me because I could relate to it more then the 90’s supermodel.
MUSIC: Madonna and Prince changed my life. Their music and message was a cornerstone for living independently, freedom of speech and expression.
ARTIST: Henri Matisse. My mom could tell I needed to see more in life as a teenager then what I was being exposed to in my town. She took me into the city to MoMA, Whitney, etc.. Seeing modern art finally made sense to me aesthetically.
EVENTS: Coming in to the city with my best friend to see En Vogue and Arrested Development, Bjork, etc. Being around creative people at that time in the city while we were still teenagers was incredible.
OUTLETS: I would spend hours looking at W Magazine, styling myself for school, etc. Pre-internet and amazing. I loved being alone in my room and making collages all over my wall of what stood out to me.
Living and working in NYC is an incredibly fulfilling experience and also very challenging. I needed to know I could walk away. Also, in fashion/advertising it is easy to get wrapped up and isolated in that reality. There are a million ways to live your life, and an entire world out there.. Its important to me to keep perspective and to run my business with out ego or narrow intentions.
Well the backstage bathroom situation is definitely an ugly surprise! But I would say my first time working on shows was exhilarating and overwhelming. I definitely didn’t expect the speed at which everything is pulled together backstage, how fast each show is, and how many there are in 1 day. (Check out her Fashion Week diary for Vogue, here.)
Well, I’m 2 weeks away from (...my due date) so currently:
1) shearling lined Birkenstocks
2) Hatch Night-Out legging
3) Au Lait Tee dress
4) Givenchy sneakers
5) Theory oversized chunky hoodie cardigan
You just have to be in the moment. At work, focus on work. At home, focus on the toddler!!! Then get the toddler to bed and work again… And cherish cherish cherish your partner. I’m so happy to have a wonderful husband. He is incredibly involved in childcare and supporting me, while also juggling a busy job. It’s not easy. We try to remind each other that we love each other, love our life, love our kids, etc. We are tired but lucky.
Mara Hoffman Kids Clothes!! Mara is one of my favorite clients. She is also an incredible mother and makes the best kids clothes. So I have access to some pretty cool gear that Zoe gets to rock in the playground. Besides that I keep Zoe away from it all.
Eat - Prime Meats opens for brunch on the weekends at 8 am… so we are often there
Play - Brooklyn Bridge Park playground is a 10 min walk from our place!
Create - Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Explore - We walk out or door and the streets are a constant exploration. People of all walks of life, dogs of all sizes, plants, cars, motorcycles(!), other kids, music, dance, playgrounds, etc. I LOVE Brooklyn. It is an amazing place to raise young children. We take the bus and Zoe talks to everyone young and old. People here are friendly, and open to other friendly people. You just have to look up and smile… which in general kids do.
Lastly, our Nanny, Elsa, is AMAZING. She is out with Zoe all the time. They have met other kids and nannies so are always surrounded by a crew of toddlers. It’s a community and we love it.