Tell me about yourself

I am a creative director with over 15 years experience in marketing starting at the beginning of when social media started to be used for marketing. Having always loved fashion design since watching my first fashion show at 10.

After a long side quest, I was able to reevaluate my personal & professional goals at the start of the pandemic quarantine, which led me to go on a self-motivated healing & learning journey to finally pursue fashion. I had an amazing career as a multidisciplinary marketer working with luxury brands, that if I would have pursued fashion out of university I wouldn’t have the breadth & depth of experience that this gave me.

From touching all areas of creation & deployment, then working on myself personally & professionally I’m now transitioning back into fashion design as a better version of me for the betterment of all.

Why should we hire you?

I took the last two years to get to know myself better, and worked on myself personally and professionally so I’m better not only for myself but for everyone else I interact with, especially those I work with. A lot of people walk through life not reflecting on who they are and how they impact the world. Ultimately you need to feel safe & secure with me and trust that I have all of our best interests at hand as well as that I will take the leadership initiative to do so.

Do you like me, do you believe in me, do you trust me? If you can answer yes to all 3 of those then you should hire me, because I believe in myself when it comes to my design future more than I’ve ever believed in anything ever.

Describe your dream job

From childhood I always knew I was going to be a fashion designer, but it took me becoming an adult to fully realize my dream job is much more than that. After working 1.5 decades in marketing in all aspects I have come to realize that I not only love designing items but it’s also important for me to design the entire experience.

Being a creative director has shown me no aspect is isolated and I thrive in being able to connect all the moving parts, like a conductor weaving together the seemingly disparate sounds & instruments from a harmonious movement to a transcendental moment.

How do you define success?

Throughout my life and my various careers I’ve worked with all types of groups and personalities, and the one way I’ve always defined success is Are we happy with the outcome of what we have done. Yes we’re using key performance indicators and yes we are measuring return on investment, but ultimately if we don’t feel good individually, collectively, and situationally about our outcome then to me we aren’t successful.

We could have surpassed all of our on paper metrics and exceeded expectations, but if we aren’t happy about it - whether it be the process, the details, or the end result - then we have fallen short. But from this I take the insights and learnings and apply it to future efforts, so we can not only be successful technically but also holistically. If you can be proud of what you do and happy with how you do it while not only meeting your goals but exceeding expectations then that is true success.

How do you handle criticism?

I’m my first hardest critic and I’ve learned to be easier on myself, give myself more grace, and accept earned valued constructive criticism, as it must help move things forward for the benefit of others. I keep this in mind when giving and receiving criticism from others, because we always can become better, including becoming better at giving and receiving criticism.

What are your strengths?

When the pandemic started I had to learn to be patient & open to unknown possibilities that may come. Trying to find a new marketing job in a changing landscape wasn’t working so I learned to sit with myself, self-evaluate, and dig down deep to find out what truly was for me. When I realized it was fashion design I started to make clothing again.

With that came a lot of mess-ups and mistakes and frustration, in which I learned patience, grace, and the ability to understand that everything serves a purpose, even when it’s not perfect, sometimes it's to learn and move forward in a new direction. I ended up getting rid of all of my stuff except two bags and two boxes and decided to travel the world with a portable sewing machine and a dream, which has led me here today, about two years later. It took me that long to build up my professional skills as well as become the healed confident man here in front of you today.

What are your weaknesses?

Early on in my journey I realized that I learn through mistakes and that everything has value. I now actively work on finding the balance between not being too hard on myself for not getting it right or something not being perfect and knowing when to move on from something that isn’t working.

What I’ve learned is that even if something isn’t right, now or ever, and even if it won’t be revisited for revisement or reimagining, that there’s value in knowing what doesn’t work in order to clarify & refine what does work.

Major challenges and problems?

I know enough to know I don’t know enough. I realize that communicating in other languages outside of English may be a challenge for me when it comes to working in Paris or Milan, but since realizing that I wanted to commit my life to designing I started to teach myself French, and more recently Italian. While I’m not necessarily fully fluent just yet, I can understand a lot and am getting better each day.

When I was living in Marrakesh I successfully communicated across 5 languages - English, French, Arabic, Spanish, and visual - to create patterns and clothing with a team of talented tailors. Through trial & error and a lot of patience we were able to come together as a team to make sure that what was created was what we all truly wanted and we were happy with our engagement and the final outcome.

How do you handle the pressure?

In the past year I have had a lot of time to learn how to find balance within myself and my life. Knowing how to balance my life’s work with schedules, timelines, and deadlines while learning & understanding how to stay calm and collected has been important to my growth. If you keep driving your car without stopping to refill it for gas and bring it in for a checkup it will stall and you will be unable to drive it again until you fix the issue at hand. Resting, recharging, and relaxing are crucial in being able to be my most creative, most productive self.

Having a wide variety of tools I have picked up along my journey I’m able to choose the perfect one for the right moment, whether it be an ongoing project, interpersonal relations, or a tight deadline. Being able to self-regulate your emotions and actions well during moments of stress is something I have worked on intentionally as much as I have worked on my technical design skills these past few years.

What is your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement is having the courage, vulnerability, and belief to finally follow my one true love in life, to get rid of all of my excess baggage literally and metaphorically, to travel to grow and heal and become the man I’m proud of today. Achievements in work may come and go, but unless you’re truly proud of who you are and what you’re doing, those wins may fall short.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

I used to live in NYC and was in the leather community. During my time in the community there I won a contest and became a regional titleholder. Traveling around the US I realized that there was a lot of representation everywhere outside of the Northeast region of the US. So I created a contest that has representation with titles for women, non-binary people, and bootblacks. Before I got the contest off the ground I moved out of the region, but I didn’t move away from the promise I made.

Now not only is there dedicated representation for underrepresented groups of people, the titles have all been held by people of color, including my first non-binary titleholder going on to win the International title. I am now moving from producer to creator in this next phase of my life, and am mentoring my current non-binary titleholder to transition into the producer role in the next phase of their life.

I am proud to say that by identifying a need and taking action I have helped a community to foster growth and facilitate the next generation of leaders in a place where I was once one too.

What are you passionate about?

In reevaluating my life I had to ask myself not only what I wanted to do with my life but what I was passionate about. After ruminating on it I found that I am passionate about helping people feel better about themselves, whether it’s by wearing clothing I make that helps them self-identify in a truer way, or if it’s being able to help them work through some of the tougher darker things blocking them in life.

In working on myself I moved through decades worth of trauma & preconceived notions that was stopping me from living my best life. Once I started clearing up things in all areas of my life I realized that my experiences & knowledge can help others. Since then I’ve helped a number of people to also work through their trauma through sharing my journey as well as offering guidance when asked.

What are your career aspirations?

I’ve always known I was going to be a fashion designer since I was 10 years old; I just didn’t know when. After life took me on a marketing detour, I realized that I’m much more than a designer - I’m a creator, a leader, a director. I see my future as not only head designer for a large house, but also the creative director that works with countless talented people to plan & implement all facets of the creative business.

Creating to me is so much more than making a design & producing it. It’s also creating the entire universe around the product - where does it live, how does it speak to who it speaks to, how is it visually represented, what is its footprint, as well as what other endeavors support the success and mythos of the products & brand. My greatest aspiration is to be a world builder & life changer.

How would you describe yourself?

I am someone who unwaveringly believes in his goals, dreams, and outcomes overall. Every twist and turn, every seemingly ‘bad’ moment, every single growth opportunity has led me down the path that I needed to go and not necessarily wanted to go. Not knowing what to do after Paris Fashion Week and deciding on a whim to go to Marrakesh after a stranger randomly shared their delicious Moroccan soup they made with me led me to embark on a two month long experience of crafting unique garments with local artisans, from sourcing notions and fabrics to navigating four different languages directing the creation process firsthand. In working with these talented tailors I not only was able to lead a team of experts from conception to completion, but I adapted my designs for the best possible outcome as new information was conveyed.

Trusting the process but being open to possibilities has led me to grow in leaps and bounds in ways that I could have never planned.

How would your boss describe you?

My previous bosses might describe me as someone who gets the job done, is a team player, but at times can be distracted, can be inattentive to details, and sometimes misses deadlines. It took the pandemic happening to realize that I wasn’t happy, and that I needed to work on myself, my issues, and my trauma, in order to be my best version in my own life and others both personally and professionally. I took this time to look inward, to stop blaming others, to take ownership of my life, my actions and how I affect others. I deconstructed decades worth of trauma to begin my 2+ year healing process.

Because of the often unpredictable journey I took at times, I’m now someone who is a confident leader who places his trust in others & knows when it’s not only important but crucial to work collaboratively, someone who takes unprompted initiative and isn’t afraid to take chances especially when it comes to trusting intuition and gut instincts, a caring kind person who is a in-depth thinker when it comes to constructive criticism, someone who at times may be a little too critical and too hard on themselves but most importantly someone who is open to feedback when it comes to growth and becoming better for themself and others for the benefit of all. My one job these last two years was to become the best version of myself and I can confidently today say I am the happiest I have ever been.

What makes you unique?

My focus in life is helping others be their best selves. Over the years I have worked with a variety of different roles and have been able to see things from a multitude of viewpoints. This has helped me to gain a grander perspective on the situation at hand, whether it be for the entire ecosystem around an engagement or how a design best fits in the larger scheme of things. When someone is able to be their best selves through what they engage with internally and externally we all benefit exponentially.

What motivates me is being better for myself and others, and helping others become their best selves especially through my creations.

What are your salary expectations?

In order to give you accurate salary expectations I need to understand the breadth & depth of the role and what’s fully involved. I’d love to continue talking about my qualifications and why I think I’m a fit for the position. I expect to be compensated according to my skills, my history, and my vision, in accordance with competitive rates within the allotted budget set aside for the role.

Do you have any questions?

  • What metrics or goals will my performance be evaluated against?
  • What are the biggest challenges that I might face in this position?
  • What are the current goals that the company is focused on?
  • How does this team work to support hitting those goals?
  • What is the biggest issue or challenge the company is currently facing?
  • What strengths and weaknesses did the Covid-19 pandemic expose for this organization?
  • What are the company’s plans for growth and development?
  • Is there anything else I can provide you with that would be helpful?
  • Is there anything I can clarify for you about my qualifications?
  • What am I not asking here that I should ask?

Thank you for taking the time to get to know me a little better. Looking forward to connecting further.