Photo: Carmen Daneshmandi

I have come to know that all exciting and initially innovative long term endeavors at some point come to a plateau where nothing all that new is happening. I usually know I have reached that point scientifically when the data begins to show as a straight line. I know I have reached that point affectively when I begin to feel bored with myself and my ideas. When that happens I know that it is time to hit the road and leave my comfort zone. It is time to stop automatically saying no to something I would not ordinarily do. It is time to challenge myself to make something fresh and new out of something old and perhaps not considered beautiful (like kale and green lipstick) It is time to do the unexpected, like reveal an eye. It is time to take risks and not worry about failure or what others may think.

In order to function this way I have found that one must be extremely comfortable with change and of course themselves. For me it also means letting go and putting myself in the hands of young people. I have no problem doing this because countless young people walk into my classroom and put themselves into mine. I learn more at times from them than perhaps they learn from me or that I learn from my own peers. This happens because we mutually risk and allow ourselves to be vulnerable without fear of critique. So in working with groups of young creatives, I am risking and I am risking without fear because of who they are. Together, letting go, we can co-construct something new. The photo above is from a feature done with young creatives for L’Officiel Italia.

This feature represents the best of what I have found since I entered the world of fashion: positivity, optimism, mutual support, risk-taking, innovation and generosity. The introduction to the exceptionally talented photographer, styling team and access to garments was made possible through the endless generosity of Suk Chai, the creative beauty behind Schai, a brand I have worn before. The feature itself was instigated by another magnanimous renaissance woman, Floriana Serani creative director of her own brand Blackblessed and who’s work I have also featured. The photographer, Carmen Daneshmandi and the stylist Alnardo Perez are two of the most respectful people I have ever met and the way they thoughtfully engaged me in this project made their creative process transparent and was a gift. It was something I took many lessons from. They took the time to know the real me and when that happens, when you feel truly known, it is a delicious moment and I thank them for it. Their innovation was to show the real me in a new, fresh and exciting way.

So basically I am giving fair warning, hang on to your seats because this summer there will be times you and Accidental Icon are leaving the comfort zone.

What do you wear or do when you get bored and want to leave the comfort zone?