I recently sat down with my twin sister Yanti and she asked me these questions. And I created these visuals to paint a picture of who I am.
Why has it taken so long for you to profile yourself on our blog? I mean we’ve had the blog for about a year now.
Ultimately I think I’m more comfortable focusing on interviewing people I’m interested in or on my own creative output than talking about myself.
Borrowing from Proust here, but what is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My lack of tidiness. I’m a pretty messy person.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Conformity. And laziness.
Can you summarize your career to date in 140 characters or less?
Ex-lawyer fashion designer started own line after stints at Gap & Levis. Mom animal & travel lover, partial empty-nester, doing start-up.
Do you have any hidden talents?
Spousal haircutter. I’ve trimmed Michael’s hair once a month for the past 24 years.
What is your best parenting advice?
Provide love, structure, support and lots of attention. And then let them be who they are.
Can you share with us a quote about style that you made up yourself?
“While it is important to take care of the details, narcissism is not attractive”.
I actually believe that. Or as my children would say, “Being a Try Hard is so lame!”.
What’s it like being married to a non-designer?
My husband Michael is a very linear thinker but a great ideas person and is very irreverent. He is the neat to my messy and reminds the kids about their homework. In fact he's super Type A. When it comes to fiscal risks he will take them, but physical risks, never. He’d never go sky-diving for example.
Would you go sky-diving?
What is the scariest thing you wish you had the guts to do?
Best sporting event ever?
(Other than the tournaments my kids have competed in)...I’ve attended all the tennis Grand Slams but my answer would have to be the Olympics (Winter and Summer).
Saddest thing you've had to do?
Well the saddest thing that happened to me was that our Dad died in 1989. Looking after an animal slowly dying of cancer was tough. But the most difficult thing has been sending our eldest child off to college this year. Frankly my heart is still slowly breaking inside, (counter-balanced of course by the pride and excitement I feel for him and his future).
Are you a rule follower?
Yes and no. I like to do the right thing. But the ‘right thing’ can change depending on the situation. I left the law to study fashion because it was the right thing for me and my passion. (But it upset my Mom and her family at the time). My allergist told me to get rid of my cats because I’m allergic to them but I didn’t. One of my girlfriends described me as cheeky the other day. Am I cheeky, disobedient, stupid or doing the right thing?
Film or TV?
Both. I’m very open-minded about what I’ll watch (except horror movies). Ever since I was small, give me the sound of horses’ hooves on cobblestones and I’m captivated.
Your thoughts on shopping:
While I’m guilty of owning a few pieces of nice European leather goods, I like to keep things simple. I enjoy hunting for the obscure and love shopping in markets. It could be an interesting cheese, a beautiful box, or a piece of fruit with a strange-colored skin. In a way it’s the opposite of caring about labels.
What motivates you?
I’m aesthetically driven. My family says I’m “passionate about creating and appreciating visual beauty”. I like to make people happy. When I was little my mother used to show us she loved us by cooking. I show I care by making things I guess. It could be a shirt for a girlfriend or Halloween costume I’ve sewn, or a special souvenir I’ve framed. My children’s clothing line is definitely about making little girls happy. Making a lot of money has never been a motivation for me. I’m working on a fashion-related start-up now and that’s about providing a service that (hopefully) is needed. I feel strongly about sharing and helping, and mentoring is something I make time to do. I was mentored early in my fashion career and therefore I think it’s important to be open about my knowledge and experience. A big part of the reason why we started this blog is so we could profile and celebrate the lives and work of some of the extraordinary women we know. Sharing information and stories and giving our readers the idea and encouragement that they can also go forth and do, is a huge motivation.
Best advice you received from a kid:
We were on a family trip in Turkey and my son said to me “Mom you don’t have to photograph everything. Sometimes you just have to enjoy what you see with your eyes”.
Grids by Wati with James Mak.