It was all about honoring my grandfather’s legacy and spending time with my family at the WWD Awards in NYC.
Together with my cousin Elizabeth at the WWD Awards. Looking good, Izzy! (Photo courtesy of WWD)
Recently I was back Stateside, catching up with old friends before attending the WWD Honors Awards with my family. It was great to be back in New York. Even though I’ve lived abroad for much of my life, it still feels like I’m coming home every time I step off the plane. And nothing beats a good, old-fashioned American breakfast. No one does scrambled eggs and bacon like Americans!
Catching up with old friends
The trip was a great opportunity for me to see old friends and family. It always seems like no matter how much you plan and try to arrange everything, you never get to see everyone you want to see and do everything you planned to do. This time was no exception, but there was still time for some “much-needed” shopping before we had to get ready for the main event.
What to wear?
So I know what you’re thinking. What on earth do you wear to a fashion industry event that includes some of the biggest names in fashion? I knew it had to be black, of course. But I decided to go with something a bit more down-to-earth. I chose a velvet black dress with long sleeves and an open back from American Apparel. The funny thing was, I got so many compliments on it, and everyone was surprised to find out who made it. It reminded me that fashion is about more than a brand name. It’s about wearing something you’re comfortable in, that reflects your personal style and that you can wear with confidence. Hopefully, I’ll be able to provide women with clothes that do that.
Honoring Fafa’s legacy
To our family, WWD is more than just a magazine. It’s something that’s been a part of our family for generations. It was started by my great-great-grandfather. When my grandfather, John B. Fairchild (or as I called him, Fafa), took over, he really transformed WWD into an industry-defining publication and then went on to start W magazine. So the night was all about honoring this amazing legacy. It marked the very first time WWD would be awarding the John B. Fairchild Honor, which was given in recognition of a career of influence and distinction. Seeing Ralph Lauren be the first to receive this honor bearing Fafa’s name was a really big moment and Mr. Lauren was visibly moved by the award, remembering my grandfather as being tough but fair and praising WWD for all it has meant to him for the last 50 years. You feel this mixture of pride and humility – pride at everything Fafa was able to accomplish and honored at the legacy he leaves behind of talent and professionalism. But also humbled, because those are some pretty big shoes to fill.
It was an exciting and emotional evening for all of us, especially for my father, who also presented an award on the same evening to his CEO at PANDORA for best performing company (Large Cap). I think one of the highlights for me was definitely listening to my father’s touching speech as he was moved to see the legacy left by his father and was happy to see Ralph Lauren receive the first award in his father’s name. I know it meant a lot to our family to be able to be there on that night, especially my “Maman” – my paternal grandmother.
Like being backstage at the fashion industry
One of the great things about the evening was being able to speak with so many of the fashion designers that I’ve admired over the years. I got to meet Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and the CEO of Christian Dior, Sidney Toledano. I met the charming new owner of WWD, Jay Penske, and I also had a very interesting conversation about the fashion industry with WWD’s publisher. Here I am, standing at the threshold of my first full-scale fashion endeavor, and it was truly an honor to be in the presence of so many years of experience in the industry. A lot of talent to learn from.