// 2015 - recap
January 1st 2015: I flew back to New York with only an unpaid internship lined up. My OPT [extended student VISA] was to expire in June. If I didn't find a full-time gig by then I would have to leave New York. I was interning in Brooklyn at a textile company full-time [10:00 am - 7:30 pm]. I would spend my days folding fabric, heat pressing, cutting prints, and hanging finished prints on little hangers labeled Spring/Fall 2016. Interning was the best education I could have ever gotten. New York City internships are tough. You are one in a million. And you're treated that way. I was sitting on the concrete floor of the studio in Brooklyn when my phone buzzed with an email from Holland & Sherry. I picked up my phone with my hands and nails covered in black paint, and there it was, my offer for a full-time position as a graphic designer in the rug department. I was staying, and I was going to make a salary in American Dollars in New York City.
May 5th 2015 was the launch party for my first collection. Collection N Eleven. I can still feel the the butterflies in my stomach from that day. May 5th was the day that changed everything. I created something and watched my creation come to life. I was hooked. Things moved quickly after that. I set deadlines for myself and made sure that I met them regardless of how tired I was. Ckd summer collection was next, and most recently Collection N Twelve. On top of all of this I was doing freelance work, like the Spring 2015 lookbook for Roots Canada, 6 am shoots with Blake Lively's Preserve, I was meeting with people, and people were interested in what I was doing. My favourite write up from 2015 was in WTF Magazine. Writer Rosa Kaftan just understood me with the questions she asked. We have actually become and remained friends from that interview.
Following your dreams is not easy guys. I'll be the first to say it. Why? Because it takes time, which can get frustrating when you don't see results. While time keeps you waiting you'll come across mountains to climb, mountains that you didn't see in your horizon when you started the journey. And rivers to swim across without a life jacket in sight, or streets to find without any maps. This is the part when you'll want to give up. I almost did. But eventually you start to build up the endurance and muscles to climb up new mountains, you'll discover the hidden bridges when you come across another river you need to cross, and your sense of direction will get sharper. You'll get smarter, and eventually learn time is your friend. Because in between all of these obstacles and waiting is this thing called life. And life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. Without time, you'll miss life. And to me that's not an extraordinary way to live.
2015 has given me new muscles and showed me where bridges may be hidden. I say 'may' because life likes to test me. It's taught me not to give up. It's taught me how to be very stubborn with my goals, but creative with how I complete them. Let me tell ya, the yellow brick road I started on has taken me on some great adventures and I hope these ruby slippers have enough magic in them to take me on some more.
In 2015 I wanted to learn to walk on my own. I think I've done that now. 2016, I'm ready to learn to fly.