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Kelly Talamas

The interview below is part of our Podcast Chats by Claur, hosted by Claur Ribeiro Bernstein. You can listen to the entire conversation on iTunes or Spotify .

The Art of Communication

@kellytalamas


When I used to attend to Paris Fashion Week, she always captured my attention. When you are on events like that, you know that you will have to deal with ego, snobby people – but she was different – I could see in her smile or in the way she would behave at the fashion shows, that she was special. My guest was in charge of Vogue Mexico for years and her terrific work put her on the list of BOF 500.


Clau Ribeiro: I would like to know about your morning routine. What do you do to start your day?
Kelly: My morning routine has changed drastically because I used to be the type of person who would wake up late, skip breakfast, and run to Starbucks, get a coffee, and then run to the office. After a few years of doing that, I realized that’s terrible for you mentally,  physically, and in all aspects. Now I am the mother of a 16-month-old, so my life has changed drastically as well. And because of that, I am more similar now to Giselle – I wake up early in the morning, which I have learned is very important. It is terrible to wake up with that chaos. I’m running late, I need to start catering to everybody’s needs. So I do wake up early, it depends on the day, but at least three to four days of the week, I do wake up early. I have water and a cup of coffee, and I do my workout at home. I have a trainer who comes here, which is great, it definitely makes it much easier. I do my workout and then I meditate and then I make myself breakfast. And normally around that time, my daughter starts to wake up, so I go get her and then the whole routine starts for the day. I have been trying to wake up, for the last couple of months, at least an hour before, ideally, an hour and a half before everybody else in my household so that I can at least feel like I did something productive for myself in the morning.

Clau Ribeiro: When did you start meditating?
Kelly: It is something that I have struggled with on and off, to be honest. I still struggle with it. It is something I would say, that I have done over the past 6 months.  I am still really working on it, to be honest. I almost feel like sometimes I do it just to say that I did it, and sometimes I get something out of it. Sometimes I don’t. I hope next time you and I talk, I can say that I am a pro at it. I just do it for ten minutes. For now, that is all I can handle.

Clau Ribeiro: We are now during this crazy time with Coronavirus. How do you organize your day? Do you plan everything a week ahead?
Kelly: I definitely have times when I have meetings or I have things that I need to leave the house for. I work from home, so when I have meetings with clients or [I have] events, I normally try to schedule them in time frames that work for me. I live in Bogota, Colombia, so the traffic here is crazy, honestly. So I normally either [try to have meetings] in the morning, so I get that out of the way, and I can spend time at home in the afternoon and work. Or vice versa. Or I get my work done at home in the morning, and then I go out in the afternoon. But once I leave the house, [I] can lose [my] whole day.

Clau Ribeiro: Do you think your clients are open to having online meetings even after the virus?
Kelly: I think we have realized that a lot of meetings [can take place] online and you feel just as connected and just as close. I think that definitely is going to be something [we do] and I used to do it a lot more. As you know Latins love that face to face. I have clients that I work with over several months or over a year and we get together each week while the other stuff is done on mail. I think that sometimes, you can say “ each meeting does not need to be [in person].” I’m realizing that now we can use Zoom [and] Google Hangout. There are all these different ways that we can [meet]. If anything, I think that is one positive thing about coronavirus – we have become more efficient in that sense.

Clau Ribeiro: How was the process and when was the process when you left Vogue?
Kelly: That is a good question nobody ever asked me exactly like that. It was a slow transition I would say, luckily. It was not an abrupt thing. I worked at Vogue for ten years, I was the Editor in Chief for almost six years, and I was doing long distance with my husband, who lives in Columbia. So, I always knew that at some point I eventually had to move to Columbia. We were engaged for about a year, which gave me time to kind of organize things with the company. Obviously, my job is very important to me, I was so loyal to Condé Nast. So, it was something that we were able to negotiate. I was very lucky that we had an office in Columbia. It was very important for me to be able to continue with the magazine [if I moved] to Columbia, obviously. I didn’t want the traditional “leave your job to get married” type thing. It was very important to be able to move to Columbia and hopefully stay with the magazine. But also, it was important for me to have something to do here. Colombia is a market where Vogue is very strong, and I had a year to prepare to leave my post as Editor in Chief. I moved to Columbia, and I was a creative director. I oversaw some of the editorials and kind of a bit of advertising for the region – for Latin America – because Mexico was overseen by the Mexico office. I was in that position for a year, honestly, and it was amazing because I was also able to really work in-depth in the region. Before with my other position, I would go to Peru for one day for an event, and then go to Argentina for one day and fly back. It was very fast-paced, and I never really had the time to spend in each region. So, I did that for a year. After a while, I was finally ready to go off on my own. It is very different being in the head office and being in a satellite office. I finally made the decision to go off on my own and work on my own after positioning myself here and being a bit more acquainted with the region. So luckily it was a slow transition. It was not just fast [change]. I have to say it did take some time. After [I] was at a company in the corporate world for 10 years. It took a few years, to be honest, to really just get used to working on my own and having my own business and not having this huge infrastructure behind me. That was a very important personal growth for me.

What I do and what I think is that has a lot of editors nowadays helping the brands to create their stories, how to speak to their audiences, how to communicate it in a way that is not just like trying to sell. Here is my dresser, who is my collection? It is kind of trying to sell you to the lead. So you sell your story

Kelly

Clau Ribeiro: What are you doing bringing your background working with magazines you know exactly and what brands mean as an editor?
Kelly: Absolutely. It was amazing because while I was at the magazine, I kind of already saw that change happening. We had a very small team, so we almost became kind that for our clients. Our clients would come to us and say, I have this new launch, and I want to communicate it. We would basically come up with this full creative concept and strategy for them, that we would do in alliance. That is basically now what I am doing with a lot of my clients, and what I think a lot of editors have started doing as well. We become expert storytellers – brands used to come to us, and we would help them tell their story creatively in the magazine or online. And now we have become expert storytellers. We have so many talented designers out there that are really great at creating clothes, they can tell you the fabric that was used, et cetera, but they cannot really tell you the inspiration behind the clothes. So what I do, and what I think of editors do nowadays is help them to create these stories, how to speak to their audiences, how to communicate it in a way that is not just like trying to sell you clothes like “here is my dress here is my collection, buy it.” It is kind of trying to sell you, at least, a story.

Clau Ribeiro: Sometimes I receive a copy and paste email with a press release and nothing special, and this is related to your clients now. How do we tell the story for different vehicles or different magazines?
Kelly: I think that sometimes you receive a very generic press release that does not really say much or, sometimes it is kind of just pushy like, “can you help me?” “Do you think you could get this in the magazine?” They say these things without really giving you some background. Like, “we have this launch. What do you think? What can we do together?” I think it is always very important to have information obviously, even if it is not [a finished product] yet. It is very important to be personable – copy-paste is terrible. I always think – and I always tell my clients –  it is important to know your audience. Whether it is a magazine, a website, a blog, you have to really study what it is that they do and what they tend to publish and what they don’t tend to publish. To be honest, I am sure with you as an editor, as a consultant and designer, they send you stuff and they want you to post it on your Instagram. Whether it is an Instagram page or a full magazine, there is a certain creation through curation in a certain voice behind that, it is not just one size that fits all. I think that personalization is so important, and there is something to be said for really paying attention to the details and speaking to that person directly. It makes you feel like they actually read my magazine and they actually look at my Instagram and pay attention. At least in my experience, it makes all the difference and sometimes makes you fall in love with the brand if you realize their attention to detail.

Clau Ribeiro: What do you think has changed regarding the role of PRs?
Kelly: I think it has changed a lot because there is no such thing as a free press anymore, sadly. It is all about advertisers. I know friends of mine who work in PR, and they will not take clients if they are not advertising in the media. Especially here, obviously, it changes by market, but here it is impossible to get coverage if you are not a paying advertiser. So I think that is one big thing -his whole idea of just pitching stories has changed so much because it comes to this whole negotiation behind it.

Clau Ribeiro: The role of PR is changing because you only have a few magazines out there right now and they cannot sell stories to influencers because it is all about pay to post now on your Instagram. What do you think about that?
Kelly: I think there are magazines and magazines, and there are influencers and influencers. And I think influencers make a lot of money for [advertising]. I also think – this is an overused word as well – if there are brands that they find and truly love, they will post them. They kind of pride themselves on being discoverers of new [things] whether it be a designer or be an interior decorator or,  just finding new things. I love to follow those types of people on Instagram – those who you can tell find things that they love and post [about them]. It is not because someone pitched it to them, it is more because they found it themselves. They actually do the investigation and they find these designers or these brands that they love and share it with their audience. I guess the role of PR is almost irrelevant. I guess there are more communication managers and stuff like that. I think a lot of brands now are bringing on editors and not really calling them PRs, although they are weaving those stories and creating these stories that they share. Or they are creating these Instagram strategies. They are not necessarily PRs, but they are kind of doing the same thing that PRs used to do – creating a strategy with five women who love the brand, and then they do an Instagram strategy where they all post on the Internet. I think that is kind of the future, and those people are kind of replacing PRs or the PRs are transitioning into this type of world.

“I think that personalization is very important and there is something to be said for, really paying attention to the details and speaking to that person. What is your DNA, what are your strengths? What are you like? What can we do to show these strengths?”

Kelly

Clau Ribeiro: Business Of Fashion was asking their followers if they would like to see Fashion Week only online. What is your opinion about that?
Kelly: I have heard that. I think time will tell. It is hard to say. The way I would envision it would not be that they will necessarily disappear, but I think they might definitely reduce and go back to what fashion weeks used to be, and I am talking to way back when, it was really a select group of editors, a select group of buyers and clients and that is it. The rest of the people can stream it online, but I definitely think that they will probably scale back, downsize, and maybe not do these grand productions. They will really make it about the clothes and selling the clothes and just keeping it very select. I think that makes more sense, to be honest. The people that have to be there will be there. I obviously have nothing against the influencers and bloggers, but a lot of them just go to sit there and take pictures. Of course, this is not all bloggers, but the majority of them. They do not actually have a set purpose to be there because they need to report or to buy or anything else. I think we need to go back to that. Then there are other ways that people can work with influencers. I no longer think that they need to be at the Fashion Weeks to work with brands. I was listening to a webinar a couple of weeks ago, and they were not necessarily talking about this, it was more about retail. He broke down brands that have been successful, and a lot of them are global brands, but they have not been able to really localize or speak locally. It will be interesting to see. What I think would be very intelligent brands to do is really to have their shows – they can do a show, and they can stream it online, but then do really local concepts. It doesn’t have to be the whole collection,. They can do pieces that are really relevant to that market, you do need to like the fur coats in Mexico, for example, you can have clothes that speak to each market. I think that it is the future. That is really where I see the future. It makes perfect sense. I also think they are also more cost-effective for everybody.

Clau Ribeiro: Can you tell us about the work you are doing now with brands creating their stories, how is the process and how did you start?
Kelly: Luckily most of them have been people I have known in the past and have worked with in the past who sought me out once I was independent for help with their story. I have worked separately with each brand. It depends on the needs of each brand – some have been more consolidated and established than others, so maybe I have come in to help them with particular projects and then that is it. Other brands are very small, and I have kind of helped them just get the ball rolling and get their feet off the ground. Then I have done a few collaborations with international brands that are looking to do things locally, who are bit lost or just entering the market or looking for that one-on-one personal connection. With each one it is different, it really depends on the client. Right now, for example, I am working with a local designer. They started a few years ago to internationalize. I helping them a bit with their social media, how to pitch, press and media, and just interesting strategies that they can use to get their name out there a bit more.

Clau Ribeiro: How do you make a brand cool today, How do you help a brand be different?
Kelly: It is a fine line, I think there is something to be said for authenticity. I will say that I am very picky. I do not take on any client, to be honest. I do not mean it in a snobby way at all, it is more about if I do not feel [like the brand] resonates with me or I do not feel that I can communicate them or I do not feel like it goes with my aesthetic or my values, I do not take [the brand] on because I find it very difficult to know what they really need. And also if people see me like, “Oh Kelley, always brings this type of project,” then I would not want to change and confuse people. That is number one but second of all, if it is a smaller brand, I always work with them behind the scenes before even starting to contact anybody or doing any type of event. I look at all fronts – design-wise, communication-wise, really make sure everything is down-pat, everything’s cohesive, everything makes sense before I start doing any type of activity publicly. There are different ways, and it really depends on the brand, which I think is really important. I need to ask questions like what is your DNA, what are your strengths? What can we do to show these strengths? I have done kind of a lifestyle experience with some clients where you invite a few editors and influencers to come to Columbia. If it is a brand that really has 360 lifestyles, there is nothing better than really inviting people to live that with you. If the designer has a great personality, I think it is great for people to actually meet them to really understand the brand, who they are, and what they do. I think something that is really important is identifying who the interested audience is. I am working with a brand that is super bright and colorful, so I am not going to pitch an influencer who is black and white on their Instagram. A lot of brands make that mistake where they want to get the influencer that has a million followers. Sometimes there is something to be said for the real niche, cool girls in different markets that maybe do not have a huge following, but they have a significant and important following. I also think word of mouth is very important. I think people really underestimate it. How many times have you gone to lunch with your friends and if your friend is wearing something cool? That is how you discover the brand. It comes with a lot of studying and investigation and lot of understanding for who the brand is, what they should be communicating, and then understanding who are interesting people that we can reach out to get to know.

Clau Ribeiro: Anybody can open a brand on Instagram but what do you think brands should do in order to stay there?
Kelly: I think it is a mixture of things. In the past, and it will be interesting to see going forward, I think a lot of brands went to Paris. It is such an important networking moment for brands to go season after season and sometimes the best relationships form is over a glass of wine at dinner after a show with a group of friends. I think networking and staying in touch with people across the globe and important people who have always supported your brand is really important. I spoke with a few designers, and a lot of them are randomly reaching out to say hi to people in different countries, and I think that is really important. We will see if fashion week keeps up or how, but there will have to be a moment where people can come together and connect. Obviously, social media, for now, is still super relevant. I think it is still important. Sometimes it is annoying and frustrating for many people, but I still think it is an important platform to communicate to stay relevant. We all discover a lot of designers [on social media]. Also, it is important to build your own community outside of Instagram, whether it be on social media, on a website, or through a newsletter or a podcast, kind of build your own community so those people can continue to come after you, whether it be for fashion or inspiration.

Clau Ribeiro: What was the difference you noticed when you started working for the Latin American market? What is the difference you see between the Mexican and Latin American Market?
Kelly: Mexico is like Brazil. In Mexico, there is an event every single day, events all the time, cocktails, dinners, brunches. It was a lot. Now living in Colombia you have many fewer events. I think it depends on the country because here, I guess Brazil is more similar to Mexico – it is a huge market, and you have a lot of international brands. Obviously international brands have big budgets, and you have constant lunches because they have a lot of things they need to communicate. Here in Colombia, you have many fewer international brands, so while there are events, there are not as many. You have pockets of events, but it is not all year long. The year starts off slow, and then in March, it starts to pick up and then fall. Summertime is dead because people are traveling. So, you have events but not as many as [Brazil or Mexico]. I think in Latin America, it depends [on whether they are a lot of international events]. Some countries have markets that have a lot of international brands. If Colombia had a lot of international brands, you probably would have more events.

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Clau Ribeiro: Which designers are really making you pay attention to them right now?
Kelly: I think Colombia is still kind of like the leader in that sense in Latin America. There are brands coming out of Colombia. You also have a few coming out of Peru and Chile. I think, really, throughout all of Latin America, I recently met even some designers from countries you often do not hear of. For example, Uruguay has some interesting designers now. Bolivia. They are smaller markets. But I guess in terms of quantity, I would still say that in Colombia and Mexico have a lot of designers.

Clau Ribeiro:  What would be your advice for brands you are working with for how to deal with the post coronavirus?
Kelly:  I think it will be interesting moving forward. I would tell them, first of all, to stay calm and be patient because it could be a while. Right now we still do not know how long this is going to last. We do not know what season it will be when we start to get out. By then, people’s budgets will be very reduced. I would tell them to stay focused on the essentials of their brand – really creating the essentials. I was talking to one of my clients the other day and saying that people might not be buying gowns or dresses right now, but they will want to buy pieces that they can use often. You are investing in a piece that you will be able to use often or something that makes [you] feel good. I think communication will be key. I think if you are a brand that employs 20 artisans, you need to communicate that to your clients so that when people do want to buy they understand that they are helping to employ these families. I think that it is so important. You do not want to feel like you are just buying a piece of clothes anymore, you want to feel like you are actually spending for a purpose. You want to make sure that it is going somewhere. Of course, it has to be useful to you, but you also want to feel like it is going somewhere and will benefit other people. I think definitely just finding a way to connect one-on-one and be open and honest with your audience. I think now more than ever is the time to really connect. First of all, define who is your audience and then connect with them on a personal level, tell them a bit more about who you are as a designer, who you are as a brand because even if they are not buying now they will remember that, and they will keep you in mind for the future. I think it gives you anxiety in that sense because you do not know, but it is going to make us all think and really get creative. I have started doing the thing I had never done before like cooking. I am doing things that I would never normally do because we actually have the time. So are all these creative designers, who are ten times more creative than the average person. We are going to see some interesting things coming out once it all passes. I am sure all these designers were super creative. We are going to have some really interesting things to see. I am excited to see that.


Photos: Courtesy of Kelly Talamas

Gala Gonzalez

Photographed in the hottest space in New York City, the Neuehouse, one of the most important fashion influencers of the moment, Gala Gonzalez creates his style exactly looking to escape from fads. Gala believes that naturalness is what can be the coolest in her way of being.

Effortless Cool

shop.amlul @galagonzalez

“I don’t follow the rules, I follow my instinct. I deeply appreciate color palettes and shapes, so for me it’s all about balance and what is spontaneously cool,” she explains.

Authenticity is the watchword for Gala Gonzalez when it comes to style. “Effortless,” she would say, to explain that careless, literally effortless way of combining attitude and good taste, bringing her own references to create unpretentious looks with her face. Art, music, the people around it, and the many influences of the 60s and 70s are your sources of inspiration when choosing how to dress – which means more positioning towards life than simply clothing compositions.

It must be this great load of naturalness with which you face the fashion that has made you become one of the most revered bloggers of the moment, dictating trends around the world.

And it is with this same spontaneous way that Gala moves through different art forms, attacking from designer to DJ, and having as a new project the launch of a brand of own clothes, scheduled for the end of this year.

“I am sensitive to what’s happening all over the world. there’s that poignant warsan shire quote: ‘I held an atlas in my lap, ran my fingers across the whole world and whispered ‘where does it hurt?’ it answered ‘everywhere, everywhere, everywhere.’

And if Gala is a model for so many women, what would your references be? She has no doubt in quoting one of the biggest, Anita Pallenberg, an actress, model and icon in the 1970s, as well as a former Stone Keith Richards. wife “The first time I saw her in a performance with Mick Jagger and her fur coat I thought, ‘I’ve never seen anyone look so cool without trying’. It has inspired Kate Moss and brands like Gucci for decades and is still copied very often” says Gala. As for preferred labels, the list is broader and includes names like Loewe, Jacquemus, Louis Vuitton, Mango, Isabel Marant e Reformation

Another very strong artistic aspect in Gala is the music. Of course, the inspiration comes from the era that most influences her, to the sound of the band The Doors, which she says she listens to all day. But the contemporary scene also cheers her up, especially music festivals. One of his favorites is Calvi On the Rocks, which takes place in the Corsica region of France. Without so much exposure, it has almost 100% French audiences, which guarantees all the cool and exclusive air that trend makers, like her, seek.

This year, for example, she traded the famous Coachella for another event, Bombay Beach Biennale. “It’s an art festival located in Bombay Beach, California, where there are art installations all over an almost ghost town that used to be a vacation hot spot in the 1970s,” she says.

But what has a lot to do with her is that she’s a true globe-trotter. Although born in A Coruña, in the Galicia region, she is from Barcelona she misses and where she prefers to return when she goes to Spain. Its main address today is in London, but it is also mostly in New York. There is a favorite place at Café Mogador, in the East Village, to taste Moroccan food. “Whenever a friend is in town I take him there and it’s always delicious. Besides the vibe, which is great, you never know who you might bump into, ”says Gala. And where could we bump into her in NY? “In the new Ludlow House unit in SoHo, perfect for brunch or business meetings if you’re downtown and Reformation store, also in SoHo, for the best summer dresses.” And if she says, it’s already a trend.

“For over 48 hours, people from all over the world come together and walk around the city, interacting with the art displayed there. There are live bands, ballet performances and electronic music as well. It’s kind of a Burning Man, but for those who don’t need to post selfies, ”concludes Gala, making it clear that fads aren’t her thing.

1 – Designer, Dj, blogger, influencer what’s next for Gala Gonzalez?
Gala: My very own brand which will be released before the end of the year 🙂

2- How do you define style? (your style)
Gala: Eclectic and effortless for sure. But I let the world I live in guide me while at the same time I’m a sucker for the 60s & 70s

3 – What do you think makes your style so unique that it pleases people so much?
Gala: I don’t follow the rules. I follow my gut. I deeply enjoy color palettes and shapes, so for me, it’s all about balance and effortless coolness.

4 – Is Anita Pallenberg still a reference for you?
Gala: One of my biggest. The first time I saw her at Performance with Mick Jagger and her fur coat I was like: Oh my I’ve never seen anyone look so cool without trying. She has inspired the likes of Kate Moss or brands like Gucci for decades and she’s still copied very often. She nailed it!

5 – Current favorite brands?
Gala: Loewe, Jacquemus,  Louis Vuitton, mango, Isabel Marant, Reformation…

6 – What city do you identify with the most?
Gala: I’ve lived more than 12 years in London and I consider it my second home, but I’ve fallen for New York very hard… so it’s a tough choice!

7 – During the shoot you mentioned going to a music festival other than Coachella, but happening at the same time, could you share your experience?
Gala: This year I decided to swap Coachella for Bombay Beach Biennale, it’s an art festival located in Bombay Beach, California where there are art installations all over an “almost” ghost city that once, back in the 70s, used to be a hot spot for vacation. Over 48 hours people from everywhere gather and walk around the town, interacting with the art exhibited there. There are live bands, ballet performances, and electronic music too…  it’s kind of the new burning man, but for those who don’t need to post selfies of themselves.

8 – Any favorite music festival to share?
Gala: I had an amazing time at Calvi on the rocks in Corsica. It’s a French festival with pretty much 99% French people, spread out on the beach with DJs and bands.

9 – When I’m happy I listen too… Sad, Mad, Working out…
Gala: The Doors all day long

10 – Summer is around the corner, what is your go-to cocktail?
Gala: I’m not a big fan of drinking, but if I have to choose one drink it would be a classic G&T!

11 – What restaurant makes it the best?
Gala: Anyone in the lower east side

12 – What is your favorite summer getaway?
Gala: Europe, because during the wintertime I spend so much time between Bali and Los Angeles I love going back home for some foodie!

13 – Your world seems to have emerged in the arts, where do you go for inspiration(s)?
Gala: Mainly my friends make it happen… but of course I also love spending Sundays at a museum or checking new exhibitions when I travel

14 – Does your sources change when you are looking for fashion or music inspirations or is it all about experiences?
Gala: It’s always about experiences, like life.

15 – What is one of your guilty pleasures?
Gala: Chocolate, but everyone who knows me knows by now what #chocolinioftheday means

16 – What automatically puts you in a good mood?
Gala: Chocolate!

17 – If you could tell 15-year-old you one thing, what would it be?
Gala: Don’t worry too much and listen more

18 – You are always traveling, but which city from Spain do you miss the most?
Gala: Barcelona, it is a very special place for me, relaxes me.

19 – What’s your favorite spot in your home in New York?
Gala: Cage Mogafor, because before moving to Ny I always used to go and I still do as much now. Whenever someone is in town I always take them there, and it’s always as delicious, plus the vibe it’s great and you never know who you’re gonna bump into.

20 – If you could host your ideal dinner party, who would you invite?
Gala: Probably Jimmy Kimmel because he’s a character and I love people who can actually make you laugh and Jim Morrison if he was alive!

21- The inevitable; Could you share some of your favorites places in New York?
Gala: Ludlow House ( the new Soho house ) perfect for brunch or meetings if you are downtown. Reformation in Soho, for the best summer dresses. Cafe Mogador in the East Village for brunch on Sundays and a taste of Moroccan cuisine.


Photo: Pedro Arieta
Creative Direction: Claudia Ribeiro Bernstein

Meghan Markle

It doesn’t take lights or camera to get her on the action: Meghan Markle is a whole different show, as a woman and a professional. Born and raised in Los Angeles, the actress who gives life to the character Rachel Zane in USA’s series suits, is even stronger and more interesting out of the starry script as impossible as it may sound.

Woman of Wonders

“Living in buenos aires was (and still is for me) a great reminder to be brave. It opens the door to the best life experience”

While double majoring in Theater and International Relations, Meghan worked at the American Embassy in Buenos Aires before devoting herself exclusively to her acting career. Her experience in this South American land seems to have been crucial to her success. “I was only twenty years old when I moved to Buenos Aires – I barely spoke the language, I had never worked at the embassy before, and I had never been to South America!

It was the most amazing experience of my life, mostly because I stepped out of my comfort zone and embraced every second of it. Suddenly I was speaking Castellano, making new friends, and learning so much about the culture – and about myself. It was (and still is for me) a great reminder to be brave. It opens the door to the best life experience”, she points out. And it all serves as a lesson to this day, to deal with various situations – like the current American political scene, for example, which is on the verge of a presidential election. In this case, the actress ponders reason and emotion for us to introduce a new point of view: “my perception of the current state of political and international affairs has less to do with my degree and much more to do with being a global citizen. 

I love my country, and I am saddened and worried by all of the unrest we are living in”, and adds, “I am sensitive to what’s happening all over the world. There’s that poignant Warsan Shire quote: ‘I held an atlas in my lap, ran my fingers across the whole world and whispered ‘where does it hurt?’ It answered ‘everywhere, everywhere, everywhere.’” You don’t need to have studied international relations to have that resonate. 

Meghan Amrkle

“I am sensitive to what’s happening all over the world. there’s that poignant warsan shire quote: ‘I held an atlas in my lap, ran my fingers across the whole world and whispered ‘where does it hurt?’ it answered ‘everywhere, everywhere, everywhere.’

That’s human. Sure, I can intellectualize it, but that’s a truth I feel deep in my heart”. Her great heartbeats beyond the plastic beauty of words and oxygenates goodness in the world. Since Meghan is a former UN advocate for women and currently the Global Ambassador for World Vision, she does not hesitate to speak in favor of minorities and poor communities. “I honestly believe that it is our human obligation to give back. It doesn’t matter if it’s a very small act of kindness, but every little bit matters – volunteering at a soup kitchen, standing up when someone is being bullied, just giving someone a hug when they need it. Those are all acts of grace. I have been to Rwanda twice now and appreciate being able to do aid work there, but I think it’s important for people to remember that you don’t have to travel to be of service.

 There is so much you can do at home as well – so volunteering doesn’t have to seem like such a lofty goal. Just make it a part of your lifestyle”, she says. But ever since she created wings, Meghan does not want to stand still: she wants to see the world and spread her optimism, humility, and compassion around.

From the places she has visited, she has a special place in her heart for an adventure aboard a trailer across South Island, New Zealand. “It reminds me of my home state of California or of the island of Crete (where I also did a road trip) because you can go from so many different climates and terrains. In New Zealand, it was hiking a glacier one day to the winery the next and then a few days later swimming in the open sea with hundreds of dolphins within reach. It was absolute magic,” she recalls.

Between one adventure and another, the beauty has found the time for another great passion: gastronomy. Meghan is a devotee of good cooking and does not miss the chance to taste new flavors whenever the opportunity knocks at her door. Her fondness for the classics, however, reveals a mature woman, those who prefer something simple but well done, like a good cacio pepe pasta or steak fries – two of her favorite dishes. If her appetite is great for food, it is even greater when it comes to her ambitions. “I dream big and bigger!

My life is more amazing than I ever thought it could be. I dreamt of becoming a successful working actress, which I can now very thankfully tick off the list. And I also dream to have a family. It’s all about balance, and I have so much happiness in my career and am fortunate to travel the world and see so many amazing things – it will also be nice to be anchored to something grounded and in the same place. Raising a family will be a wonderful part of that,” she says. Despite the twinkle in her eyes and the smile on her face, Meghan is not all sunshine and rainbows, as she knows and feels the hard times of life; she just does not lose sight of her privileges, and try to face adversity from a learning perspective.

“I honestly believe that it is our human obligation to give back. it doesn’t matter if it’s a very small act of kindness, but every little bit matters. volunteering doesn’t have to seem like such a lofty goal. just make it a part of your lifestyle”

“I think it helps a lot that I am communicative. I address it head-on. If I have a concern, I voice it. It’s much easier to have a genuine smile when you are being present and not harboring any resentment or grudges. Another great quote comes to mind: ‘say what you mean and mean what you say because the people that matter won’t mind, and the people that mind doesn’t matter.’ Then smile, “ she explains. And you are wrong if you believe that the secure woman that you see on your screen is a mere show business creation: Meghan knew her power and capacity from an early age, and that has not changed with fame – the artist, by the way, neither recognizes herself as “famous”, because, she says “I still look in the mirror and see the same freckled face I’ve known for 35 years”.

To this topic, the Californian beauty adds “my life has changed because my access has changed, and so has the level of privacy in my life, but these are champagne problems because I wouldn’t rather be back to auditioning. And change can be really good – as long as your character is intact. Who you are as a person will only be amplified once you are “famous” so if you had a good heart then, I would imagine you’ll have the same good heart, but the means to do even more with it. Which circles back to the earlier question about giving back and volunteering….boom!”.

The explanatory power of the actress can sometimes confuse us: are we facing Meghan or Rachel Zane? Embodying the character for six years, it is natural to think that the two have much in common. “She’s so layered and very emotional. I love her drive and her kindness, but I clearly also love her closet. Just playing dress up with such beautiful pieces of clothing has been like a Cinderella moment every day on set,” she loosens. But even without the clothes, the dresses, and the shoes, Meghan seems to continue living in her own fairy tale — it may not be perfect because things seldom are,  but she sure fights for her happily ever after. 


Photo: Pedro Arieta
Creative Direction: Claudia Ribeiro Bernstein

Charlotte Groeneveld

Authority in the fashion world, the Instagrammer and blogger reveals the behind-the-scenes of success and the secret of the balance between life on and offline.

Fashion taken seriously

@thefashionguitar

“I am very aware of this risk of Instagram and I can say with honesty that I also sometimes suffer from anxiety. The reality to it is like I have many beautiful things but I don’t have it all and I don’t even want to have it all, because it’s just stuff”

Who needs a catwalk when their own life is a show? The Dutch Charlotte Groeneveld knows well where she steps and does it firmly – because she has been preparing the ground for years: for almost a decade, she has studied fashion beyond the photos, publishing on her blog (which turned into her website thefashionguitar.com) some thoughts while analyzing the universe often seen only from a superficial point of view.

Natural, therefore, that with the maturation and professionalization of online information, Charlotte would become a pioneer in her industry – hence the solid audience base of her social media accounts, such as Instagram, where she is closely followed by nearly 400,000 users. More than the number of likes and views, the Dutch believe that her success is through engagement because she knows that dialogue exists only if it is a two-way street – and that’s the greatest asset to the most important brands in the market. A declared heavy user of the photo-sharing platform, Charlotte is not blinded by the flashes – she knows the risks the exposure brings, and even in high heels, she does not take her feet off the ground. The mother of two makes sure that her life is a healthy balance.

“I’ve been doing it seven years. When I started there was not no Instagram I started with a blog. It took a very long time to build the relationships and a network that I have right now”

Claur: So our first question is that a lot of brands and influencers are trying to get to your level of success and in the digital marketing and social media. So what do you think and what will you call a common mistake that people do when they come to this field and that doesn’t let them be actually successful?
Charlotte: I think right now and it’s always been like that and now it’s such a became such a big business. It’s I think a mistake for people to things that you start and then right away it’s gonna be a success. I’ve been doing it for seven years. When I started there was no Instagram I started with a blog. It took a very long time to build the relationships and a network that I have right now. I would say advertising it was a hundred percent dedication from the start and a non-stop thing. So now the result is that I work with the brands that I truly love. I do amazing collaborations but it took a long time and like a really long time, I would say the past four years I’m really good. This is a proper full-time job. I can make money with it. I can you know hire people to become part of the team but doubt before that it was really just a lot of input and I don’t want to say hope for the best because I know you work for it. But like you just have to build it. And that’s a mistake people get into it it’s like influencer marketing right now here I Oh my God I see him travel there where all these luxury close and of course, it’s super appealing but in the beginning, I did not work with Chanel or you know it’s like it takes a long time. So. Yeah.

Claur: What was the turning point in your career?
Charlotte: I think when we moved to New York because before I was in London and that was amazing I had read a starter. But a lot of happy hours and like a lot of the brands they actually already were like influence or marketing or blunt works with bloggers as they go to them and then they were much more open to speaking with me. They invited me to their events their shows. It sort of started growing more because they were just more ahead here than in Europe. And then now Europe obviously also came and they are amazing too. But it just took longer so for me being here made me, maybe, able to build my network bigger my business that collaboration to project to work on creatively. There are so many creative people here too. Even more time in London I would say. So it was a combination of just a market that it was a bit ahead. And that brought opportunities.

Claur: Many mothers say that raising boys and girls are totally different things. So do you agree with that?
Charlotte: Yes. Now I can. Only say there is a difference in two girls like they are seven and five. So I know how to organize a phase or two really becoming their own person other than just having his character going out now or in school, they have more opinions and I think. It sounds stereotypical but it is true like my girl is more emotional on many levels so if she does something and I would not like it it would get an emotional argument if I would go on an emotional level and if we just make it very rationale she’s fine. But she responds very differently than to my son who is much more rational. I just tell him no he can’t do this because of this. And you would be like oh OK I will do something else and or he’s very relaxed and no fuss and I mean I think it’s really great that it’s that way but it’s everybody. We learn every day how to approach them and how to deal with these situations.

Claur: Would you say that raising a girl taught you something new about being a woman?
Charlotte: Yeah I think it helps me analyze certain situations more because it’s easy to react is like a woman being emotional about something and reacts very easily on that. But now I try to rationalize those moments and analyze how she responds to me saying things sort of we have like better chemistry and like solving things because I don’t want to argue with a 5 year old because it’s not necessary you know what I mean but also not from my point that I’m the one that knows better and more from a point that I want to build this relationship where she feels she can tell or say me anything and then we will see what it gets us like how I respond to that. And also I don’t want to be the parent especially because I work. A lot and travel a lot. It’s like but I mean like if she’s slow in the morning I don’t want to make her feel like Oh she’s too rich because Mommy’s gonna be late somewhere I want to make sure that she understands it’s because she gets to school and her to be done on time. It’s a good thing to be on time. So you know. Yeah, I think that’s the best way to explain.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-Kuis0p2yL/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Claur: So what is one thing about your work that people don’t know about but you wish they knew?
Charlotte: Well I guess it’s just that it’s a lot of work and it’s non-stop like I did not have maternity leave. I mean it took two weeks off I guess but then things start again because it’s it was a one man show for a long time. I had like some creative people like photographers who work with me but it’s for a long time I was a business that I ran. If I was not working e-mails and you know nothing would happen. So I think that common mistake and then also going back to your first question it’s like it’s just it’s a lot of work. It never stops. Sometimes I make jokes about the fact that I’m like thinking in Instagram photos like I go somewhere and I’m like oh it can be a good Instagram for I’m like seriously I should enjoy this. Think about Instagram photos. But it’s part of my business and it’s like you know my heart is in it. So yeah I think it’s exhausting and it’s amazingly rewarding but it’s a lot of work.

Claur: A part of your job and a huge part of your job is being in social media and being live a lot. And for some people, it can cause anxiety and even depression. So how do you deal with that and what are your like advice would be for some people who want to have work life balance?
Charlotte: No I fully agree with what you’re saying and I am very aware of this risk and I can say with honesty that I also sometimes suffer of anxiety. I don’t want depression because that’s not the case but I get that people get depressed by it because you see a perfect thing on Instagram and the real life behind it. It’s hard to show because of people also. That’s like a bit of them. The problem is that people don’t want to see that like they don’t engage with a photo whereas something. Beautiful or well done they would if there’s a story with it. But it also depends on your whole brand. And might a person who makes jokes like real life situations and then posted and then it’s like a funny thing. Not because I’m doing loads of fashion and shows and so my audience is not necessarily engaging and if it’s not engaging then I shouldn’t do it because you know this is the thing. So you’re constantly balancing between showing what’s real showing what your audience wants to see and building your own brand at the same time. I do show for example like how I kind of benefit, for example, is like over the weekends I’m with my family. So I make sure that over weekends I close situations things we do and my kids are in it too. But I don’t use them to get bigger or to get more followers or whatever. I don’t think that it’s just a burden for people to see it. I’m also a mom and during the weekends it’s about family and I still document on Instagram photos. But that’s just to show that part of the night of my life and then into stories, I can use for more like behind the scenes real execution and even then I don’t do it enough maybe I shoot. I always love it when people do it. So it’s something I’m working on. The other thing I’m truly very honest to suppose like I wear for example last night and even with Chanel and the Webster and so and they dressed me for events but I’m very clear about the fact that the next morning before I left the house it was already downstairs. So the doorman speaks up and it’s like going for another shoot or something. I’m not pretending that all of it is mine. I work with friends as a stylist but then I stop myself basically. So you’ve just called in samples and you wear it or you shoot it and then it goes back and sometimes you keep things you get something’s gifted. But yeah the reality to it is like I have many beautiful things but I don’t have it all and I don’t even want to have it all because it’s just stuff. And it also makes it clear in my head I want to look to the next collection work with the newest pieces and that’s all about that’s why I started it. I really have this like yeah I love it. I love fashion. I wanted to share the latest collections and style in my way and that’s what I bring out there. It’s not about having it all at all. It’s just not important.


Photos: Alive Velter