I am such a sentimental, rose-colored glasses person. I have come to the point in my life that I am happy with that. Once-again, I am on a flight to New York City, but this one carries with it so many emotions…I had to take a moment to reflect upon it. I wish years ago I would have kept track of how many flights to New York I have experienced. So many of those trips have been life changing, that may be why I have such a special affection for the city.
My first trip to NYC was with my daughter Tiana, nine years old at the time, I was like a deer in headlights. I have a vivid, special memory holding her hand, walking in Times Square, her looking up at me with beautiful, innocent big brown eyes saying,”Mommy, I am going to live here and be a dancer” I told her “I know you will” (even though that seemed so far from possibility) and yet less than ten years later she did exactly that.
There would be countless trips of me traveling with groups of Iowa teenagers off to pursue their dreams in the big apple. I was a woman from Iowa surrounded by dreamers with hopes and aspirations as big as my own. One incredible year marked a milestone, and on this flight to New York in September 2011 I am once-again reminded of it.
In 1997, I traveled ahead of a group I was bringing into the city which included a nineteen year old Chris (Ashton) Kutcher (a guy I discovered at a bar in Iowa City) and twenty-three year old, Jeff Clarke (who I scouted on a layover from LA to Iowa the month before I scouted Kutcher). It would be Kutcher’s first plane ride, Clarke’s life changing trip, and for me, an eye opening event where I learned the value of this strange gift I had for discovering talent. I would enjoy my first NY Fashion Week show sitting next to Kutcher at the Calvin Klein show, me in my Payless Shoes and he in his thrift store finds from back home. My life would literally, never be the same….and either would Ashton or Jeffs.
Ten years later in 2007, Jeff and I jumped on a plane to be in the city with our new find, Karlie Kloss. It would be her first runway show, and it was so surreal to have it be an exclusive with Calvin Klein. Jeff and I had held on through many a challenge and we knew our small company, Mother, was entering into a new season. We didn’t take any second of it for granted.
In the past three years, we have continued to see our small management company launch many a beautiful new face into this global fashion world. We have experienced so many things we never could have imagined and we know in our hearts it is only the beginning.
In the September issues alone, our small management company (we generally manage about twenty-five models total) has three models making their mark in Vogue’s around the world alone. Katie Fogarty on the cover and editorial of Australian Vogue, Lindsay Lullman in Japanese Vogue, and of course Karlie Kloss, in Japanese and American Vogue.
Since the last show season in February, I have lost my mother (we landed in NY last season to calls from the hospital and a long six week battle that ended with her passing).
We challenged ourselves to the toughest, most grueling scouting schedule this summer (and have some fresh new faces in development)…and with this season we have new face Ehren Dorsey, and in New York this season, Karlie, Lindsay, Bethany, and our one boy this season, Alex)
This September is going to be an extremely special one. On Thursday, September 8th, Fashions Night Out, I will be celebrating my 50th Birthday!!! Wow, where does the time go?!?!
The following week brings another pretty incredible chapter…..I will share that news the first of next week.
In the meantime, I am sitting on the plane, descending into the city I love, reading the October issue of Vanity Fair…one of the main features “The New Establishment 2011” Guessed who is listed at #43? Ashton Kutcher
Kutcher’s mantra is “Dream Bigger”…he had that belief system from the first day I met him. It has served him well.
I love that our lives are defined by chance meetings, the adventure of discovery, and the process of challenging people to “Dream Bigger”