Yep, that's my tagline & I absolutely love it! Who I am? Well, let me introduce myself: Laura Disco, yeah for real, no artist name…my last name is D.I.S.C.O. simple as it is.
In my younger years I hated it, but now everybody calls me ‘Disco, Discootje of Discje’ in a sweet way and the best part is that people remember my name, so it's nothing to be ashamed of.
I started at So PR 3 years ago as an intern, in that very same year I finished my studies and started working as a junior PR-manager. And now 3 years later I am responsible for the PR of quite a number of major accounts such as ICI PARIS XL, Nelly.com, Polaroid, Ilse Jacobsen, Tramontana, Citizens of Humanity and many more.
And my job? Every day I go to work on my bike, through stormy skies and every day I’m happy to be there. Love my colleagues, love my clients, love my job….
It’s the one word that keeps popping up during Fashion Week’s all over the planet…The F-word. Well it could be about Fun, Fabulous or Fashion, yet the whole fashion world knows what it stands for: the Front Row!
After having been responsible for the PR of more fashion shows than I can count, I can assure you that the front row issue is something hardly comparable to anything else.
So what is the issue? Well, let me tell you: it’s more than one single issue. First of all there is the subject of “Who is on the front row?”, secondly “Who isn’t?” and finally “Who should have been there?”. Oh, and I almost forget the ego-boost question “Why wasn’t I on the front row?”, quickly followed by the moving-uppers silently saying, “How do I get to the front row?”.
Time and time I’ve been involved with the giant puzzle, unbeatable by the most complex Sudoku you can ever imagine. As once you’ve got the puzzle solved – or so you think -, at the very last minute you get RSVP’s and cancellation, making your challenge to change the whole plan, almost impossible. Worst of all, once the ‘seating’ starts, there are always people who don’t show up, while others take a seat at a place that is not supposed to be theirs. Welcome to the PR-jungle ;-)!
Secretly I have to admit, that I somehow enjoy the stressy vibe of it. Maybe because by now it is ‘business as usual’… or maybe because I kind of enjoy solving puzzles. However, being a spectator makes it just as much enjoyable. While I’m already sitting, I love to watch the show before the show. As the seating concept is nine out of ten times truly fascinating. It is always that “will it fit” vibe, that makes it almost just as exciting as watching a detective series expecting the inspector to catch the killer any minute now ;-)!
Now I can imagine that everyone who is not within the fashion industry wonders how this whole process works… Well the basics are very simple: fashion directors, top stylists, editor’s in chief and newspapers get front row seats. Yet, there are celebrities too. Plus the eternal question: how many seats do you have at the front row? As every show is different. Additionally: what to do with the +1. As a lot of people tend to take a friend or assistant along. So never mind how many ‘rules’ you apply to the seating system: you are bound to get in trouble anyway! And how about the new trend of bloggers on the front row? Should you, and if so: who? Already getting a headache by the very thought of it? Don’t! As somehow along the line these things seem to solve themselves. That is, if you’re a professional!
Now what is so magical about the front row? Originally it’s all about the view. Nothing more, nothing less. Of course status became part of it, but when you look at it from a PR point of view, the professionals need to see the designs well enough to ‘judge’ them by the way they are made. Believe me, on the 4th, 5th or 6th row, people still have a pretty good view, yet they can’t see the smaller details such as fine stitching, technical design structures, exact material etc.
Fascinated? I can imagine, as it is a fascinating world out there around the catwalk. My personal point of view? Of course I’m honoured to have had the pleasure to be on the front row pretty often, yet I loved the 2nd and 3rd row shows just as much as it is all about the designer, not about me! Do I feel better or more successful depending o the seat I get? No, I don’t! As once again: it’s all about the benefits of the designer, so as long as the ones who matter most are at the ‘right’ seats, I’m fine with whatever seat I get.
Does it bug me when I see people making a fuzz about their seats? In all honesty: if they are not close realtives of designer, nor belong to the group of fashion directors, top stylists, editor’s in chief, fashion influencers, top designers, newspapers editors, fashion journalists, celebrities or top bloggers…it does, as at that point you make your ego more important than the benefits of the designer who worked for months, often has put all his or her blood, sweat, tears, money, creativity and time into a collection, only to get the publicity he or she needs in order to get their brand even more established…
C’est tout! Hope to see you back soon within the eternal jungle I tend to call my life…
For now, remember just one more thing:
“Success never thrives from status, it comes from within the very core of who you are and what you stand for.”
While my head is somewhere between the usual daily work, new projects, deadlines, beer import, numerous phone calls, not forgetting to breath in & out and more of that, it suddenly hits me: it’s Fashion Week in Amsterdam. Believe it or not, but for the first time ever, I hardly realized it until the day before. No, please don’t ask me why, as I don’t have a clue! Nevertheless I did wake up on time out of the whirlpool of activities that somehow preoccupied me and before I knew it, the Fashion Week vibe got to me…
It all started Wednesday night with the official opening party by Marie Claire magazine featuring Claes Iversen. Now somehow along the way I picked up a ‘reputation’. What? Well, as you can imagine my life is pretty packed time wise, so somewhere along the road I was forced to make choices. While at an earlier stage in life I was able to attend a lot of events, once our So PR HQ grew bigger and bigger, I could hardly find the time to do so. And even when I did plan, somehow things popped up along the way and made me cancel at the last minute. Not my style, but once it gets down to business, I have to let my company come in first place. So by now it’s all of a sudden truly noticed when I do appear… It makes me laugh, as I never mend it to be that way, yet the good part being is that you get in great conversations with everybody. In this case it made Fashion Week even more memorable for me than ever before, as besides enjoying the shows, it also feels like a big reunion with numerous friends at the same place. Of course I see most of them a lot, but mainly when I’m working, or one on one. Now I was working, but in a different way: as a visitor. And I can tell you: it was great!
Although I haven’t been able to visit all shows (yeah yeah lack of time), I did attend some great ones. In case you are wondering if we organized a show? Oh yes we did! And it was no less than the lovely Dorhout Mees!
See you back soon for another trip around the globe, which will be just as adventurous as always & yes, in case you were looking for a different kind of inspiration, no worries, as in the coming week you’ll be treat on another tour through life’s finest wonders… Curious already? Don’t be! Enjoy the now ;-)!
PS: what struck me most during Fashion Week till now was the all over happy vibe! A lot of designers had chosen to treat the world on smiles, love, flowers, peace, fragility & joy… What else could we possibly wish for?!
Photocredits DorhoutMees, Tony Cohen: Team Peter Stigter
Did you ever count how many times a day you are showing judgmental behavior? That's a question that kept popping up during the past couple of weeks. Most of us tend to be more judgmental than we realize. Now before we go for a tour into the why, when and how, let's play a little mind game...
What if I told you that the guy shown on the photo below, would be your new co-worker? And let's say that he's your new co-worker at an insurance office. What do you think that you and your colleagues would say about him on the first day he enters the job? How would you treat him? Would you giggle over his looks? Be honest ;-)
Now I'm no psychic, but I dare say that 99 % of us would start talking behind his back over his weird look. He would be defined as a real weird older man. Some would call him scary, others would be wondering if he were cuckoo and so on. Yet, as we all know this gentleman is one of the most celebrated designers in the world, whose name will be remembered for centuries to come, we all of a sudden think he looks super cool & stylish.
Isn't that interesting? The co-worker who would suffer a hard time over our judgement is treated completely different now we know how successful he is. So his looks are approved only for the fact that he is a famous, successful fashion designer. If he’d be your everyday garbage man, he would be the laughing stock of the town.
And how about this woman? What would you and your friends say about her, if she just happened to walk down the street passing you by? Let's say she's an art student who loves to stand out from the crowd... What would you say?
"Oh my gosh, look at her!" Wouldn't that be your first response? The coming hour we would all talk about that weirdo we saw on the street... She would probably be labelled 'totally nuts'. But hey, as we all know she's a famous singer, we all of a sudden label that same girl to be a super cool style icon...
Now we could go on for days with shiploads of photos and I dare predict that the 'judgement' factor wouldn't change, now would it?
Yes, I could fill up a million photo galleries more with successful people who would never blend into the crowd without being judged by their looks. Let alone, by their behaviour!
Now here is the question that you might like to ask yourself: why do we do that? There are multiple reasons we can come up with and they differ per person. For some of us it is simply because we secretly would love to have the guts just to be our true selves. For others judging makes you feel better about yourself. If you define the other to be an 'idiot', it means you are a well-accepted, maybe even 'cool' person. Comparison. And so on...
But let's be real honest again: does the appearance of that particular person bug you in any way? Harm you? Threaten you?
No, it doesn't. So why do we do it? If the other person hears, feels or notices your reaction, how do you think it makes them feel? And: why do we care in the first place about someone else’s looks? As in all honesty it has nothing to do with us, now does it?
So who defines what is normal? Who creates the standard? What if tomorrow someone told you that blending in with the majority is no longer the universal trend?
Now, this post is not about blending in or not. It's about judging... And judging nine out of ten times is a sign of poverty within ourselves (sorry, if this came as a shocker!). No, I'm not advising you to become Mister or Miss Perfect Behavior from now on. And yes, it can simply be a funny moment with friends joking about that weirdo on the street. Yet, once in a while think of the effect it might have on people and most of all, ask yourself why you do it...
Don't feel bad, feel aware!
If you feel like it, take a minute and ask yourself who you would be if you were free of judgement about others, but most of all yourself! We consume a lot of our valuable energy by spending hours in a row on judging. We spent millions of precious minutes on blending in, being accepted by the whole world and being perfect according to the 'judgement' of others. If we wouldn't do that, how would we feel? That's the question!
C'est tout! Thanks for joining me for another trip throughout the jungle I tend to call my life...
For now remember just one more thing:
"Your own approval of you, is just as valuable as your approval of others"
Most of us chase our dreams. Dreams we have created at some point in life, and made them so important that we call them our destiny. The point where we should end at, before our life is over. But have you ever wondered what will happen after the dream?
It's just a simple question: you have this whole idea in mind of where you would like to be in 2, 5, 10 or 20 years from now, but while you are aiming for this goal, did you happen to think of what reaching it will do for you? Is it the status, the money or the growth of self-worth that will make your heart tick? What if you have achieved that goal? What will be its contribution to your life?
Better said: what will it bring you, that you can't have now? Because if it is your deepest wish to become successful so you can retire in a tropical paradise, please explain why you don't jump on a plane, go to the Bahama's, look for a job at the beach and rent yourself a small wooden cottage? What's holding you back?
And there lies the question. As from the moment we were born, somehow we have the tendency to start planning dreams. Some are there to stay, some we alter along the road of life, yet while we do so, we always keep shoving them ahead. So when does that day arrive? Are you waiting for a sign? If so: what kind of sign do you need?
When you look at it closely, you are probably pretty much aware of the fact that you actually don't need a sign at all, now do you? All you are waiting for is your inner-you to give you the courage... All you need is the people around you to tell you it is alright and most of all that voice within to stop telling you, arguing with you about the thousands of reasons why you can't! Well, let me tell you two little secrets: that arguing one is called fear and the people around you say so, because they either worry to quickly or have some personal reasons why they don't want you to leave for the Bahama's.
So that is why we end up saving our dreams for later. Yet, not all of us do so. Some go try it and either succeed, or don't succeed. Which nine out of ten times results in yet another deception. Why? Well, for the non-succeeding the answer is very logical, yet how about the ones that succeed?
Some of the people who succeed keep creating new dreams along the way. Let's call them the passionate ones. While others merely dreamed of what the status or money could bring them. And there lies the catch. For all of a sudden the pursuit of happiness, was purely goal based. While we forgot to enjoy the road towards it. Picture this: you have a new house. What would you choose: a million in the bank to decorate it, or less money & more creativity. Ask yourself this question and think for a moment about which of this options would make you feel best? And most importantly: why?
I personally would feel like an empty book... The reason for that is the fact that I live by the day and I love challenges. They make me feel very much alive. And yes, if that means that little wooden cottage on the beach, I would so enjoy it! For probably I would never seize dreaming of how beautiful the sky looks at night, what stunning flowers I might encounter, what lovely fish dish I could prepare for tonight or how amazing that small butterfly is...
What I'm trying to say here is that it interesting to look a bit closer at your dreams and wonder for a moment what the result of making them happen will bring you. And why you believe that you will be happier when you reached that goal. If money, status or admiration are the reasons: please look twice... Because at the end of that rainbow, the pot of gold itself is just a prize. Does that prize really bring you all you need? And did you enjoy every step of the road? Or have you been walking blindly through life to achieve something, but once you'll have it, would you feel kind of empty? Or would it fill you with unknown happiness, a joy bigger than anything you have ever felt before?
At the start of this post you can hear the song "It's lonely at the top". How come? Two reasons stand out: first of all when you succeed for material reasons, you might find out that they never brought you the happiness you expected them to bring. Secondly, if your motivations were passionate, you might encounter things such as jealousy or envy. So you better make damn sure that you enjoy every little step of the road.
To shorten up today's story a bit: chase your dreams, enjoy the road, stop planning ahead too much and try to figure out what lies at the end of the rainbow that would change your life for the better! As if that goal will brings you so much more joy, why not get it today?
How? Well if in search of money, you can find a thousand options: for a money making career you either study hard, work hard, 'sell your soul' to marry a rich person, or break your head over an invention. Yet, it will only work if that goal is driven by your hearts desire, as any other reason might give you that annoying empty feeling again. Well, if it is money: in this case you could try to buy the pain away with some endless shopping ;-)
You want a life in the Bahamas’? Sell your stuff, buy a ticket and go! You wish to be famous? Again, you have a million options, so go get it! Yet, don't be disappointed if that pot of gold never actually brings you what it should have brought you...
When does it bring you what you want? When you keep your wishes simple: to enjoy life and every breath you take. To do all you do with passion. Again, like I stated in a few previous posts, people like Steve Jobs & Richard Branson never persuade their goals because of the gold! It is the journey, the fact that they found it, the beauty of the pot & the endless passion for finding it, that gave them such satisfaction, that they became unstoppable!
So, let me end this small journey by saying: seize the day! Throw your life planning agenda away for a moment and listen to your heart for a few hours. Where do you wish to be today? And what is holding you from going there? Are you already there? Enjoy it!!! Curious to know if I'm there? Yes and no... as I live by the day, which means that I am always there, yet also never, for in my eyes dreams lie in the smallest moments! It's the sun rising in the morning, the smile on someone's face, the voice of a loved one, the way a bird spreads its wing and how bright the moon can shine... And that's how I see my business life too!
C'est tout! Oh, before I forget, if you're curious to read a bit more about how I ended up in the PR-jungle, why I call myself the Buddhist on High Heels & what I think of success, read this interview that I did with the lovely girls from 'Ladies with an Attitude', who had a few fascinating questions :-)
For now, remember one more thing:
"Create a thousand dreams & walk towards them with a smile on your face, while enjoying every breath you take"