Create a Life of Significance to Achieve Goals

“The desire for a feeling of importance is one of the chief distinguishing differences between mankind and the animals”.

Living a significant life is a duty, not a choice. As humans, we have the power to live a life that matters. Our ability to cooperate with each other empowers us to act with a purpose.  This collective quality goes hand in hand with the desire to be important and experience life beyond the self. Equally, it is the emotional trigger to move forward in times of uncertainties and challenges. As the most adaptive species, we can overcome hurdles and build a bridge when we are on edge. Our flexibility and conscious to act towards a common goal is what makes us human.

Leo Caillard
Leo Caillard

Still, there are times that we lose our inner-drive, the ordinary aspects of life blur our visions and our aspirations. These moments may happen when we are overwhelmed with indecisiveness or faced with stressful situations, so we lack interest or excitement. Our world becomes mundane, and our life visions a far-flung dot in the sky. So how do we get a grip on these unproductive emotions? I’ve learned that purpose, motivation, and momentum are the three powerful forces that will help us tackle difficult times and tasks.

Banksy Art
Banksy Art

 

Everyone has a purpose in life and a unique talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals.

– Kallam Anji Reddy

Purpose: Know or remember the purpose of your life vision. Some people will state that passion is the key driver however not everyone has a fully developed one besides passion is an outlet for emotion and most importantly not the leading force in our life. University of California Berkeley Professor Morten Hansen surveyed 5,000 employees and managers to understand the make up of star performers. He examined the relation between passion and purpose and concluded that people perform better when they are tied to a goal such as making a strong contribution to society. He further explains the difference between purpose and passion. The purpose is defined as a sense that you are contributing to others that your work has a broader meaning. Passion is the feeling of enthusiasm and excitement you have about your work. He grouped employees into categories, and the shocking finding was that employees who were passionate about their work were poor performers if they were not clear about the purpose.  The purpose is the fuel, and a purpose-driven approach, from mission statements, philanthropy to ccorporate social responsibilities, the root of living a significant life.

What does it mean and what kind of questions lead to define or re-create our purpose? Inquiring into our intentions, examining our beliefs in the steady and positive betterment of humankind, and considering our contribution to collective progress is definitely on top of the checklist that empowers us to experience a meaningful life.

Bansky Art
Bansky Art

“It’s time you realized that you have something in you more powerful and miraculous than the things that affect you and make you dance like a puppet.”

Marcus Aurelius

Motivation: There is a number of theories that explain the motivation and how it is initiated and guided. Some people are driven by intrinsic and some with extrinsic motivation. However many people are more inclined to act by the former. They care about the satisfaction rather than reward. Essentially, one of the pillars of intrinsic motivation is to align your stimulus with a higher purpose.  Since fulfillment developed by self-growth and expanding our horizon to matter and make a difference is in our DNA.

Leo Caillard
Leo Caillard

One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.
Michael Korda

Momentum! Go forward, even if you lack the passion, but you have a vision also if it might not clear. Whether you are performing in a contest or a task, momentum expands your mental focus and physical efforts initiating an action. In turn, the act creates results. When you are on a roll, the synergy between the motion and our perceived capabilities enables us to perform with confidence and efficiency. For example, a chore as mundane as ironing a pile of clothes when is 2/3 done, we realize that we have the strength to complete the task. The same perception applies in our professional life. Therefore, our competence, the span of our movement and the continuous efforts will encourage us to perform remarkably.

Leo Caillard
Leo Caillard

The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.
― Barack Obama

Understanding and revisiting our desires and goals, acknowledging our need to feel important, eyeing for the progress and keep the ball rolling is like personal hygiene; they must be looked after with care and regularly.

Leo Caillard
Leo Caillard

 

 

 

Featured image –  Painting “Nude Youth sitting by the sea” was made by Hippolyte Flandrin, Ingres’ student. Louvre

 

 

How To Define Your Personal Brand?

Personal branding is important, and it is our responsibility to take charge of our image.  We define how we present ourselves to others, express our ideas or cultivate our abilities and strengths. On this account, we should be aware and mindful of our development and illustration of our brand to fend off from misconceptions and to prevent others to shape our identity.

"Amon Din" - Thomas Easton
“Amon Din” – Thomas Easton

Many of us are taught to do our best and then let the world decide how to judge us. I think it’s better to do your best and decide how you want to be judged. And act that way.

Seth Godin

Certainly, we must look at other grounds that are not only influential to our personal and professional development but urge us to establish a personal brand. Let’s examine them:

  • The unpredictability of economy –  due to political and socio-cultural disparities or the unknown in human behaviour and nature
  • Globalization – accessibility to scores of skilled talents, opportunities, and competitions
  • Increase in number of solopreneurs, freelancers  and the ability to work as part of a team in short-term projects
  • Social networking sites are more than casual sharing, they have become a ubiquitous influence in our interactions

So how to stand out?

Be mindful of your intentions. Names, style, voice, manner, skills, and expertise are part of self-packaging, but the building blocs of a personal brand are based on conscious recognition of the objectives. Nevertheless, producing values and having a positive impact on others are the fundamental motives that must be acknowledged in the process of introspection.  

Dark Night
Dark Night

Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.

Albert Einstein

To recognize your intentions and build the pillars of your branding consider the following five steps:

  • Decide on your destination – What are you excited about? Where you want to be? What do you want to achieve?
  • Leverage your distinctive capabilities – What people remember you for? How can you solve problems? What are the benefits of your proposition or personal trait?
  • Develop your story – your experiences, your memories, your assets are part of your narrative. If you are unsure of how to put your story together, think about a role model and try to convey why you admire this person.
  • Introduce yourself – make known your brand statement. In a couple of sentences state your unique values and why they matter.
  • Be true to your statement – Establish your expertise by sharing your knowledge whether face to face or through well planned social media presence.

Remember embracing your notable traits and expertise is “to be the real thing”and not to fit a mould. Conformity leads to disappointment and fake behaviours however authentic representation of oneself is attention-worthy and helps one to rise above the noise.

 

How To Creatively Communicate Your Brand Promise

People are drawn to the luxury industry for different motives. The traditional luxury ambassadors hold on to the ephemeral feelings driven by the narratives touching on superiority and pride. Then again, the experience hunters are seeking personal connections in the brand’s promise to unleash their dreams. Last but not least, the hip netizens who are fuelling the luxury space are powered by stories and the purpose of the brand. They have leaped over from “what I have” attitude to the sphere of “Being.”  More and more, the mindset is about  “who I truly am” & “what I stand for.”  They want to be rewarded by the legacy, the qualitative experience and most importantly the echo of self-identity.

With this mindset, the brand promise matters more than ever. From everyday luxury such as Starbucks to super premium brand SilverSea Cruise line or ultra high-end brands such as Graff, desires are stimulated by the strength, the reputation and the feelings tied up to the brand promise. Once developed and channeled into multimedia storytelling, the narrative must resonate with the personal branding of the luxury aficionados whether the futurists, rebels, individuality seekers or vanity driven groups. It should evoke an identity aligned with self-perception and aspiration of the customers.

Starbucks brand promise: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”

SilverSea brand promise: Silversea’s small luxury ships are designed for those who delight in the thrill of discovery while indulging mind and body in the most lavish surroundings imaginable.

Graff brand promise: “The House of Graff stands for the finest, the rarest and only the very best stones.”

Recounting the brand promise is more than touching off swagger or reality-distortion but skillfully emulating personal achievements, memories, and traits. A compelling narrative taps into the subconscious reveals the not so perfect identities and connects with weird fantasies with no judgment. Interpretation of brand promise through unexpected whimsical campaigns to the unassuming rebellious image is all about keeping it “real.”

Here are some suggestions on how to bring your luxury brand promise to life and connect with the expressions of identities:

  • Observe many types of consumption to adapt the content. The how and where your audience garners and shares their personal information.
  • Feature desirable qualities even so with an honest portrayal of human behaviours and circumstances. Tiffany, the premier jeweller, designed the window displays of its 5th Avenue, in tribute to New York’s graffiti culture while adding a gutsy attitude insinuating that things can happen in real life.Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 12.29.01 PM
  • Illustrate the concept of “who I am” and “what I stand for.” Luxury fitness brand Equinox voice not only a healthy luxury lifestyle but what gives meaning to life and what succinctly defines their customers.

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  • Create stories that forge emotional connections and exhibit meaningful outcomes. Rolex tell a story campaign” features excellence, history, perfection and keeps us engaged by relaying it’s ambassadors experiences and testimonials.  Oscar-winning director James Cameron in a press release about the brand’s Academy Awards sponsorship said “A Rolex is not only a beautiful watch and a masterpiece of engineering, it’s very tough. It’s a watch that you can take into any environment and which can stand up to the pressure. So, what you’re saying subliminally to the audience is: that character can take the pressure, too; he or she has what it takes.”
  • Define the characteristics of your brand and align them with your storytelling. The unapologetic authenticity in the brand’s narrative is appealing and strengthens bonding between the brand and it’s customers. Tom Ford’s Limited Edition F*cking Fabulous fragrance branding, is a perfect example of blunt authenticity of the brand and Tom Ford’s edgy spirit.

Leveraging narrative to construct and associate values to the self-concept of the consumers needs to meet the expectations, perceptions and most importantly it must be consistent with your brand promise.

Interview with Jana Brike, Echoes of Self-Awareness

What happens when you achieve to liberate your mind, when you weave memories, capture purely personal feelings and unfold your experiences in colour?  Beyond doubt, beautiful imagery! Nothing is as fulfilling when you come to terms with your repressed unconscious.  Latvian pop surrealist artist, Jana Brike is the epitome of this awareness. With Masters in the Art, she transforms taboos, despairs, pleasures, desires, and vulnerabilities by channeling the energies to discover her true self and create a sublime art. Unassumingly, she explores her life story and feelings, re-creates and allows us to re-live the stimulations.

"Summer of Wild Wallflower" by Jana Brike Courtesy of Gallery House Toronto
“Summer of Wild Wallflower” by Jana Brike Courtesy of Gallery House Toronto

Unapologetically, she has put aside manuals, instructions of social behaviors and codes of hierarchical society by refusing to accept conformity without examination. In spite of that, she believes in the naivety of human soul and purity of love in an unconventional manner. She touches on existential life question, embracing with harmony and awareness her transformation much like the cosmic ocean cocooning planets and stars which continually create new forms even if they are interdependently connected and travel in similar paths.

"Echoes from the Center of the World" by Jana Brike - Gallery House Toronto
“Echoes from the Center of the World” by Jana Brike – Gallery House Toronto

I had the opportunity to meet her at Gallery House, Toronto during her exhibition and was able to have an exclusive interview. To begin with, I would like to thank Jana Brike for her generous collaboration, Belinda Chun and David Keyes from Gallery House, Toronto for curating, organizing exhibitions and facilitating this talk:

Jupilings: Jana Brike, tell us about yourself and how you got into art:

JB: Honestly, I’ve been an artist as long as I remember myself. I always was the kind of “beauty would save the world” person and knew I would do something creative. As a little child, I loved art exhibitions, ballet performances, theater, reading books, looking at book illustrations, watching movies and especially animations. It felt like these expressions transcend the human condition so beautifully. So I knew I would do something in that field. I disliked stage though and loved spending countless hours hatching and brewing something creative in the quietness of my room. So painting choice came naturally.

Jupilings: Who is your protagonist? 

JB: It is always me, in a broader sense. My work is my visual poetic auto-biography through which I look at my experiences, at what it means to be human, I change these experiences and conditions into something meaningful, they become like stages of initiation into a broader and more profound self, for myself and hopefully others.

"New Day Rising" by Jana Brike Courtesy of Gallery House Toronto
“New Day Rising” by Jana Brike Courtesy of Gallery House Toronto

Jupilings: What inner force shapes your artistic concepts:

JB: Personal truth and love. Lately, it is also something more fragile, like naked vulnerability and hope. I feel that the spear that destroys your armor and injures your hardened skin can itself break in the gentle softness of your open heart. That fierce gentleness and complete openness, I want to channel it into my work. Even if living like that in a world like ours is not yet always possible.

"Tour Guide and the Runaway Princess" by Jana Brike - Gallery House Toronto
“Tour Guide and the Runaway Princess” by Jana Brike – Gallery House Toronto

Jupilings: As an artist, what role and social responsibility you shoulder: 

JB: I don’t think it differs much from the role and social responsibility of any human being – to experience the wonder of life to the best of your ability, in the way that expresses the best version of your self. Otherwise, the role differs from artist to artist, there as many forms of visual expression as there are individual personalities of artists out there. I personally always felt that role as some peculiar form of shamanism, for me the work always involves a deeply meditative state, certain transcendental energy, even a sense of ecstasy, specific sensing of and work with the future possibilities like in dream states and more. Work with collective archetypes, with collective daydreaming like in myths. In an as aware way as I currently can. I don’t know if it’s the same for other artists.

Jupilings: What narrative transpired in your latest collection and especially “two angels in the deep dark wood”:

JB: I feel my work less like a linear narrative and more like a piece of visual poetry. Those are stories very much about intimacy – towards your own body, your soul in the first place, and then between you and another. Also, about playfulness, joy, discovery of your true nature, the pleasure of being alive.

"Two angels in deep dark" by Jana Brike Courtesy of Gallery House Toronto
“Two angels in deep dark” by Jana Brike Courtesy of Gallery House Toronto

Jupilings: You create defiant art, exploring social and cultural pressures, how do you preserve the standards of propriety while discussing and weaving your
visual narrative:

JB: I don’t think my characters defy public opinions or propriety; I feel more like they live as if there were no outside opinions or pressures to consider, as if one’s freedom and integrity and love was the only law to live by – maybe that is what gives this slightly utopian feel to my work. And I don’t think on much else while I paint, and definitely not the collective standards and expectations. If any rules guide me, it’s my personal sense of ethics and my own deeply felt experiences.

"Wildflowers on the Edge of a Cliff" by Jana Brike - Gallery House Toronto
“Wildflowers on the Edge of a Cliff” by Jana Brike – Gallery House Toronto

Jupilings: What is one undisclosed or mysterious piece of information about yourself, you would bravely share with your audience:

JB: All my important personal feelings, thoughts and human experiences are shared through my painting with no reserve and no holding back, truly. At the same time, to me, there is something numinous to the painting process, as if I transcend my trials and tribulations in an in-depth emotional sacral process while I paint, so the finished painting is a sort of personal icon to me. This process is mysterious, even to me, I know for sure that I emerge healed on the other end. The particulars of my life facts don’t matter.

"Mayday" by Jana Brike - Gallery House Toronto
“Mayday” by Jana Brike – Gallery House Toronto

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you?

JB: Definitely, the first step is finding your own personal power, a broad sense of self-worth, self-love, self-respect, self-care that doesn’t require external validation. I honestly believe that the way you treat and think of yourself, the world will reflect that right back to you. How worthy of the love you consider yourself. And having this personal base foundation strong, the next step is to reach out and help the sisters, to share, support, encourage. The changes in the society do not star from outside and from the top as law as much as they grow from inside – you change yourself, spread it to the family, closest tribe, and then outwards, to the society. From the center of your heart outwards.

Dreams, more real than life sometimes.. by Jana Brike - Gallery House Toronto
Dreams, more real than life sometimes.. by Jana Brike – Gallery House Toronto

Jupilings: What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist?

JB: I think it is first a very honest work with yourself as a human, “brand name” comes much later; first, you need a very solid substance of who you truly are, something to attach that brand name to. You have to find yourself, to dare to be yourself and stay true to yourself, celebrating your uniqueness, your individual view of the world. To dare to speak about what is important to you personally, about what makes you burn, what is your bliss, what is your passion. Then comes very serious, very responsible and professional work ethic and very committed work on the necessary skillsets. And just after all that can you think of brand names. Of course, vice versa is possible, you can come up with some loud noise of a brand name to cover up the emptiness behind, and it would work for one day, but it wouldn’t give satisfaction, nor serve any worthwhile purpose with a capability to last.

"The procession" by Jana Brike - Courtesy of Gallery House Toronto
“The procession” by Jana Brike – Courtesy of Gallery House Toronto

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt:

JB: Self-doubt is also a kind of fear – that you may fail, that you won’t be good enough etc. – so it’s a question about fear.
To me, the answer is almost constant self-observation. I look at, and question every thought or emotion that rushes through me, and I question where it’s coming from, and what purpose does it serve. And in the very base, I feel there are two basic emotions, or energies – that of love, and that of fear (which further feeds anger, hate, etc.). So I question my motives, viewpoints, decisions, thoughts daily, asking myself where they come from and what I will choose today – love or fear. Every single day. All the time. I don’t think there is any other way. It’s a daily work, daily hygiene – like wash your dishes, make your bed, brush your teeth and also weed out your soul and mind and motivations and keep them clean.

"Blood Moon" by Jana Brike - Courtesy of Gallery House Toronto
“Blood Moon” by Jana Brike – Courtesy of Gallery House Toronto

Jupilings: The blockchain technology will remedy many issues linked to provenance, transparency, copyright, ownership, valuation, and authenticity in the Art Market. And indeed, it could make it easier for artists to get paid and get known. What are your thoughts about this technology which is about unconstrained collaboration, & promise of fair rewards for the artist? Would you consider using blockchain technology platform to reach global art enthusiasts? 

JB: I haven’t investigated its potentials much beyond what is commonly known about new types of currencies, but I am excited about new possibilities and growth, and this new era we live in with new kinds of sharing and exchange. These are exciting times.

Jupilings: What are the problems in the Art Market do you want these platforms to solve?

A lot of issues are already being solved by just internet, like artists complete dependence on the establishment, necessity for some person who is a mediator between viewer and artist and on whose good grace and evaluation an artist depended – it’s nearly gone, you as an artist can find your public even if you don’t have a gallery or a magazine which would publish you. Also if you stand way out and beyond what the establishment considers a value. I think it’s a big gain all in all. More will be changing I expect, so it’s good to have one’s senses keen and alert.

"The Wild Honey Girl"by Jana Brike - Gallery House Toronto
“The Wild Honey Girl”by Jana Brike – Gallery House Toronto

Jupilings:  What superpower you would like to have ? and why?

JB: I’d like to be able to fly; I think that would be a thrilling sensation.

"Into the Dark" by Jana Brike Courtesy of Gallery House Toronto
“Into the Dark” by Jana Brike Courtesy of Gallery House Toronto

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor: 

JB: Lead role in my life’s story is enough for me.

"The Deep Waters" by Jana Brike Courtesy of Gallery House Toronto
“The Deep Waters” by Jana Brike Courtesy of Gallery House Toronto

Jupilings: What is your life motto?

JB: Stay true to myself, live with an open heart, accept myself as I am – that’s the basic guideline. Although I don’t despair if some days I can’t manage this.
I have somewhat of an inner protest to things like verbal mottos; those tend to turn into self-imposed laws like a box you can’t get out of it. I live as I live, I am what I am, I have my inner compass that guides my path, and it doesn’t depend on pre-conceived mental constructs much.

Jana Brike
Jana Brike

 

 

Luxury Bags for Successful Women – Interview with Julie Cantor, Founder & Chief Executive of Harlen

As a woman, as a leader, as a professional we strive on subjective experiences by pushing onto new boundaries, leveraging our skills and strengths to help others while embracing our femininity. Along the way, we learn to be versatile, organized and pragmatic yet equally with style. We recognize that to be in control; we need unique accessories that support our performance. Other than a smartphone, handbags are one of the essential accessories to flair our convictions, our way of life and our composure.

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LINE | TIBETAN FUR
Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 3.53.20 PM
LINE | TIBETAN FUR
https://www.instagram.com/harlencollection/
https://www.instagram.com/harlencollection/

Harlen collections, designed out of a need for excellence by the graduate of Stanford University (BA, MA), Berkeley Law (JD), and the Yale University School of Medicine (MD), Julie Cantor, embodies sophistication, independence, and stature. Effortlessly stylish, the collection supports the tale of emancipated woman carrying a load in the twists and turns of her career labyrinth. Cleverly designed, Harlen bags are a perfected evolution rooted in practical and timeless quality, intended to gratify the hard work of powerful women.

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https://harlencollection.com/collection/curve-black

An investment in an amalgamation of simplicity, elegance, tasteful and contemporary style made by the Italian master artisans perfects our desire to do good. For every Harlen you own, the company supports one student in Room to Read’s Girls Education program for one year. A feel-good luxury item that unveils our unassuming libertarian ethos and complies with our standards of quality.

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https://harlencollection.com/collection/arc-taupe
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https://harlencollection.com/collection/arc-taupe
https://www.instagram.com/harlencollection/
https://www.instagram.com/harlencollection/

I had the opportunity to interview the brilliant Julie Cantor to learn about her and Harlen:

Jupilings: How do you describe yourself-

JC: A modern minimalist.  An optimist.  Creative.  Tenacious.  Organized.  Usually wearing black.  An avid fan of art, design, and nearly all things made in Italy.  Advocate for science, integrity, and human rights.  Engaged in the world.  Always striving.

Jupilings: What set you off on your entrepreneurial venture-

JC: I was working at an elite law firm in downtown Los Angeles, and I needed a way to carry my career essentials from home to work, from a meeting to mediation, from day to evening.  The options I found missed the mark.  One wheeled bag was too small, and its handle broke.  A leather tote sagged at the bottom from the weight of my things.  The look was always off, and I could never find my keys.  So I created a few prototypes that reflected my vision of what this perfect work bag would be.  When friends, colleagues, and even strangers were enthusiastic about the pieces and the brand vision, I decided to create a line of “modern career pieces”—designed for the modern professional woman who values quality, needs an accessory with form and function, and wants to move opportunity forward for girls worldwide.  She is a person leading a life of significance with style.

Jupilings: What is the story of your brand name “Harlen”-

JC: The brand is named after my grandparents, Harriet and Lenny.  (I adored them.)  Our brand values of juxtaposing style, savvy, and significance with equality, empowerment, and education can be traced to them.  My grandmother had great personal style—the kind you either have or you don’t.  She had a career.  And she had an endless collection of handbags and shoes.  I can remember clomping around my grandparents’ house as a three-year-old in her heels with one of her handbags draped over my arm.  Very fancy preschooler.

My grandfather was an advocate for girls.  When his two daughters were young, he saw endless organized sports options for boys, but nothing for the girls.  So he started the first girls’ sports league in their town (Levittown, New York).  This was the mid-1950s, long before Title IX, so culturally and socially, he was really swimming upstream.  But he made it happen, and my mom, my aunt, and their friends played softball and basketball in that league.  He also was a firm believer in the power of education and the doors that academic excellence can open.

Their house was designed with lots of blacks and whites and a hint of glamour, which inspired our aesthetic.  Their vintage black, grey, and white couches are in our showroom.

Jupilings: What are the principles in lifestyle that you want to manifest in your brand Harlen-

JC: Modern.  Intelligent.  Design.  Our client needs utility and style, and she understands the quality of pieces made in Italy by second- and third-generation artisans.  She moves the world forward on her terms.  She needs a piece that works in a variety of work environments, and that moves seamlessly from day to night.  She is inspired by the past as well as the possibilities for the future.  She is a mentor and a leader with ambition.  And she is unapologetic about it.

Jupilings: What does refined and simple design mean to you-

JC: Symmetry and clean lines.  Extraordinary materials.  The finest craftsmanship.  Making a statement through style.

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https://harlencollection.com/collection/diag-alligator
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https://harlencollection.com/collection/diag-alligator

Jupilings: What does intelligent and elegant design mean to you-

JC: We thought endlessly about intelligent design and the needs of women as they move through their day and their careers.  An example: Every Harlen closes with a zipper or magnets and a carabiner.  Because things fall out.  Because we deserve privacy.  Because security demands a closure.

We use—exclusively—Raccagni’s Super-R zips.  (In Italy, zippers are “zips.”)  These are, without question, the world’s finest.  I’ve visited the Bergamo facilities, and they hum with a unique blend of technology, creativity, and perfection.  And the Raccagani family lives and breathes zips.  They constantly innovate.  You’d think that after more than 45 years of creating zips that are as exquisite as they are functional that they’d be done.  Not yet.

That kind of intelligent design permeates every aspect of a Harlen.  It’s why we plate our hardware in palladium—it’s stunning, and it is strong.  These are, after all, work bags.  So they are designed to withstand the rigors of daily use and still look as good on day 1,000 as they did on day 1.  We don’t use the kind of leathers that are designed to patina, scratch, and age.  Ours are chosen for beauty and durability.  I like a clean look.

And all of our materials and ateliers follow best environmental practices.  Again, intelligence meeting design to protect our collective future.

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https://harlencollection.com/collection/diag-black
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https://harlencollection.com/collection/diag-black

 

Jupilings: What is the favourite aspect of your business (Harlen)-

JC: Without question, I love seeing how thrilled our clients are to own our pieces.  It’s so gratifying—especially after a decade of work to bring Harlen and its collection to them.  I also love working with our amazing ateliers in Italy.  They are the absolute best in the world at their craft.  It’s like working with the Steven Spielberg of bags, hardware, zippers, plating, lining, leather, and so on.  We are incredibly fortunate to have found these amazing families who also create for the world’s most recognizable and enduring brands.

Jupilings: What is the hardest part of your business (Harlen)-

JC: I think the greatest challenge of any business these days is to have your message rise above the noise.  We are all inundated with information, between your Twitter feed and breaking news and work emails, which can be more like instant messaging than a letter since people expect an instant response.  It’s overwhelming.  And our clients are not 9-5, Monday through Friday people.  They are working.  So the challenge is to engage these incredible people in a meaningful way in a world of constant messaging.

Jupilings: Please tell us about the philanthropic aspect of Harlen-

JC: When a client owns a Harlen, we provide the financial support for one student to participate in Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program for one full year.  That contribution provides girls with the tools they need to thrive and succeed: mentoring and life skills education, tuition and fees, books and uniforms, and additional resources, like a bike, if needed, to get to school.  It is a significant contribution with a significant impact.

We partnered with Room to Read because it is the leading non-profit for literacy and girls’ education, because it employs evidence-based interventions and continues to collect data on and evaluate its work, and because it works hand-in-hand with communities.  It doesn’t just drop off books and leave.  Quite the opposite.  It is a privilege to work with this organization.  Accolades and recognition from groups like Charity Navigator reinforce its quality.

We support girls’ education because, as Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof has said, it may not be a silver bullet for fixing the world’s ills, but it’s the closest thing we have to it.  Widely considered to be the world’s best investment, girls’ education and empowerment can end illiteracy, improve health, stabilize societies, curb extremism, boost economies, combat child marriage, foster independence, and advance equality.  Its impact is breathtaking.  It reverberates across societies and throughout generations.  And it alters the trajectory of a life.

And our clients are unbelievably well-educated.  So we move forward the transformative power of education that they’ve experienced—and pay tribute to the countless girls who simply want a chance to learn.

We support other efforts to further education, empowerment, and equality.  For example, we have supported the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the Japanese American Bar Association’s Educational Foundation.  And I am always interested in speaking with people and organizations whose values align with our own to pursue partnerships or support them in unique and creative ways.

https://harlencollection.com/philanthropy/
https://harlencollection.com/philanthropy/

Jupilings: What is the commonality between a social change agent as a law professor and a fashion accessory designer who is a culture-based creative –

JC: My work as a litigator and law professor led directly to Harlen.  And both of my roles—professor and entrepreneur—are about curating choices.  In my reproductive rights course, for example, I discuss women’s rights during pregnancy and how to advocate for clients—and yourself—within a system that does not always follow the best scientific evidence.  It’s about finding solutions within systems.  And that’s very Harlen.  I cultivated relationships with the very finest creators in Italy so women could have the best option for their daily career essentials that strives to be as extraordinary as they are.

Jupilings: Best piece of advice you’ve been given-

JC: Keep going.

Jupilings: As a Lecturer in Law, a litigator and female entrepreneur, can you please share five tips to tap into one’s potential to achieve one’s career or entrepreneurial aspirations-

JC:

  • Details matter.  Pay attention to them.
  • Be prepared.  Unless you’re doing improv, winging it isn’t inspiring.
  • Exceed expectations.  Surprise clients and colleagues with excellence, not just adequacy.
  • Develop good judgment and work with people who have it.
  • Be ethical.  And don’t work with people who aren’t.

Jupilings: What’s one branding lesson you’ve learned in your career and ventures-

JC: Develop and follow a style guide.  Consistency is crucial when sharing your vision and voice.

Jupilings: How do you deal with setbacks-

JC: Stay focused on the big picture, reset your goals, and be grateful.  Then keep moving.  In.  Around.  Over.  Through.  Whatever.  Keep moving.

Jupilings: Who inspires you and why-

JC: Fearless women.  And women who face the fear and do it anyway.

Jupilings: What does it mean to be a woman today-

JC: To have more opportunity than ever in human history and still confront a playing field that is far from level.

Jupilings: What is the issue you want media to talk about most-

JC: As a reader and viewer, I would love information at the end of a story or on a website with non-partisan calls to action, so we feel empowered, not just informed, and have the opportunity to take steps to use the information for good.

Jupilings: What is your life motto- 

JC: Forward.  It’s also my license plate.

 

Inspiration – Where Does It Come From and How To Realize it?

Where does inspiration come from? For centuries people believed that inspiration derived from gods and thought that is a divine matter, a gift from holy spirit.

Creación_de_Adán_(Miguel_Ángel)

Nevertheless, inspiration defined by Oxford dictionary states:

A sudden brilliant or timely idea

The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative

The drawing in of breath; inhalation

Trash Riot (AKA Terry Ringler)  - Off in the Distance
Trash Riot (AKA Terry Ringler) – Off in the Distance

Whatever your angle, to reach that elevated feeling, a prepared mind is required to interact with the information received from the exterior. By this I mean,  you are partly responsible for an inspiration to happen. The knowledge, the efforts and the discipline must be cultivated to recognize an inspirational experience. You will not be stricken by a sudden flash of inspiration only when you are prepared for it. Therefore, preparation is one of the key ingredients.

Lara Zankoul
Lara Zankoul

As Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favours only the prepared mind.”

Naturally, other conditions allow light-bulb moments to happen. A recall of a memory, an experience beyond the normal level, and an open mind attitude. Moments of clarity achieved by getting rid of self-serving concerns and restraints makes us aware of new possibilities. Clearly,  inspiration favors minds that are open and actively engage in new adventures. Besides, inspired individuals live a purposeful life with the sense of gratitude because of that transcendence state.

Trash Riot (AKA Terry Ringler)
Trash Riot (AKA Terry Ringler)

Indeed, there is a difference between being inspired and being motivated by the inspiration to act. How to create that sense of urgency to actualize the inspiration? Certainly by perceiving the essential value of our goal or desires subjectively and removing any apprehension of how attainable it is. That desirability of the expected reward is a powerful motivator that creates excitement and compels us to put the effort for achievement.

Trash Riot (AKA Terry Ringler)
Trash Riot (AKA Terry Ringler)

Another remarkably important trigger to take action on your inspiration is exposure to inspiring individuals, leaders and role models. Observing how they accumulate and share their knowledge to manage their lives, their resources or their careers. How they motivate and empower to manage people at all levels. How they enable creativity in the face of challenging situations.

Finally, keep in mind,

  The heights of human motivation spring from the beauty and goodness that precede us and awaken us to better possibilities. Thrash and Elliot.

 

 

Modern Luxury – Trends in Branding

The new modern luxury roars freedom, flexibility, and eccentricity.  The collaboration of stylish streetwear with luxury brands, genderless approach, quirky brand images and the flair of uniqueness rattles the traditions.  As our planet moves towards positive partnerships and collaborative sentiments to create flourishing communities, the luxury style is powered by acceptance, inclusion, affiliation, and sustainability.

Gucci - The new men’s Tailoring campaign features Dapper Dan, the Harlem couturier renowned for the custom designs he created for celebrities, athletes and hip-hop artists in the 80s and early 90s.
Gucci – The new men’s Tailoring campaign features Dapper Dan, the Harlem couturier renowned for the custom designs he created for celebrities, athletes and hip-hop artists in the 80s and early 90s.

Undeniably the luxury lifestyle is being emblazoned by street art & fashion, sportswear brands, social and political uncertainties, technology and personal sentiments.  The acceptance of this cultural shift, influenced by emerging designers that have been brought up by the influence of Hip Hop and Rap culture and conspicuously merge authenticity with creativity is apparent throughout luxury brands. At the same time, the majority of growth in this particular market is driven by the change in wealth distribution and the shift in consumption of luxury goods by affluent millennials.  As for the luxury industry, it’s attempt to be relevant and represent this mindset demands adventurous creativity and savvy business approach.

F is for... Campaign:  Six super street legends, got together and wrote the word FUTURE in six different languages inside a giant yellow ring. To spread a mega positive vibe across Rome and beyond, breaking all barriers for a fearless future for all the freaks around! Image by Frendi
F is for… Campaign: Six super street legends, got together and wrote the word FUTURE in six different languages inside a giant yellow ring. To spread a mega positive vibe across Rome and beyond, breaking all barriers for a fearless future for all the freaks around! Image by Frendi

The zeitgeist of our times values unexpected collaborations and distance itself from flying solo. This particular trend has been successful to motivate the affluent millennials.  To engage and consume the intangible image created by luxury life and style is about seduction to the extent that the sense of belonging and acceptance in this particular community is not an option but essential. This idea might appear two-dimensional; however, the underpinning notion of blurring the hierarchy lines between different brands in its way is the language of progress and social inclusion. Distancing from the old styles and introducing fresh attitudes bring brand awareness to a diverse audience.

In 2017, Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Supreme is undeniably an endorsement of inclusion. Supreme has all the elements of a valuable affiliation due to it’s young demographic, genderless designs and limited editions.  Consumers from different realms of taste, behaviours and dress codes where brought together by their shared interest in fashion honouring their differences.  Together the two brands created a tribal affiliation and an exclusivity hype resulting in a sold-out experience.

Supreme X Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2017
Supreme X Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2017

Another good example is the collaboration between the luxury fashion house Gucci and Spanish artist Ignasi Monreal. For the past few years, Gucci has appealed and secured an affiliation to millennials thanks to their design evolution and remarkable online presence. Their narrative illustrates mythical and surreal universes and underlines quality and uniqueness of their brand.  The combination is Super Cool!

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Having social-conscious values and adopting responsible environmental practices add the desirability quality to the luxury brands. They need to take a principled stand to gain favour among the millennials, the growing segment of the premium consumer market. Cultural diversity, labor practices, philanthropy or environmentally conscious lifestyles foster respect among the customers.

For instance, delving into luxury hotels, the ultra-exclusive Nekupe Sporting Resort & Retreat, built by the American Nicaragua Fund, is an innovative way that offers high-end luxury experience. The ANF, founded by Alfredo and Theresa Pellas, a wealthy family that believes in creating opportunities, self-sufficiency, and dignity for the poorest sectors of the population through the partnership model. They have reforested their 1,300 acres by planting more than 14,000 trees, hoping to restore natural habitat, increase local employment and their income. The ANF has contributed to well being of villages by building homes, creating access to health care, education and water management solutions. An Eco-Friendly resort that offers luxury experience with a clear conscious.

 

Nekupe Resort
Nekupe Resort

 

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Last but not least, enabling consumers to live a lifestyle true to themselves and being responsible towards community are the pillars of a brand’s authenticity.  Successful representation of the authentic perception of your core values to technology savvy consumers involves meaningful digital narratives as well as offering instant gratification through mobile and e-commerce.