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
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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.

 

How to Create Your Ideal Lifestyle

Believe in your heart that you’re meant to live a life full of passion, purpose, magic and miracles.”

Living your ideal lifestyle involves how you feed your personality traits and tendencies. Are you nurturing your positive disposition in life or shifting towards negativity? What are your world-views or how do you perceive your self-image? Prior to answering these questions, we must understand that there is a clear distinction between our responses to certain situation which will dictate our moods or emotions and our dispositional affect. Which translates into personality traits. Bear in mind that the intensity of our emotions is directly related to our mentality.

Ulysse Nardine
Ulysse Nardine

Individuals who have tendencies towards positive attitudes are innovative and creative. They will make better decisions in dealing with important situations or negotiate in a cooperative state of mind. Having an optimistic view is not to be mindless of dangers or uncertainties but to plan efficiently and be willing to be flexible in one’s activities.

Bathke Bespoke
Bathke Bespoke

There is no influence like the influence of habit

The energy you inject into your mental focus steer your direction in life. To increase the likelihood of achieving your goals, you need to squash the unproductive thoughts and habits. By practicing awareness you can catch the negativity monster and toss it out of your mind. Figuratively speaking create an image of the unwanted thought as the most despicable entity and breathe it out of your system. Or as once a spiritual Master in a Buddhist Temple advised, close your eyes, imagine a divine or a peaceful source that generates red light unto you. Inhale the light through your nose deep into your being and exhale the black smoke out of your mouth. Repeat nine times and then change the colour of the red light to an angelic hue while you continue your breathing exercise.

NEW CONTINENTAL GT - Bentley Motors
NEW CONTINENTAL GT – Bentley Motors

Replacing habits that impede your progress towards your desired lifestyle can be replaced by vibrant and useful traits. Reminding yourself about the purpose of your endeavour, breaking down the general statement of change in patterns of behaviour to specific and practical actions or conducts, strengthens your efforts to reach your goals.

Italian artist Millo Mural Painting
Italian artist Millo Mural Painting

The Universe is change, our life is what our thoughts make it. Marcus Aurelius

Ultimate Boardroom in the Sky - Boeing (AV Planners)
Ultimate Boardroom in the Sky – Boeing (AV Planners)

An architect has a vision and a goal. He investigates, sketches, designs, includes details, develops, considers support team and tools, administers and observes the process to completion. Just like an architect, our abstract or concrete hopes and lifestyle are attainable if we consciously attract what we want and positively take part in polishing our behaviours to shine.

Ultimately,  progress and self-development is never-ending and that is why life is worth living in Style!

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Interest, Empathy & Resilience- Winning Skills for an Effective Communication

Good communication is not to impress but to discover possibilities, to gain advocates, to improve life for others, to resolve issues, to be heard and most importantly to be understood. Whether the communication is through mass media, face-to-face verbal or non-verbal, the challenge is how to breathe friendly, skilled, knowledge-based and mindful basics into your dialogue.
There are many factors that influence the outcome of our communication still our attitude will determine the course of the interaction. The dynamic approach to cultivate sentiments of compassion, curiosity and remain flexible will support our content and intention. With this view in mind, the pitfalls of communicating across cultures, businesses or interpersonal relations can be avoided by tweaking our style of communication based on the following tips:

Be interested

From your non-verbal cues such as eye contact, posture, or position of your arms to keep track of the conversation, the critical element is to be attentive. By asking relevant questions, replacing unnecessary conversation fillers like “um”, “er”,… with pause to think and respond are the effective way to engage your listeners and show your interest. Make sure to avoid personal judgements and allow people to finish their sentences.

Dale Carnegie meeting Spencer Trace - Getty Image
Dale Carnegie meeting Spencer Trace – Getty Image

Have Empathy

Empathy is not about agreement, is the ability to pass through emotions, threats and  complexities with confidence and awareness. Nurturing our mirror neurons by observing and being mindful of people’s emotional experiences, builds trust and effectively improves your dialogue.

Barack Obama’s speech in 2013 to the People of Northern Ireland, embodies hope and empathy to sustain union:

“Ultimately, peace is just not about politics. It’s about attitudes; about a sense of empathy; about breaking down the divisions that we create for ourselves in our own minds and our own hearts that don’t exist in any objective reality, but that we carry with us generation after generation. And I know, because America, we, too, have had to work hard over the decades, slowly, gradually, sometimes painfully, in fits and starts, to keep perfecting our union.”

The first step is to listen empathetically. This means listening with the intention to understand. By doing so, the receiver establishes a positive climate for the speaker to open up. Repeat what has been said with the same words and summarize in you own way to make the speaker aware that you have understood what is the issue or the story. It is a great moment when we stop judging, probing or interpreting someone else’s experiences and motives.

Barack Obama Visit to Ireland - White House Image
Barack Obama Visit to Ireland – White House Image

Be Resilient

A resilient communication process is an approach to evaluate a situation or crisis by breathing normality to the interaction, validating the negative feelings and focusing on positive course of action. Clearly, spearheading constant optimism is ineffective without use of alternative logic. Broadly speaking, resilience in crisis management is when optimism and a narrative to make sense of the situation serve as the roadmap to develop and maintain a good communication. Importantly, resilience develops when the focus is on the communication process rather than examining individuals or entities to refrain from the unnecessary and unwarranted assumptions.

Winston Churchill’s war speeches are great examples of acknowledging the reality and drawing a vivid picture with hope. Here is an excerpt of his speech “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” May 1940 at the House of Commons.

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs—Victory in spite of all terror—Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival. 

Resilience depends on confidence and optimism. People do not all react the same way or every situation is dire, still a resilient communication helps to keep things in perspective. The capacity to be realistic, maintaining a positive outlook and developing a narrative to cope with the unwanted situation is called resilience. We should all remember that resilience is an obligation not only to self but to community at large.

Winston Churchill - Image from Winston Churchill Org.
Winston Churchill – Image from Winston Churchill Org.

 

Featured Image by:  GERRY ELLIS, MINDEN PICTURES – National Geography

 

2018: Winners at Festival d’Hyères – Fashion & Photography

The Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography is the oldest fashion contest, that encourages creative and unique perspective on the world and fashion. The global challenges, critical issues and the shift in conscious and sustainability are prevalent and desired in its context.  Launched in 1985, at Robert Mallet-Stevens’s aristo-modernist Villa Noailles, in Riviera coastline, is the “must attend” event on the fashion calendar.

The social projects with the flair of originality and innovation are realized in photography, accessories and fashion collections to challenge the uncertainties in our societies, to communicate the cultural pressures, to inspire and to help the collective to overcome their disabilities and inspire.

This year’s, winner of the Swarovski Grand Prize for Accessories in Festival d’Hyères, H (earring),  received an unanimous vote  from Christelle Kocher who presided the fashion accessories jury panel alongside Michèle Lamy, Mansur Gavriel’s Floriana Gavriel, Vogue Runway Director Nicole Phelps, and jeweler Elie Top, among others.

In an industry that attempts to make hearing aids as invisible as possible, the collaboration between the French trio,  Kate Fichard, Flora Fixy and Julia Dessirier resulted in transforming the hearing aid device to a remarkable accessory. They merged creativity, elegance and practicality to produce a confident fashion statement.

Crafted in gold and rhodium-plated brass sprinkled with Swarovski crystals, they offer elegant ways to wear by fusing jewellery and technology, without compromising the function of the device.

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Here are the winners in other categories:

Fashion

Grand Prix of the Première Vision Jury with Rushemy Botter & Lisi Herrebrugh (Men’s Collection) Netherlands. The menswear collection spiced up with humour, pays tribute to the Caribbean fisherman, touches on cultural issues of gender fluidity, as well as causes and effects of environmental pollution.

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Chloé Award to Marie-Eve Lecavalier (Women’s Collection) Canada. The Montreal born designer reflects ambition, endurance and purposefulness by deconstructing and distortion in her design ideas. In her collection, the altered reality is achieved by transforming leather appearance into a knitted structure.

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Audience Award of the City of Hyères to Sarah Bruylant (Women’s collection) Belgium. A fan of Christian Dior, her vibrant and flamboyant collection pays respect to art and history.

Sara Bruylant - Image from https://lxry.nl/amfi/
Sara Bruylant – Image from https://lxry.nl/amfi/

Audience Award of the City of Hyères to Cécile Gray , France. The accessories are made of steel wire, tinted in gold, and covered with a nylon sheath. Once woven, this gives a soft material, to be comfortable and to move with the person who wears them, and rigid, to work it in volume.

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Photography

Grand Jury Photography Award to Eva O’Leary, “Spitting Image” USA.

 

American Vintage Photography Award to Sarah Mei Herman, for a project called Xiamen, which she shot in the Chinese coastal city.

The Still Life Prize to Csilla Klenyanszki, for a series called Pillars of Homes which was shot at home.

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Interview with Beatriz Ramos, Artist and Founder of DADA.nyc

Art, as a positive influence, plays a significant role in cultural tolerance, civic engagement or political movements. It boosts the local economy of communities, connects the newcomers, develops the critical thinking and problem solving or impels corporations to support the collective through investment.

A visual conversation by artists on dada.nyc
A visual conversation by artists on dada.nyc

Since Web 1.0, fostering stronger economy, cultural inclusions and reinforcing the understanding among diverse ethnicities and identities have been transformed beyond physical or geographical borders. Fast forward to this day, removal of the global boundaries through blockchain technology has morphed into trusting the strangers by generating and validating smart contracts. A technology that is rooted in transparency and unconstrained collaboration.

Monster Afternoon - A visual conversation by artists on dada.nyc
Monster Afternoon – A visual conversation by artists on dada.nyc

By embracing the vast potential of the blockchain technology, DADA.nyc encourages artistic aspirations, enables the artists to sell their digital artworks and be compensated in real time. The underpinning inclination of this social network is not only to create a collaborative platform for anyone to express their ideas through art but also to generate financial value for the artist. DADA.nyc’s marketplace is about honouring the creativity and establishing the element of scarcity to appreciate the artistic works.

CreepWeirdos.png
Dada.nyc Marketplace
Art by Beatriz Ramos on DADA
Art by Beatriz Ramos on DADA

DADA.nyc offers simple tools to push your imagination, ignite your inner passion, initiate partnerships with the artists or the audience and create MAGIC. The application reveals the provenance of the art and it’s cooperative ecosystem bypasses “gatekeepers” & champions fair financial reward for the artist.

Art by Beatriz Ramos DADA
Art by Beatriz Ramos DADA

Here is my exclusive interview with Beatriz Ramos, an artist, entrepreneur, film director, producer, illustrator & founder of DADA.nyc. I would like to thank Judy Mam, Cofounder and CMO of DADA.nyc and Beatriz Ramos for their time and friendly cooperation for this interview.

Jupilings: Tell us about yourself and how you got into art:

Beatriz Ramos: I was an introverted child and spent a good part of my childhood drawing by myself. I didn’t get into art; I was an artist, and I was lucky that my parents encouraged me to be just that.

Jupilings: What is the outside force that compels you to create leading to a novel idea?

Beatriz Ramos: It’s actually an inside force, a combination of two things: First, I get bored with trends, anything done too many times becomes derivative and uninteresting.  I’m not great with conformity either. I look for what’s unique and personal. Second, in that quest for my own personal voice, I always approach everything I do from the inside out. I try to understand and articulate my motivations, my needs, my values, my concerns, my skills, what makes me tick. What are the life experiences that inform my point of view about the world.  I take the same approach whether is for a project, a team or an organization. Those insights are the base for all the creative decisions I make.

Jupilings: Do you have creative pattern, routines or rituals?

Beatriz Ramos: I enjoy the process regardless of the outcome. I trust that if I had fun and loved the experience, it’ll translate into results.I get bored if I repeat myself so I push myself out of my confort zone. I put myself in a place where I have no control. Figuring out how to get out of it is exciting and the new things I discover are rewarding. Melancholy is the mood where I feel more creative, so I listen to very sad music and drink coffee by the window. I love rainy and snowy days. I collect objects that I find beautiful or interesting: rocks, rusty nails, vintage toys, bones, wood printing press letters, instruments, old keys, etc. They inspire me and I use them in my work. I embrace limitations, mistakes, imperfection and happy accidents. Ultimately, being creative is part of who we are. I exercise creativity constantly in everything I do.

Art By Beatriz Ramos on DADA
Art By Beatriz Ramos on DADA

Jupilings: What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?

Beatriz Ramos: I can’t think of anything that stuck with me.

Jupilings: What is DADA about?

Beatriz Ramos: Dada.nyc is a platform where people speak to each other through drawings and create collaborative art. Anyone can join. For us, anyone can be an artist; there is no good or bad art, it’s all about self-expression and collaboration.

 

Pase Magico : A visual conversation by artists on dada.nyc
Pase Magico : A visual conversation by artists on dada.nyc

Jupilings: How can an artist make money on DADA?

Beatriz Ramos: We are using blockchain technology to create an economy within our community. Right now we are selling limited edition “Rare Digital Art” created on Dada with IP protection and proof of ownership. Soon we will issue our own currency and creators will be able to earn Dada tokens for drawing, curating and contributing value to the community.

Jupilings: The blockchain technology provides incentive for the artist to be in charge and gain from their artwork. What about the investors or patrons of the art, what is the incentive for them?

Beatriz Ramos: Value is subjective. We are looking for new ways for people to receive value from our community beyond the price they pay for an artwork. For some collectors it may be being part of the creative process, or connect in meaningful ways with artists they like, for other people it may be that they are supporting a community with values they share, or simply that when their drawing made them smile when they were having a bad day. We are creating a system of incentives that has more to do with receiving a valuable experience than just capital.

Jupilings: How have you decided the commercial value of the artwork in the secondary market when it is resold by the first owner?

Beatriz Ramos: We don’t. The seller and buyer decide that. In fact, we don’t think the value of the artwork is equal to the price someone pays for it. There may be an incredible piece of art that nobody wants to buy or that can’t be bought. What we did using blockchain is to make sure that every time a particular artwork is sold, a percentage of that profit automatically goes to the artist. Our smart contract can track and verify every transaction and send the money to the artist in real time, without intermediaries.

Jupilings: What role does an artist have in society?

Beatriz Ramos: Creativity is part of human nature, but societies have evolved in a way where only a few can experience the joy and marvel of creation, like artists do. As a result, artists are the ones that don’t conform, we think outside of the box, we create beauty, we inspire people, we speak truth to power, we challenge the status quo. At Dada, we believe it is important for anyone to exercise creative self expression so our society becomes more diverse, inclusive and just.

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

Beatriz Ramos: I think the concept of a brand name is toxic. My tip is to avoid falling on that trap at all costs. I believe artists should spend their time experimenting, honing their skills, playing, creating and figuring out the most difficult thing to achieve as an artist: finding your own voice.

Jupilings: Who are your biggest influences?

Beatriz Ramos: So many influences and very diverse. A few I can still find in the DNA of my work are Van Gogh, the Brothers Quay, Abbas Kiarostami.

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you?

Beatriz Ramos: A reminder that on this day and age, we still have to reclaim the fundamental intrinsic right women have to be free and independent.

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

Beatriz Ramos: I rarely feel fear or self-doubt. Perhaps is about the joy of living and experiencing new things, trusting that the more we do, the more we grow. Embracing failure is part of the process.

 

Jupilings: What is your life motto?

Beatriz Ramos: To experience life to its fullest.

 

Featured image is Abbas Kiarostami by Beatriz Ramos.
Beatriz Ramos is an artist, entrepreneur, film director, producer and illustrator. She is the founder of Dancing Diablo Studio in New York and the inventor of Dada.nyc, a visual conversation platform where people speak to each other through drawings. Images courtesy of DADA.nyc.