Once a week, I try to have lunch with a client or a friend, because it’s a great way to break the monotony of the work week. When it’s with a friend that you enjoy spending time with, lunch becomes even more interesting and, actually, quite fun. That was the case last Thursday afternoon, when I had lunch with Michael Fuchs. Those of you who may not know who Mr. Fuchs is, many call him Mr. HBO - and rightfully so. After joining HBO in 1976, he became the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1984. Effectively, he built and ran HBO, making it into the huge success that it is today. As if that wasn’t enough, he then took over as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Warner Music Group in 1996. Although these days Michael is watching media world from the sidelines, he is still highly regarded in the industry. I have no doubt he will dabble in it again - how could he not?
I like Michael because I think he is one of the funniest and smartest people I know – he’s always the life of the party. Our two-hour lunch was one big comedy festival. I wanted to ask Michael his advice on some PR ideas I had come up with, but found it difficult to get around to talking about anything relevant because I was laughing too hard. Fortunately, I did run my ideas by him, but unfortunately, Michael did not think they would yield the results I had in mind. He made some good points, which I will definitely take into account, but I am not sure I agree 100% with his views, and odds are I will end up following my instincts. I mean, after all, do you know how many people told me I would never make it as designer because I did not have proper schooling or experience? And yet, look at me now.
People may not always agree with my views/ideas, but I don’t let these thoughts discourage me. However, I always try to run my thoughts by individuals who I respect, and who have experience in a given field and/or are exceptionally intelligent and well-rounded people. I must have at least a dozen friends like this (strangely, enough all men). I have always said, and will continue to say, I could not do what I do if it was not for these friends. They are there for me when I need a little pep talk to get me through a difficult day, they are there attending my events to lend support, and they are there to simply meet me for lunch and make me laugh. For anyone looking to start a business, let me say this: before you write a business plan, first surround yourself with well-accomplished people, regardless of age, sector, or geography. Remember, success breeds success.
I know the burning question on everyone’s mind is what I wore to my lunch with Michael. Or, maybe nobody cares (including Michael), but to me, what to wear is almost as important (if not more so) as the restaurant, or, sometimes even the company (I am, after all, a fashion designer). Well, for those of you who do care, I wore a black sleeveless dress from my Holiday 2008 Collection (picture below). Yes, I wore a holiday dress to lunch, but please take note: it was a simple black dress that can easily go from the day into an evening look…I think that this is the hallmark of my design sensibility. I added a shot of color, as I laced up ruby red velvet YSL heels with suede ankle strings. Did I look good? Well, when you enter a restaurant and three men do an obvious head turn to check you out, I think it is safe to say that you look fine. Don’t get me wrong, I am not seeking such attention to boost my fragile ego but rather to confirm once again my point: when women wear my dresses, heads do turn.
If you don’t believe me…..try it J