The most powerful people in history were not always the most influential, the most influential people in history had discovered the greatest power, the power that was already within them.
Alice Yim’s definition of savvy? Stylish and intelligent. See what else she has to say about her life as a fashion designer in New York.
photo by http://ericmartinphoto.com
The Alice Yim Girl.
"She carries her fashion foundation from season to season with a minimalist, classic, feminine and edgy approach to style. She never requires being the center of attention, but gracefully makes her presence known."
If this sounds familiar to you, then you might call yourself an Alice Yim Girl.
If Alice Yim is not somewhere in the world working on her own collection, she is probably dancing, enjoying a good meal or volunteering as an editor at a local multi-cultural magazine.
When Alice started volunteering at Elite magazine, she found there was a need for an Asian friendly fashion column that would help the Asian communities in New York and abroad to stay current in America’s latest fashion trends. Helping the staff with the fashion columns soon became her way to provide community service.
"Community service is important; it helps you to appreciate the things that you have.”
It’s hard to miss the adventurous spirit of Alice Yim. At the end of the interview, Alice shared one of her favorite spots for dessert in the city. All fashion topics had been left at the door replaced by her growing excitement for ChikaLicious, a dessert bar otherwise known as “Kisses Cupcakes.” She is not only a fan of the dessert, but of the hard work she has seen the owners pour into their intimate settings and products over the years. The respects seems mutual as the owner spots her and helps her to grab the last seats at the bar. The small yet intimate environment boasts a three course menu of homemade delicatessens. It was an attest to Alice’s style; classy and intimate with a high level of taste. Her desire to engage in the world around her, to be involved on every level would explain why her fashion continues to grow along side of her own curiosity. Alice Yim New York collections have recently landed in Asia where it is being sold throughXINLELU.COM, a multi-channel retailer of Indie based labels in Shanghai.
How long have you lived in NYC?
I was born in Shanghai, grew up in Hong Kong and moved to America to study at the age of 17. Upon graduating from the Academy of Arts University in San Francisco, I relocated to New York in 2012 to pursue a career in fashion, and then began freelancing for Michael Kors. I have been living here ever since.
Did you always dream of becoming a designer?
I couldn’t stop drawing when I was little—my wall was my canvas. Once, when I was around 5 years old, I saw a runway show and told my mother I wanted to be a fashion designer when I grew up.
What is the main theme behind your clothing line?
Alice Yim New York’s style is simple, well made, elegant, versatile and easily transitioned from day to night.
What have been your biggest obstacles so far?
The fashion industry is very challenging, specifically the fast disposable fashions and the economy over the last few years in the USA.
What has helped you the most so far in your success?
My parents, who provided me with my education, my business partner and my employees.
Did you finish school/college?
I went to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and graduated with a BA in Fashion Design, specializing in Knitwear.
Did you feel it was useful?
My training at the Academy of Art definitely helped me build a strong foundation and gain an understanding of design, including the technical aspect. On top of that, my instructors were all European designers who had worked in the industry for a long time. This gave me an in-depth and diverse perspective on the industry.
What have been some of your most motivating moments as a designer?
Seeing people wearing and truly appreciating my designs, and my first runway show.
What has been one of your most helpful learning experiences?
All my previous jobs have helped prepare me for the fashion industry in their own ways. At Michael Kors, working under the knitwear head designer was a great experience, and working as the senior technical designer at my last job really expanded and grounded my knowledge of knits.
What is your target audience as a designer?
Our customer is a put together, confident woman in her late 20s to 30s, who enjoys putting thought into her wardrobe and appearance. Quality is very important to her. She follows fashion, even though she innately understands it. “Less is more” is her style mantra - always keeping her hair perfectly in place while still maintaining a natural look, never wearing makeup that is too overdone, and never over accessorizing.
If you had one other job if you were not a designer what would it be and why?
Or is that not an option?
I would be an antique dealer because I love art, and it would allow me to travel a lot.
Any favorites books lately?
Revolving the Law Wheel
Do you read on a daily basis?
Yes, every night.
According to Business Insider, there is a common pattern that successful people are always early to rise. Is this true for you? What time are you usually out of bed?
I am a night owl and tend to work late so I don’t wake up until 8:30 - 9am.
What gets your creativity flowing?
Art, traveling, flea markets & vintage stores
Where is your line being sold currently?
USA, Europe, China and online
Do you have any favorite quotes?
Work hard, play hard.
I heard you had a back problem but healed it using meditation. Do you have any suggestions or thoughts on your healing process?
Mine was genetic, I was born with one additional vertebrae, it happens to one out of few hundred people. I had to go to physical therapy when I was a teen to try to correct my posture and after I started meditating. It just went away completely.
Do you meditate often?
I meditate a few times a week.
What is one thing you could not live with out on a daily basis?
Earl grey tea latte with honey.
For more information or to contact Alice directly, you can visit her site at
More information on Chikalicious can be found at www.ChikaLicious.com
Up next: Creative director/ owner of Alice Yim New York, shares her personal world as a fashion designer in New York City. Check out her site http://www.aliceyim.com as we prepare to dish out the latest news on her and her fashion.
Embracing the Artist Many people may feel a deeper calling in this life, but not everyone will dare to just go after it.
That’s how we roll, and joining the fun is thecapitalista Need some tips for your LinkedIn page or just looking for a good law school? http://lawstreetmedia.com has more than a few good suggestions.
No better reminder is there to celebrate your life than with Pride Week. What really makes this week of pride so great is how much fun everyone is having. Welcome to authenticity with the volume turned all the way up.
There is no shortage of life and a humor so charming that it could be anecdotal to those that may have lost their own courage, a reminder to keep going even when the going gets tough.
From the people you see in these photos to the thousands more that gathered for New York’s 2014 pride parade, we would all have to agree that there is something magical and powerful about this event.The streets are teaming with life, happiness is flowing on tap and a fresh sense of freedom is buzzing through air. People come in all over the world to see this celebration of life, and to take part in what today has become known as World Pride.
With celebrations from San Francisco to Toronto, Barcelona, Sidney, Holland and Vienna just to name a few, it has become internationally as well as nationally celebrated like by New York’s Governor Cuomo that worked hard to bring life to this historical event.
Honor was especially high when New York City police and firefighters joined in on the parade by driving their trucks and marching in uniforms.
"It’s about being able to be together as you are, and as you want to be."
Some just march in it no matter the cause, support is what they do.
For some like Doug Kampsen, this has become the ultimate theme party where after ten years he and friends still gather together to watch the action dressed up from his stoop.
This year he said everyone was required to wear a tutu in honor of a color of the rainbow.
For other new comers like Kim Winkler and her girlfriend they were almost speechless by the amount of openness all around them in the city. They had driven in from Dutchess County just to see it all first hand, and their favorited part? Watching it all go by undisturbed, enjoying the excitement side by side, hand in hand.
The week celebration is always closed with the traditional 5 hour colorful march across Manhattan.
Scott Frost shared that; “It is always such a rewarding experience to share this day with the group.” ”We were marching as part of the Gender and Family project, part of the Ackerman Institute.” Hashtags like #acceptancematters and #candleyouth ; you are not alone were just a few of the cool phrases from this years Parade.
Thanks to community of New York, it is because of you every year, every day more doors are opened to those who have not yet had that soft place to land. Hundreds of thousands from around the world gather to celebrate for over a week what is a basic necessity for all who live on this planet; love.
We are not here to to exist solely under our titles but to reconnect to humanity. This march is important for everybody, because ultimately this is also a march for love.
Check out http://www.nycpride.org
Jackie Cooper’s bright smile is as hard to ignore as his talent. He just moved to NYC, and has already landed a job with Chanel.
“I like to bring light.” -Jack Cooper Jr.
”The best part of what I do is the moment a woman looks in the mirror and tears begin to form because she has never felt so beautiful.”
Has New York always been a dream city for you to move to?
When I was young and singing in the Cincinnati boy choir, I wanted to sing in the harlem boys choir, and who knew Harlem would be the first place I would have moved to.
Living in Cincinnati with the way I dressed and moved around, not many people thought I was from Cincinnati.
What is your biggest motivator?
The thought of being too comfortable, is my biggest motivator. If I do not have butterflies in my stomach them I’m too comfortable with where im at in life. Being comfortably uncomfortable keeps you moving onward and upward.
What are you inspired by?
I am inspired by everyone I am around, if not, then it is imperative that I am not around them. If we can not grow from each other, what is the point of being around one another.
What would you like to see start happening on the frontier of makeup?
What I would like to see on the frontier of makeup is for us artist to challenge ourselves. If you are known for classic looks, dive into Avante Grade or vise versa. Challenging ourselves will help us grow and respect each other’s side of the fence even more.
Who would be your top celebrity pick to work with?
I would have to work with Beyonce!
She is innovative, takes risk and has worked with so many of the same people for years , which speaks to her loyalty.
Are you superstitious?
Im not really that person, people that are,crack me up. No matter how many cracks are in the sidewalk, or whatever superstitious you believe, I feel that what will be will be.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I see myself working solely for myself, traveling the world and making men and women feel extra fancy.
Do you have a mentor?
Yes I have a mentor. she is what I call my make-up mentor. I have known her for years and she always give the best real deal Holy Field advice. Never sugar coats . I am so grateful for her and her candid advice. She always lets me know that I am doing well, but there is more work to do. Also, my youngest brother is my NYC mentor, he has been in the city for years and knows the ins and outs (Also another person that does not sugar coat) I keep people like that around me so that I do not become watered down or stop dealing with reality.
If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
If I could go anywhere in the world, I would go to Bora Bora. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth in my opinion. I would swim with the fish, let the sand tickle my toes and have not a care in the world. I would send for friends and family as I missed them. I am such a loner that’s one thing people would be surprised to know about me.
What is the hardest part of your industry to deal with?
The hardest thing is always having to be ON and “look pretty”, you do not always feel that way! (Some days I want to be “unpretty.”) We go through things like everyone else but we can never really show it. It is an extremely vain industry. With vanity comes extreme insecurity so it can become very catty with the men as well as women. This is why it is extremely imperative that I keep real people around me. I am pretty good at sniffing a fake, and that, I can not be bothered with that! People will try to take advantage of you, no matter what you do for a living , so you must be more than a pretty face.
The best part of your industry?
The best part of what I do is the moment a woman looks in the mirror and tears begin to form because she has never felt so beautiful. As I type this I feel my emotions change as I reminisce on some of those moments. I have yet to feel a better feeling knowing that I can help someone feel as good about themselves as I feel about me. Once I realized, that what I do is bigger than me, it allowed me to move through the tired, busy or just not feeling it days much easier. When people reach out and say they’ve slept in there makeup because they felt so beautiful is another moment where time stops and I realize that this person will be a better spouse , mother , etc because she’s feeling good about herself. It is one way I can contribute to the world becoming a better place.
Are you a saver or a spender?
I am such a spender it is ridiculous. But there are some things that I am very frugal about. You will not see me spending thousands on clothing or things of that nature. I love electronics and sweet treats, so that is what I spend on . As I get older I think about retirement so I know that having things in place now will pay off later in life … hahaha, to be continued…
What daily make-up tip would you give our readers?
Keep it simple. You do not want to look like a whole new person when you take your makeup off.
What is the best way for people to reach you, or see some of your work?
I have a portfolio for now at http://www.jackiecooperjr.portfoliobox.me
Savvy would not be complete with out the voice of Patricia Angus, a savvy entrepreneur that grabbed the bull by the horns so to speak when it came to running her own show on Wall Street. Patricia’s response to the following question, pretty much nailed all of the interviews I have done so far when it came to entrepreneurship.
Were you ever faced with doubts about starting your own business?
"I was never afraid it would not succeed. I took the necessary steps to ensure that it would not put me out before I jumped in 100%."
Mental hurdles can be the hardest part for an entrepreneur, but for Patricia, it was all about the right preparation.
What was the scariest part of starting your own buisiness?
"I took baby steps, it was a transitional process so I knew I would be covered. The scariest thing for me was financial. I think for a woman, security matters and I made sure I was financially covered before I made any moves."
When did you know you wanted to start your own business?
"Growing up I was always trying to make it on my own." She remembered selling lemonade to make extra money, or raking up the leaves for her neighbors in the fall. Being independent was something that just seemed natural for her. I could tell from our interview that her determination was not something that stemmed from a need to control, but more of a curious nature. Some people just seem to have a natural current that life takes them on, and for Patricia, it meant becoming her own boss.
Patricia, ahead of the curve, and like a true entrepreneur; launched her own company In 2003: The Angus Advisory Group.
Are you glad to be working for yourself?
"Its a full time job, it is very tiring but at the end of the day, I still have more energy working for myself that for someone else because I am doing what I love."
She broke the mold in the industry as she became a leader in wealth management and despite the failing economy, her practice in law helped her client base increase, but then soon after, so did her competition. “People came out of the wood works, copying this new form of advisory, calling themselves advisors with little or no accreditation. Those are the ones that would never last in the end, they eventually burn out from lack of experience or any real knowledge.”
Patricia branched out of law to become a ”facilitator” in teaching wealthy families how to handle their own investments. Patricia’s years as a lawyer served to help families find and wisely choose their own investments according to their own values. “Our work touches on some of the most complicated personal and family issues that our clients face, as well as technical areas such as law and finance. We are willing to help clients with this hard work.” Since 2008, Angus Advisory has been consulting with families around the world that doing charitable or philanthropic work all around the world.
What has been one of the hardest lessons you have had to learn while starting your own business?
"The hardest thing was making sure to separate my own identity from the identity of my business. I made sure that if I had to separate myself from it, that I did not feel as if I was losing myself."
Did you feel accepted as a woman on wall street, was there a feeling of competition with the men because you were a woman?
"Surprisingly, I have had more competition from women that from men in the work world. Women come into the market these days with the attitude of having to fight to keep their place, and in the end they do not have the energy to keep going. "
I mentioned a story to Patricia about one woman’s boss that purposefully undercut her just to make herself look better. Patricia agreed that this woman obviously must feel insecure about her capability to complete her job, otherwise, she would have not feel the need to “undercut” her own.
Patricia Angus has been listed as the top 50 in wealth management by Wealth Manager and one of the top 100 who’s who in American law.
For more details on Patricia, please check out her site on the link below.
Did I always want to have my own business?
I am working for a very good friend of mine and it has been such an amazing experience being a part of something from its conception to reality. The position I am in allows me a lot of freedom in my scheduling and also welcomes my thoughts, ideas and creativity. So a lot of the time it feels like I am running my own business. I always knew I wanted to be a mom and wife and still somehow be viable in the working world. I had to find a position that allowed me to wear all of those hats and this job does so.
What is the biggest hurdle?
Retail has a lot of hurdles. There is no guarantee that sales will happen and you put a lot of work, training and faith in your staff to keep the business running successfully. It just takes a lot of time, effort and patience to build up your customer base and everyone has to be focused on that service all of the time.
What is your biggest fear about starting a buisiness?
My biggest fear and concern is that this job takes my time and energy away from my family and children. That is a very hard thing to digest each and every day and you want to make sure you are being the best at everything and that your children, family and job are not suffering.
Was competition a deterrent?
Not at all. In fact, that is what can drive you to be better all of the time. How can we make our product the best of the options and make the customers choose us over them. Also, you can learn so much from your competition!!!
What keeps me going at the end of the day?
I love my job and the company for which I work. I believe in it and I feel lucky to be a part of it. I have always been a very hard worker and I always like to go above and beyond expectations. I always want to know how I can improve and impress so that drive and passion keeps me interested in the job. I want it to be a success and I want to be a part of that success.
What would you say is the true power of the company?
The owner is the main energy of this business. She has incredible work ethic and believes in what she is doing. She has high expectations of me and her staff and sets an example for us to follow. She works 6-7 days a week and is always trying to look at the bigger picture to see how she can improve and grow her business. She is smart and motivated and surrounds herself by smart and successful people. She hires strong team leaders and that passes down to her sales staff and that is where the difference is made. You have to keep your staff happy at all levels or the company will not work.
The best days are spent often with no plan, and pure serendipitous luck.
A long line was forming at the Guggenheim from it’s free entrance on Saturdays and it’s recent exhibition of photography by Carrie Mae Weems. It’s told by her through her pictures, about the life of the middle class people pushed to the edge of society because of their color.
Carrie’s statement about art;
‘Art is there to help make the world more beautiful, it is meant to help create change, to be an influence for the better.’
All of my friends can tell you, I argued with myself for years about the point of going to art school, how was it useful as opposed to an indulgence? How could art really change the world? Yet I always felt the most at home in my make shift studio filled with piles of sketchbooks. Surrounded by half painted canvases,I realized it was time for art school. Flash forward, three semesters into Parsons, time never slips away unnoticed. Now I am on the hunt for that creative savviness like captured by Steve Jobs or George Lois.
In his book DAMN GOOD ADVICE (for people with talent)
George Lois says;
"Don’t be a cry-baby! You must decide your own fate and what you produce."
Sometimes creativity can be overwhelming with this almost desperate urgency to make things happen overnight. The last two semesters have been a whirlwind of classes filled with deadlines and grids. More often It would also lead to juicy ideas, that at the end would fizzle out like a sad little firecracker.
I am writing this because I wondered, have my poor time management skills and lack of execution left me feeling like the ugly step sister the world of art and design? Was I really cut out for this? This is where George Lois’s book filled in the gaps, I remembered. I remember why I loved my first History of Design class because of the provocative advertisements that became a cornerstone in our society. They were filled with genius statements of truth, in order to become a “creative provocateur” as George puts it.
“What’s with the ‘Yo’ soldier?!” “Answering roll call, sir.” “Why the ‘Yo’ soldier?’ “Well, the Southern boys all say ‘Right chere’- but I’m from New York, so I say Yo!” The major leaned in, and between gritted said, “Oh, another Noo Yawk, Jew Fag, Niggah Lover!” I braced myself, and my exact reply to him was, “Go fuck yourself, sir!”I was given 14 weeks company punishment, and shipped off to Korea. (Thank you, Abraham Lincoln.!)”
“AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY, I HAVE
ATTEMPTED TO SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER”
“At every opportunity, I have attempted to fight the “authorities,” unjust courts, police harassment, the consistent loss of our civil liberties, a government that benefits the wealthy at the expense of the poor and powerless, and America’s unending wars- by creating graphic imagery and organizing battles against ethnic, religious and racial injustice, always standing against a conservative,indoctrinated and racist society, and playing a conscious role… as a “CULTURAL PROVOCATEUR”.
“What do you think the trends in advertising will be in the coming year:
“Beats the shit out of me. I’ll know when I do it.”
All I can think is, dear George, why haven’t we met sooner?
"Stop tweeting your life away and do something productive: Learn to draw!”
Ah yes, the gratitude for having lost my phone has been seeping in all day, but this, this really hit the nail on the head. And this is exactly why, my spare time, will now be spent in museums or in a class, or with my nose in a book. It was by accident that I stumbled upon the free entrance line at the Guggenheim tonight, and it was my biggest savior, a night well spent, so motivating, that I actually want to start my homework early.