This summer, like every summer, the whole team hopped into two big cars and went off to spend a week together. It’s a kind of Summer Camp–perfect for spending time together far from the stress of New York, so we can talk about the year, talk about what inspires us, what doesn’t inspire us anymore, and our goals for the fall.
Right now, I’m on my computer in the living room and Alison and Emily are hanging out in the kitchen. Erik is laughing as he looks through the “summer camp” photos we just took on the stairs five minutes ago. Elle and Nat are working, Brie is taking a shower and I’m not too sure where the others are, but in a few minutes, it’s going to be time for fish tacos.
[Excuse all the “Montauk” sweaters, by the way, but the day we arrived, we realized it was going to be a lot colder than we thought, so I went over to Montauk to buy sweaters for everyone—I love touristy sweaters, so it was just a way for me to have a good excuse to get one for myself (as if I really needed a reason)]
It’s the end of the day, the sun is setting and it really feels like the end of summer.
It’s crazy how much can happen in one year. The team got bigger, and it also changed. This year, Emily and I worked hard to figure out what we really wanted and what our goals were. In a few years’ time (she’s been working with me for five years already!!!) Emily has become essential to running the studio, just like Brie, Erik and Heloise, each in their own way. Carie, Alison and Nat are our new recruits.
Often when we arrive in a new environment, we want to get started right away – and the people who have been here for a while get busy explaining things to the new ones, and they forget to talk about the deeper values behind the company. So that’s what our Summer Camps are for, and it also gives us the opportunity to think about our upcoming projects.
Last year was incredibly busy for me. My book Love Style Life came out, and it was like a whirlwind until the end of the tour, leaving me feeling happy, but also exhausted and a little empty. The blog turned ten years old and we didn’t even have time to celebrate like we should. The media world has changed, and finding your identity, staying true to your values and delivering a message that’s meaningful to us posed new challenges. So many things changed, and I grew at the same time, and started asking myself questions about life—my life and the lives of the people around me.
The main theme of Love Style Life is that style is nothing unless it permeates everything we do and has an impact on who we are. This year, I realized that success means nothing if it doesn’t help us build a life that fits who we are. It’s so easy to get lost in life, in what we want and what other people want, especially in our super-connected worlds – so now more than ever, it’s important to stay connected to ourselves and to the people around us.
Now that I’m getting ready to start working on my new book, it was important for me to re-center myself. Once that (long and much more difficult than I imagined) work was done, it was important to communicate what I learned to the people who support me day after day—my team.
I think you’ll see the results of our new approach in the coming months. I also think it will be noticeable in my personal posts. I really want to communicate the changes that are happening inside, even if sometimes it doesn’t really match the image people have of me, or the image I think people have of me—which is exactly why I felt a real need to reflect on it. It would be a shame to restrict myself to a certain image all on my own, when no one ever asked me to do that.
My relationship with fashion has changed, my relationship with beauty and health has changed. Quite simply, my relationship with the art of living has changed. And I feel like I’m not the only one going through this phase of wanting to let go of certain things, while feeling deeply inspired by other things.
So that’s the inspiration we want to communicate to you in the coming months. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by this amazing, creative, talented, adorable (Brie just set a margarita down next to me), funny team who can’t wait to share everything that inspires them with you.
Translated by Andrea Perdue