"If I was going to be great I couldn't rely on anyone else to make this happen for me. I had to rely on me." — Elaine Welteroth
Tonight was one of those rare NYC moments. The ones you don't have as often anymore because living in New York, the greatest city there is, you do fall into a routine.
I just finished dinner with a dear friend and stepped into the subway. Still star struck. So star struck! Still deeply inspired. I am drafting this post on my phone right now and I am telling you: I couldn't stop smiling when we stepped outside Warby Parker. I was flooded with joy and I had to tell my girlfriends how happy I was to have them with me. Initially I thought, I am going to this event to just sit in and listen, but after talking to Michelle last night and then, being there in person tonight, pushed by Nichole and Nour "Yes, go do it!", I stepped to the front and shook Elaine Welteroth's hands. I was so nervous, found myself shy.. and the only thing I was able to say was "THANK YOU SO SO MUCH, to you and your team, for your great work. Because of you, I'm reading TeenVogue again and it's the most woke magazine out there. Thank You." In that moment, I teared up and I thought about the 14 year old me who collaged her walls, collected magazines and had her own website when the internet became available. I thought of the 19 year old me who walked by the Conde Nast building for the first time, having shivers, and the same person who had her first pieces printed in American and German newspaper, the 20 year old me who sat in communication science class trying to make logic out of journalism and social media, film studies and propaganda, the 21 year old me who didn't get an internship with Conde Nast Germany but interned at the competition media house instead, and tonight's me who still has that dream from 10 years ago and writes to this day. It feels like a dream, but it is not. Tonight happened, I believe it and I am so grateful to be alive! Here are a few other gems I wrote down at tonight's conversation between Elaine Welteroth and the co-founder of Warby Parker Neil Blumenthal:
What advice would you give your 18 old self? - 'Go for it, step out of the home stage and make a decision. It is better to make a decision, even if it is the wrong one, keep moving forward.'
'The magic of life is having a vision, having faith and then going for it.'
'Being fashionable, and being caring don't have to be two separate things. You make it cool to care.'
If you don't know Elaine and her work, I encourage you to read this NYT Magazine article by Jazmine Hughes: 'Elaine Welteroth, Teen Vogue's Refashionista. The editor in chief has taken on a seemingly impossible task: reinventing the glossy magazine for a hyperempathetic generation.'