How one ends up in their career is always such an interesting story. Gianni Versace was an architect before he found his love for fashion design. Coco Chanel was a cabaret singer.
The recent events of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements put a spotlight on my own journey of becoming a designer.
Early on, I used the halls of my high school as a catwalk formy fashion experiments. I created elaborate outfits for each character and tested the potency of their effect. So, it was no surprise that after design school, I ended up in Los Angeles as an actress on a network Soap Opera. (Passions)For several years, I juggled auditions, acting classes and periodic work with starting and building a fashion line. The following event solidified my choice in choosing fashion over acting.
A somewhat powerful producer invited me to a party to his house where I quickly realized I was the party. There was nobody else present. The proposition on the table, “Sleep with me and I will help you in Hollywood.” In a very matter of fact, nonchalant voice as if this proposal was a casual offering that I’m sure has been made to numerous other actresses. I remember driving away sobbing because morally, I could not justify the means to the end.
This experience confused me, coming from Romania where bribery and sexual favors were openly displayed. I was surprised to have this kind of experience in America. My family had traveled a long way to escape this kind of misuse of power.
I made a resolution to work even harder to succeed in fashion. Most of the buyers I was dealing with were women that owned their own businesses. As I grew my business I felt I was in control of my career and no matter how difficult certain moment seemed, I considered myself incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to start a business in this country. In Romania, starting a business would have never even be an option.
The #METOO conversation taking place at this moment - is truly the backbone of what I believe America is all about: freedom of speech.