Keep creating. It will lead you to pursue your love of the arts and study art history at New York University, where you’ll spend semesters in Paris and Rome. You'll graduate, step into a white-box gallery and realize it's not for you—but don't worry, it'll still inform what you do. Years later, you'll realize what you love about art is the power of an idea and making it reality. Later still, this will inspire you create your own company from something personal.
But first, you'll spend over two decades working in fashion PR. Mere weeks into your first job, you'll be sent to Milan for your first runway show. Baptism by fire, as they say. You'll spend the majority of your first paychecks on anything lace—lace tops, lace bras—when you really should be saving up for rent. New York City isn't cheap! But you can't help it; you got your love of lace from mom.
You’ll leave PR for a period to teach yourself how to play the electric guitar, write music and play in small music venues all over the city. Even if you won’t make a career of it, you’ll eternally love singing with a few friends at karaoke, on your bike while riding through the Manhattan streets or in your bedroom, alone with your guitar.
When you do return to fashion, you'll climb the corporate ladder, representing designers—established and emerging—all around the world and start your very own PR agency. You'll work hard, and experience first-hand what it takes to develop an exceptional product. You'll learn never to settle.
You'll learn that life has a way of pressing pause, even if you're not ready. You'll develop breast cancer, but you will be a cancer champion.
The first time you go shopping for a bra afterwards, you'll buy a beautiful black lace underwire—and you'll realize, after spending a year wearing nothing but sports bras, you can't really wear the same bras you've worn your whole life. They're pretty, but not comfortable. There's no turning back.
But it will spark an idea.
You'll remember how, even though you have a closet full of designer clothes—and fabulous jackets—you often struggled to find the perfect thing to wear underneath. Something simple that lets the statement piece shine, not a skimpy cami or collared shirt; something that still feels luxurious.
You'll combine this need with the freedom of a shirt with an internal shelf bra. You'll name your business Who Shirt Company.
Keep up your habit of perusing antique stores. Because one day you'll pick up a Greek language book on a whim. When you launch Who, you'll base your logo off the gold-foil owl of Athena on the cover. Keep believing in kismet.
I'll warn you—building your own company won't be easy, but one day someone will call your design "the equivalent of Judi Dench—the world’s hardest-working, most talented being, but doesn’t rub it in your face!"
You’ll enjoy every minute of it, from researching new silhouettes and construction techniques to responding to customer questions and feedback. And the first time you see someone wearing your designs in the streets, you’ll feel as good as you know they do wearing Who.
I’m rooting for you!