Most dads in the south grow up with the hopes and dreams that their son will be the next world series or super bowl star, the friday night lights dream, the small town boy done good, in an arena everyone can relate to. growing up in the south i was, you might say, a little different than the other kids. at my very first baseball game i sat down in the outfield and made a bouquet of the flowers i had picked from the grass. in the 1st grade i came home and said i was thinking about creating plays and musicals. in the 5th grade after i discovered my love of rollerblades, i briefly pursued a career as a figure skater. i decided in 6th grade i was going to be the next gold medal winning gymnast. in 8th grade when i discovered fried food and my gymnast body failed me, i fell in love with taking photographs. after many years of art programs, dyed hair, and a few piercings, i graduated college with a degree in photography and promptly moved to ny to pursue a career in fashion. through each phase, my dad the southern football player in cowboy boots and wranglers, met the moment and seized the opportunity to help me feel seen, never making me feel that my little dreams had squashed his own. front row with a smile at every musical, hanging out on the sidelines clapping at every event, and framing every little achievement above almost every toilet in our house. now at 34, the same dad, in his wranglers and cowboy hat, runs my business. a business where we sell gowns and glamour, a business where we sell dreams. a job i am able to do solely because he allowed me to fully realize my own. i wake up each morning realizing how fortunate i am to have a parent who created a space for me to live authentically, proudly, and without shame. a parent who even in the worst of times, continues to steadily drive the car with the primary focus on making sure i am fulfilled, loved, and safe. loving a child in their most formative years is, to me, the most important, and i realize how blessed i am to have had that. happy fathers day to my dad, and to all the other men who step in to this role every day and help to change someone’s life. it’s not easy and we appreciate you. i ❤️ u, dad!
It takes a village, y’all! that’s a wrap on season 1 of @projectrunwaybravo, season 2 here we come! thank you to every single person who combs my hair, blots my face, holds a fan, aggressively pulls my spanx over my head, and wipes crumbs off my shirt because i can’t stop eating in between takes (evidence in 2nd video.) it was a journey, and one i’m proud to have gone on! seeing yourself on camera for the first time is illuminating to say the least, and i went through a lot of mental ups and downs getting used to my place there so thank you to the network, producers, and @karliekloss@ninagarcia@elainewelteroth@csiriano for being such great friends and holding my hand. congratulations to the winner @iamsebastiangrey, i know you will do great things and we are here for you every step of the way. ❤️
You guys! i had soo much fun on @hodaandjenna today with @jennabhager & @savannahguthrie! 15 years ago on my very first day in new york city i stood outside of the today show with a sign, filled with excitement and a dream, and 15 years later i got to sit in the studio! jenna and savannah could not have been more kind, and it was a real dream to be on! it’s so nice to wake up in the mornings and turn on the tv and see and hear someone that just reminds you of home, and someone that is spreading positivity in times when we really need it, so thank you both for doing that. it was a pleasure! ❤️
The most divine human being, and one of the very first women to ever wear our clothes. tony nominee #ruthwilson wears our caped evening gown in b leopard jacquard from the new pre-collection to tonight’s tony awards in new york city. styled by @erinwalshnyc. congratulations sweet ruth! ❤️
It’s saturday morning, which means it’s the first time since monday i’ve gotten to sit alone and have my coffee and be with my thoughts. i’m not sure if i accurately expressed my feelings in the whirlwind of this week, and if i didn’t, let me say it now. i’m proud to be a working american designer and to be a part of a peer group who rides the ride every day, through the struggles and the fight, with an eye always on the finish line and the end goal of creating something inspiring that helps to make another person feel good. for many years i had the opportunity to work on projects with so many people in that room on monday, nominated and not, and i know truly that it’s not about winning. it’s about picking yourself up when you feel that you’ve lost in the every day moments of life, when you’re up against the wall, and telling a story with your work that inspires and puts that pain to good use. that is the common thread that bonds us all, and i’m proud to be on the journey with each and every one of them. every single person that was in that room is a winner, and there are so many others not invited to the room who are waiting to have the chance. head to @cfda and familiarize yourself with all the designers working in new york city today and support them; beautiful, diverse, american businesses built through hard work and determination, backed by integrity and visioned with a purpose. look around your communities and ask yourself if you can be helpful to another person that has the same dream of creating and crafting but may not have the access or opportunity. open your hearts, your minds, your doors and your wallets to these people, because right now more than ever the world needs beauty, and joy, and all the ingredients are right in front of you. ❤️
It all felt like a dream. i’m so honored and grateful and completely in shock to have been named womenswear designer of the year at last night’s @cfda awards. to say that i am surprised and humbled would be an understatement. there is a moment somewhere of me on camera holding on to the podium for at least 5-10 seconds because i was absolutely sure i was going to pass out right in front of all my heroes, and i apologize to everyone in the room for the very very long pauses in between words while i was catching my breath. no designer does this job alone, and i have so many people to thank, and because i couldn’t at all grasp what was occurring in the moment, i know i forgot so many people and i’m so sorry for that. let me say clearly and simply to all of you who have gone on this ride with me; i don’t deserve you and i thank god for you every day. this is a moment a person can only dream of, and i don’t know what i’ve done to deserve it, but i will spend the rest of my life trying to honor the love and kindness you have shown me. my incredible team, my friends and family, the women who have purchased and worn our clothes and the women who bring them to life on the runway, the retailers, editors, and stylists, i thank you truly from the bottom of my heart. i am so proud to be in this industry, where our primary goal is to create work that helps to make others feel good about themselves and inspired, and just being invited to sit in the room with all of my peers who do that every day was the real win for me. all i really ever wanted in my life was to create something worthy of being remembered and to make my family proud. i know i have a very long way to go before i’ve truly done that, but this a very kind reminder to just keep going no matter how hard it gets, and i’m eternally indebted to all of those that helped to make it happen. ❤️
This is me with the first dress i designed for my first collection, shot for my first profile in @nytimesfashion. i think about this person a lot. i remember seeing this picture for the first time and criticizing how bad i thought i looked, agonizing over how chubby i thought i was, embarrassed at how little and unglamorous my studio was, and consumed with how loud i felt people might laugh when they saw this dress. this profile ran the day of my first fashion show, and as i scoured over every word in print in preparation for my debut moment later that evening, all i could think was; is it even possible for someone like me to succeed in the world i’ve always dreamed of? when i look at this photo now i think, yes maybe i could have worn a different shirt, but i wasn’t chubby, my studio was small but it was filled with love and beautiful memories, and no one laughed (at least not directly to my face!) most importantly, i see a person who hadn’t yet failed in a way that brings you to your knees and illuminates the cold reality that external features and material things actually matter very little if what’s on the inside isn’t sitting right. i see a person that didn’t yet know that acceptance in to a large group of people isn’t nearly as important as the acceptance you give yourself. i see a young, naive person that was worrying about all the wrong things, for all the wrong reasons. the person i looked at in the mirror this morning looks very different than the one in the photo, and in a world and industry where beauty is the standard that could worry me, but it doesn’t. i could obsess now, when i’m in pictures more than ever, about my stomach rolls, grayer (much more brittle!) hair, sun spots and crows feet, but the difference now is that each one of those signs of age is laced with a lesson that made me stronger. i wish i could go back to that person in the photo and explain that it won’t always be beautiful, but that it will be alright. i’m far from perfect but recognizing our growth is essential. i hope you find a picture of yourself tonight and are able to recognize your own. i owe a great deal of thanks to so many of you for holding my hand down the path. ❤️