Tuesday, May 14, 2013
This past week was full of celebrations. I spent the weekend with family and friends; it was my 66th birthday and my granddaughter Zoe’s 1st birthday… both very monumental events! Kenneth and Anika threw a great party for Zoe at our home in Pound Ridge; she has made so many friends over the past year! We kept my birthday celebration a bit more intimate, celebrating at Nobu over dinner with close family.
Ken, Anika, Cruz and Zoe
Ken & Me at Nobu
I also had an amazing evening celebrating David Monn’s birthday on Monday night. He has been such a wonderful friend to me over the years and I was so happy to celebrate with him. Below is a picture of me at the party with our friend Maria Bartiromo from CNBC.
Maria Bartiromo & Me
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Last week I attended the annual WIN Foundation fund-raiser, a charity very near and dear to my heart. This year’s gala was one of the most successful yet, raising well over $2 million with more than 1,000 fashion executives in attendance. I have sat on the board of The WIN Foundation for a number of years and the compassion of my peers moves me more every year. I have always stood for female empowerment, and providing women with the opportunity to start over and better themselves is one of the most rewarding aspects of my life today. Congratulations to all involved, here’s to many more.
Friday, April 19, 2013
I was thrilled to have attended the Fashion Group International Fall/Winter 2013 Ready-To-Wear presentation this past Monday with Elizabeth Valle, our exceptional knitwear designer. It was a wonderful event—the panel was a diverse group of fashion influencers, and Diane Von Furstenberg was the guest moderator. What really inspired me most was the participation of Fashion 4 Development, an organization dedicated to the promotion of local artisanship and trade in Eastern countries. This year, they presented work from CITA TENUN, an all women association dedicated to the preservation of tenun, a traditional Indonesian weaving technique.
Every season our Ready to Wear pieces feature materials unique to Eastern traditions and practices—most recently we used pina fiber, indigenous to my home country of the Philippines, for our Spring ’13 collection. I am constantly inspired by my home country, and make sure to support our local artisans, as well as organizations like CITA TENUN. Utilizing indigenous fabrics and traditional sewing methods is just another way to inject life and originality into modern fashion, and more importantly, a way to preserve and revitalize traditional cultures.
Friday, April 12, 2013
I was honored last week to be one of the keynote speakers at the Simmons Leadership Conference in Boston. I had no idea what an incredible event this is with over 3,500 participants… Mostly women! I discussed my experience as an entrepreneur and my journey from Manila to Manhattan. I was moved when I entered to an auditorium filled with some 400 audience members. I must say that although the story of Natori has been told so many times, I particularly enjoyed this one! The question and answer session with Teresa Nelson, the head of Simmons College entrepreneurship program was most stimulating… Not to mention the Q&A with the audience!
My Presenter, Joan Bialek
I love being able to inspire women to follow their dreams. It may be a tough road, but anything is possible if you persevere.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Last week was an exciting one for Natori Home! I was overjoyed to see the final beds we are offering for Fall ’13 fully merchandised in our home showroom. The collection captures the joie de vivre of Chinoiserie glamour that really inspired me this season. Feminine, powerful and inherently graceful, Chinoiserie is the embodiment of Eastern and Western opulence combined. The beautiful ruby reds, decadent silvers and romantic purples look beautiful on our silks and cotton sateens. The gold lacquer screens used as the backdrop of our Ready-to-Wear show bring the whole Natori lifestyle together. I am so thrilled and can’t wait to see these beds in store this Fall!
Friday, March 22, 2013
Just back from a weeklong trip working and mingling with, in my opinion, the most creative and passionate designers in Southeast Asia! Manila FAME, a lifestyle design exhibit, has become a must see in Asia. I have had the privilege of working on this show for a number of years and this was the best one ever.
One of my favorite instillations was from Jetro, the “bipolar artist.” His creativity was so unique, not to mention his sense of humor! I always get the most joy out of hearing up and coming artists’ motivation and inspiration. Jetro’s art was exactly like his personality, modern and trendy yet classic and chic.
Bravo to all that have worked so hard to get FAME to this level and bring such pride to the Philippines!
Friday, March 8, 2013
I am so happy and grateful for the TalkAsia feature on CNN International that started airing today. I didn’t really know what to expect as Ken and I got up at 5.30 am today to watch the first airing. Wow! We were awed by the extent of the feature. Footage was gathered from many hours and days of taping in New York, Hong Kong and Manila. I was also so thrilled to see that photos of my family, staff, and days at Merrill Lynch made it into the feature.
I can’t say enough great things about the CNN team. Monita Rajpal, the host of the program, and Kate Fleming, the producer, made the entire experience so special for me.
Thank you all! Can’t wait to hear your comments!
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
I had an amazing interview yesterday for TalkAsia CNN with the beautiful Monita Rajpal in Hong Kong. She made me feel so comfortable. The hour and a half interview flew by! I can’t wait to see the end result as the show will feature filming across continents, covering everything from our New York fashion week Ready-To-Wear Show, to our factory in Manila, to our boutiques at Rustans in the Philippines. We’ve complied photos and videos of some of my favorite memories throughout my life. The show will feature how my family, career and Natori have grown. I can’t wait to see it!
Me with Monita Rajpal
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Last week, we presented the Fall 2013 Josie Natori RTW collection during New York Fashion Week. I cannot begin to express how thankful I am for the entire Natori team whose hard work and dedication made the show a reality. This collection captured the sensuality of Chinoiserie within the western world, creating a sophisticated unity of eastern and western glamour. Both feminine and powerful, the natural grace of Chinoiserie was prominent in this collection. This style portrays both beauty and strength, ideas that continue to drive the modern woman and define how she looks and lives today.
I was so thrilled that yet again, we had the pleasure of hosting Shiseido’s hair and makeup team. The hair, styled in a marcel weave inspired by the 1930’s, was a work of art in its own! What a talented group of men and women. I truly envy their skills. Another key component of the show was the styling done by Annabel Tollman. Annabel has become a staple in our Natori family, as her sophisticated sense of style and close attention to detail made this presentation so special. I cannot wait to see how our ready-to-wear collection continues to expand. Now on to the next season!
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
I am so honored to have been presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Underfashion Club at last night’s 2013 Femmy Gala. What an honor! Although I fell into the lingerie industry by accident, I am now forever indebted to it for being the foundation of The World of Natori.
Ken Natori, Serena Godwin, Jocelyn Hazen, Yuki Okamoto,
Elizabeth Yee, Kleo Makridakis, Grismar Bueno & Angie Coulter
I am so thankful to have shared this special evening with friends, family, longtime business partners, and of course, my wonderful team- without which none of this would have been possible. A special thanks to Saks Fifth Avenue Chief Merchandising Officer Ron Frasch for presenting me the award. His touching introduction brought me to tears.
Saks President Ron Frasch, Saks SVP & DMM of Beauty Deborah Walters, Saks VP & DMM Wendi Gottfried & Elizabeth Yee
Carson Kressley, Francine Klein, Liz Hospodar, & Ken Natori
Congratulations as well to my fellow honorees; Bloomingdales, Cosabella, The Lenzing Group and Hautelook. Here’s to a night I will never forget!