I took a risk and entered this in the Vogue Story competition...
Vogue changed my life before I could even read. I was a gypsy for Halloween when I was 5. And so began the story of a fashion junkie. Though I did not become a wandering nomad, but rather a schoolteacher by day and a semi-closeted fashion enthusiast by night, my love of fashion is indebted forever to Vogue magazine and its visionary work. The one photograph from that Halloween in1980 reveals a smiling, fairly outgoing little girl dripping in colorful beaded necklaces, tarnished silver bangles that crawled up two very tiny arms and a paisley scarf wrapped around a rather large curly mass. The piéce de résistance was a remarkably large dashiki that I very carefully belted with my father’s thick brown belt, which boldly carried a one of a kind, hand-crafted native American buckle, headdress and all.
Once I learned how to read, and how to shop, I became increasingly obsessed with fashion. I took lessons from my shopping-savvy mother and from unstoppable, cutting edge New York City culture. I drank in every element of the fashion universe and became thirsty for more. Unsurprisingly, Vogue was the very first magazine I ever bought with my own money. It was a worthy investment that, like any amazing novel or story, catapulted me into new, dynamic and surreal worlds. I was captivated by the stories that unfolded before me and became intrigued by all the possibilities.
As I got older, my mother began my fashion initiation by taking me to awe-inspiring, wonderful places. I began to see the world through texture, line, pattern and fit. And whether we were peering in the windows at Saks or shopping for clothing at Lord and Taylor and Bergdorf’s, I was hypnotized and exhilarated by the transformative nature of fashion. With every new piece, I could evolve and become a slightly newer version of myself. And as any good artist hones her craft, my taste evolved into a marriage of classical pieces and edgy trends; I became invested in high quality, wearable, beautifully made clothing, following the ever-eternal mantra of "You get what you pay for", a notion that sustains me today in my own work as a passionate consumer.
After I had my daughter, fashion took on a new appeal, forcing me to study the industry from a new, perhaps broader perspective. All the while, Vogue remained an integral part of my universe. Copies sit atop my nightstand, come with me to work and can be found on several shelves in my home. Its work inspired me to unlock the closeted fashion enthusiast who now shares her love of craft and style with the world. In the meantime, I am most at home when, at bedtime, after a long day of work and school, ballet and bath time, my daughter and I open a new issue, peruse the glossy images and tell the stories inscribed in each photo, truly mystified by the magic and possibility of it all.