Fashion Designer / Creative Director of Nellie Partow | Nellie Partow | TEDxMarthasVineyard

Translator: Saiyao Chui
Reviewer: Ariana Bleau Lugo Thank you guys so much. My name is Nellie Partow. I’m a fashion designer,
based out of New York City. I’m here today to talk a little bit
about the journey of life, and share a little bit about
my experiences in a creative field, and a little bit about some experiences
I’ve had in my life, and hopefully can give you guys some insight onto what I’ve learned. I do have a couple of questions
for the audience, if I can get a raise of hands — How many people
are currently living their dream? That’s impressive. That’s amazing. And how many people
are working towards a dream? OK, incredible, me too. Well, I’d like to share a little bit
about my dream, and how I became working
in the field of the fashion industry. I was really young, I was 8 years old. I was fortunate to know
exactly what I wanted to pursue and fell in love with design, and the creativity behind it,
the craft that goes into it, and all the details and the elements that really define
being a fashion designer. So I made sure that I pursued
absolutely everything I could to make this dream come true. And knowing that I wanted
to start my own label, I made sure I went to business school, and got a degree in business management in order to know how to run
and operate my own company. After graduating from business school, I ended up going to
Parsons School of Design in New York. And while I was at Parsons, I was fortunate to have the experience
to work at Donna Karan. And upon graduation, I landed my first position
designing for Calvin Klein. And after Calvin Klein, I was fortunate and had the opportunity
to work with John Varvatos. And after about 10 years
of design experience in the industry, I decided to take the plunge
and start my own company. It was an incredible experience. So about little over 3 years ago now,
I started my own label. And I have an interesting hobby
that I had along this journey. I’m also a competitive boxer. And a little bit about that story,
because people find it quite interesting. I was fifteen years old
and always loved sports. But wanted to be athletic — didn’t like going to the gym. So, I walked pass a boxing gym and thought this could be
an interesting workout. I didn’t know that I was walking
into Team USA’s doors. And the head trainer
pulled me aside there and said, within a month of training there,
he said, “You have what it takes to be a fighter.” And I thought it was crazy,
I knew my mom would kill me, and I said, “No way,
I don’t even want to get hit in the face. That just does not sound
interesting to me at all.” And he said OK.
We went to some live fights. He took me to some live fights. It’s as if he knew what he was doing, I completely fell in love with the sport. And so within a couple of months, I was in the ring
in Compton in Los Angeles with my parents watching,
and I started fighting. It was a hobby of mine that I have continuously lived
throughout my design career. And one defining moment for me
was in 2007, I fought in Madison Square Garden for the New York Daily News Golden Gloves Championship Title. That was an incredible
defining moment for me. I’ll never forget. I was getting my hand wrapped;
I was extremely nervous — pretty much on the same page
as I am right now. And my heart was pounding,
I was getting excited, and I was trying to get my head in the mind frame
of getting into the ring. My trainer was wrapping my hands. And this is something that I had done
many fights before. And he pulled me on the side
before we walked out and he said, “I just want you to know one thing: win, lose, none of this matters,
unless you are genuinely having fun.” When I wallked out into the ring,
it was an incredible moment for me. I won the title that night, but I walked away
with a far more enriching lesson. I realized that it’s not about winning
a title or making it in this career
that I’ve dreamed about for so long. It’s really about the measure of joy
that we have along the way throughout this entire process. I think as human beings
we get so caught up in trying to get to these end points, whether it’s with our career,
or with finances, or with personal goals
that we put on ourselves, and we tend to forget to enjoy the process and to really live
and to not constanly measure ourselves by where we are at
and where we want to be. So I think the true creative process
and the true beauty of life is really being able
to enjoy these moments. So I hope that on some way
I’m able to send that message that I know all know,
but so easily forget, including myself. And I hope that that helps. Now I’m going to ask somebody
from the audience to come up so we can do
three rounds of sparring. So I need a volunteer.
(Laughter) I’m just kidding. Thank you guys so much. I really appreciate you taking the time
to listen to me today. I appreciate it. (Applause)

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