Creativity is our rocket fuel at LDJ, and we’re especially boosted by women whose work is an authentic extension of their passion, love and light—who transform challenges into golden opportunities and who are redefining what it means to be a “creator.”
Conscious creators work from a grounded, intuitive place within themselves, allowing their unique imprint to come forth into the world. They are heart-body-soul manifesters, rather than just brain-logic based. Less about the business plan, less about the likes, more about the love and joy and, ultimately, service to others.
This space is dedicated to the women who walk with this wisdom, and who let their unadulterated wonder and passion permeate their every endeavor. We want to share the magic of what these brilliant beings do to inspire you in your own conscious creativity. SistARS, we salute you!
First up – fashion transformer Bonnie Morrison, New York’s most inspiring PR expert (in our humble opinion) who has been a powerful fixture in the fashion world for over twenty years. Since the murder of George Floyd in May of 2020, Bonnie has transformed her social platform into a channel of change, using her voice to cultivate conversations on systemic racism and to generate action on the lack of inclusivity and representation across the fashion and beauty industries. We sat down with her at our Tyler Hays’ BDDW gallery in Soho, NYC, to talk about shifts, both personal, and societal.
BONNIE: Definitely. Last year proved to be such an interesting moment in terms of taking action, because we were all sitting around doing nothing. It’s a different moment than living in the midst of, something like September 11th, where something tragic unlike anything that has ever happened before, is just unfolding in front of your eyes.
By contrast, what went on last year – we had that sense it was all happening, but not in a way that any of us understood. There were so many aspects of it that bore on things that we knew we had to talk about but that we had never had a framework for.
People don’t seek out uncomfortable conversations. They may have some awareness that they have to have them but no-one, very few people, at least, actively pursue them.
Ok, maybe J.J. is the type of person who would say, “we are going to confront this,” but that’s unique. She leans into the discomfort. Most of us don’t know how to do that. And there are so many distractions that keep us from doing it. Social media is a distraction. Netflix is a distraction. We want escape and we feel entitled to that escapism.
Then on May 25th, because we didn’t have anything else going on, when we saw this thing unfolding, we didn’t have the comfort of distractions anymore. I think at this particular point in the pandemic, people were looking at their careers, their relationships, their means, and they knew that avoidance wasn’t an option any more. I think in this moment, everyone was like “what am I really about”?
At that time I had been exploring, watching the fashion industry change and get reconstituted away from a PR model to more of a marketing model. I felt I had some authority on that shift but not in any way that was easy to predict because things were constantly evolving.
When I worked in magazines years ago people said “Maybe you will come back to editorial.” And I said, “If I came back, I would want to be involved in making the company better at what it does. Not involved in the day to day of what the company does but in how to make it better.”
So that has been my interest over the last couple of years. Fundamentally, it relates to how we communicate with each other. While I still see a need for PR, it’s not really what motivates me anymore. I have now worked at enough companies and with enough people to see that we have to perfect how we communicate with each other – as employees, as managers, as agents of a message. People’s general happiness in what they do is really important and it really affects the finished product.
And while conversation is important, it’s also about pride. We should encourage people to have pride in what they do. If you look back at George Floyd, there is a connective thread to all of these conversations about race. It’s connected to MeToo, and to all of these different movements that have been empowered. It comes down to: “How do we treat each other?”
The work place is oftentimes the space where people come together with the most people who are unlike them. But fashion isn’t super integrated. Publishing isn’t super integrated. Now we have the opportunity to really be intentional and focus on this in places where people are forced, for lack of a better term, to be together. And that’s a great opportunity.
BONNIE: I think many of us mistakenly believe that internet culture is facilitating our communication, but I think it’s really making our communication much more difficult and stilted. It’s making it angrier and letting people become authorities, taking information and interpreting it through whatever their own cultural lenses are. I think that is very dangerous.
It’s sad. No-one’s experience is like anyone else’s, that much we know, but I have a unique perspective on this matter. I am black, raised in San Francisco, in an area with little racial diversity, and I am adopted by a Jewish family. None of that makes me not black, but I have a bunch of different filters on this experience, the things I have been able to do, the things I have observed in my own family, and the places I have been able to go.
I think some people hear this account of being the only black person going to work at Conde Nast in New York – well, I’ve been the only black person at most of the places I have been all my life. It’s not new.
What these experiences made me very attuned to is the fact that I want to be able to understand. There are certainly things that my family members have wanted to grasp, but haven’t natively understood about what my experience is, but I always had compassion for them because they had compassion for me as well. That is the answer to how you solve racism. I think we should all sit down and just talk. But people don’t want to offend other people.
BONNIE: People are so afraid to make a mistake. That’s the self and the ego – the ego always seeks to defend itself. A conventional attitude is “they have no right to feel attacked”. But you can’t tell people what they do and don’t have a right to feel, especially if you don’t want to alienate them. We kind of need as many people on board as possible. And this is stuff that no-body has the vocabulary for speaking about.
Everyone has got their shit they are dealing with. They may internalize it, they may externalize it, they may completely ignore it. Whatever it is, it’s there and therefore a formulation of their identity has some response to it. I think that’s the thing we all have to remember.
I think we are all trying to be better.
Some people have further to go than others, but I think that engaging people in their own evolution is the most important part. I would rather work with what we have than turn people off
These social dynamics are the types of things that aren’t just all of a sudden going to be solved or answered. I know that sounds kind of corny, but I think we can look at that as part of the adventure of being human. Something I always think about is that life is really difficult but it is not boring. It is so interesting, and there are so many things to discover about ourselves and to work on.
With gratitude to Bonnie Morrison for opening her heart to us. Follow Bonnie on Instagram, here.