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Sonja: I Am So Thankful to Everyone Who Believed in Me
Sonja talks about her fashion show and thinks some of the ladies should have never doubted her.
I am so proud of Sonja Morgan New York. The girls have doubted and criticized me and my team (including my CEO Gaurav and Marketing Director Laura, my apparel partners AJ & BJ) for a long time, implying they were smoke and mirrors. My team is not in this for fancy titles. They want to build a lasting brand as I do. It feels good to be able to show the world what I love to do and that I can produce a collection that I am proud to put my name on. I am so thankful to everyone who helped and believed in me, and I can’t wait to keep adding to the collection. Right now I am still in awe of the success of the collection and the fashion show. Tonight we only saw a sampling of the clothes in my collection. To see all of the clothes, go to www.sonjamorgannewyork.com.
My clothes represent an international fashion lifestyle brand, because they can be bought and worn in any country and still be stylish and appropriate. Sonja Morgan New York is a heritage brand, because the clothing and jewelry are of such high quality they can be passed down through generations. Each piece is classic with a sexy twist and will always be in style. In fact, my daughter wears Sonja Morgan New York! The collection currently comprises of swimwear, jewelry, eveningwear, sportswear, and ready-to-wear, but I am already planning different ways to expand the brand. Sonja Morgan New York already represents affordable top-level luxury, but we are currently working on adding more price tiers, which will allow everyone to have a little piece of Sonja Style. (And of course you know I have the perfume in the works for years now with the Nigerian football team and others. LOL! I move in mysterious ways.)
I hope that everyone liked what they saw as much as I have loved creating it. My vision was to offer pieces that one could throw in a suitcase and go to any climate and go day to night effortlessly. I studied fashion, but I have a very practical side.
Of course Heather, Carole, and Kristen were telling people that they didn’t know how long I have really been building my fashion house by joking it was all overnight and a vanity product. I have been developing it for years as my creative director Wayne explained to Kristen before she apologized. Heather knows very well how long it takes to build a company from the ground up. I want to walk before I run. This is not a licensing deal with an already established company like Bethenny is doing or Kristen with her nail polishes and Ramona with her wine. I want to be established first as Bethenny has done before doing any licencing deals.
At this point I am not surprised that they aren’t being supportive, because they haven’t always been supportive in the past. Reliving my fashion show, I am filled with so much pride and happiness, I don’t have room to be annoyed by them. Did any of these girls show their collection at fashion week? Why did they chide me for not being at Lincoln Center? I don't know of any first collections showing there. Besides, many top designers are showing downtown now or at the piers and even Brooklyn. Did any of these girls produce a fashion show with their established event planning company as I did with Sonja in the City? We had top-notch catering by Meridith Coyle of Aneu catering, delicious cocktails including pink champagne and any spirit you could desire, even beer. Jose Cuervo Tequila and Heineken beer go hand in hand. My guests got exactly what they expected from a Sonja in the City event. So sit there with a lobster roll in one hand and champagne in the other and say "one dress does not make a collection" all you want. Now you see a collection. I'm not deusional!
I was grateful for the turnout. All the buyers, stylists, jetsetters, stars, and socialites who will follow and are buying just thrill me. Thank goodness I whipped up the buyers' seating place cards with a sharpie pen just in time for their arrival. I would have been mortified had they arrived with no seating designated. And yes, Heather, the luxury department store buyers showed up with bells on.
Creating this fashion show took a lot of hard work and a lot of helping hands. I am grateful that Bethenny and Heather took the time out of their day to come and help me choose models for the show. I stand by how I spoke to the models. I was not disrespectful and, as typical, I was upfront. I have been working in the fashion industry my entire life. I modeled internationally, so I know what it’s like to walk in these models’ shoes. They want to know if they are booked as soon as possible and certainly don't take it personally when I discuss the body type I'm looking for, or they would be in the wrong business. They are already signed with Major Model Management, so they know they are top level models. Besides, I chose who we would meet that day, so they know I love their style. I'm very pleased with the models I chose to embody my lifestyle brand at the show, and I know they were happy. Bethenny said herself that she doesn’t have experience in the fashion industry, so she was right to express her opinion--I brought her because she is a smart lady!--but at the end of the day, I am the one with the fashion experience.
My team never ceases to impress me, and they continued to do so during that meeting. Even as Heather and Bethenny were firing bullets, my business partners weren’t breaking a sweat. I have the best people in the fashion industry by my side. The proof is in the pudding, and we were able to create an amazing collection that is me 100%. We are selling so well online and even sold out of some pieces because we cannot get more of the same Italian fabrics! I can’t wait to see where we go from here.
I am proud of Kristen for getting Pop of Color into New York Fashion Week. As friends, we should always be supporting each other. It was nice to hear Kristen, Luann, Bethenny, Carole, and Ramona being supportive of me and of course I will always support them in their future endeavors. I’m not one to carelessly point out potential hazards in a friend’s business to the world to examine under a microscope. I promote people! I've been in PR my whole life!
I could not be happier with how the fashion show went off. I have been running fashion shows and throwing Sonja in the City parties for decades, so I know that I throw exceptional parties. Yes, I would have preferred that the intermission to not have taken as long as it did, but I was not going to compromise the integrity of my fashion show because of an extra five minutes after all these years getting here. Also, I was responsible for $4 million dollars in jewelry. I had to be organized. Besides, there was plenty of food and wine during the pause and greeeeat company. We always have a greeeeat time and pack a house.
Bethenny and Ramona found a great way to pass the time during the intermission. Give these women even a minute of down time, and they’re at each other’s throats. I understand why Ramona’s New Beginnings Party confuses Bethenny, but if Ramona is going to try to improve herself, we have to support her. I am glad that I was backstage and didn’t have to be in the middle of that argument! I had my own fires to put out. There always are. Poor Cesar with the last models outfit being given to the 13th model who became an extra. Oh well. I just put her in the front row to represent Major Model Management. I love the models I selected to represent Sonja Morgan New York. At each and every one of their fittings I formed a friendship with them. It meant the world when they said they loved the clothes and jewelry after the show.
I love Cesar, and we are still great friends to this day. Our argument came from my desire to produce a groundbreaking show. It was nothing personal. This is Sonja Morgan New York’s first fashion show! It needed to be amazing and it absolutely was. Cesar did so much to help me create my fashion show and to get where I am and for that I am eternally grateful. We have worked together for years and first met seven years ago on a shoot. He has styled me in subsequent shoots and fashion shows. And always will.
Everyone keeps asking who did the make up and hair. I chose the styles and presented a look book to the amazing Bella On Demand, and they made every vision happen. Also, many asked about the shoes and accessories. Vanessa Noel did the shoes (she hosted my Latino Show Magazine cover launch) France Luxe headbands and Eric Javitts hats were my own and current styles.
Everyone keep following Sonja Morgan New York to see my current collection and to see the exciting direction the brand takes. I will someday have a diffusion brand at different price levels to offer a little Sonja Style to everyone. Thank you to everyone who supported me and continues to support me. This show would not be possible without all of you. Love you all and remember to keep following your dreams with some elbow grease behind it. Realize your talent!
My Personal Website: www.sonjamorganonline.com
My Fashion/Jewelry Website: www.sonjamorgannewyork.com
Listen to my Podcast: http://www1.play.it/audio/sonja-in-the-city-with-sonja-morgan/