Sunday, October 29, 2006

Creativity Cannot Be Stolen

Speaking to a lot of TV people and TV executives lately, I was advised by well-meaning friends to keep it close to the vest. They are adamant that I don’t give out my concepts and ideas. But as you can see, I published what I intend to do on my blog.

In my modeling career, my walk was out there.
Anyone can copy it anytime……the best ones were the gay fashionistas. In fact, my gay friends would come to my house and plead that I walk for them. Since I don’t do that….. ever…they decide to do it themselves. And they can do it! Pose for pose, tiptoe for tiptoe, hand sway for hand sway, attitude for attitude. They look fabulous! That is probably the biggest compliment - to be copied.

When I was working as a model, it is as if the designers had a universal or collective psyche. For some reason, every season, they seem to have the same skirt length, the same color palette, highlight the same accessory (example: fishnet stockings, Kelly bag).
Then once in a while you would get innovators like Vivienne Westwood (the most copied designer in terms of clothing design ideas). Like Azzedine Alaia with his body hugging seaming. Herve Leger with his characteristic pleating. And the real fashion world knows these innovators. These are the leaders of the pack and they separate themselves from the herd.
Once it goes down to street wear, which is about 2 to 4 seasons after, the original dress has been copied thousands of times, tweaked for public consumption and really watered down, sold at a competitive price.
These designers are elated by their influence in the world of fashion, even though at their ateliers, they are steaming at the blatant copying of their designs.

When I was doing campaigns for my lipstick line ANNA BAYLE Lipcolours, our windows and displays at Henri Bendels and Bloomingdale’s were always innovative and fun. I financed my cosmetic company and of course, we were very resourceful with our marketing budget.
When we launched the line, because my lipcolors were created for the Asian skin tones, we used the light green bamboo 'sushi rollers' as display trays and complemented them with beautiful orchids.
Together with Ruben Nazareth, a creative genius and embelliseur, we would scour the flower market of New York, very early in the morning, choosing the perfect blooms to complement our displays.
For our summer campaign, we displayed the lipsticks on ‘martini glasses'. For Fall, we set the lipsticks against miniature paper mache fruits that had autumn colors.
A month or 2 later, we would notice that Bobbi Brown or Mac, both backed by the cosmetic giant Estee Lauder would have the same concept in their windows-except bigger. They have the budget…of course! But we took pride in our creations and know that we started something.

When I wrote a comprehensive business plan for a modeling school for the Philippines and Asia, I found that investors wanted a modeling agency attached to the school immediately. Six months later, I heard that another model personality from the Philippines went ahead and opened her own modeling school.
Even though the business plan had nondisclosure statements attached to it, I find that there is no such thing outside of the United States.
Here’s my belief, at the risk of sounding cocky. They might want to steal the idea – but can they execute? Do they have the name? Do they have the history (achievements and credentials)? Do they have the contacts(will their curriculum and team of professional instructors be truly international, if they themselves have not worked abroad)?

Now I am creating my television program. Already I see a jockeying for position. That’s fairplay. We all know that this is not a new endeavor; there are many parallel TV shows that will stem out of a very successful TV show. Even China has a TV program training models.

I am not worried. What I have to teach is experiential. No one will know what I plan to teach but me and it comes from 25 years of modeling in the international scene.
I am confident of the quality of my professional contacts in the international fashion scene; some of them, I plan to invite and involve in my projects.

The question I have to ask myself is: Is there anybody else who can do what I plan to do and do it well?
The answer to that, which comes to me instinctively, is.........
Creativity cannot be stolen.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally made it to your website
Job well done. We go back for many years. As the guy who provided the music for many of your shows, you always had style and grace when on the runway.

Best of luck on your endeavors as I am sure they will be as successful as you have been .

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when is the show going to be aired? as a filipino majoring in fashion merchandising, i must say, im so proud of you and and im so excited about this show. i've been watching america's next top model and i cant wait for u to have your own show featuring asian models. it will be a great accomplishment. if there's anything that i can do and help im very much willing. thank you so much and GOOD LUCK GOOD HEALTH AND GOD BLESS.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,

I hope you still remember me. We met through Ms. Thelma San Juan when we were in New York recently.

I just want to tell you that I am so privileged to have met you. I have been the envy of gay Manila, well at least my circle of gay friends, because of that very fortuitous encounter. And meeting you personally has made my reading your blogs more enriching and inspiring. You really give a different and enlightening perspective on fashion, designers and models. I love your perspective on models and eating habits!

Keep your blogs coming!

1:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i definitely adore your posting style, very interesting.
don't quit and keep writing for the simple reason that it simply just well worth to look through it,
impatient to look over more of your current well written articles, regards ;)

7:48 AM  

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