Shaper: Nicole Farhi

Show aired on 31st March 2018

Transcript

Elliot Moss
Hello and a very warm welcome to a special edition of Jazz Shapers. We are in front of a live audience at the London offices of Mishcon de Reya. Jazz Shapers is a programme where you can hear the very best of the people who are shaping the world of jazz, blues and soul and right alongside them, every Saturday, I am very lucky because I bring someone who is shaping the world of business onto the programme as well. I am really pleased to say that my Business Shaper today is none other than the artist, the sculptor, the fashion designer, the fashion icon that is Nicole Farhi. She is going… yes, oh that’s good, fantastic… She is going to be joining me very shortly. We will also have live music for this special edition of Jazz Shapers to play the first of several songs for us tonight, would you please welcome to the stage, the one and only, all the way from America, it’s Judi Jackson.

Ladies and gentlemen, that was Judi Jackson.

Judi Jackson
Thank you so much.

Elliot Moss
Judi Jackson there with a brilliant and very personal interpretation of the absolutely iconic Sitting on the Dock of the Bay from Otis Reading. Much more coming up from Judi and her band and we will be introducing them to you shortly. As I said earlier, my Business Shaper at this very special Jazz Shapers Live is Nicole Farhi; She is a fashion icon. She is known to many of you, many of you will wearing her this evening or have worn her in the past, literally and metaphorically whichever way you take it. Please put your hands together and join me in a warm welcome for the one and only Nicole Farhi.

So Nicole, thank you so much for joining me this evening and for those of you who don’t know, Nicole was born in Nice, brought up in a French speaking house, but also the language of Ladino which we will come on to in a moment. I believe you spent much of World War II in hiding with your family.

Nicole Farhi
No I was not born then, I am very old but not that old.

Elliot Moss
I meant after, excuse me, after… I believe that World War I happened in the early… I thought your family spent some time in hiding, not you?

Nicole Farhi
Yeah my family was hiding, but not…

Elliot Moss
Not you?

Nicole Farhi
No.

Elliot Moss
That’s okay, good. This just sets how inappropriate I am with my dates. So your family, Nicole, spent much time in World War II in hiding. You came along many years after the War.

Nicole Farhi
A few years.

Elliot Moss
A few years after the War. Tell me a little bit about your childhood. I have read a lot about your relationship with your mum and your aunties. Just tell me a little bit about that family.

Nicole Farhi
Well it was a Turkish/Jewish family so very, very close to one another and we… it was a wonderful upbringing because a lot of our family were living in Nice in the South of France after the war and I have wonderful memories of Sundays our family we were maybe 25/30 of us going out, one car following the other to a little restaurant on the hill above Nice and cousins were playing. So I was, I have a great, great warmth for large families and I have been able to do this many years later. I only had one kid, but my husband has three. We have seven grandchildren. We have now this enormous family again which resemble, which comes together in the summer and it’s great to be able to give them what I had. That warmth and the togetherness.

Elliot Moss
And I am going to come back to the warmth and togetherness in a bit, but I want to talk about fashion obviously to start with.

Nicole Farhi
Okay.

Elliot Moss
Tell me about…

Nicole Farhi
I like talking about my family because…

Elliot Moss
You can see who is in charge here, it’s very strange. You can talk about whatever you like.

Nicole Farhi
But my family, my family, my aunts and my, the women in my family, the Turkish women were very, very chic and they loved clothes and they were always fighting who had the best couture and who had the best outfit and so I was brought up by those women. I mean they were next to me always looking wonderful and perhaps that helped me wanting to be a fashion designer. Although I didn’t really want to be a fashion designer, I wanted to be an artist, a painter, but I fell into fashion very, very quickly when I was twenty. I found it very easy at the time to sell sketches and getting into the fashion world and I understood how it worked and I became a fashion designer.

Elliot Moss
And my question around the fashion was going the be about your family and that influence, but you talk about your art and obviously through your life expressing yourself has been important, whether that’s through sketching, whether that’s through the creation of clothes, whether that’s now through sculpture and around us now are some fantastic sculptures which we will come on to in a bit as well. But do you, you said fell into fashion. What do you think you would have done if it hadn’t have been fashion? I mean I know you said you wanted to be an artist, but at the same time you obviously wanted to make a living.

Nicole Farhi
Yeah. So when I went to Paris when I was eighteen and I went to art school and fashion school at the same time. I did like fashion and one of my aunts would take me to see the collections, the couture collections in the summer, she would take me to Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga and so I thought that was, I liked the idea of you do something and six months later you do something else. I thought that’s quite interesting too, you never get bored with what you are doing because you are always on the move to something else and when you, when I went to fashion school I learned how to present my work as a designer the first year. I understood that. Where at art school you know to be an artist it would take years and years if ever you come out as an artist. So after a year and a half I was already selling sketches and got into different companies. I worked for them until I met somebody called Stephen Marks who started French Connection with me. So, that was…

Elliot Moss
And that was back in 1972

Nicole Farhi
That was ’72.

Elliot Moss
Yeah. And you said you understood it. You said, you used that phrase, I understood fashion.

Nicole Farhi
I understood how to present myself and how to present the work I was doing. I didn’t know what I was doing really you know. I was doing what I felt was right and I didn’t have a pre-conceived idea about fashion, I just, I liked drawing and I thought it was exciting and to draw different things, not only clothes but socks, belts, bags, anything.

Elliot Moss
I want to come back also after some more music to the bit leading up to the 70s, you met Stephen in ’72 and French Connection became French Connection and there is a period in time in obviously 60s in Paris when a certain revolution was happening and I think…

Nicole Farhi
Yeah, it was great. I was a student then.

Elliot Moss
And that’s exactly what I want to pick up on, but we are going to have, we are going to come back to you in a moment. Stay with me, don’t go anywhere Nicole. She won’t go anywhere I promise. But she will tell me what we are going to talk about which is absolutely fine as well. It’s time for some more music. Ladies and Gentlemen, Judi Jackson and the band are back and I believe the name of the next track is With You.

Judi Jackson
Thank you.

Elliot Moss
That was Judi Jackson with With You. Much more coming up from Judi but I am going to go back to my Business Shaper today, that’s Nicole Farhi, and we are talking about all things family, influences and immediately a very strong personality Nicole, I mean it’s clear, I’ve read about you that you said I never do anything I don’t want to do…

Nicole Farhi
That’s true.

Elliot Moss
You say if I stand for something, I really stand for it. And back in ’68 in Paris there was something to be stood for.

Nicole Farhi
I did, I did.

Elliot Moss
And I, and I, I will just read you a quote that I believe you said. You said ‘I became a feminist then and I think we did change things, I wanted to be free. You think for yourself, you do not push your beliefs down people’s throats’. What was it like then growing up in that time, because we are in similar times fifty years later we find ourselves and yet what’s changed?

Nicole Farhi
Well I thought we changed something and then when I read the papers and I see all the harassment about women again today, I just wonder what we changed. You know and I find it very upsetting actually. Very, very upsetting.

Elliot Moss
I mean you have been a business woman, you are now an artist.

Nicole Farhi
I am not a business woman. I’ve never been.

Elliot Moss
Or a woman in business rather and a creative person.

Nicole Farhi
I just want to make straight because Stephen Marks was the business man. I was the creative behind the business. I never understood the balance sheet and you know he had to call me in his office to try and explain to me what we were doing or you know how the business was going because it was not my, obviously I wanted what I was doing to sell, but I was not doing it for it to sell, I was doing it because I loved doing it and so you know it’s a complete mistake to think that I am a business woman, which I told you when you invited me, do not say I am a business woman – I am not!

Elliot Moss
I think you should really say what you think. I mean I… I think you should just come to the point. But in the sense that you, and I think that’s right, I want to ask you about that relationship that you had with Stephen because you are still very close.

Nicole Farhi
Yes.

Elliot Moss
You obviously have a daughter together.

Nicole Farhi
Yes.

Elliot Moss
You…

Nicole Farhi
We are best friends.

Elliot Moss
…and what was it like being allowed that space for him to just…

Nicole Farhi
It was an incredible chance to have met him, to work with him and to get that freedom that very few designers get when they work in a company to be able to do what I wanted to do and he was incredibly generous with his understanding of what I am doing. Sometimes obviously we did fight a lot because I was strong headed, I think you’ve said that and you know I believed what I was doing was right. He would say, ‘no it’s not’ or ‘it won’t sell’ and I said ‘well I’ll prove it’ and you know so we had our arguments but it was an incredible chance which not a lot of designers today are able to get.

Elliot Moss
And then in 1982 you opened your own, the eponymously named Farhi.

Nicole Farhi
He again.

Elliot Moss
He again, but you was the credit director and is the creative lead.

Nicole Farhi
Well the company, the French Connection became a public company then and I wanted to move on to do something more sophisticated maybe and Stephen said ‘well let’s open your own company then’ and he opened it, he started it, I mean I designed, I was the creative designer and what is wonderful if you are a designer, if you are an artist, is not to be bogged down by business you know. By money so…

Elliot Moss
So what drove you? Was it purely making the things you were making?

Nicole Farhi
Yeah. And also I loved, I loved manufacturing. In India, I love going to India and China and we were practically the first people to go to these countries and to work with the people there, the fabric that you could make there, the dyeing that you could do. It was extremely interesting and a wonderful learning curve.

Elliot Moss
And the creative process and we are now looking at these sculptures which I want to come on to. You talked about being free to create, you talk about not being a business woman, you talk about being a creative person, an artist and that started very young. Just tell me a little bit about how you had the self-confidence or you were convinced that you could be a sculptress. Tell me that story about when you met…?

Nicole Farhi
I don’t know if I was convinced I could be a sculptor, but I knew that fashion was not enough for me and ten years after French Connection, so ‘82/83 I went to evening classes. I met somebody who was a sculptor and I said to her, ‘oh this is it’, when she said she was a sculptor, I thought ‘oh that’s what I want to be, that’s what I want to be, to try and be’ and she said ‘I know a teacher who could teach you’ because I was working obviously and I went and had evening classes and Saturday classes and I started touching the clay and one of the torso there is one of the first torso I did to this woman, my teacher Jane Gibson gave me a lump of clay. She said I am not taking just anybody and she thought I was a bit flippant, I was a designer and what do I want to try to be sculptor. So she gave me this clay and she said ‘well do me a torso’ and I did something similar to this swan and she said, ‘ok I will keep you on’. And so she must have seen something in it and I, you know I, from there on I never stopped.

Elliot Moss
But your reaction, if I am right when you told me that story is that you left that class, you went into your car and you cried.

Nicole Farhi
Oh yeah. Yeah.

Elliot Moss
Is that right?

Nicole Farhi
I told you a very intimate thing.

Elliot Moss
Everywhere I go, everywhere I go there are little Nicole Farhi mines. But that’s okay. Stay with me for much more mining with Nicole Farhi. We will be talking to her in a bit. This is Jazz Shapers Live, you are listening to me, Elliot Moss here on Jazz FM and my fabulous guest, my outspoken and straightforward guest, Nicole Farhi. Let’s have a moment to reflect on some real Jazz Shapers in 2018. Someone who has been nominated twice at this year’s Jazz FM awards and the winners are going to be announced next month. This one was nominated for the International Jazz Act of the Year sponsored by RSM for the Album of the Year with Dreams and Daggers. She is also going to be performing at the star studded event, here is Cécile McLorin Salvant.

This is Jazz Shapers Live and we are still with this wonderful live audience here at Mishcon de Reya’s London offices.

My guests this evening are Nicole Farhi and Judi Jackson and Judi Jackson and Band and we will coming back to Judi in a moment. But Nicole, I want to talk about this, this creativity that you then decided you felt comfortable exploring. It was one day a week at that point or less even.

Nicole Farhi
It was two nights a week and Saturdays. I’m sorry.

Elliot Moss
I meant metaphorically. I meant you weren’t doing it full-time.

Nicole Farhi
Shall I say the truth or…

Elliot Moss
You can say what you like.

Nicole Farhi
…I can invent.

Elliot Moss
Yeah you can invent.

Nicole Farhi
Yes if you want.

Elliot Moss
You were doing it part-time at that time. Did you think there would be a moment, were you waiting for that moment when this would be a full-time thing or was it more of just this fitted into your life and you were continuing on?

Nicole Farhi
I was hoping that one day I would be able to sculpt full-time, but then it’s a long time ago, I did not foresee that it will happen you know, I didn’t know when it will happen and it’s only when Stephen decided to sell Nicole Farhi that I could see my way out and that was seven years ago. I had to stay two years in the business and then I was free to sculpt every day.

Elliot Moss
And I think at the time you sold, I think you said again that you felt this, the big company ethos was not for you in terms of people putting demands on you and the business.

Nicole Farhi
I hated the last two years in the company were the worst for me because Stephen obviously was no longer there working on it and the people who bought the company were business men, had no idea about fashion and fashion is a very fragile thing you know, you have to have a feel for it because you never know in six months if the collection is going to work or not and if you are still going to be in business. And those people, the first people who bought the company sold my flagship store in Bond Street immediately, closed restaurants, homeware that I was so proud of doing and so I was so, so sad and I had to wait two years to be able to get out.

Elliot Moss
Since you’ve gone full-time, since you have been doing this as part of your life, have you felt that freedom that you craved do you think? I mean as in you know have it all the time when you there in your studio?

Nicole Farhi
Oh yeah. I just love, I am very, very lucky to be able to do it all the time.

Elliot Moss
I just want to bring in Judi Jackson at this point if Judie is around still. Are you there? Hello Judi. So Judi, what, what strikes me about creative people is that they all crave freedom and that when they perform, whether they are designing clothes or whether they are creating from pieces of clay sculptures or whether they are writing songs or whether they are delivering it, they are doing something they need to do. They are almost compelled and what I have read about you is a similar thing that your art, your singing is a way, it’s quite cathartic for you. Is that a fair point?

Judi Jackson
Certainly. Very fair. I believe that freedom is key to being creative, to fluidity, to honesty within your art and your work and if you are not honest with yourself then your work cannot be as honest. So I love musical theatre for instance and Stephen Sondheim has a great lyric that ‘the choice may have been mistaken, the choosing was not’. And I kind of try to remind myself of that every day as I go through life and making creative choices and personal choices that both interact as it were together that you have to make a decision so part of freedom is responsibility enough to be accountable for the choices that you are compelled as you said to make you feel alive. I think it is very important.

Elliot Moss
And behind the entertainer, behind the person actually singing or the person creating, I sense that there is also a very different private person and again you have talked publicly about feelings that aren’t you know necessarily that you would think that go with the performer. How do you, and I think one of the lines from the songs which I particularly liked was, I think it’s in the Worth It track, ‘you cannot plan the perfect journey’?

Judi Jackson
No you can’t.

Elliot Moss
No.

I am really enjoying myself.

I have been ambushed here. Judi, we are going to come back to you in a moment, we are going to be…

Judi Jackson
Alright.

Elliot Moss
I love the full stops, it’s fabulous. No you can’t. Never ask a close ended question. Nicole, since you’ve, tell me a little bit about that journey that you’ve been on towards actually becoming a person that sculpts, that’s what they do. I believe one of your mentors was Eduardo Paolatssi. Tell me a little bit about him as a creative person and as your friend and as your mentor?

Nicole Farhi
Well I was very lucky. The first bronze I cast it was at the Royal College Foundry and the day I went to – with my piece of clay – to get the bronze, to get the cast, there was this man in the foundry and with a lot of students around him and it was Eduardo, well I didn’t know it was Eduardo, but the men running the foundry said to me, ‘do you know who that man is?’ and I said ‘no, no, who is he?’ And they said ‘it is Eduardo Paolatssi, the very famous sculptor’. And he said, ‘would you like to meet him?’ And I said ‘yes, of course’ and so he called Eduardo and Eduardo looked at the piece I was doing and he said, ‘and what is the name of this piece you are working on today’ and I said it was called ‘orgasm’ and he loved, he loved the title and he loved the piece and he said, will you come to my studio and I will show you my work.

So I did you know of course. And from there on we became very, very close friends.

Friend only. And this is his hand that I sculptured. He had wonderful big powerful hands and I did his.

Elliot Moss
I know, this is what happens.

Nicole Farhi
I mean he is a sculptor. He was a sculptor.

Elliot Moss
And more I mean so many things if you look at the collection, his bank of work is extraordinary.

Nicole Farhi
His drawings, everything. Incredible to have met him when I was on the, you know just starting sculpting, because he opened my life and as a sculpture, my eyes, the trust in myself as well because he introduced me to his friends and saying, ‘this is Nicole, she is a sculptor’. He never referred to me as a fashion designer.

Elliot Moss
Or a business woman?

Nicole Farhi
Certainly not that.

Elliot Moss
Hold that just there. I want to come back to mentorship in a bit as well. Time for some more music. Judi, tell me about this next song Blame It On My Youth.

Judi Jackson
The song means quite a bit to me. I decided to entitle my most recent record after it based on hearing it for the first time. I was in Harlem, I was up town with some friends and we would learn songs together, we would listen to music and tried to learn them like as many as we could in a day, as many standards. So then my friend Chris he put on this song, Blame It On My Youth, Carmen McCrae singing it, who I love, she just sings it beautifully. The story behind it and the way that she inflexed every word. And so I went back, wrote out the lyrics and looked at them and said, oh my god this is very personal to me and very relevant to my life. If I forget to eat and sleep and pray, blame it on my youth and it’s talking about all of the decisions that we make in our youth that affect us in different ways and how do we recover from that, how do we move through it, or do we just blame it on that and leave it in the past and so she says, don’t blame it on my heart, blame it on my youth. Because we can often do things and feel a certain type of way about them and wonder why have we done this or why has this happened to me when often it is just timing. So youth is about time right and age not about…

Elliot Moss
Well here you are, it’s Judi Jackson with Blame It On My Youth.

That was Judi Jackson with Blame It On My Youth and we’ve got one more number coming up a little bit later in the programme. We are probably going to see it out with that. Just before I open up the questions here in this Jazz Shapers Live edition. I just want to ask Nicole one final question from me. The journey you have been on and where you are now and all these is very different kinds of sculptures in front of me, what’s the next few years going to hold for you, what do you want to do or is it an open thing, is that how you operate, what’s your next focus going to be if you have one?

Nicole Farhi
I have been always working on the human form so whether it’s more abstracted like the fist here or figurative and I want to, I will keep going. I mean this is an endless field that you can go back forever so.

Elliot Moss
And you have also, you have a series I believe of…

Nicole Farhi
The little heads that you see which is Simone de Beauvoir is part of a series of 20th Century writers and which hopefully will be shown next year at the Charleston Festival, the literary festival so I am doing this, but I am also doing, I think you’ve got a big form downstairs, I am doing some fragments of large body parts of women and that I am hoping to show as well maybe hopefully this year.

Elliot Moss
And just as a quote from Vogue, I believe you were interviewed for the recent Vogue, you wrote About Form which is a fold of human form of the body – ‘I wanted the viewer to look at exactly what I wanted them to’.

Nicole Farhi
Yeah.

Elliot Moss
Well I think that’s pretty true of you in general which is I think Nicole is very clear on…

Nicole Farhi
And we can say those description behind you is called Pure Force and it is my self-portrait.

Elliot Moss
And on that brilliant note, questions from the audience if you have any?

Audience
So it would be really interesting to know if you were going into fashion again now, how would you feel it has possibly changed in the last you know, sort of thirty years?

Nicole Farhi
Fashion now?

Audience
Yeah.

Nicole Farhi
To tell you the truth I am absolutely not interested in fashion. Since I left it, I left it behind totally. I never open a magazine unless like in Vogue, I am in it. It’s true and I don’t go shopping. I wear my old clothes. I’ve got wardrobes full of them and I recycle them and I am not interested you know. I am in a studio all day wearing tracksuits and so I don’t follow it.

Elliot Moss
Another question.

Audience
What would you say has been the biggest challenge of your entire life? What was the…

Nicole Farhi
Pardon me?

Audience
What was the biggest challenge or the most difficult thing you have had to face?

Nicole Farhi
Challenge?

Audience
Yeah.

Nicole Farhi
I have been very blessed you know. I didn’t, I didn’t find it difficult to start as a fashion designer. I haven’t found it that difficult to stop being a fashion designer and get into sculpture. I was lucky after one year to have a first show of my sculpture. Two years later another one so I am one of those lucky person. I have a lot of friends, a happy relationship you know, a wonderful daughter, great step… you know I am such a lucky person so I think the challenge, the bigger challenge are out there in the world you know and I am the witness.

Elliot Moss
Yep.

Audience
Hi Nicole. I was really interested to hear about the influence your family had on you and your success. As a father I want to inspire my daughter to be fearless. Is there a particular piece of advice you had from your parents or your family that has stuck with you through the years?

Nicole Farhi
I think, I think the best thing my parents did for me was to love me and that grounded me incredibly and you know, whatever I did they trusted me to do it and if you give that to your kids, that foundation in love then you know, they will do and they will do what they want to do and my parents didn’t have a clue about fashion but when I said ‘I want to be a fashion designer’ or ‘I am going to be a fashion designer’, they say ‘yes’. My father never understood what I was doing. I would come back to Nice to see him on holiday and he’d say ‘well are you going to stop? What are you exactly doing? Why don’t you come back home?’, you know he just did not get it and so let them be, your kids.

Audience
Thank you.

Elliot Moss
Final question. If we have one more… yes? In the corner at the back there.

Audience
Hi, I was just wondering who was your influence as far as your sculpture? Which artist influenced you a little bit?

Nicole Farhi
I think Edwardo was an influence, not by his work but by the fact that he worked every single day, he went to bed in the evening, leaving his work ready for the next morning. He never finished a piece and he taught me that. Don’t finish a piece at night because you want to get up and go back to it in the morning and I think that was an influence on the way I am today. Otherwise as an artist I love the work of Giacometti, he was the first sculpture that I really loved and perhaps he did influence my first sculptures. Bacon is somebody who was not a sculpture but wanted to be a sculpture in his life and his paintings do influence me. You know there are so many incredible artists around from the past or from today that you learn something from.

Elliot Moss
Very good. I think we are going to run out of time. Nicole it’s been fantastic to talk to you.

Nicole Farhi
Thank you.

Elliot Moss
Thank you for being so candid.

Nicole Farhi
Thank you, thank you.

Elliot Moss
I have learnt a lot.

Nicole Farhi
Thank you. Thank you for being such a good sport.

Elliot Moss
That’s it for our first Jazz Shapers Live of 2018. I’d like to thank Judi and the band, please put your hands together. And thank you also to all of you, our special live studio audience. We’ll be back next week at 9.00am with a more reserved in studio Jazz Shapers but it won’t be half as much fun. Right now though it is the final piece of music on this Jazz Shapers Live from Judi Jackson and the band, it is called This Is Over The Moon.

Nicole Farhi

Born in Nice in 1946, Nicole Farhi is an artist, a sculptor and fashion designer. Through her work for French fashion label Pierre D’Alby she began designing for British fashion retailer Stephen Marks, founder of French Connection.

In 1982, after settling in Hampstead, the designer and Marks launched the eponymous Nicole Farhi label reportedly based on the relaxed, subtle style of dress she still favours. Together with Stephen she has a daughter, Candice. Nicole received the British Design Council award for Design Excellence for her spring/summer 1991 collection, the first time in five years the award had been given to a fashion designer.

In 2012, after more than 20 years at the helm of her label, Nicole decided to sell her interest and focus on her career as a sculptor. In 1991, Nicole met British dramatist David Hare, to whom she is now married, while designing clothes for his play, Murmuring Judges. In 2008, she was awarded an honorary CBE for her contribution to the British fashion industry and in 2010 she received a Legion d’Honneur.

Listen live at 9am Saturday.

“I’m from a Turkish/Jewish family and there were maybe 25/30 of us and we were so very, very close to one another. It was a wonderful upbringing as a lot of our family were living in Nice after the war.”

“I have a great, great warmth for large families. I only had one kid, but my husband has three and we have seven grandchildren. It’s great to be able to give them what I had – that warmth and the togetherness.”

“The Turkish women in my family were very, very chic and they loved clothes. They were always fighting about who had the best outfit. I was brought up by those women – they were next to me always looking wonderful.”

“I didn’t really want to be a fashion designer – I wanted to be an artist, a painter – but I fell into fashion very quickly when I was 20. I found it easy to sell sketches and get into the fashion world: I understood how it worked.”

“I liked the idea of doing something and six months later doing something else. You never get bored because you are always on the move to something else.”

“I was doing what I felt was right. I didn’t have a pre-conceived idea about fashion, I just liked drawing and I thought it was exciting to draw different things, not only clothes but socks, belts, bags, anything.”

“I thought we had changed something and then I read the papers and see all the harassment of women again today. I find it very upsetting actually. Very, very upsetting.”

“Stephen Marks was the business man. I was the creative behind the business. I never understood the balance sheet and he had to try and explain to me what we were doing and how the business was going.”

“I was doing it because I loved doing it. It’s a complete mistake to think that I am a business woman.”

“What is wonderful if you are a designer, if you are an artist, is not to be bogged down by business.”

“My parents trusted me whatever I did. If you give that to your kids, that foundation in love, then they will do what they want to do.”

Judi Jackson

The Live Session featured music from jazz vocalist Judi Jackson. Judi was born in Roanoke, Virginia, and has performed with talents such as Mavis Staples and Snarky Puppy. Judi has been nominated twice at this year’s Jazz FM awards.

“If you are not honest with yourself then your work cannot be as honest.”

“Freedom is key to being creative, to fluidity, to honesty within your work.”

“The song ‘Blame it on my Youth’ is talking about all the decisions we make in our youth that affect us in different ways. How do we recover from them, how do we move through them, or do we just blame it on our youth and leave it in the past?”