The old cliché of "Be yourself, everyone else is taken" is a great place to start off this Sunday Paper. I have always liked what I like and cut my own path. I didn’t care what people would say, well maybe a little, but that would fuel me even more. It got a reaction. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good. But when you grow up in Australia there is a sense of conformity that I didn’t feel like adhering to, and as an outlier you lay yourself open to those comments. That is what I found so freeing about coming to America, as those individualities were appreciated and in a lot of ways celebrated. You are encouraged to have a point of view unique to the next guy, and there is nothing wrong with that. Free of the tall poppy syndrome of my homeland and also out of the security and comfort of having family and friends around, I was able to really find myself and work out what I’m about. You get to a point in life where you just care less and less what people think and are just comfortable in your own skin but still recognize your flaws and continue to work on them. Well at least it has been that way for me anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my moments where uncertainty creeps in, but I have my ways of dealing with that too. I don’t know what it is, but I have always liked to do something different and not even just for the sake of it but just a desire to be myself.
Growing up, I was trying to find myself. As a teen I never felt more awkward and uncertain in my life. My 20's were not much different. Coming into my 30's, I have become more and more certain of who I am, and that self-awareness has translated into success from a design standpoint. Not afraid to take risks but knowing when to pull back and play it safe, that is maturity. I wish I had that in my 20's, even though I did take some bold risks, one of which being a move across the other side of the world to start a clothing company. It was crazy but worth it, and after 12 years in LA, I feel the itch to make another bold move in location. But for the meantime, my feet are firmly planted in LA. And with a wife and two kids and a business established here, any such move would require some strategic planning and would be more of an expansion rather than a whole new start.
Anyways, I feel that fashion is a way to express oneself, and I love that. I always have. As a teen and a consumer, I used to follow to a T my favorite idols to a point where I was more them than I was myself. From my favorite athletes to musicians, I wanted to be them, as young kids do. To this day, I appreciate those idols, as from them you have me. It’s kind of like how Kobe said in The Last Dance that you don’t get Kobe without Michael Jordan. You don’t get Daniel Patrick without the influence my idols have had on me. Now I have my own take on things and feel like my own point of view is better for me and their point of view works for them, and I can appreciate both which I also love. But I am not them. I am myself and with that, I am unique, as I believe we all are even if we haven’t found ourselves yet. For me, what I am about is the sum total of all the things that I like and aspire to be. I strive to get better each day, and the battle is with myself from one day to the next. If I can get better at my own pace and time, I am happy with that.