Style A-Z with Young & Able


With a dedication to transparency, our friends at Young & Able are breaking ground in serving the next generation of designers, makers and creatives by giving them a platform to tell their story and sell their products. In order to truly foster connection in an offline setting, Young & Able founder Rosa Nguyen has launched the three-week long popup entitled SERIES which covers all the bases from A-Z. So in an effort to truly celebrate elements including style, storytelling and shopping, this story SERIES introduces 26 of Young & Able’s participating SERIES pop-up designers who have kindly given us a glimpse into their world. Read on to meet 26 of the nation’s most creative up and comers who are sharing what it truly means to be young and able.

Campaign: Rachel Schwartzmann Lead Photographers: Christina Emilie and Katelyn Rose Graphic Design: Jane Espiritu


A Step at a Time with The Palatines

Please introduce yourself!

I grew up in the Philadelphia area, and spent much of my early adulthood in both NYC and the Pacific Northwest. I moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles about three years ago, in order to pursue my interest in bringing footwear manufacturing back to the United States.

As a kid, I studied ballet very seriously, and expected to have a career as a dancer. Of course, adolescence got in the way, and I quit when I was in my mid-teens, in order to be able to have more of a social and creative life outside of the studio. I never regretted my decision to stop dancing, and have had a fulfilling life of friends, travel, study and career. However, upon moving to LA, I was exposed to a wonderful group of dancers and teachers whose approach to dance was much more inclusive and free than what I was used to. My obsession with dance & movement came back with such momentum that if I’m not in my design studio working on shoes, I’m probably in the dance studio! It’s funny – I feel like I have dance to thank for both my sense of discipline (learned young) and also for a reliable way to calm down and de-stress from a day of work. It’s definitely been a balancing force in my life.

One of the other excellent things about dance is that it’s great exercise, which is good because outside of the design or dance studios, you’ll probably find me at a good restaurant with my husband and/or friends. I’m not a hardcore foodie, but I do love to eat, and I was so happy to find that Los Angeles restaurants definitely rival those in NYC for quality and diversity. I’ve even found pretty good pizza! (Although my pizza-loving heart belongs to Roberta’s in Brooklyn…)

What we would experience after taking a few steps in The Palatines?

I am a total morning person. One of the benefits of working for yourself is supposed to be that you make your own schedule, but my nature is to get up in the morning and go. So, in the spirit of self-care, I actually try to stay in bed as long as humanly possible, although I usually wind up in the studio by 8:30 or 9 am.

First things first – emails and organizing. I know I will be worrying all day if I have emails to answer or plans to schedule. I definitely won’t be productive or creative later if I don’t do those things at the beginning.

After that, there’s really no rhyme or reason; each day is totally different. Right now, I’m working obsessively on the Fall 2015 collection. I’m sketching and refining styles for the collection and then trying to pare them down. I’m also going through different leathers, to decide which colors and finishes will be included. Writing this down, it sounds like the process should take a week or so, but I suffer over every decision, so it’s been taking ages!

On other days, I might be meeting with buyers, suppliers and most often working with my factory. I have a wonderful relationship with the man who runs my factory, and it’s always good to spend time there. Sometimes I can get bogged down in the details of running the business side of things, so I’m always happy to actually go and work on the process of actually making the shoes. No matter what is going on in my business or personal life, I always feel better about things when I leave the factory.

Another thing I like to try to make time for is seeing other designers and creative folks. It’s one of the benefits of living in a creative city like LA – there are often friends with whom I can have lunch, a coffee, a drink or dinner, which helps me re-connect with what I’m doing creatively. At the moment, I’m the only employee of the Palatines, so it’s really important for me not to get too insular about the process. I need to connect with other people!

Oh, and Instagram. I’m constantly on Instagram. I love it.

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

I wish more people would ask how to take care of their shoes. Now that many of us are focusing on purchasing shoes that are made here in the US, we also need to put a little effort into maintaining them. The Palatines shoes are made almost entirely of materials that biodegrade, so obviously they’re going to degrade even faster as you wear them. But that doesn’t mean you have to toss them out and buy a new pair after one season. Having leather soles and rubber heels replaced at the end of each season will help the shoes last for years. And, if you live in a location with lots of precipitation, it’s even better to cover those leather soles with a rubber sole protector at the outset.

One of the first shoe stores I worked at also had an in-house repair shop, so I learned a ton about what can be done to keep shoes in good shape. I really advocate for finding a reliable shoe repair person, and trusting their advice on how to care for the shoes that you love!

What is one of the biggest discoveries you’ve made since the inception of The Palatines?

Aside from the discovery that I am not a marketing or accounting expert, I’ve been amazed to discover the depths of generosity of my friends and family. I’ve always been a pretty independent, do-it-myself type of person. I’m more likely to eschew help than ask for it. I’ve discovered that this is literally impossible when you’re starting your own business. I cannot actually build a warehouse for the shoes on my own. I can’t carry all of the shoes to a sample sale with just my own two hands. And sometimes I can’t make it to dinner on time. It’s humbling, and incredible to realize how much support I have.

What does being young and able mean to you?

Even with all of the help and support that I’ve mentioned, starting your own business (particularly in fashion) is incredibly difficult. It’s not for the faint of heart. All of the designers who are involved with Young & Able embody my idea of these two terms because they put a huge amount of their own time, effort, resources and dedication into what they’re doing. Maybe you have to be a little bit naïve in order to be willing to go out on your own as a designer, and you definitely need to be able to work your ass off to get where you want to go.

Photos by Megan McIsaac for The Style Line

Button-down classics with CORRIDOR NY

Please introduce yourself! 

I’m curious about culture, design, music, fiction, and city life. I’m drawn to people and experiences. If I’m not working, I’m reading, going to shows, at the movies or playing soccer throughout the city. For me a weekend without soccer, is no weekend at all. Soccer is a really interesting way to experience city life because it’s a really a great equalizer. Bankers and bartenders, designers and dishwashers, and everything in between play and its truly democratic. In many ways, the Garment District is much like that – Fabric Importers, seamstresses, cutters, and designers all eating at the same cheap Chinese restaurant. It’s city life and the industry that brings together this cast of characters.

What speaks to you the most about the button-down silhouette – Have you explored other facets of designing in menswear?

I’m most attracted to designing shirts because other than our face – our shirts are the first way that we communicate with the world. It’s how we say who we are and what we represent without saying a single word. While this communication is subconscious, it certainly occurs. I want to make clothing that speaks of style, substance and humor without being heavy handed. We will debut a line of trousers for SS15 in 5 stores across the US and on our online store. Also, we are currently prototyping very casual suiting for next fall. All with the same ethos: quality, interesting, unpretentious clothing.

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

“May I examine your buttons?”

I use really amazing buttons but I’m worried that my customer isn’t looking. 

Your background spans from many cities, from New York, to DC to Boston. What role does city life play in the overall the CORRIDOR NY brand DNA?

I am attracted to cities because of the people. I’m influenced and inspired by the people surrounding me in fashion, design, and music. I try to incorporate these influences into my clothes as subtlety as that may be. I guess I’m an extreme extrovert in that sense.


What does being young and able mean to you?

It means freedom and the drive. 




Clean up with Bar Soap Brooklyn

Please introduce yourself! 

My name is KaKyung Cho, I live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY.  I love to come up with packaging design ideas for my line, check out happenings in this dynamic neighborhood, and possibly volunteer for events such as New York Marathon or Northside Festival.  I value health, kindness, and goodwill.

We notice comfort is a big part of your focus. How has your perception of comfort evolved since launching Brooklyn Bar Soap?

People easily can notice my soaps are handmade because they never are perfect straight or shiny smooth.  Every piece would be different.  In a world such factory made items keep your busy life to move faster, you may get convenience – But we hunger for comfort with human touch. We are (still) raised by humans, not by machines.  

I have to say comfort is a trust. For people who cook, we love to go farmers’ market and get fresh produce directly from farmers. Why is it a superior experience? Because we trust in what they are doing.  Therefore, comfort comes from you trusting quality of my soap; that the scent never overwhelms who you are. In the most intimate and vulnerable time of your day, I wish my soap comforts the people who use it.


What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

I wish… people would ask me, why they ought to use a handmade soap? I personally experienced how a bar soap could heal whole my skin problem at one shot.  It was not a doctor, it was not steroid, but just a handmade Dead Sea mud/olive soap. That’s what it all took.  You want to use a good handmade soap because not only your skin gets more vulnerable when it is wet, also it is a good chance to fix something. That’s why.


What role has Brooklyn played in fostering this endeavor and in general how do you think it helps it’s creative community?

God bless Brooklyn! When I went to FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), I thought Chelsea would be my hometown forever. When I moved to Brooklyn, I had to reset my hometown once again!  This is THE place that lets you be who you want to be. There are open minded people who would be your audience, care how you think.  As for art and craft, I never felt understood like much in my life.  Thank you, Thank you Brooklyn!



Dainty jewels with Lucier

Please introduce yourself! 

My name is Claudine Lucier and I’m a jewelry designer living in Los Angeles. I moved to the West Coast on a whim. Previously I was living in Chicago and had really only planned on staying in California a year or two – this year will be 14 yrs. When I’m not working, I love to travel and I’m always looking for new experiences and inspiration. One of the best things about living in LA, is that you can just hop in the car and within a few hours be at the ocean, the mountains or the desert.  I had the chance to go to India for a month last year and that was really inspiring and transformative for me. My husband and I are planning a trip to Japan next spring. I really value my family. We don’t live very close to each other, but I try to spend as much time with them as I can. They keep me grounded.

Would you say you have one comment element or something that maintains the cohesiveness of your aesthetic?

I generally like to keep things pretty simple and definitely have a less is more aesthetic. When I’m conceptualizing a new piece and things aren’t coming together, it’s usually because there are too many design ideas going on. I really try to get down to the essence of the inspiration and edit. The result is almost always more clean and refined. Another common element in my work is bronze. For the past three years I worked with bronze exclusively. I love its warmth and the patina that develops over time.

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What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

“Who would you like to collaborate with?” I really like Seattle based, Ladies and Gentlemen Studio. Their products incorporate form and function in such unique ways.

What influence would you say the Los Angeles Lifestyle has had on your approach to design?

Los Angeles is pretty laid back so there aren’t a lot of rules. As a designer or any creative, I think you need to be able to take chances and fail. I really try to take risks and learn from my mistakes. It only makes my work better. Also, it’s great to be surrounded by a supportive community of artists. Almost everyone I know is pursuing some kind of creative endeavor. We’re the crazy ones. We can all relate.

What does being young and able mean to you?

I definitely traveled down a few career paths before I became a jewelry designer; everything from a news producer to a landscape designer. The fact that I love what I do and actually look forward to going to work everyday is something I feel incredibly grateful for.


Photos by Laura Taylor for The Style Line


Everyday creativity with Jawmaker

Please introduce yourself!

Hello, my name is James Whitworth. I am an explorer of the creative spirit in us all. Investigator of the unknown and mystical. I want to understand more about how creative energy works, where it comes from and what we can do with it.


Would you say you have any unexpected sources of creative inspiration? 

My creative source for inspiration comes from combining the library of my mind & heart- with the dance of the creative process in an open and flexible state of mind- which reorients the features in a new unique way.


What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

One question people I wish people asked me more often? “Do you wanna go on a magic carpet ride?”


What is one personal discovery you’ve made that you might not have, had you not launched Jawmaker? What does being “young and able mean to you?

I believe it would be – the discovery that -what an artist is feeling and thinking at the time of the construction of an art piece is experienced by the observer when taking in the art. So I’ve learned its more about a state of mind that carries through. To effect the observer in my own unique way, I direct my intentions with all my fantastical feelings to be a part of whoever come across my art. I’ve discovered connectivity among us goes beyond the physical realm.



Festive Fashion with Michelle Hur

Please introduce yourself! 

Hey I’m Michelle. I’m originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin – the good old Midwest. Went to school at Rhode Island School of Design (majoring in jewelry and metalsmithing) and have been in NYC for the past two years now. I love what the city has to offer in terms of diversity and number of things to do and places to see and eat at, all in very close proximity! I value God, family, friends and all the simple pleasures of everyday life.


When thinking of “fresh” in relation to fashion, what comes to mind? Would you say you have a fresh take on fashion through your designs?

I’d say that I really love seeing simple/ordinary materials being used or just being manipulated or incorporated with other materials in an unusual way. Something that doesn’t necessarily follow current trends and is rather more expressive or artistic. Usually more one of a kind/handmade products that are more old school seem fresh and creative in my opinion. I’m not so much into new 3d printed jewelry or products designed from computers or machines, probably since I just really love making things by hand the old-fashioned way and seeing what happens naturally step by step. So for me, I’m just more attracted to American-made slow fashion and appreciate the growing public interest in the handmade/local (attention to craftsmanship and detail).

I’d say although I’m one of many to be inspired by industrial and hardware-like jewelry, everything I make is handmade/small-scale production based, all made by myself here in America. I try to use materials that I’ve collected over time or recycled/repurposed. The Collaged Bar Necklaces I make are more one of a kind pieces where I intricately mix and match different elements and all the brass keys I use for my work are all different from one another which I then manipulate, finish, and plate in NYC. Of course I do have some pieces that are casted in Rhode Island and then plated in the city. An interesting fact about my intuitive design process is that I don’t ever sketch or draw before I make, I just make-make-make and go with the flow. Sometimes usually happy mistakes lead to new discoveries!


What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

Perhaps my favorite color! Everyone who knows me knows that my favorite color is most definitely yellow – all kinds of yellow in the spectrum from mustard to citrine. It’s a fun happy color that maybe most people are afraid to wear or like! Plus, it’s the other color of the best football team in America, the Green Bay Packers of course. Go Cheeseheads!


Would you say there is a common element or thread that makes each of your collections cohesive? 

Showing beauty in rather ordinary and mundane objects…

Hardware/Industrial. Bold. Genderless. Fun. Different. Based on limited color palettes. Intricately composed of simple, everyday objects. Detailed. Playful.

What does being young and able mean to you?

Being “young and able” means believing and being able to do what you’re passionate about and not having to worry about certain things that lie ahead in the future for the time being. Just trying my best and focusing on my dreams and goals, especially as a local emerging artist, maker, and designer. Not necessarily following the norm but figuring things out my own way – stumbling here and there, learning from mistakes, problem solving, staying focused, and most importantly just being constantly excited and inspired.

Global Good with Indego Africa

Please introduce yourself! 

I am Deirdre King, Creative Director at Indego Africa. I am a new mama to a two month old girl which right now is the most important thing I need to be when I wake up everyday and what has already been the biggest joy of my life. I value my relationships with close friends and family and my sweet husband and believe true kindness to be the best gift someone can give or receive.

As the Creative Director do you have any unexpected sources of creative inspiration? What is the creative dialogue like between you and the artisans?

Like all creative souls, I am inspired by everything I see and experience. I’m always taking photos, writing down notes – the need to find inspiration and ideas is a constant to-do in my mind. The artisans in Rwanda that we work with inspire me all the time. I pour over all the photos and videos of them I can get my hands on and being there in person – when I visit – inspires me so much I feel like I might burst. The way these women carry themselves, the sheer regal-ness of their traditional dress, and the innate womanly grace they all share – that inspires me both creatively and personally. They are the women I design for in more ways than one.

Working with the artisans and creating products from NYC->Kigali and back is a process we’ve finely tuned at Indego Africa. We have a stellar team “on-the-ground” in Rwanda that takes my visions and ideas – sometime unfinished and unpolished – and makes them a reality by working day to day with the artisans. We trust the artisans – the (hand)makers of Indego’s products – to tell us what can and can’t be done and to give us their own ideas and ways to create works that showcase their talent and our aesthetic.

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received as a creator/designer? To always trust your (creative) instincts and that even if it takes time (and it probably will), they’ll usually prove to be correct. Don’t change course.

Talk to us about leadership – How has your experience at Indego Africa informed how you lead, both personally and professionally?

I’ve learned so much about leadership at Indego Africa. Quick and efficient decision making is key. A good leader must be able to admit and recognize their own mistakes but be able to continue on without wallowing or dwelling on them. And do the hard work when it needs to be done – people are relying on you. Don’t take that lightly.

What does being “young and able” mean to you?

It means pursuing your dreams and creating opportunity where you see it – hopefully for the good of others! Youth and ability are definitely more than age and skill – I think being young and able is a state of mind – an intellectual curiosity and desire to fix the problems in front of you with the tools that you have.


Housewares with Stéphane Hubert

Please introduce yourself! 

My name is Stéphane Hubert and I am a furniture and house-wares designer and fabricator. I was born outside of Paris and grew up in the South of France and part of my childhood in Martinique. I have been living and working in NY for the past 6 years. I’m just a regular guy. I enjoy nature and art, and value honesty and family.

In terms of sustainability, when was this introduced into your business and how have you been able to maintain a thoughtful approach to design? 

I have always been attracted to reusing something that would otherwise end up in the trash. It’s a question of consciousness. We have to minimize our waste and think about how we are appropriating materials. It’s still difficult to be 100% green. For the moment the market isn’t big enough for it to be entirely affordable. But we’re trying! It’s better everyday. There has been enormous progress in the last 10 years especially. The more the consumer demands it, the faster and easier it will become the norm.


 What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

“Where is the closest solar electric charger for my car?”


From Paris to NYC how has your aesthetic developed and how do you think Paris fosters its creative community? 

Moving to New York changed my aesthetic because in a sense I was starting from scratch. At first squatting in my in-laws garage, making pieces in our bathtub, apprenticing with a high-end furniture maker, and then eventually breaking off and going on my own. I think that’s another meaning of able for me, taking the risk and trying. We’re all capable if we set our minds to it and don’t give in to the fear!

Paris is a cradle full of design creativity rich with history. Not unlike New York, the mix of cultures and influences makes it a very inspirational place.

I feel very lucky to have my background and upbringing in France to draw from, and apply it to my work now that I’m here in New York.


What does being young and able mean to you?

Young – Looking at life with fresh eyes, with newness. And keeping your eyes open, sharp and curious. It’s all in the way you observe the world. And understanding there’s always room for progress & development and challenge, without forgetting the masters. Able – Skillful, but also using those skills to realize ideas. The impulse of design comes from the desire to satisfy a need or desire. We’re sometimes even forced to do it, driven by a necessity. 

Industrial aesthetics with SUGURU

Please introduce yourself! 

I’m Suguru Miyagi. I was born in Okinawa, Japan and came to US to study art and design. After working for major apparel companies – which included Levis and Tommy Hilfiger – I designed my own line of silk scarves. After living in Hells Kitchen and Williamsburg, I moved upstate to Garrison NY with my partner and our french bull dog. Our home is on six acres and we’re surrounded by woods and encounter wildlife every day. I also practice yoga and recently rediscovered a great yoga studio near my home so I practice several days a week. 

You reference industrial landscapes as an influence over your aesthetic, is there any particular landscape that speaks to you the most?

NYC. I use the words “Industrial Landscape” to capture my vision of all the urban scenery I observed in places like the East Village and in the abandoned factories and warehouses in Williamsburg – Williamsburg back in the day.

…Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic that celebrates beauty in imperfection. Like when something man-made becomes weathered and damaged/distressed by nature and time. So much of what I see in the many urban areas shows that to me and I love it. A simple example are the old sun bleached posters that are ripped and torn on the street. They are so beautiful! and I love looking at them. I recently visited a industrial metal recycling site, full of old tools and machines that are rusted, dry-rotted, and weathered. I find that to be very inspiring. I took a lot of pictures like crazy person.


What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

I think that would be “What are you listening to now?” Not because I want to tell people what I am listening to, but to strike up a conversation about music with them. I feel that music is super important for my creative process and I am constantly looking for new and fresh sounding music / band / artists. There is nothing like when I discover a new album. A start a heavy rotation. I listen to the same music over and over again until I am done with it and move onto the next one. 

Being that you live and work in Hudson Valley, what influence does this hold on your aesthetic and how do you think it fosters its creative community?

Living in Hudson Valley helps me to notice the contrast between urban things and nature. I lucky since I get to experience both and that helps me to see things with a fresh perspective to blend all the inspiration I feel from my urban experiences with my life in nature around my house. I live in the woods and it’s a very serene place for me to feel the flow of energy to create and design. There are also many towns near my home such as Cold Spring, Beacon, and Kingston that have been changing from quiet older river towns to reborn communities with growing concentrations of artists and creative young people. There’s a new energy and a younger vibe – and you can really feel it. A few of my friends have started new businesses, opened shops, and fun cute restaurants…


What does being young and able mean to you?

[It means being] full of ambitions.


Photos by Colleen Cunningham for The Style Line

Just jewelry with Abby Carnevale

Please introduce yourself!

Hello, my name is Abby Carnevale and I am a jewelry designer based in NYC.  Outside of my business I try to connect to things in the city that remind me of Vermont, where I grew up.   Anything from riding my bike around the park, to spending time cooking a long meal, to going to thrift stores searching for nick knacks and clothes.  I value the basics; love, friends and family.

As a designer what speaks to you most about jewelry design and what role do you think jewelry plays in one’s overall look?

Shape and color are two things that speak most to me. My inspiration comes from my Grandmothers “elegant wilderness” style.  It’s a combination of Art Deco mixed with a rustic, natural look, influenced by where she lived – the Adirondacks.  I try to combine both styles to have a simple yet sophisticated design that can translate to any occasion or setting. I think jewelry can add confidence and poise to any look, no matter where you are.

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

“What do you want me to cook you for dinner?”

What does being young and able mean to you?

“Young and able” to me means finding out what you are passionate about and taking the steps to pursue that passion and build a career.

How has designing helped you to celebrate personal style?

I think designing has allowed me to create my personal style. Since I started designing pieces, I think jewelry first then everything else.

Knits and novelty with VOZ

Please introduce yourself!

My name is Jasmine Etoile Aarons, I come from a place called Marin, where the ocean, mountains, and redwoods meet with San Francisco.  I think in images and translate to words.  Community and artfulness – the making and sharing of – are what I care most about. Design is one of the most exciting tools I know of, and I believe every tool should be wielded conscientiously.

We love the synergic role social good and style plays in the VOZ brand. With that being said, how would you describe the VOZ community?

The VOZ community is eclectic and passionate.  The weavers’ daughters and young Mapuche professionals Facebook me about their excitement about our celebration of their culture, and in the same stroke fashionistas from Japan to Paris to New York are moved by the touch, quality, and significance of our pieces. VOZ means voice and we are the voice of the community, originating with our collaborative design process with indigenous artisans.


What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

In the words of my high-school Literature teacher Miss Hollins, “But so what about it?”


Speaking more to the idea of driving social awareness through design, talk to us about leadership: How has this particular endeavor informed how you lead?

It’s hard for me to separate one thing from another, as I have been drinking from the fire hose of learning for the past six years.  It’s one thing to design, and another thing altogether to lead.  The weavers themselves, and my extraordinary team and advisors, inform me everyday how to be more culturally sensitive, aesthetically curate, plan better, empower each person to do their best, have faith, make money, create smart strategies, etc.  I think the most important thing is honestly observing the market, circumstances, and nature of your product in conjunction with your production chain to create realistic solutions.


What does being young and able mean to you?

I started VOZ without any experience and have been learning tremendously every day, simply because I was Young and I believed was Able.  Being Young and Able means that there are no insurmountable barriers between you and doing anything in the world.  If you believe it’s possible than it is – once you’ve defined your goal clearly the path reveals itself.  I sincerely recommend that every person trust they are capable of learning anything and succeeding at anything at every age.  But of course – do your research too!

Lustworthy prints with {Em}Reservoir

Please introduce yourself!

Hi! I’m Erin Murphy.  I woke up this morning at 5:30am, fed my chickens, drank a cup of coffee in my Adirondack chair on the back porch while my dogs ran around the yard and now I’m off to start the day! A proud Mitten-loving native of Michigan that moved to New York almost 10 years ago, I now split my time between the bright lights of NYC and my country homestead in the Hudson Valley. While my love of fashion and food are fueled by the limitless opportunity here in the city, you’re just as likely to find me hiking with my husband and dogs, hosting dinner parties with friends and family or out on the river fly fishing. I also own a American designer and craftsmen focused boutique in Beacon, called Reservoir and Wood, which is a perfect representation of my dual city/country life and all the things you love in between!


Talk to us about prints, what role do they play in your design aesthetic?

Prints are a perfect way of telling a story.  Unlike a solid fabric, prints are bold and immediately say something to the eye..how you feel, what you like, who you are.  I love creating prints from doodles I daydream and then render, or photographs I capture and manipulate.  Possibly my favorite way of creating a print is through embroidery.  There’s nothing more intriguing to me than creating a puzzle from beads & sequins!

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

Can you make that custom?  The answer is yes!  A large part of my love of fashion is working one-to-one with clients.  Tossing in a few bridal gowns, red carpet dresses, or even stitching up the perfect pocket square for a gentlemen’s tux keeps my designs and mind always fresh between collections.  And of course, who doesn’t love one of a kind;)

How are you planning on changing or experimenting with your personal style this season?

I’m always experimenting. I go from garden wellies to high heels in seconds. So I constantly seek out new ways of creating clothing that fit my lifestyle. I want luxury and comfort in one! This coming season I’m also throwing a few pale pinks and lavenders into my wardrobe which is a personal first.

What does being young and able mean to you?

I’ve met many people along the way, who are captivated by my ability to have taken the leap and start my own brand. While its incredibly unknowing and definitely an intimidating process, the saying is true, you have to jump if you’re going to learn to fly!  Being young and able is that exact initiative, to say I believe in my talent and I’m motivated to do it.  I’m really happy to be a part of a platform with the YNASeries that promotes this.


 Photos by Kimberly Coccagnia for The Style Line

Miniature goods with Deme Ceramics

Please introduce yourself!

I’m Demetria Chappo, my whole life family and friends have called me Deme. I live in Red Hook, Brooklyn and my ceramic studio is a few blocks from my house, so spend a lot of time in my neighborhood. I love that I’m both immersed in this vibrant, active, chaotic city, as well as being in an area along the waterfront that’s a little slower, quieter and still has a raw charm. I love taking in the sunsets facing lower Manhattan and the Red Hook loading docks and I always stare up at the moon on my way home.

My bike is both my favorite way to get around the city and my cargo vehicle; hauling pots, groceries, giant rolls of bubble wrap, and pretty much anything I can fit in the basket. Last year, I joined The Brooklyn Peaches, a co-ed synchronized swimming troupe. Since I was little I’ve always loved the water and been a swimmer, and now our practice nights are my favorites of the week. Ceramics is my circuit trainer, but synchro gives me another physical challenge and I love getting to perform in our shows.

My family and friends are most dear to me. I became an aunt for the first time this year and it is an incredible experience getting to know this new little member of our family and watch him grow. I’m lucky to have my brother Alex, who is a musician and artist, living close by in Brooklyn and our friendship is invaluable to me. 

As a home-goods maker how has your approach to design inspired the aesthetic of your home/personal space?

I love filling my home with meaningful pieces, mementos I’ve collected and items from my journeys and travels, pieces made by fellow artists and my own work. My parents are landscape designers and having lots of green plant life in my home makes me very happy, so there’s always room for another planter. It’s a bit cyclical, both making things I want to put in my home and work I’ve made inspiring my home décor. Currently I am working on designing lighting for my living room, which is filled with sun throughout the day (one of my favorite elements of my home), but is lacking a good lighting source at night.

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

“What are you doing right now, can we hang out?” I feel like we are always so busy in the city and sometimes we can go far too long between seeing friends, scheduling a long way out, and we forget to be spontaneous and just meet up right now. It’s the same for visiting fellow artists and planning studio visits together – we can gain so much from spending time with other makers, but sometimes we’re too myopic and get stuck not leaving our space and projects. I know I’m guilty of this.

Also, “Do you want to go on an adventure?” I’m always up for it.



What does being young and able mean to you?

It’s living fiercely and passionately, being driven, excited and ready to take on anything with a grounded energy and creative vision.



Nail Art with Monica Hues

Please introduce yourself!

Outside of Monica Hues, I am a full time jewelry developer at a wholesale company in midtown. I graduated from FIT, so have always loved fashion! I live on the UWS with my fiancé, we love the outdoors and really enjoy being near the park. I love to traveling, going to concerts, and trying new restaurants in the city with  friends!

From your experience, what role do you think nails play in the greater fashion/beauty picture?

The importance of nails to an overall look has increased tremendously in the last 5 years. Nails are just as necessary to runways designers as the hair and make-up. Having a nice manicure completes a look, the same way accessories do! With all the options for color, embellishments, and art the industry really caters to personalization. Nails are another important way to show your personality and be creative!


What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

I wish people asked why I started by business. If I were to answer that question I would say, my sweet rescue cat Bernice passed away which left me really bummed. I knew I always had a strong drive for nail art so as a distraction, I redirected my energy on getting my nail license  and starting my business. My first pack of decals ‘Kitty Head’ is in honor of her, she gave me the push I needed!

How has nail art informed your personal style? 

Since I became a licensed Nail Artist, and created my decal line I am constantly thinking of new and innovative ways to apply and evolve my nail art. I love to showcase my decals, and am always trying to think outside of the box to keep people interested and excited in my product! I like to do kitschy designs for holidays and events, but most days you can catch me wearing what I consider edgy more fashionable designs. I take a lot of what I learn painting nails backstage at fashion week, and try to apply to my every day manicures! 


What does being young and able mean to you?

Being Young and Able means being able to recognize you have something unique to offer the market, and going after it! You are able to make your vision a reality if you have a passion for what you create.


On the Outside with APPALATCH

Please introduce yourself!

The Appalatch nuclear family is made up of 4 people – Grace Gouin and Mariano deGuzman (co-founders), Ella McCoy (internet guru), and Allyson Ansusinha (part time Wonder Woman). Our extended family includes our spouses, boyfriends, moms, best friends, and Appalatch’s customers and fans (a loyal bunch). We all enjoy getting our hands dirty on sweater fuzz and plundering the depths of the internet, the remainder of the US textile industry, and our own ingenuity to grow Appalatch in the direction we want to see it go. When not working, a rare time since at least 3 team members report working even while sleeping, we all enjoy living in the amazing Appalachian mountains. We value sunny days filled with campfires, hikes, farmers markets, and lots of sheep and cheese. We work hard to make sure that Appalatch contributes to a future of increased simplicity, where we can live at one with our aesthetics, our bliss, and our morals. 



How would you describe the Appalatch community?

We feel that we are strongly impacted by the culture and the community in which we live – a culture that gives rise to cars packed with friends driving into distant mountain-scapes to find remote outdoor wood fired pizza parties that give way to crystal clear starlit nights in the cold mountain air.  Our mission is to create clothes that are not strictly made for the indoors vs. the outdoors because we all live in a way that blends the two realities. Our design aesthetic addresses that middle space between functionality and beauty. 

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

“Where do I look to buy good looking clothes that won’t compromise my morals?” – Grace

“How do I know my clothes are quality?” – Mariano

“Why does it matter where my clothes are made?” – Ella

“How long does it take to actually make a garment?” – Allyson

How do you feel Asheville fosters its creative community?

Asheville’s creative community is fostered by the do-it-yourself nature of the Appalachian mountains. Historically, this area was difficult to reach because of the terrain the isolated area developed a strong tradition of farming, crafting, and generally ingenuity. There are so many amazing craftspeople to learn from in this area,  ranging from furniture making, ceramics, textile arts,  to growing all varieties of food and herbal medicine. You can spend the day traversing rivers and picking wild blueberries in the mountains, getting your chakras tuned up, and digging into the most delicious food you could wish for accompanied by deliciously brewed local beverages. With so many others exploring how to turn their creativity into something tangible and real, it’s hard not to follow suit. 

What does being young and able mean to you?

We love the phrase “young and able” because it gives us a reminder that while we are still young and have so little to loose, we should jump in with both feet and try to change the world for the better. Someday, when there is a new generation of movers and shakers, we hope they will continue the work of refinement and responsibility that brands like ours have started. 



 Production with Purpose with Dirty Librarian Chains

Please introduce yourself! 

I definitely find inspiration from many different realms.  I own my own business and design several collections every year.  I also make music in my home studio, and have several releases (on vinyl!) with my partner Marcos Cabral under the name Time Reveals.  Additionally I work with the Danish designer Henrik Vibskov, buying for the boutique in Soho.  I also do Feng Shui consultations and have a small line of Feng Shui inspired home goods.  So I am very busy!  I try to find my way to a dance floor as much as possible, and when it is nice out, I bike into the city from Brooklyn for some lovely exercise.  Finding joy in everything I do is very important to me.  If it doesn’t excite and engage me, I won’t do it!

Education seems to be a big part of the DLC brand DNA. Can you talk to us a little bit about this – How has this shaped the DLC community? 

Spreading the word on how to create a successful sustainable brand is really important for our future – the more people who follow ethical manufacturing process, the better -for the greater good.  I teach several workshops a year, and I also host young designers in my studio to teach them how to build a successful brand.  


What is one question you wish people asked you more often?  

I love working on custom projects for clients.  Meaningful gifts for bridal parties, necklaces made from heirlooms – these types of projects are really fun for me.


Based on your experience, how do you think New York fosters the sustainable design movement?  

There are so many amazing like minded designers here.  I am part of a designer Breakfast Club that meets several times a month to discuss owning our own businesses.  I find that even though there are a lot of people doing similar things, the community is very supportive instead of competitive.  


What does being young and able mean to you?

A movement of eager young designers that are testing the boundaries for what it means to own a label.  

Quintessential Colors with Mary Lai

Please introduce yourself!

Hello.  I’m Mary the designer and founder of Marylai Handbags.  The brand was launched two years ago to create innovative designs for the women on-the-go.  Outside the business I love to travel, check out new art and spend quality time with family, friends and my two dogs Bang Bang and Boh Boh.  I value relationships and people in my life.

Many of your recent pieces seem to embrace a neutral palette, is this intentional? What is your personal go-to palette when it comes to your personal style?

Handbags are a key accessory that is worn daily so I like to use a neutral palette that will go with any wardrobe.  Even though neutrals are my best sellers I have tried cobalt blues, lipstick reds, and leopard prints in the past with great response.

As much as I love a chic neutral palette, I do love pop colors and prints on accessories and will be introducing more of this in the seasons to come. My personal style depends on my mood but the majority of the time my go-to palette is neutrals with one pop color.  If I’m wearing a loud color or print I’ll be wearing a neutral bag vice versa.

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

“Can I purchase a Marylai Bag?” In my ideal world EVERYONE is carrying one of our bags!


What is one thing you’ve come to love the most about design and how has your definition of passion evolved since you first launched your eponymous brand?

One thing I’ve come to love about design is being hands on and designing from sketch to final product.  The handcrafting process allows you to design outside the box and come up with new techniques.  My passion has evolved since the launch of my brand in many ways.  In the beginning I was passionate about the design and creative aspect but as I’ve learned the business side, I’ve become passionate about becoming a better entrepreneur as well.


What does being young and able  mean to you?

Being ‘Young and Able’ means to take risks, use your talents, and work with other like-minded people to create fresh products.

Responsible Style with Arkins

Please introduce yourself!

I’m a New York City transplant from Northern California so my need for nature consumes most of what I do. If I am not running along the Chelsea Piers, moseying through Central Park or visiting family in the suburbs (close enough to nature when you’ve lived in NYC for a while) I am probably gardening or reading. How I spend my time is actually a great representation of what I value most in life: nature, knowledge and art/expression.

We applaud your approach in maintaining a responsible design approach. Speaking more to this how has your idea of responsibility changed as you’ve grown your business?

Simply put, we believe people and the planet are worth far more than profit. No matter how much money you amass as a company, at the end of the day you’re still just a person and you still only have this earth to live on. It’s shameful the waste and destruction that this industry induces onto innocent people and our planet. The more we grow as a company, the more we learn, and the more we learn, the more we feel the need to make it right.


What is one question you wished people asked more often?

“Why is it worth it to shop responsibly?”  I wish people asked this more in general, not just about fashion. It’s the perfect catalyst to thought provoking conversation that can spark real change.

What story do you hope to tell through your creative endeavors?

I hope it reminds people to be unconventional, resourceful and empathetic. I hope it opens the eyes of others who have pretended for so long that this industry isn’t riddled with serious human and environmental abuse. I hope our story brings positive change to this industry and this world, however small.

What does being “young and able” mean to you?

In my interpretation, it’s a humble reminder that we all are capable of making a difference at any age.


Structured Bags with Shana Luther

Please introduce yourself! 

I’m Shana, a handbag designer with a line of modern leather bags that are proudly small-batch manufactured in Brooklyn. I’m a Pennsylvania native but have made Brooklyn my home for the past 16 years so it’s no surprise that I love it here. I love all of NYC but the community here in Brooklyn is something that I cherish. Halloween just passed and many of our neighbors from the block sat on our stoop, passed out candy, had a beer and just hung out with one another. I love that. I value a strong work ethic, which is something my dad taught me very well, and also taking time to step away from work to enjoy life. Balance is key to owning your own business.

Talk to us about the role structure plays in your design aesthetic – Would you say you have any unexpected sources of creative inspiration?

Many creatives can agree that inspiration can come from anywhere. I’m inspired by interesting color combos, textures from leather, textile prints, furniture, just to name a few. In addition to that, I always find myself looking up images of vintage cars. The smooth, curvy lines on old machinery always gets my creative juices flowing.

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

“Do you want to drive?”

How do you maintain a thoughtful approach to fashion? 

When I began outsourcing my production, it was always a goal of mine to keep it stateside for many reasons, so I was really glad to begin working with a manufacturer within the same borough as me. Now that my company is part of Made in NYC and Brooklyn Made certified, I’ve become much more aware of the made-in-America movement. This year, it’s a goal of mine to have at least 85% of my holiday gift-giving to be American made. Who’s with me?



What does being young and able, mean to you?

Ambitious, creative, talented and always believing in yourself no matter what obstacles may come in the way!



Twirling with Nicole Lenzen

Please introduce yourself!

Hi there! Well, I love to be challenged, and am constantly seeking new knowledge and experiences. Exploration is my way of life – whether cycling around urban environments, wandering foreign countries, learning and performing solo jazz choreography with my swing dance cohorts, hiking desolate nature paths, or snowboarding off-trail terrain. As someone who leans more introverted than extroverted, I’m also content just holing up and working on projects: de-and-re-constructing vintage garments, editing photos, or cooking up elaborate meals. In life, I value freedom, respect, community, intelligent and beautiful design, and conscientious living with minimal impact on the environment.

We love your movement-inspired approach to design. What about dresses speaks to you the most as a designer?  

Dresses are the most empowering type of clothing for women. Much like a gorgeously tailored suit can make a man look and feel like a million bucks, there’s nothing like an impeccably fitting dress to allow a woman to embrace and expose her beauty (interior and exterior). 

A dress is the truest expression of femininity through fashion, and the right one can really transform a woman’s confidence. I made custom couture wedding gowns for many years, so bringing out a woman’s best features is a guiding principle for me. But I also design for practicality – there’s no reason that you shouldn’t also be able to move freely and comfortably just because you’re wearing a tailored dress. My ready-to-wear collection is intended to flatter and perform: whether dancing on stage, biking to work, or killing it during a high-profile pitch.


What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

To be honest, I wish people would just ask questions that require thought. I’m just plain horrible at small talk. Some of the most interesting questions often begin with “why”? Because what’s really interesting is not “how you’re doing” or “what you do for a living” but WHY you’re doing something or feeling a certain way. Understanding personal motivation really explains a lot about a person, and helps prevent judgment or miscommunication. (By the way, great question, ha!)

What decade in fashion do you identify with the most, when it comes to personal style? 

Inspirationally, I prefer the 1940s for the classic cuts, intentional style details, and flattering pattern making. I think of that era as a time when women were beautiful for being feminine and elegant, not as objects with over or under-emphasized figures. Personally I apply that same thinking to my own dressing, but I often add a hint of rock-star edge. I might pair a streamlined, tailored dress from my collection with a sharp necklace made of oversized sewing needles, laser-cut faux scissors, or 3D-printed exoskeletons. I guess it’s like bringing people in on the premise of soft vulnerability, but then making sure they know who’s boss.

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What does being young and able mean to you?

“Young and able” translates to pure energy for me. I don’t even think about the phrase in terms of age, but rather as youthfulness in approach to life and work. Young and able means applying passion to whatever you do, regardless of whether that pursuit is perfecting a handicraft, educating consumers through transparency in supply chain, launching an initiative to empower girls, or simply trading your skill and participating in the sharing economy. Young & Able and the designers involved are not just selling wares, but offering pieces of themselves, and launching a grassroots community. I’m proud to be involved.


Underneath it all with Nais

Please introduce yourself! 

I am Anais Bouchard, designer and founder of NaiS lingerie. I am from a little town in Burgundy France where everybody makes wine. Being in New York very much developed my appreciation for great food and wine, especially if it reminds me of home. I very much value friendship and family in my life, they keep me from dawning in my work !  

We love the conscious and empowering message of the Nais ethos. Can you share your insights and thoughts on the role intimate apparel plays in one’s personal style?

Intimate Apparel has always been part of a cultural/religious context because it is linked to our sexuality. I am trying to put out there that our Lingerie is to please ourselves not to seduce somebody else. Lingerie is part of our style, it deserve as much attention as a pair of shoes because we are in control, as women, of how we want to feel in our intimates. I think wearing intimate apparel that is cohesive with our style is key because it means that we own our style, and it doesn’t feel like pretending to be somebody else.


What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

What challenges/difficulties I encounter as a small designer.


How do you think New York fosters a conscious approach to personal style?

New York values craftmanship in every domain, and a pride in local businesses. I think it’s amazing for fashion designers because there is so much ressources around, it makes it very easy to come up with very high quality products that are made locally. New Yorkers have high expectations and they know the difference between small designers and mass market. It’s really great to have customers that « gets it » and that values somebody’s passion.


What does being young and able mean to you?

It means that the world is our oyster!

Virtuous Design with Kuu Collections

Please introduce yourself!

We’re both art school graduates (Emma RISD Printmaking, Izzy Yale Photography) who fell into design after meeting at a pool party in 2013.  Kuu Collections is just over a year old, so right now we’re working crazy start-up hours and there’s not much time for interests outside of Kuu.  And frankly it’s hard having hobbies when some people consider your profession a hobby.  We have a lovely studio that we share with 4 other artists though, and we really value that community.  We also value quality time with Ira Glass, and all the reality TV that Hulu has to offer. 

Coming from a fine art background and since launching this endeavor, how have your thoughts developed on the synergy between fashion and art?   

Obviously there’s a lot of cross-pollination between the two endeavors, and as designers we’re always looking at art and drawing on our fine art educations. When we design, we employ that specific “critique” language learned in art school – and that process and vernacular influences our designs more than any specific artists or art movements.  Ultimately, we’re makers though, and our process begins with material explorations.  From there, we think a lot about formalism and geometry – always looking for the most elegant and functional solution.  And that perhaps is the greatest difference between art and design – design must be functional. 

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

“Hi, I’m a no-strings-attached angel investor, would you like some free money?”

Being that you work out of Los Angeles, how do you think LA fosters its creative community?  

Honestly, we doubt we’d be doing this if we weren’t in LA.  Firstly, LA is an amazing place to be if you’re doing any sort of wholesaling or manufacturing.  There are so many resources and quality people here that enable us to be involved in every step of our production process.  Secondly, there’s just a culture here that encourages an entrepreneurial lifestyle and spirit… maybe it has to do with the film industry and that clichéd hopefulness that comes with it. LA has such a vibrant community of makers and artists who support each other in a very special way. But there’s also just a market for it.  People here value handmade, small production goods in a very real way.  Economically, there’s also the question of space.  LA sprawl, love it or hate it, means access to large and affordable studios and production spaces… and as we learned first hand, there’s only so much you can grow while working out of your living room! 

What does being young and able mean to you?   

It means having the energy to work multiple jobs to support your passion and work 20-hour days, and also the freedom to take risks.

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 Photos by Sera Lindsey for The Style Line

Worldly Wear with Ayaka Nishi

Please introduce yourself! 

Hi, my name is Ayaka Nishi. I am a Jewelry Designer in New York. I have a studio in East Village, Manhattan. I was born and raised in Japan and have been in New York for almost 8 years now.

I enjoy seeing vintage and antique pieces. Also, I like to look at natural materials like fossil and rock. In fact, I just went to amineral show last weekend. It was really fantastic to see many unique natural items like desert glasses, meteorites, and ammonite fossils.

I get inspiration for my jewelry designs from vintage and natural materials. I appreciate the beauty of nature and natural materials.


Much of this endeavor is inspired by your love for the natural world/beauty, and since launching your namesake brand how would you say your definition of beauty has evolved?

When I started my brand I was more focused on the actual shape of natural objects, but my interest has shifted focusing more on their texture. One of my collections, the Melange collection, combines many different textures such as crocodile skin, stingray skin, cell, honeycomb pattern.

When I see an interesting texture, on anything from fruits to crabs, I’m obsessed over its texture and started to think how I can incorporate this texture into my jewelry design.


What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

I wish people ask me for the story and my inspiration behind the pieces. This is what makes my jewelry unique. Hopefully this will bring others to appreciate the beauty of nature.


Would you say that Japan fosters it’s creative community and how has your approach to design changed since moving to the U.S?

I feel that in Japan many people are greatly influenced by media, everyone is sharing the same information. This is reflected in the creative community. Since I moved to New York I have not watched TV. Now I feel freer to express myself, without being influenced by the media. Naturally, I can focus on my interest without any distractions. I believe if I was in Japan, my brand would not be like it is today.


What does being young and able, mean to you?

It is difficult to establish yourself as a young and independent artist. Competing with mass produced product is challengingboth pricewise and by delivery speed. My role is not limited to just designing and making jewelry, but also includes branding, graphic design, and research. I am never bored. However, I believe there is quality and value that only productswhich are handcrafted in local studio can provide. I am passionate about what I do, which shows in my work. When I see someone appreciate and enjoy my jewelry it makes all the work worthwhile.



Xtra Necessities with Cecilia Gallery

Please introduce yourself!

I was born and raised in New York. After college I moved to Wyoming to ski and photograph but moved back to New York to start Cecilia Gallery. When I’m not working I enjoy being outdoors, playing ice hockey, and spending time with my family and friends. I value those who are humble, appreciative, respectful and grateful.

How would you describe the Cecilia Gallery community?

The Cecilia Gallery photography community is a collection of internationally recognized professional photographers. Their values are very much aligned with Cecilia Gallery and their work evokes wonderful emotions of adventure and joy. The community of photographers are active contributors to organizations like National Geographic, The Photo Society, RedBull Media House, and Patagonia.

What does being young and able mean to you?

Being “Young and Able” is a gift. I am fortunate that I am able to pursue what I want to be doing and have met many incredible people in the business. I am thankful to have the opportunity.

Young and Youthful with Toy Syndrome

Please introduce yourself! 

Hello, my name is Natalya Nyn and I am the founder of Toy Syndrome.  

I enjoy making people smile and I value relationships and community.

Since launching Toy Syndrome, how has your idea/definition of youthful fashion changed?

Youthful fashion is empowering people to express themselves.

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

“How can we collaborate?”

What is one thing you’ve discovered about yourself, that you might not have had you not launched Toy Syndrome?

How much I love people.  I used to be really introverted and now I truly enjoy interacting with others.


What does being young and able mean to you?

Being young and capable of awesome stuff.



Zealous design with Andrea Bocchio

Please introduce yourself! 

Outside work I’m mostly a homebody and a puppy mom. My family is #1 I’m lucky to have my parents close so I get to spend a lot of time with them, my boyfriend and our 3 Havaneses. Travel would be my #2 I get to go back to Peru several times a year but I’m always trying to get away to other places. Next year I see Spain in my future.

Your design aesthetic has a lot of statement and bold elements – With that being said, what do you consider to be bold? How are you planning to be bold with your personal style this season?

I consider unexpected things to be bold, whether it’s a color, texture or mix of materials. This season I’m all about bold bags, I’m letting them dictate my outfits.



What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

I wish people asked me more about my work with the inmates in Peru. It’s been such an incredible experience getting to work with them and truly the catalyst to change my production practices and vision for the future of the line.

From your experience, how do you think Peru fosters it’s creative community?

I think in the last few years there has been a tremendous leap when it comes to supporting artists and designers, there is now a Lima Fashion Week and the government has become more involved in supporting emerging brands, participating in International trade shows.


What does being young and able mean to you?

It means being capable of giving your all to your work and what you believe in. This youthful energy only lasts so long you know, better put it to good use!