FASHION   |   13 JUNE 2018

3 Ways to Pursue Dreams and Work Well in Fashion

3 Ways to Pursue Dreams and Work Well in Fashion

Jayapura, Papua .. June 2007 I still remember the day when “Let's Dance Together” by BBB tune plays in my head, all my friends and I sing and dance to that jam. Cinta Laura's “Oh Baby” was my ring back tone registered for my Nokia N-Gage during elementary school. I used to dream a lot about fashion, sketching girls endlessly and dreamed on becoming a fashion designer, if it's not dreaming then you can call it hallucinating.

3 years later, I moved to Jakarta where I pursue my education further, joining various competitions ( not sport ) , to add some pocket money to buy things I don't want to ask my parent's money for. Until one day a school assignment leads me to the door of all my dreams. I met Tex Saverio. He was the only Indonesian designer I know and I used every possible way I could only to meet him, and I succeeded. 4 fashion shows later and I landed myself working at his office in Menara Batavia as an Intern. I had no idea what was I doing as a sales & marketing intern, but I was willing to learn.

Until one day I got introduced to Dimas Beck who let me play with his clothes and my fashion imagination. After that, Laudya Cynthia Bella asked me to style her. Who am I back then? A boy with no experience as a stylist, who dreamed of working in magazines but never got any access to it, a boy with zero branded items stored in his closet. A boy who is simply excited all the time, who loves fashion, and willing to give his best in whatever he does.

At least that's a bit of my background as a celebrity fashion stylist. My first magazine cover and editorial was with Dian Sastrowardoyo wearing Dior for Indonesian Tatler. I get to work with people who I never ever thought I ever style or met. I even remember talking to my best friend Nana in college, “nah, I will never get to style Tatjana Saphira, Chelsea Islan, Velove Vexia, Cinta Laura, Raisa or all the other top A-listers, they have a great style with their own stylists.”

Today I spent my 22nd birthday wandering around the streets of Jakarta, sharing some of what I have enjoyed most of the time with people who are less fortunate than me. I don't feel like it's something to brag but I'm happy that I can see pure smiles from strangers on my birthday night. First of all I would like to thank my parents for raising me the way I am until today. I'm not spoiled like my other friends and I was raised in great values that make me who I am today. By today I am reaching an age where I have to finish school, be financially stable, physically great, and accomplished at least few of my dreams. I am not in a rush but thankfully; I am feeling great until today.

3 keys to my way of achieving my dreams and maintain a good work in this so called “toxic” industry are described in this way :

1. Having a heart of a kid.

A kid is creative and purely have a great heart. A kid doesn't know what is revenge, he gets angry fast, but he learns to control his emotion and apologize after he get mad or do something wrong. A kid doesn't hate or have enemies, if he doesn't like his mean friends, he just put a distance but still act nice to those friends, purely from his heart. A kid learns that when somebody fools or lies to you, the next time they try to do the same thing, he needs to ask an opinion or suggestion from somebody wiser. A kid takes advice and accept critics given if he is wrong. A kid loves to help people. A kid loves to see other people happy and a kid is always excited for what's coming tomorrow.

a Kiddo Me

2. Having an attitude of a student.

A student has to be discipline, in everything he does, from homework that's relevant, study for finals, always come early, always curious, always asking questions when he doesn't understand, and follow the rules at his school ( in this case I am a rebellious student in terms of dressing ). I believe that an attitude of a student is what keeps me going in this industry and profession that I am doing. A student will fail at some test, but he can learn what he did wrong and improve himself from there. A student is friendly, open to suggestions and willing to cooperate well in a teamwork.

rebellious but good student

3. Think like an adult.

An adult knows what he wants and what he should do to achieve those things. An adult knows when to have fun and when to be focus. An adult sets achievable goals. An adult doesn't show off and let other people talks about his accomplishments. An adult thinks of what he could to help others or those who struggles under his supervision. Having a brain of an adult helps me to maintain a good business planning, being a good leader to two of my assistants and work without being to calculative and greedy. An adult doesn't cry over small breakups or fights. He thinks of the solution and moves on after it. An adult is brave and knows that sometimes winning is not the solution to it all.

adult me I guess. above 21 years old.

I am sharing this on my birthday because I want everyone out there to know that if a boy from Papua like me, who has no access or whatsoever to the fashion industry, nor parents are socialites and hangs out with celebrities can make it here in the capital of Indonesia, working with international designers and most importantly be happy, you can sure be like me or even be greater than me. Last but not least, my favorite way of reflecting is to look back where I came from, what was I doing back then, and looking now, there is always many things to be grateful and humbled for.

Alva Susilo
Alva Susilo

FASHION   |   13 JUNE 2018