When we started Beauty Dummy our vision was to create a place not just to share knowledge, but to share wisdom and experiences. Every month, we feature a human in our community that inspires us. This week, that human is our friend, the multifaceted Ms. Fitz!
Beauty Dummy: You're a producer, stylist, creative director, artist, consultant, nightlife icon...you wear so many hats (and wear them well!) How would you describe yourself and what you do?
Ms. Fitz: I’m Ms. Fitz - and I am an artist! Sometimes I hate that I can’t easily describe who I am and what I do - but I’m beginning to embrace it. It feels like a very millennial problem to have! Ha! I am a Slashie, for sure. Creative Director / Stylist / Curator / Artist. I started out as a stylist in fashion, and have been working as a creative producer and strategist in media in NYC for the past few years (at PAPER and NYLON), throw in a segue through New York City Nightlife, and a handful of curatorial projects and here I am!
BD: No matter the client you're working with, it seems like everything you touch has that “Ms. Fitz” quality to it. What inspires you most, creatively and personally?
MF: I’m always inspired by color and fun. It's crucial that we laugh and enjoy our world and speak our truths. I’ve always been that way. People who take themselves too seriously annoy me! Ha! I'm constantly visiting galleries in New York to keep refreshing my brain, but mostly, I pull from an internal well that says “Create! Create! Create!” And then it says “Mix it up! Add another print! NO, MORE color!!"
BD: You’ve always been very vocal about women’s rights and human rights. How does feminism influence your work? Does it impact your view of the beauty and fashion industries?
MF: Feminism and the fashion industry have always had a complicated relationship–but an inspiring one. I love fashion, self expression and glamour, but there are so many things about the fashion industry that suck, like, how one type of beauty (young, white, thin, cis) has dominated our magazines and runways for so long. The whole male gaze aspect, and the glorification of expensive objects as status symbols is super problematic, too. A woman's self worth isn’t tied up to how sexy men think she is or how expensive her handbag is! When I first started working in the industry years ago, I guess my ideas were considered anti-fashion, but thankfully in the past few years with social media, we are seeing those problems being dismantled, bit by bit. We still have a long way to go! But I’m loving where fashion and beauty are heading right now, with visibility being afforded to so many more people.
MF: I try and put my money where my mouth is - at NYLON I worked on a lot of sex positive content, and always make sure to collaborate with and support women who are making a difference. For example - a current client of mine is a Forbes 50 Female Tech leader, and I work with her implementing creative solutions to help get more women working in STEM.
BD: One thing we love about you is how open you are on social media about transitions you’ve experienced in life, and the process of redefining yourself over the years. Do you have any advice for folks who might be struggling to find themselves or achieve their creative goals?
MF: Ugh! Growing up is so hard! I think we all feel lost and struggle to find ourselves sometimes. In so many ways we get locked into the 'style’ or ‘personas' we build for ourselves, (our jobs, our looks, our lifestyles, our friends) and even when we feel like we need to grow and change, we don’t know where to start. Sometimes the first step in moving towards your goals or moving away from a time in your life is really listening the niggling voice inside you that is saying “This isn’t working.”
And beyond that, my advice for finding yourself is BABY STEPS. Baby steps. Take a look at the small choices you make everyday, and by taking a good hard look at them, you may find the power to change your life and yourself in real, tangible ways. Ask yourself: Are you saying yes to too many projects? Are you investing emotional energy into friendships, relationships or companies who don’t appreciate you? Do you need that glass of wine? (Getting sober has changed my life in so many ways). Remember, big changes happen in incremental ways.
MF: This also applies to achieving your creative goals: take baby steps. What are the small things you need to do to set yourself up for success? Do you need a new website? Do you need to spend some more time networking so you can find new collaborators? Break it down into bite-sized pieces. And if, like me, you have too many ideas and that makes you feel frozen, do them all! Throw a bunch of shit at the wall and see what sticks. It’s better than doing nothing.
BD: What's in the works for you right now?
MF: I’ve just moved into a beautiful new studio space by the Navy Yards which is exciting. I’m working on some large pieces for exhibition later this summer, and I’ve just set up a production and marketing consulting company - Poltergeist Creative. More to come!