It took Stacy London 30 years to fail, but when she did, she failed hard. London was working as the senior fashion editor at Mademoiselle magazine when she was fired. It took plenty of tears for her to realize, but it might have been the best thing to happen to her.
London said, “I had been the senior fashion editor for four years and a new editor-in-chief came in and she fired me.”
What followed is something we can all relate to — well all of us who’ve had our #fail moment. She said, “I went home on the train sobbing to the point that a man across from me handed me some tissues and said ‘Are you ok?’”
But London doesn’t want any sympathy for that moment, because she said “that’s all ego. And when I look back now it was the best thing that ever happened to me, for two reasons. One, it forced me to think about what I really wanted to do with my life. And two, it made me realize that I had gotten really lazy.”
There’s nothing like a little perspective to make you see what others probably saw the entire time. It also makes it much easier to talk about.
London continued by saying, “I got so comfortable being part of a big machine that I didn’t actually think about whether I was sorta stretching my creative muscles or not.”
When London decided to grow herself and learn how to style not just models for the cover of magazines, but men, children and women of all sizes, she was able to create a new career for herself where she empowered women through her role on What Not to Wear.
In the end, she realized, “being able to empower [regular women] became the most important work I’d done in my life.”
When you realize how important London’s fail was to not only her future, but the future of hundreds of lives she changed through What Not to Wear, it really wasn’t a fail at all. It was a way for her to seek out her real path and stop wasting time somewhere that wasn’t exactly where she needed to be.
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