Fashion designer Dayanne Danier held a spectacular event at the French Institute of New York last night. Complete with delicious plates, wine tasting, and a performance from singer-songwriter Mikaben, things were looking more “up”, than the Manhattan and South Beach skylines combined.
Check out the interview below in which the designer talks about the books that have impacted her, balancing her work as the designer behind the label Bien Abyé, and running Fleur de Vie, her non-profit organization.
Kreyolicious: As time has gone by, do you feel that you have a better handle on how to manage your career as a designer and as a non-profit founder?
I definitely feel I have a better handle on how to manage my career as a designer and non-profit founder. The best way to describe is exactly that, managing. I love when people ask me this question because when you stop and look at some of the best designers out there, or at least my favorite ones, they are designing numerous brands and involved in so many initiatives. So to me, it’s the same and more about how do I bring them together, and in a way I am working on that. I love working with textile artisans in Haiti, and I am looking to engaging them in the production of Bien Abyé. At the same time, I believe nonprofit organizations need to keep sustainability as a key element of their infrastructure. So my focus is on how to bridge those gaps between Bien Abyé and Fleur De Vie.
Above: Participants at a Fleur de Vie event.
Kreyolicious: What book would you recommend that female leaders read to get a better handle on things?
That is a great question. Wow! I love reading so mmm, let me think a moment. My all-time favorite book that I find myself reading every time I am going through a new chapter in my life is The Alchemist. I actually first read it on the plane to Haiti when we did the first Back to School program five years ago. I loved it because the idea of seeking out one’s true destiny and never giving up. As a leader, one sometimes has to make hard decisions that the team might not see the vision or the end result. It is up to the leader to have the intuition, the direction to know what to do and accept what will come next through your actions. I can name so many other books, but I would say that is my favorite…To the point I have shared it with our volunteers in Haiti and have been thinking of incorporating it with our teachers and students of Fleur de Vie.
Kreyolicious: Where do you see Fleur de Vie two years from today?
God willing, I would like to see Fleur De Vie grow to have a school in the south and in the north of Haiti. I would also like to grow our on the ground members to a larger scale. It is important that the community be involved in the promotion of social education to the youth. It’s all about nurturing the next generation. I would also like to see Fleur De Vie be more financially sustainable. Our programs require funding that is really not coming in at the rate we need it to. Two years from now, I would like to come up with a way to solve this issue.