The Beat

Madam Reads; Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht

My first tweet to Aliza Licht was at her handle @dkny the savvy PR Girl before she came out… so to speak. I remember everything about that day. I just jacked in a well-paid but seven level of hells fashion job. I was lounging on my couch at home watching Lion King for the umpteenth time, whilst reading Fashionista on my laptop in search of my next big thing. They wrote an article about DKNY PR Girl starting her own tumblr blog. I clicked on the link and was stuck on there for a good few hours. It was easy to see why everyone was enamoured by Aliza. Tweeting or speaking with her comes easy, like hanging out with your friends and sharing all kinds of stories over a bottle of champagne. Her wit is sharp and her tone charming; she cuts through the bullshit without cutting you down. Rather, she lifts you up whilst telling you to get your shit together and JUST DO IT. Whether she is tweeting about Gossip Girl, Scandal (side bar, Aliza is the reason why Thursday nights and Friday mornings are non-existent for me because I stay up until 2am watching Scandal live with the States. Yep.), or the Oscars red carpet, she takes us on a journey. Behind the scenes of this closed off world of fashion and beyond.

Fashion is not all Aliza has to offer, she talks shop on everything from career to a good cupcake, that all important first cup of coffee, and the power of a good red lipstick. (another side bar, Aliza is the reason I bought my first red lipstick) Naturally, it was only a matter of time before publishers took note. What took them so long?

Leave Your Mark is the mentor we ALL need. Whether you are just graduating from University, on a summer break from Secondary School, on a gap year abroad, a senior exec in a company, starting out on the career ladder, or your own boss; blogger, writer, designer etc. Aliza dishes her nuggets of wisdom with several sides of sass. It’s not the basic career advice book, she elevates the tone, lets you know, believe, that whatever it is you want to do, whatever you set your heart on, with hard-work and dedication you can, and should do it, because you owe that much to yourself. She is the prime example of how the best laid plans can fall to the way side and you find yourself at a cross roads…what to do. Aliza found herself on that cross road when after studying a degree in Sciences, it was fashion that took her fancy. Imagine having that conversation with your parents. She didn’t take the easy road, she stepped up, and it paid off.

Nothing about where she is today happened overnight, or came easy, she takes us through her journey, starting from the bottom and climbing her way to the top, without stepping on toes, but learning from those ahead of her, and acknowledging the shoulders of the giants in the industry upon which she stood. Whether she was getting rid of dust bunnies, spending her weekend taking inventory of about one thousand pairs of shoes to return to designers on Monday morning, or getting Donna Karan Atelier on the red carpet…every job, every situation, every problem, every failure was an opportunity to grow. A learning curve.

Leave Your Mark challenges and encourages you to take a hard looking at your choices, go back to the drawing board if need be and take stock, rather, a selfie, have those honest conversations with yourself; are you where you are meant to be? The tone is personal and relative; the message is clear and uncomplicated but most important, you find yourself at the heart of it. Camaraderie in 288 pages.

I especially enjoyed the chapter on Social Media, in today’s highly connected virtual world, everything is relative, and the minute you put yourself out there you cannot take it back, Licht has especial advise on social media;

“transparency and authenticity rule in social media. People not only expect it, they demand it.”

Social media is about putting out the very best of you, because you just never know who, where, or when that opportunity will come knocking on your door. Indeed, this is one of the more powerful messages in Licht’s book; who you are, what you do, is connected to where you want to be, so always be about your sense of self, your most authentic self, no matter the situation.

My 13 year old niece has her summer reading all sorted and so should you.

What are you waiting for? Go out there and Leave Your Mark.

Aliza Licht will be in Waterstones Trafalgar Square on the evening of the 17th of June, you should totally stop by; Tickets here