My CEO (Chief Everything Officer)

- November 10th, 2015 -

Zadeh New York Blog - Chief Everything Officer

For the past few months I have been getting a lot of compliments on my website. “So cool, so clean, so chic…” (just passing along their comments). It does look so different!

The new website is Sophie’s work. Sophie is my daughter.

When Sophie joined my company, I had no idea what I was in for. It has been a roller-coaster ride, in the truest sense of that expression. The upcoming launch of our Fine Jewelry Collection at Barneys, to me, marks the culmination of Sophie’s shakeup of my business over the last 2 years. So I thought I would take the opportunity to reflect.

Within her first couple months, Sophie got us a booth at two of the most prestigious trade shows in the world – Pitti Uomo in Florence and Tranoi in Paris. We have since launched our men’s collection at some of the best stores in Europe and Asia, including United Arrows in Tokyo and MatchesFashion.com.

(I have been trying to do this for 18 years!)

You may have also noticed we have a new brand name – ZADEH New York. “Catherine M. Zadeh” was too long, she decided.

The next step was PR. I was – as always – hesitant, but she orchestrated a private press viewing with key editors; they loved the collection and they loved her.

Of course, they would.

I had to fly the next day for a 2-month stint in Wellington, Florida for the Wellington Horse Show. She came for a week to set up our pop-up shop, and then off to London. She established our London office at the local Soho House there. We Facetime most of the day; she vetoes or censors most of my posts on Instagram; she is super strict, always reminding me to keep in line with what we stand for, with our ethos.

I drive her crazy. She always reminds me to focus, to do one thing at a time and do it to perfection, nothing half way. Sometimes she points out that I am crazy and delusional…It never hurts to dream, I remind her. Sometimes I am the kid, sometimes she is the boss – actually lately too much of a boss!

All the way from London, Sophie had a tireless and relentless question: “When are we moving to a new office? This office is not you – we have to move.” From across the Atlantic, she charged ahead and engaged her father (because her dad does anything for her) to find a bigger space. Of course, when we got the lease, she said: “Mom, you need to decide (from Florida) what the place should look like…it’s a space to reflect who you are, what you think, what inspires you. Get to work…we don’t have that much time!”

She made it happen by sheer will…and of course, thanks to her dad.

I love our new studio.

It’s a place I like to go to, to think, to imagine and to create. My clients now also have a place to hang out, to see our latest designs and hear the most fabulous music, courtesy of my third daughter, Celine.

Follow her @celinenm on SoundCloud. She is a badass!

Working with me is not easy, I completely agree. I expect a lot and I think I know it all. It was so difficult to give in to her changes. I had my system that worked and I was happy with it. So when Sophie insisted on the importance of branding, of marketing, of newness, of presentation, of customer service, inventory management and everything else – I knew we were charging into the Big Leagues. She meant business.

Her vision is macro, mine micro. Whereas I am about the minute details, she is all about the big picture. She is so quick, she accomplishes in a few strokes what would take me hours to do.

The new designs are because of her. She said I could do it (she gave me no choice), and her face lighting up with each new design is the ultimate. It has been exhausting and terrifying and exhilarating. I could never have done any of this without her. My new pieces are already so unique, so different. I am so inspired!!

I think we are the next Hermes. “I think we need to finish packing the Barneys order,” she tells me.