In October 2009, I was in New York for PPE. I got a text message from Mike Colon asking, “Hey! Do you want to meet Grace Ormonde?”

Duh. The magazine company is only the benchmark for luxury weddings. At first, I thought he was pulling my leg.

I miraculously arrived at Mandarin Oriental Hotel on time despite the NYC traffic for a 15-minute window to talk to the company.

Ding. The elevator came to a halt. The doors parted and I was greeted with a wall-to-wall window panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline. I think I stood a bit too long just trying to soak it in.

“Wow,” I whispered to myself.

lobby lounge

The eclectic and elegant decor was designed with the utmost meticulousness. I felt like a kid – wanting to touch everything.

“Hello. I’m expecting people from Wedding Style Magazine.” And I followed the host quietly.

To be honest, I did not know what to expect. All I knew was that I was a nervous wreck – clammy palms, cold sweat, etc.

To make a long story short, Yanni Tzoumas (executive editor) and I had some drinks and my worries started to dissipate.

After what seemed like about an hour, he said, “Looks like Grace is done with her chat. Let’s meet her.”

“Sureeeee!” I followed dumbfoundedly. What? Grace is a real person? I thought it was a fictitious stage name.

“Forgive my ignorance, Grace. I just have to ask this. Is your real name really, ‘Grace Ormonde?'” They laughed.

If you’re still wondering, yes it is.

While we were waiting for their car, I opened Twitter and tweeted a photo of me and Grace asking, “Guess who I’m with?”

Surprisingly, and not so surprisingly, no one knew.

The Importance of Being Three Dimensional

The spirit of consumerism is always at an all time high during the holidays. I was recently intrigued by the vague yet alluring short movies / commercials that fashion designers use to promote their products. This includes Coco Chanel, Dior, Christian Louboutin, Yves Saint Laurent, etc.

Doing more research, I came upon this video of Christian Louboutin at work in Paris.

β€œCatwalk shows were good in a period when they were restricted, but now billions of people are interested in having a relationship with a brand, so the emotional appeal is more important than before,” says Marina Garzoni.

We’re human. We’re social. We like to subscribe to the traits and qualities of those whom we like. A brand must represent more than just a name or logo. It’s really about having an emotional relationship with it, which is why I like the idea of benefits.

Understand the value of being three dimensional lest you will just be… a name without a face.


Now a friend and advisor to Grace Ormonde, the very first phase in her business redirection was to make it more transparent…starting with a photo.

grace ormonde

And now personal updates…

@Grace_Ormonde – tweets by Grace Ormonde
@YanniWedStyle – tweets by Yanni Tzoumas
@Wedding_Style – tweets by editors Tracy Trouf and Jessica Latimer – interactive updates

Go follow them! Grace and Yanni should have some interesting updates about their holiday in Anguilla. I think they’re still there enjoying the sun.

What I want you to do…

I know that many find social media to be time consuming, repetitive (Facebook vs. Twitter vs. blogging…), or useless. I assure you that it is not.

Quoting from earlier, “We’re human. We’re social.” Social media allows for us to interact with certain brands or other like-minded people! So, don’t deny the trends; embrace it.

  1. Familiarize yourself with Facebook – it is a powerful tool in creating relationships with clients
  2. Use Twitter to communicate directly with peers
  3. Put a photo of yourself in your “About” section, so that we know who you are (not a photo of your client) – I still see so many people not doing this

Anyway, if you’ve enjoyed the ideas of transparency or the story of how I met Grace Ormonde, I encourage you to…

  1. share it with others via Retweet or Facebook buttons below
  2. comment what you learned about Christian Louboutin (via video) and how it has changed your perspective about the brand

Welcome to the new year,

Lawrence Chan

P.S. Since everyone in the world is writing about goal-setting for 2011, I figured I go a different route. That’s unless you want me to write a post on goals.

P.P.S. Thanks for those who RT’ed and FB’ed! Just to promote Grace’s new issue coming out this week, I will randomly select (via a lucky winner for a complimentary copy! I’ll run the contest until January 10, 2011.

This issue is truly stunning, just FYI.

Two weeks ago, I dialed frantically, “Yanni! There’s no ring on the bride! Did this cover go into print? Did you guys see? Stop the press!”

He texted back, “She is a European bride and wears the ring on the right hand!!”

Whew… This is just in case if you were curious.

wedding style cover

P.P.P.S. After watching so many perfume commercials, I actually bought two sets – aye caramba!


I called it. Don’t get the same scents. Or else, we’ll all smell the same at WPPI this February… just kidding.