THIS PAST SPRING, ROBERT H. FRANK REGALED NEW YORK TIMES READERS WITH AN HISTORIC EXAMINATION OF THE ORIGINS OF “SUCCESS.” TALENT AND EFFORT, HIS ARTICLE DETAILS, PLAY KEY ROLES, BUT SO DOES LUCK: WHERE YOU ARE BORN, THE LEADING LETTER OF YOUR LAST NAME, EACH SEEMINGLY INNOCUOUS DECISION YOU MAKE ALONG THE WAY. ULTIMATELY, HOWEVER, THE JOURNALIST CONCLUDES, SUCCESS IS A PRODUCT OF ONE’S ABILITY TO IDENTIFY AND APPRECIATE PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT.
Anecdotally, accomplishment today is often measured by packed calendars and elevated stress levels. Conversely, Suzi Jones, like Frank, defines success as happiness, a status she achieves by digging in (to opportunities and individual passions) and letting go (of jobs, experiences, convention) to make space for whatever’s next. This inspired method has anchored a prolific creative career that includes stints at leading fashion institutions, ranging from Barneys New York to Warby Parker to her current roles as the Creative Director at Bergdorf Goodman and mother of two.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD GIVE YOUR 20-YEAR-OLD SELF?
Move to New York City. Don't wait.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR MOST ADMIRABLE VIRTUE?
I'm very good in a crisis.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST IRRESISTIBLE VICE?
A SUNDAY AFTERNOON SONG
A SONG FROM THE FIRST ALBUM YOU OWNED
AN IMAGE YOU WISH YOU'D TAKEN
WHO HAVE BEEN YOUR GREATEST MENTORS?
Simon Doonan. Working with Simon was nothing but creativity and fun. Nothing was too outrageous to try. And he taught me to let things go, which I now think is absolutely imperative to a happy creative career.
IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH ANYONE WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU TALK ABOUT?
Diana Vreeland. I’d love to know how she stayed so relevant and passionate, not only about fashion but about everything.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE YOUR LIFE WILL LOOK LIKE IN 20 YEARS?
AN IMAGE THAT HAS INSPIRED YOU
A PLACE YOU HAVE CALLED HOME
A SONG THAT MAKES YOU FEEL NOSTALGIC
A SONG THAT YOU'RE EMBARRASSED TO LOVE
Anything by Britney Spears
A NEW YORK MOMENT
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
WHAT IS THE BEST RISK YOU'VE EVER TAKEN?
Quitting jobs that didn't make me happy.
WHAT DOES THE WORD FEMINIST MEAN TO YOU?
Equal pay for equal work!
A PLACE YOU DREAM OF VISITING
YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS
A KIDS' MOVIE THAT MAKES YOU CRY
WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING A WOMAN IN A POSITION OF POWER, IN A MALE-DOMINATED INDUSTRY?
I don’t feel like I’m in a male dominated industry. Ever since getting into fashion I feel like I’ve worked with a lot of women in power positions.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART?
Fashion isn’t always family friendly.
YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD PICTURE
A SONG THAT REMINDS YOU OF YOUR PARENTS
A SONG THAT MAKES YOU THINK OF YOUR HUSBAND
I walked down the aisle to this on a boombox.
AN IMAGE THAT WAS ON YOUR WALL AS A TEENAGER
A PERFECT STYLE MOMENT
YOUR LAST GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH
YOUR FAVORITE FEMALE CHARACTER
HOW DO YOU WISH FOR YOUR DAUGHTERS' LIVES TO BE DIFFERENT THAN YOURS?
I hope that breast cancer will be eradicated and global warming will be addressed.
HOW DO YOU HOPE YOUR DAUGHTERS WILL DESCRIBE YOU WHEN THEY GROW UP?
Happy, fun and understanding.
AN IMAGE OF POWER
YOUR MOST PRECIOUS OBJECT
YOUR FAVORITE BODY PART