‘Uniting intelligent, stylish working women’ is the tag line for Harpers Bazaar’s successful series of insightful interviews and events for professionals, and last Monday night, Carmen was invited to join editor-in-chief Justine Picardie at the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge to discuss her extraordinary, multi-faceted career.
A starting point, unsurprisingly, was that of Net-a-Porter. With the recent departure of Natalie Massenet from the company she and Carmen built, the audience was keen to hear the game-changing story again. Carmen’s affinity for the early internet days, owning a luxury fashion boutique in Venezuela and selling ready-to-wear from the runway via illustration and Polaroids, aligned perfectly with Natalie’s endeavors.
The attendees were particularly inspired by her transient childhood, and how neither deafness nor dyslexia have hampered her drive and determination, and that her reliance on visual cues actually heightened her acute sense for fashion.
Despite her success, Carmen perhaps surprised many when she revealed that it is the journey that drives her, regardless of the outcome, and that moments of failure can actually make her feel more alive, and were when she felt more like herself.
"The most empty moments I’ve had in my life were when I was regarded as being the most successful. It can be empty and hollow. The best part is the journey."
Instinct and intuition play a big part in Carmen’s proven record of making the right decisions at the right time, and indeed she fiercely believes that timing, as well as patience, are key in all things, and was keen to impart this to the enthusiastic audience.
With many enterprising women in attendance, the closing Q&A session extended long into the evening with many wishing to share their start-up stories and ideas with Carmen.
Watch highlights from the evening...