This is a big moment. Last week I announced my new partnership with Melissa Fabian, Tulsa-based stylist for the men's clothier J. Hilburn (here's the press release). I'm crazy excited to sport my new clothes at upcoming performances, but that's not nearly the only reason I decided to work with Melissa. I've realized that for my partnerships to work, the first priority has to be on the people you're working with.
Way back in this early blog post, I argued that art is anything you do that expresses something about who you are. Clothing clearly does that, but so do the people you choose to associate with. Who those people are says a lot about you, which makes publicly partnering with them a huge deal. It means that you support them so strongly that you will tie part of your reputation to theirs.
My dad and I (also known as Ryan & Ryan) ordered suits from Melissa earlier this year, and we were exceedingly pleased with the result. The clothes fit well, but I was more impressed by how concerned Melissa was with making sure that we were satisfied with the entire process. She cared more about meeting our goals than her own, and so I was left with the sense of being enriched by the experience.
Imagine my delight when Melissa agreed to work together in promoting our respective work. Yes, the clothes are great and match my 'Classic Meets Cool' style, but more importantly Melissa is someone I trust will treat my friends with respect. I'm proud to associate myself with her business, and I think that's what makes a partnership truly successful.