V: Can you tell us how you ended up working with Melinda Gates?
CD: Styling the most philanthropic people in the world is the most meaningful application to styling. Taking this job had me put my money where my mouth is. So if I say that I care about these things, this job really makes sense for me.
V: What are some things you have to consider when you're dressing someone for the red carpet versus dressing a world leader like Melinda, for example?
CD: The biggest differences are that you're really helping them to control their narrative and it’s a much more deeper breadth of things that you're covering. You know, if you’re in a country with another world leader, what are their customs, do they have a traditional style of dress? The first job is to make sure they just don’t offend anyone and to be culturally sensitive. The goal is to actually have them not talk about what they're wearing because the subjects that they're talking about are really important.
V: Now that the book tour is over, what are you currently working on and excited for?
CD: I have a couple of freelancers and other creatives that are working with me to build a solutions-oriented creative consulting agency. I’m going to do more of this immersive work — finding artists and figuring out ways to elevate them, make their brand sustainable.
I almost got to a point, I remember before I took this Seattle contract where I didn't like the role that I was playing in the industry. I was like I'm at the right table but in the wrong seat. And maybe I bring up a folding chair and sit in that. I was able to say no to a lot of work this year. I think as an artist or as a stylist to be able to be like, "Oh, this job actually doesn't make sense for me. So I'm not going to do it.” Being able to create something that is actually meaningful to you, that’s something I would consider a metric of success.