Sara was is an Italian model living in London. She decided to come to Art Basel in Florida and was searching for a brand who would dress her for Art Basel events. I applied. After a Zoom call, we knew there was an instant connection. For one, she loved the message and mission of Mikah Fashion. She also liked the clothing I proposed. We booked a day to meet in person.
She came all the way from Miami to Boca. She tried on a few pieces, which I was excited to photograph on her. Most of all, Sara and I created a connection. This sincere appreciation for who she is as a creative person pulled my heart to hers in a strong way.
When I asked if she is joyful, Sara responded yes with shining, bright eyes. Then, I inquired if she would share her powerful story. She said that it would be an honor.
I was in Portugal working, and she was back in London after Art Basel. We met on a rainy Sunday morning over Zoom. (Thank you, Zoom!) It was there that she shared her story, her raw feelings, her excitement about life and her future. I learned so much from Sara, and I am so happy to share. I have to confess that I learned something from Sara that shocked me: I learned that there is a possibility for clinical depression to go away.
I sincerely thought that if you are depressed, not because something happened that was extremely sad and heartbreaking, but because you had mental illness, I thought it stayed with you forever. This is not the story in Sara's case. Whether it was because of a change in her body, therapy, her art and how she expresses herself or something else, Sara changed. The important thing that I heard is that there is hope. Is there anything better than that?
I don’t suffer from depression. Still, if I was this excited by this information, I could only imagine how it will impact people who are suicidal and depressed. So, because of this NEWS, we decided to collaborate once more. Sara was coming to NYC for New York Fashion Week, and I was going to be there. We decided to organize a shoot. It wasn't about clothing; it was about our mission. The mission of giving people hope.
I reached out to five incredible creatives: stylist, photographer, videographer, MUA, and hair designer. I had the audacity to ask them to do the work for FREE. I shared the vision, the mood board, and they all jumped at this opportunity. As creatives, just like Sara, we need to also give voice to our soul. This is what that photo shoot was about. An exclusive blog story will come out with more information about it. Let’s just say here that we will be promoting the Suicide Prevention Hotline, and now we are collaborating with the musician Alex Boye as well.
All I can think of is if we can help one person, just one person.
There were many lessons to share and here are some more I discovered from Sara:
- Art comes from the soul, and it feeds the soul. As an artist myself, I understand the love and passion and the need to create. Sara said it in a very clear way. She told me that she understands art and music on a very spiritual level. It is the language of the soul. This made me understand why I long to paint or create when I am busy with building a business and don’t prioritize art. Artists cannot silence the language of the soul. When we do, our soul tries to communicate in other ways.
- The timing has to be right. We try hard to speed things up, but sometimes we need ride the waves, feel, and be. Then things click, and life opens doors that were closed to us before. Each person has their time to bloom.
- Choose a therapist wisely. There are all kinds of therapists, all kinds of approaches. Each person has to be ready to receive the guidance, but they have to have the opportunity to choose the right person to help. Finding a person or persons to blame for the patient’s problems and hardships is not always the way to help the patient get out of the rut they are experiencing. Often, the present is forgotten while we try to deal with the past or prepare for the future.
I also learned a lot about Trichotillomania. Sara explained the fact that plucking the hair is a release, and they start with hair that has a different texture. The hair doesn’t grow back after repeated removal. I learned about OCD and how often the addiction is replaced with a different one if not treated properly. I was fascinated by what I learned, and I was also grateful that I could ask these questions openly without feeling awkward. I believe that the more we learn about each other, the more we can be empathetic, compassionate, and kind.
Sara concluded our talk by telling me that there is nothing she shared with me that is not okay to share. She is an open book, and she wants to help others.
I asked Sara what she wants to be. She told me she wants to be a model but not necessarily the one that wears clothes and get photographed. She wants to be a role model. She wants to show women that there are all kinds of people, looks, hardships and that there is hope. When she grew up, there was no social media. She thought she was the only bald woman on the planet. Today, we can at least thank social media for helping us see that there are all kinds of appearances, all kinds of people. In reality, we all belong on this planet, in one place or another.
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Model: Sara Meucci @miss_swirl
Photographer: Mike Oliver @mikeost
Creative Director: Miriam Grunhaus @mikahfashion
Stylist: Anna Lavo @annalavostylist
Hair: Antony Payne @anthonypayne
Make up: Candice Rios @iamcandicerios