The modern day fashion professional identity is a gray area involving many roles. Having a single title has become a departed concept—today, a fashion designer is also a product developer, charity entrepreneur, editor and consultant, while a hairstylist moonlights as a TV commentator, author and art enthusiast. To better understand the trend and the motivation behind these multi-titled professionals, we interviewed a network of multi-taskers to weigh in on their seemingly insatiable professional appetites. First in our series is Ninette Murk, a Belgian-based expert, who works on a number of important fashion-related social causes.
JC Report: Tell us about all the projects you’re currently working on and the titles you attach to them.
Ninette Murk: I’m the founder and director of Designers Against AIDS, creative director for Be Carbon Neutral (BCN), director of International HIV/AIDS Awareness Education Center Antwerp IHAEC, the PR director for Stimuli Magazine, plus a consultant for various brands/designers and a relentless networker.
JCR: Is each role independent of the other, or do they overlap at points?
NM: They overlap as they all have a lot to do with my personality, which is communicative, creative, visionary, stubborn, idealistic, passionate, enthusiastic and naïve.
JCR: Do you think modern day culture promotes seeking success in multiple fields?
NM: For me, a low boredom threshold does more than anything else. Plus, I get enthusiastic very fast about almost everything and everyone.
JCR: Do you work in your current capacity to stay master of your own destiny or do you work out of necessity?
NM: I work because I can and I want to. I feel blessed to be able to work in the way I do right now and to get so much recognition for it. Also, the fact that our work helps to make the world a better place is very important to me. I never had that feeling when I was still a fashion journalist, although promoting young designers and seeing them succeed gave me a lot of satisfaction too.
JCR: What’s the role of collaboration in your current work profile?
NM: It’s immense. Without collaboration, the resulting synergies and the power of the internet, we wouldn’t be anywhere close to where we are now.
JCR: In the future do you envision experimenting with even more roles?
NM: I never plan much, things happen for a reason and if I like to do something, I’ll just do it.
JCR: Define your professional bliss?
NM: If HIV/AIDS would be eradicated I’d be pretty happy—and without my most important job. When I look at the rising rate of HIV infections in the industrialized world, this regretfully isn’t going to happen any day soon though.
This interview was conducted by Jason Campbell.