My childhood wasn’t conventional, but that’s what made it fun. While kids in the neighborhood played football, I rearranged my mom’s furniture, sketched models in high-‘80s style and obsessed over fashion magazines. I loved how fashion could make anyone look great, and how great design was functional at the same time.

With a fashion degree from Otis/Parsons and big, big dreams, I arrived in Manhattan in 1993 and found that my ideas did, indeed, have an audience. Designing with a painter’s sense of color, an architect’s grasp of structure and materials and (this is key) a child’s knack for whimsy and wonder, I headed the global accessories divisions for the Gap, Old Navy and Loop Design. For me, accessories are everything in a wardrobe, and I found myself able to turn just about anything—handbags, jewelry, shoes, hats, hosiery, you name it—into things people had to have.

It’s what I’m still doing today, and I hope you enjoy accessories and fashion as much as I have enjoyed reinventing it.