Alum of the Month
November 2013:Carneil Griffin
"Mikva's amazing programs did not groom me for a job, instead it taught me an invaluable skill set, to be aware of politics and to function and even thrive in them."
What did you do with Mikva?
Easiest way for me to answer this question, is to say I participated in everything young men were allowed, in my four years of HS. I was also a part of the Mikva Elections Club. I also sat in on a young women's leadership council meeting or two.
What have you been up to since Mikva?
Since my high school graduation and completion of my summer internship with Mikva, I had idealized a career and life of public policy or the legal field. However as life sometimes has it own road map, a different path have I since followed.
In Jan of 2007 I moved to New York to pursue wardrobe styling, with the hopes of being represented by an agency as a professional creative. After a two year internship with Conde-Nast Vogue publications, my goal of being represented came true. In true Mikva alum fashion, the desire to ensure my vision and autonomy kicked in, so after traveling all over and meeting some high profiled individuals. It was time to create and articulate the art and so I formed Griffin Direction Productions in 2009 which employes 10-15 artists per client.
To date, I am still an represented wardrobe stylist and Creative Director for Griffin Direction Productions. I live Bi-coastal between New York and Chicago and in march 2014, I will expand my brand by debuting my first collection of unisex wear entitled Griffin. 'Articulate Luxury'.
Our brand statement:
Griffin. A Transcendent brand. Excelling at precise and articulate living through creative efficacy, rich textures, and exotic materials. Thriving on the qualities that make each of us unique, we expose an evolution towards a fulfilling and engaging life, by deepening the languages of communication.
Lastly, I just finished the outline for a book I'm writing called The Next Generation.
How has the Mikva experience formed who you are today?
One of the biggest skills I attribute to Mikva, is knowing politics. Learning to research, prepare soundbites and ultimately understand who has the power, is the way I have navigated the politics that exist in my field, of the multi-billion dollar cut-throat fashion industry. Mikva is an organization that introduces youth into politics, I believe that since politics resides in every facet of life, Mikva's amazing programs did not groom me for a job. Instead it taught me an invaluable skill set, to be aware of politics, function and even thrive in them. Which is a necessary LIFE skill, I have taken the tools and applied them in a political arts-fashion world. So today I am 5yrs self-employed, conscious and most importantly grateful for everyone who makes Mikva continue to shape the world.