As founder and creative director of Lala Berlin, Leyla Piedayesh is one of the most successful German designers. Born in Tehran, she fled to Germany with her parents before the Islamic Revolution. The new culture, language and way of life opened up a completely different world for the then nine-year-old. The confrontation with her own roots is still a driving force for the designer today, and is reflected in her very distinctive designs. Colourful knitwear looks and the iconic Kufyja print are trademarks of the label she founded with passion in 2004 without any experience in the fashion industry.
How to make the leap into the unknown? We find out in Leyla Piedayesh's The Art of Drive:
Find your passion
Being aware of oneself is the first step. This also includes freeing yourself from many preconceptions. There is no such thing as the ideal, perfect path to success. It is much more important to do things out of passion. Because then feelings of happiness arise and personally they drive me more than, for example, clearly defined objectives.
Dare to jump in at the deep end
We often tend to overthink things. If I had set myself too big goals from the beginning and wanted too much, then I would have started to doubt myself and question: 'Who has achieved what and why? Why haven't I achieved that yet? Can I do it at all? Actually, I'm not good enough. Then I'd rather give up right away.' So, I just did it. I jumped in at the deep end and began to swim.
Find your team
The right team is essential. From the very beginning, I realised that I could not implement my vision alone and was dependent on skills from many different areas. It is a learning curve, but also a release from one's own ego. Don't take yourself more seriously than your counterpart, don't weigh your own opinion more heavily than someone else's – and I mean that with the necessary respect. It's not about being the boss, but about bringing people and talents together.
Learn to let go
The biggest obstacles I had were with myself, in dealing with myself. I grew up completely conservative and therefore had to reorient myself in many areas. It was a mental dilemma for me, because I was dissatisfied with a lot of things - I am generally a person who questions everything and cannot accept certain things as they are. Of course, these qualities also have their positive sides, because they turn you into this driving creator. On the other hand, they often drag you down into the deepest valleys because they lead to great self-doubt. Letting go and setting priorities for yourself is the be-all and end-all at this point. Remember that you are the person who is meant to be at the centre of your life.