Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Interview 4: Haysam Eid, the Lebanese approach in hair style

Haysam Eid (HE) is proceeding with this week interview of the DUBAI PROFILE NEWS Blog (DPN). Born and raised in Lebanon is has established his beauty business EIDEAL (www.eidealonline.com) in Dubai. Treating every person as a VIP he is the Middle East approach in hair style. A young ambitious person who is looking for his luck in the fabulous city of Dubai, after living in Beirut and London.

DPN: Haysam you are a young and ambitious person doing business in the beauty industry. How come you chose this sector?

HE: I was raised in a family where Art and Beauty are major. Mr. Younes Eid, my father, is one of the most famous hairdressers worldwide and the owner of Salon YOUNES EID the 3rd Best Salon in the World as ranked by ESTETICA Design in 2005. In fact, he is not only a hair stylist, but also a painter. My talents, ability and proficiency flourished owing to his constant support and back up. He granted me his good taste and savoir-faire in the world of beauty, and he still inspires me in each and every step toward success and special achievements. Personally I also won at the past the first award of “Fabriano painting competition” while I was still in school, when my artistic tendency was discovered.

DPN: As far as we know you started your career after graduating from the worlds’ greatest hairstylist academy in London. Share with us your experience there.

HE: After finishing school, it was the time to take a major decision in my life: shall I join the University as most of the people do or to choose the path that I am already into. At that time, everything was just a simple idea I had to share at some point with my family before taking the final decision. I always wanted to do something different; I don’t necessarily mean by different something that no one ever did, yet different is to have a unique twist. I thought I would do it the other way around; I would learn hairdressing while I was young and then join the university. On the on hand, my father disagreed since he never expected nor wanted me to become a hairdresser; on the other, my mother heavily supported me and advised me to follow my instinct. Therefore, after convincing my father, I decided to join the world’s greatest hairstyling academy in London, where I completed my cutting and styling studies and accomplished TONI&GUY Cut & Colour NVQ course in 2004. I went to London while I was a child, and this city played a major role in my life. I realized how many different cultures existed there and at the same time I learnt how to live independent. When I first joined the Academy, it was something different for the rest of the students as the majority were English. I had to work hard and to prove myself. At the end I did it. I still remember the graduation day when I did a photo shooting for the models; I made every possible effort and I used all my skills to succeed with. My goal that day was to surprise my father who couldn’t attend the graduation. I also owe my mother this success for being present besides me on my graduation day and for doing the makeup for the models; it is noteworthy that makeup was her passion and so art runs in the family. After that, I went back in Lebanon with a strong portfolio, from which many pictures are picked up for the salon ads.

DPN: Up to now you are the only hair stylist in the Middle East region that you successfully completed the prestigious L’Oreal Professional Specialist Degree. What does this means for you?

HE: Being the only hair stylist in the Middle East that successfully completed the prestigious L’Oreal Professional Colour Specialist Degree means a lot to me, especially because it was not easy to get there. I first had to pass an entrance examination to ensure that I enjoy the right level. First time I got rejected but not because I failed in the examination, but because this course was designated only for the hairdressers in England, as I was informed later on. At this stage, I got really upset, because despite the fact that I passed the examination and achieved great results, they didn’t offer me the opportunity to proceed with. Thus, I sent an email to the competent party insisting that it was unfair to take such a decision and objecting to the fact that they made me to take the test even they knew that I would be rejected. I do believe that the fact that I am a stubborn person got me there, as at the end they accepted me. I even graduated with 94%. The last day, the director came to me saying, “Did you notice that you were the 11th student on the course this year?” I said, “so what?” He answered, “We usually take 10 people only since it’s an intensive course and you were an exception, very well done, I am proud of you!” I will never forget those words. I will never forget the tough moments when I saw some people leaving the course crying, while I had the chance to continue till the end. I am definitely proud of such an achievement.

DPN: Your father Younes Eid runs a really well known Salon in Beirut in Lebanon. You mentioned that he is your idol, the person who inspired you most. Tell us some things about him and what lessons did he teach you?

HE: Yes, my father was always my idol. At the very beginning; he taught me the modesty, an essential component for success, in addition to the hard work to achieve the goals. He used to tell me “no one is better than you Haysam, if something is doable, then you can do it!” I believe in these words and that’s how I have made it here so far.

DPN: Who is the most famous person that you ever took care in the Salon there?

HE: In my opinion, each client is a famous one; the reason she comes in the Salon is to feel like that. She comes to me to take good care of her beauty and to give her all the needed professional attention and advice. This is hairdressing. For me, the hairdresser is a physician. A client wouldn’t go to the hairdresser if she hasn’t a problem with her hair, and by fixing this problem, you should make her happy, satisfied and self confident, because she “wears” her hair every day. If she doesn’t like it, she can’t take it off! I believe I got the trust of all my clientele, and I have taken care not only many people well known in the art field, but also of famous men and women in the high class society, but I prefer not to mention their names as respect for their privacy.

DPN: You grew up in Lebanon. May you describe us the neighborhood where you spend your childhood?

HE: I was born and I grew up in Sidon (Saida in Arabic), the capital of the South part of Lebanon. I lived in that city until I changed school and moved in Beirut. Saida is a small city, where people know each other. It is surrounded by beautiful orchards of oranges, lemon and various trees. My childhood was a really good one having among me family and school friends.

DPN: What your country, Lebanon, means for you?

HE: Lebanon is my home; it’s where I belong, where I was raised and where my best memories are. It’s where I got my education and culture.

DPN: At this moment you have created your own brand, EIDEAL (www.eidealonline.com) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Tell us some things about your company.

HE: EIDEAL™ is a leading appliance and hair accessories brand known in the MENA region, setting new standards for professional hair care in the beauty industry. EIDEAL is growing at against-the-odds pace since it reflects our own story, heritage and search for excellence and idealism as well as the professionals’ needs for a better quality tools for their salons. With a wide range of styling tools, EIDEAL offers its customers everything they need, to innovate hairstyles easily and quickly in the comfort of their own home. The brand became a sensation in the market; Professional hairdressers are more and more interested in buying it for salon use and for retail purposes. The current items include a vast selection of Hair Dryers, Straightening Irons, Curling Irons, Hair Brushes, Hair Clippers, Hair Scissors and other various hair related accessories. EIDEAL R&D team is working day and night to design new exciting and creative tools to improve the performance of hair professionals and satisfy the needs of all women striving for beauty.
EIDEAL™ - Excellently IDEAL!

DPN: How the idea of your company came in your mind?

HE: I joined university to major in Business Management and I learned to combine the artistic and creative sense with my entrepreneurial and managerial capacities. My vision was to create a brand for my own salon use, as to complete the march of my father, the designer and creator of a small range of personal use brushes, and to take it to a higher and more developed level. Thus, it is only through holding to this vision, that my work and accomplishment were brought into manifestation. However, my ambitions were limitless and my dreams were ever growing. Charged with enthusiasm and backed up by persistence, I decided to establish EIDEAL™; a brand combining my name with idealism and specialized in hair appliances, accessories, brushes and scissors for professional hair salons. In fact, the idea of EIDEAL™ came to my mind in 2008, started with one product and didn’t take long to expand and cover a wide range of products.

DPN: What kind of difficulties you faced in your early beginning? May you share us some experiences from that time?

HE: Difficulties are always there at the beginning, especially when you start something from scratch, I built the brand from zero, coming up with the name, concept, products, designs, technology and all the rest. I set up the whole team and distribution channel, trying to convince people about the brand, product and quality. But we finally got to the point where people loved the brand and trusted it.

DPN: What is your vision for EIDEAL?

HE: Currently, EIDEAL™, the pioneer hair appliances and accessories brand in the region of Middle East is growing at a very fast pace, thanks to the creative designs and first-class techniques used to provide the customers with great products and unsurpassed services. This is just the beginning of a long promising future in the beauty field; I will always dedicate my creativity and technical hair skills, sense of innovation and the world’s most refined techniques to develop my brand to be Excellent and IDEAL.

DPN: Dubai is a place where a lot of global celebrities are choosing either to live or to visit. Do you believe that this city may play a major role in the future of the beauty industry?

HE: Absolutely with all what we’ve seen so far in Dubai, I believe everything is doable.  In fact, it is a favorable place for the businesses prosperity. Dubai is a very modern and flourishing city and I am sure that it will play a major role in the future of the beauty industry as in other fields because it is becoming the hub of development in the region.

DPN: Do you have any expression that represents the way you live?

HE: “I can make it”

DPN: Has your life been different than you have imagined?

HE: I don’t think my life has been so different than I have always imagined. But definitely it was affected in a way or another by different factors. I am definitely still heading to my main goal and objective set from the very beginning. However, I had to change some tactics to get there, and hopefully I will make it!

DPN: If you could have the chance to do the hair stylist of a celebrity, who this one would be and why?

HE: I would like to do the hair of Penelope Cruz. I personally love simplicity and I find her simple yet so attractive, charming and elegant.

DPN: In order to close this interview, will you tell us how you define beauty?

HE: Numerous are the magazines featuring the most beautiful people in the world, and they are all trying to answer this question "What is beauty?" In fact it’s very simple; beauty is the combination of qualities pleasing the aesthetic senses and especially the sight.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Interview 3: Christina Plakopita-bringing Fashion in our lives

Christina Plakopita (CP) is giving us this time the weekly interview in the DUBAI PROFILE NEWS Blog (DPN). She lived in Athens, London, Paris, New York and currently she established her own online business called NETROBE.COM. As a young entrepreneur is offering her online wardrobe tool to help us manage and style our clothes. Fashion is a must. Let’s meet Christina.

DPN: Christina, describe us what fashion means for you?

CP: To me, fashion means personality. The way you chose to express yourself and live your life. It is the perfect way to show how you feel, what you’re striving for, what you’re all about… without having to say anything at all.

DPN: You are the founder of NETROBE.COM, an online wardrobe that helps you manage and style your clothes. Tell us some things about your Project.

CP: Netrobe wants to help people utilize their closets to the maximum and reply to the “I have nothing to wear” moment that all women go through. Make them remember what they own and be creative with their clothes, so that they dress better and faster. By creating an online database for your clothes, you will be able to sort what you want to wear, by color, season, brand or style, get suggestions from your friends or us and at the same time shop according to your style – all this from the comfort of your bed. It’s like Cher’s digital closet in Clueless – but the 2.0 version.

DPN: You chose internet as your vehicle to do business. Someone said that “internet is important but print media will never die, as you will never be able to kill a fly with your laptop”. Do you agree with that?

CP: Personally, I chose the internet to create this idea of mine, since women were running out of Polaroids. Just kidding… You are mentioning the eternal debate here, print vs. digital. My thought is that print will never die and digital will only get stronger… just because they are not comparable. They are different channels of communication that serve different needs, just like TV didn’t kill the film industry. People still have a need to go to the movies, even if there’s something to see on TV at night or they can rent a DVD. The important thing, I would say, for a business is to decide what their product is and what value proposition they offer to their customers.

DPN: Does a well-dressed person have an easier access to success?

CP: Definitely. I’m a strong believer of the saying “Dress for the job you want” and I even believe people should dress for the life they want. Being well-dressed shows manners, confidence and determination.

DPN: Who is the worst dressed celebrity?

CP: Unfortunately, I have to say Britney. I love her to death… I wish she could let me style her… for free or just let Nicole Chavez do it for her!

DPN: You lived in Athens, London, Paris and New York, 4 cities totally fashion oriented. Which one is the most sparkling one?

CP: For me, these cities are like people. They have their own personalities.  Athens is where it all begun. She is a mother, who taught me the essence of style and the importance of a timeless classic wardrobe. London is the most groomed and handsome gentleman I have ever met and you can find him online now at MrPorter.com. Paris the most stylish woman, I know, in the world. She’s effortless, elegant, important and ahead of the game… and New York is everything combined. It expresses me the most, at the moment.

DPN: Is fashion a female privilege?

CP: Absolutely not. I think it’s lucky for women that fashion has been identified as a female prerogative… but it’s necessary and indulging for both, men and women. A well-dressed man sometimes can stand out more than a woman will.

DPN: Which do you think you have the most of: talent, intelligence, education, or persistence? How has it helped you in your life?

CP: Even though I couldn’t use the first two to characterize myself, as I believe they’re attributes that should be given to you, I would go with persistence anyway. I’ve always had a big drive to achieve something in every stage of my life that would make me proud and feel happy. Persistence is the active side of drive. It has helped me best by not compromising to less satisfying and fulfilling options.  

DPN: What’s the best compliment you ever received?

CP: That I’m kind. It’s nice to know that people still acknowledge kindness and I would like to see more people being like that.

DPN: What kinds of things bring you the most pleasure?

CP: Family time, my friends, summers in Greece, traveling, creativity, architecture, design, photography, blogs… and fashion. Good, old and new glamorous fashion!

DPN: Which things frighten you?

CP: World uncertainty and corruption

DPN: What’s the one thing you’ve always wanted but still don’t have?

CP: To be able to speak every language in the world. That, and an English bulldog.

DPN: What do you do for fun?

CP: Dance a lot…

DPN: Is there a person in your life you trust and depend on?

CP: Thankfully many. My parents and my brother are my life advisors and rocks… and my friends, whom we’ve grown together, made mistakes together and laughed, a hell of a lot, together.

DPN: What have you liked best about your life so far? What’s your happiest or proudest moment?

CP: That it feels like a well-written book so far. Every major phase in my life felt like a chapter, complete… that when it ends, a new one follows. I like consistency, but I’m also very open to change. So now, I’m at the chapter of making it on my own. Happiest and proudest would be making it in New York! Songs… never lie! The city definitely builds character and makes you stronger.

DPN: Tell us what’s the most difficult thing that ever happened to you? How did you deal with it?

CP: Realizing that you should never take things for granted. When graduating from high-school you are taught that if you get a good degree at a good university, you are guaranteed with success. The only thing you need to do is decide what you want to do in your life. That for starters is tough, unless you were born with a dream of a specific profession. But even if you are lucky enough to figure it out, the circumstances may change so drastically that you have to find ways to adapt and move forward. Coming out from grad school in 2008 with an MSc in Real Estate Development gave me the first taste of what new reality means. In the peak of the crisis in New York and the rest of the world following suit, I had to redefine my goals in life and adapt in what the new career scenarios would be. I got into commercial real estate consulting. Two years later, ready to invest in my own idea by creating a business with a technology being built in Greece, I am in the core of my country’s biggest financial meltdown. Once again, uncertainty and new reality are in the front seat. In both cases, I didn’t think twice to switch gears and redraft my initial life goals. I don’t believe that we are destined to do only one thing in life and since it is a short ride, we have to be multi-taskers. So, I think being flexible and creative is the best way to deal with things.

DPN: Do you have a philosophy of life?

CP: Aim high and aim with meaning… Life should have a purpose that would affect people in a good way, not just yourself. We’re in this together… anyway! Looking at my country’s situation, I get saddened by the fact that everyone blaims the government for our current state. Everyone has contributed to this result and everyone should try hard to help get us out of it.

DPN: Define us the “success”?

CP: When you look back and you think you did good… in anything you were striving to do.

DPN: Share with us an important thing you learned from your work experience.

CP: The ability to sell is the most important thing I have learnt so far. Selling something that you believe in will keep you motivated, make you resourceful and ultimately successful in reaching your goal. It’s essential for any type of business you are in and whether you work on your own or for others. In every business, people are selling a product, an idea, a story. You have to be able to sell yourself well to excel… to convince your boss that you are doing well, to bring in more clients, to find new investments or to sell your merchandise. My experiences in advertising, private equity, grad school, real estate and corporate America had one thing in common… selling. I learnt that if you can master the art of selling, then you can do anything.

DPN: What’s your vision for NETROBE.COM

CP: To have the same subscribers as the number of people who watched the royal wedding! No really, my vision is to make shopping more relevant for people and less ephemeral than at the moment. If I have the opportunity I would like to make it a business of giving, the way Blake Mycoskie preaches of how a business can be successful.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Interview 2: Jean Renaud Durbin - “French success” made in Dubai

Jean Renaud Durbin (JR) continues the series of interviews in the DUBAI PROFILE NEWS Blog (DPN) that every week is hosting a new one. Paris was the city were Jean spend his first years of his life and Dubai the place which offer him the success. He is a great example of how you may manage with hard work to climb on the top. Managing a leading marketing company, located in Dubai, “THE CONTENT FACTORY” (http://www.tcf-me.com/) present us the balance between answering your last e-mail late night in your office with combining it along with a good night kiss from your daughter. French elegance experiencing the Dubai Dream. Let’s meet him better!

DPN: Jean, you are a French man, living the last 13 years in United Arab Emirates and you are married 6 years with a Filipina lady. Where is your real home?
JR: I proud myself of being an international person in a global world. My home is anywhere with my wife and daughter. It’s been Dubai for a while, we like it here; it is a great place to be business wise and quality of life wise. Can we call Dubai home all our life? I don’t think so, the pressure of the city and the weather get’s heavier as you grow older. So in a decade or so we will talk about “retiring home” we will then look into “neutral” territories which isn’t France or Philippines.

DPN: From 2004 you are running together with your business partner a really successful marketing agency in Dubai, “The Content Factory” (www.tcf-me.com). Tell us some things about your business.
JR: It’s a challenging business to be into, especially in Dubai and the Middle East at large. With so many “good looking agencies” around it is hard to compete as a boutique agency like us. During the golden age of Dubai many agencies just popped up, had big plans, big ideas, big account won, and when the trouble started, they just disappeared. We steered through all this by being true to ourselves, being brutally honest with what can and can’t be done; we were talking about ROI back in 2004 when the acronyms hadn’t even reached Dubai yet. We are working with clients literally as an extension of their team.

DPN: You started your career as a waiter and you ended up being a really successful Marketer with a great Portfolio of projects. Is the key to success the hard work or the good luck?
JR: Lot’s of hard work yes, but no luck, taking a chance is a better word. Sometimes you got to take a leap of faith and just do it. If you do it right, it will pay off. I took a chance in coming to Dubai as a waiter to start with. I didn’t even know where Dubai was in 1998. I didn’t even speak English at all at that time. I received a call on May 1st 1998, flew in Dubai on May 14th, leaving everything behind in Paris.

DPN: You live and work in Dubai a number of years. What does this city means for you?
JR: Dubai is very special to me. It is the land of opportunities. It is a global platform like nowhere else around the world. A village on the world scale where we can really mix along well. It is neither a perfect city nor society, but it offers a lot that people too often take for granted.

DPN: Eiffel Tower in Paris or Burj Khalifa in Dubai?
JR: Eiffel Tower! No hesitation at all!

DPN: Living in a global financial recession, doing business in Europe or Asia is the smart move for a person who wants to establish a new project?
JR: I think Europe is totally over rated for entrepreneurs. I see too many hurdles to do business, capital needed is huge, then the system kicks in etc...Many times it’s a nightmare. Asia is better in terms of opportunities, provided you have the right partners, and the right understanding of the culture. If you do not adapt then for sure you will fail. The Middle East, to me, remains the biggest opportunity of all in our lifetime.

DPN: What are the most important lessons you have learned in life?
JR: Plan a little, live in the present and cherish your past.

DPN: Who is the most important person in your life?
JR: My daughter has taken over my life completely!

DPN: Even being a person who lives among events and PR describe me when in life you felt most alone?
JR: I never really felt alone in my life. All the time I have been surrounded by good people. And there is a reason for that. I only see the good in people. I do not care for people that have twisted mind or malicious agendas.

DPN: Promoting a product is like planning the future of it. What does future hold for Jean Renaud Durbin?
JR: The future is to continue grow The Content Factory, move even more into digital solutions so in the long run my partner and I, will be both able to retire.

DPN: Let us know, which is the last movie you went to see?
JR: “Rango”, a couple of weeks ago

DPN: Through your work life you met a lot of interesting people from Nobel Prize winners to Prime Ministers and football celebrities. Whom out of them is the most outstanding personality and why?
JR: Meeting Desmond Tutu, the Nobel peace prize 1984 for his fight against apartheid, was an amazing experience. He was really down to earth, very humble and said something that really strike me and that stuck in my head from that day. He said: “I was saying the same things over and over before I got the Nobel Prize and no-one listened, once I got it, the world was all-ear”. In that sentence, to me he basically summed up the inherent flaws of our society. On the other hand, meeting the great football star Zinedine Zidane was pretty cool too!

DPN: Take us through one of your latest big projects.
JR: The latest big completed project I can mention at the moment was a complete Dubai Shopping Festival promotion on behalf of SanDisk Middle East. We planned the whole thing alongside the client for over 2 months, it included public relation elements, social media inclusions, database work, activation in all major electronic stores in the UAE, loads of designs and printing involved and then a raffle to win a big prize. It was a Great success.

DPN: Jean you are a married person with a young daughter. How does work life balance with personal life?
JR: Well, let me put it this way, I can’t go to bed without my daughter goodnight kiss, nor I can go to bed with an unread mail in my mailbox! I do work all the time, but I have the ability to switch off my brain when required and focus on being a father and husband.

DPN: An old actor said at the past that many men can make a fortune but very few can build a family. Do you agree?
JR: I totally agree. In the end, family comes first, you got to keep balanced. Fortune is accessory to better living.

DPN: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, which actor would you like to see play the lead role as you?
JR: Russell Crowe
DPN: Describe us yourself in 3 words.
JR: Passionate, hyperactive, caring

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Interview 1: Harris Davlas means “PR”

Harris Davlas (HD) is the first person who is opening the series of interviews that DUBAI PROFILE NEWS Blog (DPN) will host. Public Relations is his life. Born in Greece, worked along with great names of the International Showbiz such as Mr. Tommy Hilfiger. From a small neighborhood of Athens, to the cosmopolitan London and New York, this person writes his own story together with his brother, when they decided to work together and create the firm “DAVLAS AND PARTNERS” (www.davlaspr.gr), after leaving a sparkling career in the Events and Hospitality industries. A genuine star behind the VIP celebrities, who stuck…only in the Airports! Enjoy his interview!

DPN: Harris, did you have any heroes or role models during your childhood?
HD: Not really. I come from a middle class family that worked really hard to provide our needs, so I guess my parents were my role models.

DPN: As a person from the sparkling events industry what big world events do you remember from the time you were growing up?
HD: I was really obsessed with watching the Oscars. It was a really important night for me. Maybe because I was a cinefile all along from my early years. But it was all about watching the Actors and actresses and less about the glam of it all.

DPN: When you were a teenager, what did you do for fun? Did you have a favorite spot to “hang out”?
HD: Although I grew up in the west and less fortunate suburbs of Athens, I spent most of my teenage years hanging out in cafes and bars in “KIfissia” (a posh suburb in the North of Athens). Our favorite spots were “Musi CafĂ©” (a place that of course doesn’t exist anymore) and “Aftokinisi” (a legendary club of Athens).

DPN: Have you ever had any nicknames as a child or as an adult? Where did they come from?
HD: No I did not. I guess even If I did have I would never know as they were probably calling me names behind my back.

DPN: What’s the most memorable phone call you’ve ever received in your life?
HD: My brother calling me to discuss the possibility of doing business together.

DPN: If you had the power to solve one and only one problem in the world, what would it be and why?
HD: I don’t really know which power I need to posses in order to terminate world hunger. I wish I did.

DPN: How do you define a “good life”?
HD: The ‘luxury’ to travel and decide where and when to go next without thinking schedules, appointments and physical presence at the office.  

DPN: Athens, London or New York is the “home” of Harris Davlas?
HD: There were periods of my life that I called different cities as my “hometown”.   I was born in Athens, moved to London for studies and work, returned to Athens and set up my business and now I am dividing my time between Athens and New York (where I continue to study). Technically I live in Athens but my mind is constantly in New York.

DPN: Explain your career path to date? Why did you choose the jobs you have had?
HD: I did not choose my job. It chose me.  I never thought that i will be involved in the P.R & Communications business.  When i was studying in London i was really in need for money and i got a job as a secretary to Mrs. Chrysanthy Lemos (a prominent figure that has been working with various charitable foundations, organising fundraising events). I really liked the job and i worked hard enough to get promoted to events organizer. Then i got a job at the Metropolitan hotel as guest relations manager (where i dealt with VIPS/Celebrities and organising press junkets and more corporate events). On my return to Greece i was hired by Grecotel S.A (the largest hotel chain in Greece) in the communication department. I learned the hard way as the working environment in Greece was totally different from the one in U.K. After 6 years in Grecotel we formed with my brother (that he was already a P.R consultant) our own firm, Davlas & Partners, which started out as an events organising company and today is an upscale 360 communications  agency.

DPN: What’s your typical day like now?
HD: My day starts by looking my emails and messages on my blackberry (usually in bed) and then I go to my office where I start working on current projects. I usually divide my time at the office between current projects, presentations for any specs that my company is involved and last but not least on my company’s promotion and management.  If I have an event to organize, my team and myself will go to the location as early as possible to check every last minute detail and then we start the ‘show”. If I don’t have an event to organize or attend I usually head to the gym and then home for a quiet night or prepare my papers for the next day. I usually work weekends as well as it is the only time that I am alone in the office and that’s when I am more productive.

DPN: One of the most interesting projects you have executed was the “Tommy Hilfiger brand’s 10 year anniversary on the Greek market”, in which Mr. Hilfiger was present, would you like us to describe the experience?
HD: First of all, i would like to say that the Tommy Hilfiger project was the the most important and successful project of my career. I worked with 3 different teams from 3 different countries for 7 months. The knowledge i acquired from this collaboration is equivalent to doing a masters in P.R in any of the most prestigious Universities. We organized 3 different events in 2 days, while at the same time we held 20 interviews with Mr. Hilfiger. Everything had to work on a time limit and run smoothly at the same time.  It was all about punctuality, precision and discipline.

DPN: Describe us the most interesting celebrity you ever met.
HD: Princess Diana, for all the obvious reasons!

DPN: You managed up to now various VIP marriages, which one was the most impressive?
HD: I guess the most impressive was a wedding we organized in Mykonos 2 years ago. It was a big project that we were working on for 6 months. We transformed a beachfront into a nightclub and we worked really hard on every single detail. But it was also important as the bride was one of my dearest friends, so the stress and expectations were really high. It all went well and I guess it was one of the weddings of the decade!

DPN: What 15 years of PR means for you?
HD: Hard work, a lot of experience and many valuable lessons (and a little bit of glamour).

DPN: Share with us an important thing you learned from your work experience.
HD: “You are as good as your last movie”.

DPN: Share with us an idea that just didn’t make it.
HD: Many ideas that we were working on did not materialize. One of them was a grand scale dinner gala for the official launch of Dior in Greece. Unfortunately there were fires in most parts of Greece, that destroyed many forests and villages and a lot of people died. So it seemed meaningless to organize such an event in a time of Grief.

DPN: If you could have three wishes, what would they be?
HD: World peace, end of poverty and personal enlightment

DPN: If you won $1 million tomorrow, what would you do with the money?
HD: As I am addicted to work, I would probably invest some of it at new projects at work and I will buy a condo in Miami.

DPN: What do you see when you stand in front of the mirror?
HD: A man that is getting older gracefully, inside and outside

DPN: In case you were writing the story of your life, what title would you give?
HD: ‘The Terminal’ a movie with Tom Hanks, as I am always stuck in an airport waiting for a connecting flight.