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It’s that time of year again and I have every reason to feel like royalty, but not for reasons one might think…I was attending Fashion Designer, Patricia Nahmad’s Queen of Queens Marbella Fashion Show at the luxury five-star Amáre Beach Hotel in Marbella, Spain.

It’s breathtaking beauty was the perfect backdrop for some of Nahmad’s most exquisite, innovative Haute Couture designs, as well as my new collection of premium, artisan RUSH handbags by Gilbert Benarush.

Watching these strong, confident woman walk down the runway felt like a dream come true and I felt like the Belle of the Ball, but this time, I wasn’t just attending a fashion show to watch others walk the runway with clothes and handbags adorning their bodies; I was walking with them – shoulder to shoulder. I was carrying one of my own handcrafted designs and modeling Nahmad’s designs too!

Generally, when it comes to Haute Couture, there is little attention paid to the bodies of models, but in the Queen of Queens show, the models were as visible and as beautiful as the fashions adorning their figures and this time, the models were normal women – just like YOU and ME.

“All models have attitude; they’re born with it,” I thought, as they danced down the runway, serenaded by live music and the velvet voice of Tom Chris! And then it was my turn, and as the sun lit the day, I was swept away in the moment. I threw my shoulders back, held my head high, clutched my carry, and smiled proudly into the flashing cameras. I danced down the runway, as if I was born to sashay down a runway too!

The next morning, I wondered: “Where did this model’s attitude come from? Where did I get the confidence to sashay, shoulder to shoulder with these other women?” And then, like the morning’s sunrise, it dawned on me: I’ve spent so much of my life comparing my insides to everyone else’s outsides, and judging my self-worth based on those comparisons that I diminished who I am. I sabotaged my own confidence.

I know I’m not the first woman to compare myself to other women, but it was the first time I realized the effects of what happens when I do compare myself to others. Everyone’s life can look perfect from the outside – from a picture captured in the flash of a moment, especially when the backdrop lies on the Costa del Sol, but my confidence came from inside of me that day. With confidence like that, I could have been anywhere in the world and with anyone because it was connected to the energy and the beauty of who I am, who I’m meant to be in every moment.

That’s what gave me the ability to walk with confidence and personality and style – without even thinking about it first. I was just present to the moment and the excitement of the day, but I wasn’t swept away by its currents. I was present to pure joy; joy that comes from the inside, when I’m organically engaged and connected to my shared experience with others, and the joy I find in the successes and accomplishments of others, and I thought;

“Personality begins when comparing ourselves to others ceases to exist – when we can be who we’re meant to be. Be who you’re meant to be; be YOU – confident and beautiful and strong; you’ll feel like the most beautiful woman in the world”.

With Love and Love for Creation 

 Sibel Benarush Creative Director 

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