Even if you are not familiar with the name, you would know of her work. Olga Iserlis is the brains behind high-society events such as the Valentino Retrospective, annual Passion Ball, and recent National Gallery Singapore Gala, with a Rolodex of clients that include Louis Vuitton, Rolls-Royce, Audemars Piguet, Singapore Repertory Theatre and American Express Card.
Now Iserlis has launched a book to reveal her journey from Russian emigre in New York to premier party planner in Singapore. She says Save the Date was written in part to satisfy frequent requests for her to share her life and work as an events creator; in part to inspire others to dream big and work hard. “Go for broke,” she advises in one chapter about getting the details right. “Never compromise.”
The tome is one big gallery of party photos, peppered with chapters about Iserlis’ upbringing, foray into entrepreneurship and events organising, and take on how to deal with unexpected party problems. Below, a few nuggets from the book.
“When you’re in New York, you learn to hustle; you find ways to help yourself to many things that might be beyond your reach.”
- On how growing up in New York has made her resourceful
“One morning, my husband and I woke up missing our life in New York City, where weekend mornings meant sleeping in, flicking through The New York Times, and sharing a couple of bagels. Singapore in the mid 1990s wasn’t a place for any of those moments.”
- On how the lack of bagels sparked her entrepreneurial spirit. She went on to set up New York Bagels on Orchard Road
“It’s not always about support facilities and fancy stuff; most of the time, it’s about personality.”
- On finding the perfect venue to host an event
“The fact is that scandal spreads like wildfire… and nowadays, it doesn’t help that the same handphone that takes a selfie can be turned around to record a faux pas.”
- On being particular about invited media and having own photographers
Save the Date is available at Louis Vuitton Store at Marina Bay Sands, Marina Bay Sands Gift Shop, ArtScience Museum Gift Shop at Marina Bay Sands, Vanilla Home, Beauty Candy Lifestyle and Partners & Mucciaccia Gallery.