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submitted by Good Weekend Magazine on 22.08.2011

The Getting of Wisdom. Lessons learnt from life.

The Getting of Wisdom. Lessons learnt from life. - Perdis The Getting of Wisdom

Good Weekend Magazine. 20th August, 2011. page 46.

Interview by Donna Walker-Mitchell.

NAPOLEON PERDIS.

the cosmetics king, 41, tells what he knows about...

His mum


Mum is my original muse. She’s nearly 70 and came from the island of Kythera, Greece. She would wear make-up, her dresses were custom-made and every season she would take us to get our suits made. We had a three-bedroom, one-bathroom home in Parramatta [in Sydney’s west], with one bedroom occupied by my parents, the other by my two grandmothers and the other by my brother and me. It was humble, but at Easter Mum would change the cushions, the tablecloths, the flowers. Then Christmas would come ands she wouldn’t just put a tree up, the whole house wouldn’t change again. I loved that about my mum and still do.

Life-changing moments

I’d always watch Mum do her make-up, and around 13 I said to her, “Mum, can I do your shadow?” I think I made her look like a drag queen, but it was an exhilarating experience and I was hooked from there.

Success

When my children were born, I felt so amazing and proud, but with my career I don’t really feel like I have made it because I have a much bigger picture I am colouring in.

The city of angels

We have been in Los Angeles for five years and I love everything about it. The arts scene isa always evolving, the communities of Silver Lake and Echo Park are amazing and there’s little Tokyo, Thai Town, Little Armenia, Little Ethiopia. I also love the NoHo (North Hollywood) arts district and the downtown architecture with the Frank Gehry projects. I love the fact I live in the Hollywood Hills, where it feels like a Mediterranean village, but then I drive down the road and it feels like I’m in the middle of the world.

Growing up in Parramatta

I love Paramatta. It’s where I fell in love, went to school, walked around. I used to jump in the Parramatta River and chase the eels. It would be such an injustice to not love the things that made me.

Childhood dreams

For as long as I can remember, I have been ambitious. When I was a kid I’d trek into the city and go to David Jones and Mark Foy’s [department stores]. My dream was to have a building with my name on it. I now have shops with my name on them, but I wanted a whole building 20 floors. I wanted a beautiful wife, beautiful kids. I wanted beautiful cars, beautiful furniture pieces. I have a beautiful wife and kids and a lot of my dreams have become reality.

The American life

I always felt harmony with the US, much more than the UK. Australians either have harmony with the UK or the USA. I am definitely US-centric. It is a land of freedom.

The difference between American and Australian women

There’s not a huge difference. Women into glamour do it almost identically in Australia and the US. Australian women should never feel like they are behind. They’re not.

Beautiful women

What makes a woman beautiful is an inner confidence with her emotional self. Sophia Loren said it well: “Beauty is how you feel.” I also think being in love or having love around is very nurturing.

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