By Susan Redstone | February 22, 2017 | People
With her own Wikipedia entry, the artistic and philanthropic scope of German-born Belgian innovator Myriam Ullens is mind boggling.
Myriam Ullens at a recent book-signing for Distant Starry Nights at the Maison Ullens in Aspen.
Beyond founding Maison Ullens, her luxury fashion brand, a contemporary art museum in Beijing with husband Guy, the Mimi Foundation with twenty-five thousand women helped through breast cancer (as she was) via medicine and beauty treatments, and the creation of a school in Nepal transforming more than a thousand orphanage dwellers lives, it’s her love of writing that now drives her.
The publication of a first novel, a fictional memoir Distant Starless Nights, drawn from her imagination alone, features a grandmother protagonist storytelling to her grandchildren some raw truths about love and survival set at end of the second world war and across continents to China, before the revolution. Is it a legacy project? The treasured closeness of family is obviously on her mind. “My granddaughter loved it”, she says, “but nothing is easy”, explaining the daily struggle of writing.
The first in a trilogy that initially took two years (and hid in a drawer full of cashmere another two) before publication with Amazon, she’s no stranger to writing. Her first play, Adam et Eve was well received at the Theatre de la Gaite Montparnasse by Parisians five years ago. Aspen is her favorite destination. “It’s the beauty and the mix of international people” she smiles, at a book signing in her Aspen store, steps from her favorite Hotel Jerome. Not surprising, some book proceeds will support YES foundation, an educational non-profit.
Photography by Red Mtn Productions