Tragedy & Triumph

Patrick D. Chappelle
2 min readSep 11, 2019

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Photograph by Thomas Hoepker

Today is a somber day for so many, especially so for New Yorkers. It also happens to be the last day of one of this city’s most enjoyable events, one that I’ve been a part of since it began: New York Fashion Week. I’ll be attending two events today, for Kingdomz X Magazine, but don’t think for a minute that my mind won’t occasionally wander to thoughts of that fateful morning of September 11, 2001.

There are horrible people in this world, capable of the most heinous acts imaginable. Contrarily, there are people who have dedicated their lives to bringing goodness and beauty into existence. For the sake of our species, we must continue to fight the dark, each in our own particular way. When others destroy, we must rebuild. We must continue to sing, to paint, to create!

From the moment of my decision to shift Kingdomz X from being an “arts and entertainment” site, to being a “luxury” magazine, I wondered (though briefly) if I was abandoning what I had set out to do in the first place. Then I suddenly remembered a quote by Coco Chanel:

“Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.”

I don’t think it was mere coincidence that Kingdomz X became a luxury magazine when it did, which is during the early part of the first year of the the current United States administration. Friends have always known me to be a “shining light” (as one friend put it), but I felt it dimming. The shift in the Kingdomz X philosophy was necessary for me. Being an extension of who I am, I wanted it to be as grand, bold, beautiful, and bright as I could possibly make it. I desired to fight the gloom, and melancholy.

I find it curious that the words “luxury/luxe” and “lux” seem to have dissimilar meanings. The latter, however, is what Kingdomz X is about. We are the sunlight by day, and the moon and stars at night. I think that is what every human being should aspire to be. Never allowing darkness to completely subsume us. I have been fighting clinical depression for almost as long as I’ve been alive, and despite the medications and therapy, it can be a struggle sometimes. But I refuse to give in, or give up.

German photographer Thomas Hoepker captured the destruction of the 9/11 attacks, but the image of his, enclosed in this note, is how I choose to remember the Twin Towers, the former World Trade Center. It is a reminder to me that, whatever atrocities may come our way, love and light will endure; in our heart, and in our memories. We should never forget the horrors of the past, but neither should we forget the glories.

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