Alexi Lubomirski is currently one of the most sought-after, accomplished fashion photographers on the planet. He has photographed countless actors, actresses, celebrities, and models for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Allure, GQ, and numerous others magazines. As incredibly impressive as his career is, what stirs an even deeper sense of admiration is his perpetual generosity and kindness toward others, as well as what an inspiring and passionate father and husband that he is.
Alexi recently published a delightful children’s book, titled Notes for a Young Prince. It is filled with heart-warming notes to his son, reminding him to be Chivalrous, Loving and Kind, to name only a few. It is artistic and inspirational. This is a must have for every young boy, and Alexi is donating 100% of profits from his book to CONCERN Worldwide. We are thrilled to include Alexi in our “Giving Back” Q+A Series, to learn more about what inspires such generosity, his extraordinary life and ways that we can teach our children to be royal in their actions and words.
“You do not need money, palaces, land or treasures to define you as a prince. Be a prince in your own heart and you will always be RICH.” ~ Notes for a Young Prince
1) In your book, Notes for a Young Prince, you offer exquisite advice to young boys, encouraging them to be chivalrous, loving and generous. It is such a beautiful book and it shows what a passionate father you are. What inspired you to a) write it and b) share it as a published work?
There were really 2 profound moments that led to the writing of the book. Firstly, I wanted to do something momentous for my eldest son’s (Sole Luka) first birthday. I wanted to give him a gift that would last forever, rather than another teddy bear or engraved cup. Being a father for the first time also made me understand my own father and his desire for me to understand my history and to be proud of it whilst carrying it for the next generation. I also wanted to adapt what my father had taught me and make it more about looking forward with hope and spirituality rather than having a focus on what we may have had a few generations before.
Secondly, my stepfather, who had raised me since I was one, was suddenly given 3 weeks to live. He had been the biggest blessing in my life, being an incredible father figure and also giving me great stability and grounding. Those last 3 weeks taught me so much about how I wanted to live my life and what was truly important. He explained to me that the knowledge of his impending death made him realize with great clarity, what actually mattered in his life. He felt so blessed that he had spent as much time with his children as possible, and had been able to share in love and laughter throughout his life, as well as the importance of being a “good” person. I immediately realized the gravity of this lesson and wanted to write something for my son in case anything happened to me.
Once I started writing it, it came out in 3 very intense days, as if I had flipped the lid off something and they all streamed out. Things that I had learnt along the way came out, be it vocabulary lessons from my uncle, romance lessons from my mother, chivalry lessons from my father or spiritual lessons from my wife. They all came out at once and the final edit is pretty much the order that it came out of my head!
I asked an illustrator friend, Carlos Aponte, if he would do a few drawings for my son’s book and after he read the first 5 pages, he rang me and said, “Alexi, you have to publish this…. This needs to be read by young men.”
A few years later and after a lot of persuading from Carlos and my wife, Giada, I went through with it! Carlos ended up doing the “jewel like” illustrations on each page of the final draft.
2) You give all profits from your book to CONCERN Worldwide. Why did you choose this organization to benefit from your book?
Over the last few years I started to consolidate my charity donations to six main charities, but of all of them, CONCERN was the one that was everywhere, all the time. They implement emergency response programs, saving countless lives, and provide opportunities for a better standard of living for millions of people; as well as working constantly in the countries ranked in the bottom 40 of the United Nations’ Human Development Report. They were also the first charity that I ever gave to, so it felt right to attach it to the book. 3) Being one of the most sought after photographers in the world, you travel quite a bit for your work. How do you maintain a healthy balance of work/family/self while you travel?
It is a constant challenge but with great pay back! Luckily my agent is very understanding of my desire for balance in my life. By working with her closely, I try to make sure that I can look back at the end of every month and see that I have spent as much time with family as possible at the same time as maintaining a career. Really making the most of every moment with my family is key. The children will grow up so quickly and life has a tendency to move so fast, so it is important to slow down and enjoy each moment.
4) What is your favorite page and morsel of advice from your book, Notes of a Young Prince? Why?
Each note holds importance for me as they were written as a love note to my son, so I would not be able to pick one. The poem at the front of the book, however, I hold dear as it is my personal message to my boys.
5) Any advice to the fathers of the world, new and otherwise, as to how to encourage their children to volunteer, give back and think of others?
Very simple! “Lead by example”.
HSH Prince Alexi Lubomirski was born to a Peruvian/English mother and a Polish/French father. He grew up between Botswana, Oxford, and London. At the age of eleven, he was informed of his true ancestral heritage and aristocratic bloodline.
Having not grown up in royal surroundings with all the trappings, he was the first of his family in 500 years to have the title but with none of the material evidence.
Thanks to his displaced upbringing and after much trial and error, he gradually succeeded in marrying his history with his present, managing to fulfill his role as the bearer of this title and at the same time adapt the meaning in his modern day world.
Now, with two sons of his own, he lives a modern day life in New York, a city in the “New World”. His duty being to pass down this title to his sons; and, at the same time, adapt it so that it evolves with the times rather than become irrelevant and therefore extinct. Rather than focus on the past and what his family once had, he teaches his sons to forge ahead in a more spiritually aware manner and focus on what each of them believes the essence of their heritage means.
In his book, the word, “Prince”, is used on one hand because of the family’s title and on the other because the word illustrates the “ideal” of a man that we should all strive to be.
Apart from being primarily a husband and a father, Alexi Lubomirski is a world-renowned fashion photographer.