Photos by Kam Murali
In the enchanting backdrop of a history spanning seven centuries, the Creative Women Forum unfolded its captivating chapters on the 4th November 2023. Spearheaded by the visionary founder and CEO of the Creative Women Platform, Olga Balakleet, this exceptional conference saw an illustrious audience comprising entrepreneurs, accomplished women, members of the royal family, and celebrities come together to share knowledge, camaraderie, and inspiration.
Among the many highlights of this remarkable event, none shone brighter than the unveiling of the life and story of the renowned figure in the world of modeling, singing, acting, film production, and activism, Kiera Chaplin. As the granddaughter of the iconic Charlie Chaplin and Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning playwright Eugene O'Neill, Kiera has inherited a legendary cinematic lineage that has profoundly shaped her life and career.
Rebeca Riofrio chairperson for the Parliamentary Society in conversation with Kiera Chaplin -
Kiera, you come from a legendary cinematic lineage as the granddaughter of the iconic Charlie Chaplin and also the granddaughter of Eugene O'Neill, one of the biggest American playwrights. Can you share what it was like growing up with such a famous family name? How did you first realize the significance of your granddad's fame in the world of cinema?
Kiera's eyes shimmer with nostalgia as she recalls her upbringing: "Growing up in a family with such iconic names was both a privilege and a challenge. It instilled in me a deep sense of respect for the arts and a desire to contribute to their legacy. I realized the significance of my grandfather's fame at a young age when I saw how his work touched people's hearts around the world. It inspired me to explore my own creative journey."
Charlie Chaplin is often considered one of the greatest filmmakers and comedians in history. How do you feel about carrying on his legacy as his granddaughter? Did you ever feel pressure to live up to the Chaplin name in your career choices?
Kiera replies with grace, "Carrying on my grandfather's legacy is an honor and a responsibility I cherish. While there's a certain expectation associated with the Chaplin name, I've always approached my career choices with authenticity. I believe in carving my own path while honoring the values and artistry that my family has instilled in me."
Can you tell us about any personal anecdotes - How has the artistic DNA heritage of two incredible personalities influenced your life and career decisions?
With a warm smile, Kiera shares a personal anecdote: "The artistic DNA of my grandfather and great-grandfather has been a guiding light throughout my life. It has fueled my passion for creativity and storytelling. Whether it's acting, filmmaking, or philanthropy, their influence has encouraged me to explore the world through a lens of empathy and artistry, shaping my decisions at every turn."
You've pursued a diverse career in modeling, singing, acting, and film production. How did you discover your passion for these various creative fields, and how did you navigate your journey to find yourself amidst such a multifaceted career path?
Kiera reflects, "My journey began in New York, where I embarked on a modeling career. Over time, I discovered my love for the arts and sought opportunities to express myself in different creative domains. Each step felt like a natural progression, driven by an insatiable curiosity and a desire to explore the diverse facets of storytelling."
With a background in film production and distribution, including having your own company at the age of 21 in LA, how did you make the transition into who you are today?
She recounts her journey with determination, "The transition into film production was an exciting chapter in my life. It allowed me to understand the industry from a different perspective and fostered my entrepreneurial spirit. I've always believed in pushing boundaries and seizing opportunities to evolve, both personally and professionally."
As a member of the Chaplin and O’Neils family, did you ever feel compelled to explore filmmaking in a more substantial way, perhaps as a director or producer? Are there any specific aspects of filmmaking or screenwriting that particularly intrigue you?
Kiera nods thoughtfully, "Absolutely, the world of filmmaking has always fascinated me. While I've primarily been in front of the camera, I'm deeply intrigued by the art of storytelling from behind the scenes. Directing and producing are realms I'd love to explore further, as they offer a unique platform to convey meaningful narratives."
Projects and Passions
Your involvement with high-end brands like Janavi India and Hogan, as well as your music career, demonstrates your diverse talents. Could you please tell us more about your creative projects and passions, including your foray into branding, television advertisement, and entrepreneurial endeavors? "My creative projects have been a source of immense joy. Collaborating with brands l allowed me to fuse my passion for fashion with my artistic vision. It's not just about high-end fashion; I believe in making fashion accessible to everyone. That's why I launched SybaBliss, an online fashion platform where people can find collections curated by me. It's about affordable, great-quality fashion that empowers individuals to express their unique style."
She continues, "When it comes to partnerships, I choose brands that align with my values and offer opportunities for creative expression. It's about creating authentic connections and telling compelling stories through each collaboration."
As Kiera speaks about SybaBliss, the audience is captivated by her dedication to democratizing fashion and making style an inclusive and affordable experience for all. This innovative endeavor adds another dimension to her already remarkable portfolio, emphasizing her commitment to both creativity and accessibility.
You've been actively engaged in charitable work, particularly with the Desert Flower Foundation. Can you share more about your mission and efforts to build schools in underdeveloped countries and combat issues like poverty and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?
Kiera's expression turns earnest, "My involvement with the Desert Flower Foundation is deeply meaningful to me. Our mission is to provide education and support to underprivileged communities, especially in areas affected by FGM. By building schools, we empower young girls to break the cycle of poverty and gain the knowledge they need to thrive. It's a cause close to my heart, and I'm committed to making a positive impact."
You've established a significant brand with the Chaplin Awards, and it appears to have made a notable impact, particularly in China. We recently witnessed your presence there; could you elaborate on your experiences and the significance of the Chaplin Awards in China and beyond?
Kiera's eyes sparkle as she speaks about the Chaplin Awards, "The Chaplin Awards have been a remarkable journey. They celebrate outstanding contributions to the world of cinema and have gained international recognition. China, in particular, has embraced these awards with enthusiasm, reflecting the global appeal of cinematic storytelling. It's an honor to be part of an initiative that bridges cultures and celebrates cinematic excellence. Im privilege to have partner with Tatler Asia – and now we are expanding to Bollywood”
As Kiera concludes her enlightening conversation with Rebeca Riofrio, she leaves the audience with a sense of awe and inspiration. Her multifaceted career, dedication to philanthropy, and commitment to positive change make her a shining example of the transformative power of creativity and compassion in the world. Kiera Chaplin is indeed a force to be reckoned with, carrying forward a legacy of artistry, innovation, and benevolence that transcends generations.
For more information about the world of Kiera Chaplin