The Vanderbilt name is synonymous with glamour and success, and Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin — descendant of the railroad mogul Cornelius Vanderbilt — is no exception to that. Costin has dominated the music industry with multiple billboard hits, lent her voice to philanthropic organizations and is now entering a new tech realm as she prepares to launch SohoMuse. Catch up with Costin and her various ventures in this HudsonMOD exclusive
You’re preparing to launch SohoMuse. Describe the platform to our readers.
With SohoMuse, creative professionals now have the ability to network globally and collaborate with other creative professionals in the entire industry, showcase their entire body of work, as well as source reliable top-tier talent. For example, an actor-director can promote both professions on a single platform. A producer can log on and find not only actors or directors, but everything from cinematographers and set designers to more specialized talent like ballet dancers and motion-graphics artists. They can not only source every type of talent they need for an upcoming TV show or film right on the platform, but also qualify that talent through their digital resumes, demo reels, multimedia portfolios and even industry referrals through our built-in endorsement system.
What inspired you to develop SohoMuse?
The inspiration for SohoMuse came from my experiences in the music business. On one side, I would be working in the studio late at night, feeling creative and looking for someone to collaborate with, but everyone was asleep. There was no online space where I could find other artists — not just other musicians and songwriters, but dancers, poets, painters — in other parts of the world and meaningfully interact and create with them. On another side, when I was looking to hire creative talent, like dancers and choreographers, hair and makeup stylists and film crews for music videos, I found that process to be incredibly distracting, frustrating and painfully slow.
Over the next five years, what do you hope to accomplish with SohoMuse?
The vision is that the people are collaborating and creating content and that we are a full-distribution one-stop shop for creatives. We are working with a Blockchain partner to fully explore that technology and its potential applications for our members. Technology and this arena are an important intersection because technology is life. It’s everything that we do. Everything moves at a rapid pace. In order for you to market yourself or find a job, it’s all about using technology. But it has to be efficient.
What philanthropies are you currently working with?
I’m on the board of the Vanderbilt Museum, board of the Ovarian Cancer Prevention Coalition of Greater California and on the committee of the American Heart Association for the past four years. I’ve chosen to be a part of these organizations because the causes affect me directly. The Vanderbilt Museum is my family’s property. It is an inspirational and monumental place where I can visit my family’s legacy and a place that continues growing for generations to come. It was also donated to the county by my great grandfather, Willie K. Vanderbilt Jr., and is a wonderful museum and planetarium for children and adults alike.
The American Heart Association is dear to me because I nearly lost my dad to a heart attack just before his sixtieth birthday a few years ago. It’s been an important cause in my life. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for women. I contribute as much as I can to the organization by performing at their events and cochaired the Hamptons Heart Ball last year.
The Ovarian Cancer Prevention Coalition of Greater California is another organization very dear to me because I lost my mother to ovarian cancer when she was 55 years old. I’ve been an advocate for many years now and working to help raise awareness and funding for early testing and ultimately find a cure.
As a notable singing artist and public figure, why do you feel it’s important to give back to your community?
It is always important to give back to your community no matter what your status is. But I think when people have a voice and are given the platform, it’s an incredible opportunity to advocate for important charities, organizations and causes and on behalf of those who don’t have an opportunity for their voices to be heard.
Can you share with us the most memorable moment you’v had with a philanthropy?
I was a legislative ambassador of the Ovarian Cancer Coalition of Greater California and was one out of 20,000 people from all different states. We were flown to Washington, D.C. to lobby, and the experience was incredible just knowing that my voice was being heard.
My most memorable moment in my professional career is when I performed at Capital Pride in Washington, D.C. on the hill for over 200,000 people. The energy and joy of that crowd were inspirational. Truly the definition of pride.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? What would you recommend to someone who has entrepreneurial aspirations?
Work hard and be patient. Never give up on your dreams. Life is too short!
What does luxury mean to you?
Luxury to me is something that makes me feel special. It does not need to be extravagant, expensive or luxurious. It is much more internal and is about the emotional impact it has on me.