Hello there 🙂
For such an industry geared towards women, it is astonishing to withdraw and take stock of how strongly the fashion industry is dominated by men. The good news, however, is that more women take a stand every day and start their own brands and businesses independently.
While women should certainly be celebrated every day, we are grateful that there are awareness days like today's International Women's Day. It is an annual reminder to take a break and see all the progress they are making in today's landscape. For us, this means honoring the many women who take responsibility and undermine industry standards by founding their own brands, realizing their own visions, and often encouraging other women to follow in their footsteps.
As editors of a media site, we spend a lot of time expressing our own thoughts and opinions about the industry. To celebrate the IWD this year, we thought we would hand over the podium to the industry leaders who keep inspiring us. We spoke to 17 female founders who are currently leading their own fashion brands. In advance, they voice their thoughts on why Awareness Day is so important, how the fashion industry can start serving women better, some entrepreneurial tips, and because women who support women are what it should be about today we will call them the many other brands run by women who are happy to support them.
Why is International Women's Day important to you? Just like another female holiday, Mother's Day, International Women's Day is a special time for us to think about and thank the women who have helped make us who we are and who are the way for us have leveled the current location and the current location in the coming time. What prompted you to start your brand? It was like the desire for water or air. I needed it to survive. How do you think the fashion industry can work better for women? I wish there was an agency or company that was so financially accessible that women could gather and receive information about how to be an entrepreneur – and only one woman in 2020. What is advice that you can give to others? aspiring entrepreneurs? Be careful who you let in and make mistakes. What other brands founded by women do you like to support? There are so many. Janie Korn Candles, Jordan Sondlers Kunst, Bode, Maison Cleo, Great Jones, Apis Apotheker, Katie Kimmel, Apprvl, Burnin for You Candles, Ivy Weinglass Keramik, Upstate, Lorien Stern, Big Bud Press, Meme Chose, HVN, Nikki Chasin. Why is International Women's Day important to you? I grew up in a girls' school and empowering women was something that was anchored in my education. We have always been encouraged to make our dreams come true and to believe that anything is possible. I think International Women's Day is a perfect opportunity to reflect on our inner strength and what we can achieve as women. One of Adeam's most memorable moments was when we designed Anne Hathaway's dress when she spoke for the UN on International Women's Day in 2017. What prompted you to start your brand? I founded Adeam because I always loved to sketch and create. I also wanted to empower women with my designs. How do you think the fashion industry can work better for women? I often have the feeling that there are actually more male fashion designers than women. It would be great to see more women design for women and have a support system for women designers. What advice can you give other aspiring entrepreneurs? I think it is important to believe in the strength, never to give up and always to be true to yourself. What other brands founded by women do you like to support? I am a fan of glossy and outdoor voices. Why is International Women's Day important to you? We should take every opportunity we have to raise ourselves up. Women's Day is important because with all the progress we've made, there is still a wage gap, an uneven division of labor, and so many other aspects of our society that make women's lives more difficult. What prompted you to start your brand? I started Sidway with the goal of keeping control of my work-life balance. After working for Nasty Gal, I was inspired by all the young women I had worked with and who launched their own brands. Before that, it hadn't really occurred to me that I didn't have to wait until I was 45 to have my own brand. Sidway is still a small brand, but in the past three years of launching and building it, I have been blown away by the support I have received from women in the fashion community. It was so wonderful to have women that I can go to, who are honest and who share everything they can to help me succeed. . How do you think the fashion industry can work better for women? I think we can all do our part to create brands and jobs that feel more inclusive and create work environments that are friendlier for women. Things like mentoring, flexibility, healthcare, paid parental leave and equal pay are really critical to women's success. I have a brand that sells swimwear and try to stay away from anything that confirms the idea that swimwear is only for a certain body type. I create Sidway's styles and pictures with the focus on presenting both natural body types and color models. Representation is important. What advice can you give other aspiring entrepreneurs? Please help! Would you like to know how this brand that you loved gets so much content? Ask her. Would you like to know on which platform you created your website? Ask her. I was so impressed with how many women are willing to help each other in this industry. What other brands founded by women do you like to support? Darner socks, Selva Negra, Lykke Wullf, Luiny, Galamaar, Andie Swim, Staud. Buy the matching Cheryl Short ($ 108). Why is International Women's Day important to you? I think it's great that women play a more important role in the business world. Our company was founded by women and is run by women. It has always been our vision to create this company for and by women. I really appreciate that we take a day each year to see how far women have come. Especially for me as a colored woman as CEO of our clothing brand, it is something special to serve in this way at a time when women are finally recognized. What prompted you to start your brand? As a petite 5 & # 39; 2 "woman, I was always frustrated with the lack of fun, chic options for petite ones. I was also tired of the fast cycle of buying new clothes every season and then wearing them out by the end of the season We always said that our vision with Petite Studio was to create a brand that gives Petites the thought and care they have never received anywhere else. We also strive to design our collections with slow fashion principles, So we see our collections as investment items because they take more time and effort but make sure they last for years. How do you think the fashion industry can better promote women? I personally think that is the strongest outfit for one Woman is one that is more conservative. There are so many broken situations in our world where women are defined by the way their bodies look and I think e, a conservative outfit flies against it. At the Petite Studio, our collections are feminine, but not overly revealing. It is great to see how positive it is in our culture to confirm different body types, but I think it is important to remember that your identity is not your body type. I am a petite woman, but my identity is so much more than the shape of my body. What advice can you give other aspiring entrepreneurs? The advice I always give is that if you want to start a business, just do it. But only quit your job when your business idea has shown a real proof-of-concept. I started Petite Studio from my living room at home with the help of my husband and ran it for the first year on nights and weekends while I was still working my normal 9 to 5 years. It was a lot of work, but I still had to pay my bills and it would have been a mistake to quit my job with nothing but a business idea. I often see people make the mistake of having a business idea and quitting their job to pursue it, only to find out that it didn't appeal to consumers as they had imagined. I like encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs, but I also emphasize the importance of testing your idea before diving all-in. What other brands founded by women do you like to support? I'm a big fan of The Row, Glossier, Rent the Runway and Mejuri. Overall, I'm really looking forward to female CEOs paving their own way. Why is International Women's Day important to you? It is important that we pause for a second and celebrate ourselves and each other. I think it's great that International Women's Day makes the world say, "Hey, queens. We see what you've overcome, we recognize what you've accomplished, and we greet you for continuing to be a phenomenal Are woman. " What prompted you to start your brand? In my teenage years I learned how to communicate your individuality with clothing. Starting the brand felt personal. I made clothes the way I wanted to look and dress. . How do you think the fashion industry can work better for women? Allow women to be creative without limits and definitely bet on us. What advice can you give other aspiring entrepreneurs? Everyone is special. You have to discover your unique gift. It means identifying your niche. Once you do that, you will find your tribe. What other brands founded by women do you like to support? Fanm Mon, brother Vellies and Adele Dejak Buy the Net-a-Porter International Women's Day T-Shirt ($ 125) at Roxanne Assoulin. Why is International Women's Day important to you? It’s like Mother’s Day. It's great to have a day dedicated to women, to appreciate and honor them. On the other hand, I think it is important to celebrate and recognize women every day of the year. It's more about action than words. What prompted you to start your brand? First and foremost, I wanted to be independent. I didn't want to rely on someone to support me. No parents, no partner, no children. Second, I couldn't help but design. It's in my DNA. How do you think the fashion industry can work better for women? Women entrepreneurs are often judged tougher than men. I think there is still double standards out there. We can't change an entire industry, but we can create a culture in our company that thrives. What advice can you give other aspiring entrepreneurs? Failure is good. It is part of the process. Let go of the pride, get up and try again. We can be our own worst enemies. And PS: it's never too late to start over. What other brands founded by women do you like to support? I am much more interested in the values that a brand places in the world than in the gender of the founder. Why is International Women's Day important to you? OM: It is a special moment for me to highlight the women who raised, inspired and motivated us. Every day I have the opportunity to celebrate the women around me, but it is special to have a single day that honors especially the women who really exude love, strength, compassion, work ethic and brilliance. KM: We celebrate women every day. Owning a swimwear line has given me a constant appreciation for women because we were able to celebrate the feminine power every day. We are so happy to be surrounded by inspiring women and I am so happy to have Oleema as my business partner. It constantly inspires me, pushes me to get better and think outside the box, and is the driving force behind the brand. I celebrate her on this women's day! What prompted you to start your brand? OM: From an early age, my mother and father encouraged me to take the less traveled road. We literally grew up across the street from the beach and spent almost every day near or in the sea. Our hometown, combined with the fact that my mother is an incredible seamstress, meant that our lives were always full of creativity, art projects and many, many bespoke dresses (according to my request and my mother's grace!). I had known all my life that I wanted to be my own boss and run my own company, so it was only natural to merge my love of design and the sea and found a swimwear label. With the encouragement of my family and the determination to be successful, I was able to found Mikoh together with my sister Kalani almost 11 years ago. KM: Oleema and I founded the brand together. We saw a hole in the market and started wearing swimwear shortly before the big boom. We have worked so hard to create the most flattering pieces that empower women and give them confidence while wearing next to nothing in public. How do you think the fashion industry can work better for women? OM: I think our fashion industry can do more to better women by celebrating all ages, all kinds of achievements, big or small, and highlighting the women behind the scenes who really run the show. I think it's so easy to highlight the “face” of a brand or a single person, but why not celebrate the women who dedicate their lives to pattern making, the factories that are photographers or assistants? I lived by the mantra that there is no job that is too big or too small, and that we need everyone to make our company a success. Life is really about celebrating every big or small victory and the women who take us there. KM: I think women can best support women. We are so happy to have other women with strong voices around us. We always feel supported and are so happy to have people from whom we can exchange ideas, join forces for events and, on the whole, can only support each other. What advice can you give other aspiring entrepreneurs? OM: It sounds cliché, but I live by the saying "Never take no for an answer." I learned from our business that there is always another way, if you have enough will and determination, another person to help you, and another way to be successful. You can always find a solution. I would also say to always treat people with kindness. I think nowadays people get lost with the feeling of constantly having to prove themselves or being too "a boss". Being friendly, honest, and honest doesn't mean that you can't still be wise and cheeky and be one step ahead of everyone else. KM: A quote I have always lived by is: "Every breath is a new opportunity." When I have a bad day or things feel like they're not going in my direction, I always try to take a break and change my mind. What other brands founded by women do you like to support? OM: There are so many incredible brands created by women, even in our small community in Orange County. Ilia Make-up, founded by Sasha Plavsic, is one of my favorite cosmetic lines (not to mention the clean beauty, even better!) And makes the most beautiful products. True Botanicals, founded by Hillary Peterson, is another favorite of mine and they have the craziest selection of clean skin care products. Her facial mist is a constant point of contact and her packaging is just perfect. I am constantly inspired by Jenni Kayne. Their authenticity is expressed through their branding, shop furnishings, home collections and even the girls who work in their stores. To be honest there is an endless list of women who inspire me and I am so happy to be surrounded by women who are pushing me to do better, to say wisdom and to celebrate our successes together. KM: I have become such a fan of clean beauty in recent years and I am so happy to be supported by brands run and founded by women. Ilia Beauty, founded by Sasha Plavsic, is not only an Orange County brand, but also offers the cleanest and most beautiful products. Lawless Beauty has the most amazing story of Annie Lawless, who is the genius behind Suja Juice. She has now created a makeup line that she likes to call Clean AF. Mate the Label, founded by Katyi O’Connell Carr, has created the coziest things that have quickly become my travel wardrobe. Honestly, the list goes on and on, and I think that's real proof of how strong women are in the market today. Buy the matching Ofu Bikini Bottoms ($ 122). Why is International Women's Day important to you? International Women's Day is both a moment of gratitude for the women who have struggled to get us to where we are today and a reminder of the responsibility we have towards each other and the next generation. What prompted you to start your brand? I started Staud because I felt that there was a niche in the market for a lifestyle brand that felt ambitious and elevated, but at an affordable price. I wanted to create a fashion brand that was chic but not sophisticated. How do you think the fashion industry can work better for women? The fashion industry can do better for women by supporting each other more. We are all there together, fighting for similar things and working towards it. Let us make ourselves stronger, not pull apart. What advice can you give other aspiring entrepreneurs? Be authentic in everything you do, from the pieces you create to your business approach and team. Do nothing or create something because you feel like you should. If you stand behind what it is and believe in it, it is the right thing. What other brands founded by women do you like to support? Leset, Alison Lou, Bond-Eye and HVN. Why is International Women's Day important to you? Appreciation and respect for a group of people should not be limited to a day or month on the calendar. It would be nice not to have just a women's day, a month of black history, or a month of gay pride – these should be year-round celebrations of diversity. But since we are not quite there yet, I am happy to take a day to highlight the contributions and achievements of women. What prompted you to start your brand? We live in a world where 30% of American women have every opportunity in the world and 70% have very few. It was a breeze to create a brand that gave up fashion and eliminated the gap between "them" and "us". As long as you are the other, you are the lesser. Access to fashion for everyone is the change we wanted to bring to the world. How do you think the fashion industry can work better for women? See "all of us as we are". We all want to enter the world as our best self. We need to broaden our understanding of what is beautiful, desirable, and worthy of respect and striving. What advice can you give other aspiring entrepreneurs? There is never a "good time" for anything. If you have something that the world needs, bring it to life regardless of what else happens. What other brands founded by women do you like to support? We love brands founded by women such as M.M. LaFleur, Chromat, Henning and Superflower. But we also love men's brands like Coyan and 11 Honoré that improve the lives of more women. Why is International Women's Day important to you? Every opportunity for women to be celebrated is important to me. I think it's a day to take stock and examine the statistical differences. We can see if they have improved and also actively decide what steps we want to take this year to try to improve things. What prompted you to start your brand? It was an accident like the most beautiful things. How do you think the fashion industry can work better for women? Honoring women would be a good start. Fashion has a tendency to honor girls instead of women, so I would like to see this change. Also more respect for designers. So many times the big houses keep appointing creative directors, man-by-man, while some of the greatest talents of our generation (Kate and Laura Mulleavy from Rodarte) have no chance. It's just strange for me. What advice can you give other aspiring entrepreneurs? All ships rise with the tide. What other brands founded by women do you like to support? I like Bode, ceramics from Memor Studio, my local Pilates studio, Fort Pilates. I try to include women-run businesses in my daily life. Why is International Women's Day important to you? It's so easy to get caught up in the fast-moving industry we operate in, and it's more important than ever to stop and recognize progress and realign goals and values. Individuality is the topic of International Women's Day 2020, a topic that is very close to my heart. It has taken some time for the fashion industry to abandon unrealistic standards, but it's incredibly comforting to see what an important narrative that celebrates individuality has become in recent years. It is exciting to see how it continues to gain momentum. What prompted you to start your brand? Creative and professional freedom. To be able to work with whom and to do things on our terms, to build a team and offer career opportunities, but also to build a sustainable supply chain. How do you think the fashion industry can work better for women? From our point of view, I find that the fashion industry is more diverse and progressive in terms of employing women, but that it has slowly accepted and celebrated individuality. There is so much to do that can sometimes be demoralizing and debilitating. It is important to find the causes for which we have a passion and to do what we can, even if it seems small. Every little bit counts. For an industry that never stops, it's so important to take a day to celebrate the things that really matter. What advice can you give other aspiring entrepreneurs? These misunderstandings can be used to your advantage to focus on change and progress, rather than feeling constrained and defeated by inequality. Awareness of problems is important, but focusing on them can hinder progress. What other brands founded by women do you like to support? While the influence of women like Miuccia Prada and Phoebe Philo on women's fashion and the industry as a whole is a constant source of inspiration, I was very fortunate to meet some amazing entrepreneurs who have incredible brands and unique visions. I love Anissa Kermiches jewelry. It is the only brand that I wear. I also love Nanushka for her everyday chic pieces. Why is International Women's Day important to you? It is important to me because representation is important. I saw firsthand how powerful it can be to reflect in the world and in the spaces we want to reach. A day celebrating women from all over the world is incredibly important for the younger generation. What prompted you to start your brand? I had worked for other fashion brands that designed clothes, and I realized that I could not participate in most of the "fashions" that surrounded me. I decided that I wanted to be able to give something back to my own community and attract real women of all shapes and sizes. How do you think the fashion industry can work better for women? This question has so many levels. Much more needs to be done, and I could go on and on about the systemic changes that need to take place, but it's really about the daily decisions we make as individuals. As a founder, almost my entire team is made up of amazing women, and I attach great importance to working with other women-run companies, artists and designers. We can only try to make decisions that raise women every day, not just on vacation and when things go wrong. I am grateful for the changes that have occurred in the smaller avenues of our daily lives during the Time & # 39; s Up and Me Too movements. I also believe that it is important to honor us with daily kindness and tenderness. Ultimately, the ability to champion other women often begins with the fact that we can champion ourselves. What advice can you give other aspiring entrepreneurs? Trust your belly, this deeply hidden inner voice. It's easy to rethink yourself all the time, but I've found that fewer things are more important than finding your voice in a world that often works to silence it. Sometimes I still have problems with it and have to remember to turn inward to find the answers. What other brands founded by women do you like to support? When I started TM, I was deeply inspired by the work Nicolette Mason and Gabi Gregg had done at Premme. These days I love what Susan Alexandra is doing. Why is International Women's Day important to you? IWD is a day when women's issues come to the fore, a reminder that we are aware of our progress and celebrate how far we have come. But also an opportunity to see how far we still have to go, socially, economically, politically and culturally. As with many holidays, these are concepts that we would ideally think of all year round. However, if we have a specific day each year, we can measure what we have achieved since the last day. What prompted you to start your brand? Ever since I was very little, it has been a dream of mine to be a fashion designer (and doctor and model!). But when I was growing up, I started to think that it was impractical, too difficult, too risky. I was pursuing a career in fashion PR that felt more logical given my skills, but I continued to do creativity on the side and tried ceramics (very challenging!) And watercolor (I have a side project called @idrawpets). On a rainy weekend, I decided to take old jewelry that I no longer wore apart and convert the pearls into earrings. I made some for my friend who posted a picture on Instagram. Because she works in sales, she immediately received DMs from buyers and other industry representatives about where and how to shop. I thought, why not give the pieces a name and take a few photos to email them to some editors, because that was my job after all? Vogue reached out in five minutes, and of course I had to walk around the block before trying to answer. . Ich liebe es, Kunst und tragbare Stücke zu kreieren, aber ich denke, was mich tatsächlich dazu veranlasst hat, die Marke zu gründen, sie ernst zu nehmen und der Öffentlichkeit anzubieten, war das Interesse der Branche. Ohne die Unterstützung von Redakteuren und Käufern würde ich immer noch Schmuck herstellen, aber auf persönlicher Ebene. Der Hauptgrund, warum jemand etwas in ein Unternehmen verwandeln müsste, ist das Erkennen eines Marktinteresses, sei es von Käufern, Redakteuren oder letztendlich von Kunden. Wie kann sich die Modebranche Ihrer Meinung nach besser für Frauen einsetzen? Als kapitalistische Gesellschaft baut die Modebranche darauf auf, bei Frauen den Wunsch und das Bedürfnis nach Konsum zu wecken, um als attraktiv angesehen zu werden und damit die Relevanz für die Gesellschaft aufrechtzuerhalten. Manipulieren Sie, was natürlich ist, um jugendlich zu bleiben, streben Sie nach einem bestimmten Körpertyp und ändern Sie unsere Haare. Repräsentation ist wichtig. Die Unterstützung der Vielfalt – Rasse, Alter, Körper, Fähigkeiten – hilft, alle Menschen zu normalisieren und Wertschätzung zu zeigen, in der Hoffnung, dass der Konsum nicht aus dem Versuch resultiert, sich vollständig oder würdig zu fühlen, sondern aus einem Ort, an dem Marken unterstützt werden sollen, für die sie stehen Probleme, an die Sie glauben. Wenn Sie sich für eine Slow-Fashion-Agenda einsetzen und die Geschwindigkeit verringern, mit der Trends vorangetrieben werden, wird nicht nur die entstehende Verschwendung verringert, sondern hoffentlich auch der psychologische Druck, den Frauen beim Konsum von Waren empfinden. Welchen Rat können Sie anderen aufstrebenden Unternehmern geben? 1. Erstellen Sie ein Produkt oder eine Dienstleistung, die nachweislich auf dem Markt erwünscht und vorzugsweise in der Gesellschaft hilfreich ist. 2. Verfeinern Sie das Geschäftsmodell weiter, damit es wirtschaftlich und ökologisch nachhaltig ist. 3. Machen Sie Ihre Recherchen und verstehen Sie Ihre Produktions-, Marketing- und Vertriebsstrategien – insbesondere Margen, Gewinnprognosen, Gemeinkosten und Einnahmequellen. Sie führen ein Geschäft! 4. Bauen Sie eine ausreichende Gewinnspanne auf, damit Sie Ihren Mitarbeitern faire Löhne zahlen können! Welche anderen von Frauen gegründeten Marken unterstützen Sie gerne? Nomasei, Giovanna, Abacaxi, KkCo, YanYan, Nikki Chasin, Labucq, Nicole Saldaña, Susan Alexandra, Mara Hoffman. Warum ist Ihnen der Internationale Frauentag wichtig? Der Frauentag hebt die Beseitigung der Diskriminierung von Frauen hervor, ein sehr wichtiges Thema seit jeher. Ich denke, als Frau sehe ich viele Formen davon, auch wenn sie nicht bekannt sein sollen. Die Idee, dass Frauen Frauen unterstützen, muss in allen Branchen eine größere Rolle spielen. Was hat Sie dazu veranlasst, Ihre Marke zu gründen? Ich wollte wirklich eine Möglichkeit für meine Kreativität, mit der ich meine Kunst auf andere Weise ausdrücken kann. Kunst ist subjektiv. In der Lage zu sein, Dinge zu entwerfen, die Menschen jeden Tag kaufen und tragen, fühlt sich an, als würde ich dazu beitragen, Kunst zu bewegen, auf die Sie stolz sind. Wie kann sich die Modebranche Ihrer Meinung nach besser für Frauen einsetzen? Frauen, die Frauenmarken besitzen, und mehr Designerinnen, die Frauenkleider entwerfen. Bei größeren Häusern wie LV, Gucci, YSL usw. wird es immer noch stark von männlichen Designern dominiert, die für Frauen entwerfen. . Welchen Rat können Sie anderen aufstrebenden Unternehmern geben? Glauben Sie an das, was Sie tun, und lassen Sie sich von niemandem sagen, dass etwas, das Sie tun, falsch ist. Welche anderen von Frauen gegründeten Marken unterstützen Sie gerne? Ich liebe Martine Rose, Miaou, Kim Shui, J. Hannah, Chickees Vintage, Made Of, Feel Jeans. Warum ist Ihnen der Internationale Frauentag wichtig? Die Unterstützung von Frauen ist der Kern unseres Wesens. Wir sind von Frauen gegründet und werden von Frauen geführt. Es ist unsere interne Mission, Brinker & Eliza weiter zu einem bereichernden Arbeitsumfeld auszubauen, das das Karrierewachstum und die Karriereentwicklung durch Mentoring und Chancen fördert. Was hat Sie dazu veranlasst, Ihre Marke zu gründen? Meine Mutter und ich haben Brinker & Eliza gegründet, nachdem wir festgestellt hatten, dass der Schmuck, den wir als Hobby für unsere Freunde hergestellt haben, tatsächlich etwas sein könnte, das andere Leute tragen möchten. Meine Mutter hatte über ein Jahrzehnt lang ihre eigene Schmucklinie. Ich habe inzwischen im Merchandising gearbeitet. In unserer Freizeit haben wir zusammen Schmuck gemacht, nur zum Spaß. Ich trug viele der Stücke, die wir zusammen gemacht haben und erhielt immer die nettesten Komplimente von Fremden. 2017 haben wir einen Sprung gemacht, unsere jeweiligen Jobs verlassen und offiziell eine Marke ins Leben gerufen. Wie kann sich die Modebranche Ihrer Meinung nach besser für Frauen einsetzen? By hiring women for leadership roles, by offering more opportunities for paid internships with mentorship programs to a wider audience of women, and by continuing to seek out, support, and invest in female-owned brands. What's one piece of advice you can offer to other aspiring entrepreneurs? Don't let a no discourage you. Think of it as “not right now—but maybe later.” Follow up by asking what they are looking for, what kinds of things you can do to work on/improve/increase whatever it is to get that yes. And in the meantime, nurture your relationships with the people who are supporting you, who’ve supported you from day one. What are some other female-founded brands you love supporting? Staud, Brother Vellies, Les Gamins, Sandy Liang, HVN, Lane Marinho, MegaBabe, Poolside, Stik, Kule. I love going down the Instagram rabbit hole of these brands and seeing who they’re following and supporting, too. Why is International Women's Day important to you? SS: As two female founders, it was important to create a brand that would enable confidence and streamline women's lives. On the production side, we partner and empower female craftsmen around the world to create many of our products. What prompted you to start your brand? KG: Both of us saw an opportunity in the market. There were, and still are, so many options in the fashion space, but very few had craftsmanship and quality coupled with timeless silhouettes at an affordable price. We were able to cut through the noise by creating this offer and encouraging consumers to purchase fewer, better items that could last through the seasons and become wardrobe staples. How do you think the fashion industry can better champion women? SS: We believe giving back is one of the most empowering ways to champion women. Philanthropy is an inherent, deep-rooted part of our story. Our Lean Closet movement was created alongside our brand DNA in 2013 to ensure that the philosophy of "fewer, better things" is synonymous with the act of giving back. Each donation we receive through Lean Closet goes directly to our non-profit partners at H.E.A.R.T., part of the Violence Intervention Program (VIP). What's one piece of advice you can offer to other aspiring entrepreneurs? KG: We would encourage them to be confident, curious, and humble all at the same time. What are some other female-founded brands you love supporting? SS: We love Parachute, Mejuri, Vrai & Oro, Thirdlove, Svelte Metals, Snowe, and Sweaty Betty. Shop the matching Alpaca Fit-and-Flare Skirt ($215). Why is International Women's Day important to you? PC: I feel like we celebrate International Women’s Day every day. Actually, almost all our partners are women, and it's amazing that we get to work with them every day. These are the women that inspire me to create and design. SC: Growing up and working in Hong Kong, I have encountered a lot of gender stereotyping and discrimination. Chinese society is largely patriarchal and conservative. A lot of my female peers and I have experienced managers asking about our marital statuses and/or child-rearing plans as part of the hiring process. It’s important to address biases that we face every day and also remember to celebrate our achievements. What prompted you to start your brand? PC: Honestly, I was tired of designing for the idea of a kind of woman that came from a man’s point of view. SC: I wanted to design for myself and have a platform to express my own interests and experiences without being edited. How do you think the fashion industry can better champion women? PC: I was taught we needed to break into the boys club, to have more women in leadership positions, to be championed regardless of our gender, to design for and assimilate to their point of view. I would worry that they would realize I was a minority woman, and I’m nothing like them. So I was always trying to prove I could do a better job over my male counterparts. I wonder if my male counterparts ever questioned if they deserved their job the way I did? You know what, I make smart confident decisions because I am a woman, not in spite of being a woman. We should champion our empathy, our sensibilities, our ability to multitask, our point of view. Those should be reasons to hire and work with someone. SC: Fashion manufacturing is very intensive in human labor, and women make up the majority of this workforce. As designers, business owners and consumers, we should always keep in mind the human aspect of the production process. We should strive to provide good working conditions for workers and be empathetic to their difficulties. We should also value every product that is made and consume consciously. What's one piece of advice you can offer to other aspiring entrepreneurs? PC: Don’t be afraid to share your story and your point of view. You are interesting and relatable. SC: Embrace what is different and unusual about yourself. What are some other female-founded brands you love supporting? SC: We’re big fans of Labucq, Susan Alexandra, and Overneath. They have been very supportive of us by lending us their products for our photo shoots. It really helps bring our looks together. PC: We’re also so proud of partnering with other women-founded companies in our operations. The majority of our partners are women. Our manufacturing company is founded by a woman, our wholesale manager is a woman, our press agencies are founded by women, even our photographers and lookbook producers are women. Shop the matching Rosie Tote ($250). Shop the matching Laza Bell Bottom ($295). Up next, the most significant colors to wear on International Women's Day.