Beauty

I recently wrote the following for an interview and wanted to share it with you. I welcome your comments. 

 

Not your typical fashion designer, I was a successful entrepreneur in the biomedical sciences and was never satisfied with the clothing available for purchase. Too sexy, too young, too short for work. 

At the age of 53, 2007, i went back to school and earned my MFA in fashion & Textile design. Here I still found the same problems, the stores didn't want to buy anything related to the working woman. at one point i thought it was a conspiracy to keep women from advancing professionally.

Now, i am designing for "my" woman and selling directly through my own shop, online, and a partnership with the local Four Seasons Hotel. Reading Deborah Rhode's book The Beauty Bias enlightened me on the statistics. My research leads met to do the following. 

- Sell directly to women

- Talk with them.  I am recording Google Hangout conversations with several women as we discuss beauty, the biases, the fashion industry. We'll edit them into 2 minute clips and publish them eliciting discussion. soon, we can have live online conversations. 

- List policies on my website on my values, including  how we use photoshop. 

- we believe that beauty is expressed by a woman's intelligence. It's inherent in all women, we want to be trusted that we will never objectify women. 

What does our clothing say about ourselves?

Carolyn Zinko, SF Chronicle talks about the changes in Silicon Valley over the past few decades. I can testify that power suits were the standard. I loved wearing Chanel myself, because no one even recognized them in those days. Still, for this month's article  in the San Francisco Chronicle by Zinko, some Silicon Valley women didn't want to be quoted talking about clothes. Another said do your job and it would not matter what you wear.

Are we seriously talking like this? Seems like it does matter what we wear. It does mean a lot to our selves and to others. Suppose we look at it another way. Suppose we ask ourselves seriously -  what are we preparing for on the inside? Does our clothing truly match where we think we are and where we want to go? If the answer is yes, then I'd want to talk a lot about it. Talking about my destination will get me there, because I believe I'll be convincing.

Thanks Carolyn Zinko. Here is her article in SF GATE  http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Women-are-hacking-the-tech-dress-code-5411791.php

Let's Talk

Seriously, why do we need another fashion brand? Why more shirts? It's time I write about some major changes in my thinking. Most of you know that I have  worked in or around corporate America and in startups. Perhaps you know that I have always struggled with my wardrobe. What is business casual? What do you wear to this or to that business situation? Often my fashionista friend Mary and I went shopping. Certain brands allowed me to feel put together, but they were expensive. This experience taught me a lot about quality, textiles, and classic design.

Eventually, I went back to school to earn a second master's degree in fashion and textile design so that I could understand this mysterious world of fashion and style. My journey at school culminated in a runway show at Lincoln Center during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and the launch of my label early in 2011.

Three years has taught me that the fashion world does a great job serving women who have the time and interest to pay attention to fashion. I think there are a lot of women who are busy with jobs in other fields and don't have the time and possibly the interest to follow fashion. These women sometimes say "please dress me" or "what do you recommend?" or "what do you wear with this?" This was my world, where I lived for so many years of my life.

What are some of my design principles?  Pieces should coordinate so that nine pieces can make at least 30 looks. We should be able to fit most body types (size 2 - 16), skin, hair and eye colorations. Clothing starts with the fabric. Textiles should be delicious to the touch, always. Form follows function. Classics rule. Strive to hide body parts that don't want to be shown. Give the wearer the choice to show body parts that might want to be shown. There must be something interesting in each piece, but never ridiculous. Try to place openings near the front so that the wearer can open/close herself.

I am designing and offering tools for women who live full, fast or busy lives, who just want to make getting dressed and looking great easy. My clients want to spend more time with people or her interests than in her closet. Does this sound like you?

What is your point of view? What are you thinking?