This International Women’s day, we look to create a future that celebrates womanhood in all its forms by bringing together a conversation of and about women from the past and present, their supporters and those circumstances they challenged in their lives, their art and their being.
Within the last century, women have been granted the freedoms and rights to move through the world as our male counterparts; to vote, to work where we please, to speak freely, to dress as we desire. Even more recently, to become Vice President and to celebrate each other in professional, personal and romantic love. However, as we have seen over the course of time freedom and rights tend to be just as nuanced as the shapes, colors, and genders we define ourselves as. To celebrate, continue the progress that has come before us, and further the conversation around the female gaze, femininity, all women and those who identify with femininity, we asked a few friends whose work and perspectives we admire who they look to for inspiration and change.
Creative Director of Monse, Co-creative Director of Oscar de la Renta
“My maternal grandmother — she lived through the Korean war and experienced so many unspeakable hardships. She wasn’t vocal about it, so it wasn’t until recently that I discovered this about her. She was such strong, happy woman and the best role model for me.
Artist Yayoi Kusama — she broke into a male-centric art scene, becoming one of the most influential artists out of Asia. Staying authentically herself, she expressed her trauma and struggles with mental health through her captivating work.
Coco Chanel — she brought sportswear into women’s wardrobes and changed the landscape of fashion thereafter. she introduced the sporty, casual pieces — moving away from blueprints for what we wear now. plus, she wasn’t from a wealthy background ad built a strong brand despite, which was quite phenomenal at the time.
Rei Kawakubo — brought something new and provocative to the fashion scene. she challenged the fit and form of traditional garments, discarding harmful stereotypes surrounding women. i especially love how she built Comme de Garçons and helped young designers grow their own vision under her umbrella.”
“Know their names, know their stories, they are braver, faced challenges, faced discrimination, took risks, and changed the course of history.”
— Rachel Roy
Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Polska
“Marsha P Johnson — we owe a great debt to Marsha P Johnson, celebrated today for the key role she played in the stonewall riots in 1969, but largely forgotten in her lifetime (she died in 1992, age 46). The new monument to the trans activist was a long time coming; I believe the story of her heroic life should be taught in schools
Virginia Woolf — Virginia Woolf’s novel “Orlando”, inspired by and dedicated to her great love Vita Sackville-West, was published in 1928. It tells the story of a young Elizabethan nobleman, whose life spans centuries and sees him turning into a woman along the way. Almost 100 years have passed, yet Orlando seems to be on everyone’s lips these days, especially in the fashion industry.
Rupaul — I was in my early teens when “Supermodel (You Better Work)” took the charts by storm in 1993, and to see a man transform into this stunning woman seemed to me as shocking as it was completely natural. Rupaul was a bona fide star, and has of course gone on to become a household name, bringing drag to the literal masses. “Drag Race” is an institution, and global treasure.”
Founder of Rachel Roy, Author of “Design Your Life”
“Mother Theresa, Billie Holiday, Chanel Miller. There are millions of women and young girls that have helped to shape a change in how society views and treats females. Know their names, know their stories, they are braver, faced challenges, faced discrimination, took risks, and changed the course of history.”
Whitney Bromberg Hawkings
Founder of Flowerbx
“Susan B Anthony for starting the women’s rights movement and lobbying for women to gain the right to vote. Rosa Parks for refusing to give up her seat on the bus and her pivotal role in the civil rights movement. Kamala Harris, Madam Vice President, for being the first woman in the White House and showing possibility and hope to young girls around the world.”
Amanda de Cadanet
Journalist, Photographer, Author of “It’s Messy: On Boys, Boobs and Badass Women”, Founder of Girl Gaze
“Madonna — she brought the concept of female liberation into pop culture and the homes of millions. agree or disagree with the exact rhetoric there is no question she was a pioneer in challenging gender stereotypes.
VP Kamala Harris — the first Black, Asian American woman to be nominated into this position.
The Women’s suffrage movement without whom women in the us would not be allowed to vote.”
Below, find a curation of products donating 100% of funds to International Women’s Day causes, including Chloe’s The Girls Forward partnership with UNICEF. Chloé will support UNICEF in its global aim to provide 6.5 million girls with skills for employability, learning, personal empowerment and active citizenship, allowing them to excel in the labor force of tomorrow. This partnership echoes the spirit of Gaby Aghion, who founded Chloé in 1952 with one mission: give women freedom to dare to be themselves. With this goal, Chloé designed three cause-related products for the Girls Forward campaign (a bracelet, a necklace and a T-shirt). The sales of these products will allow fundraising for UNICEF’s programs to promote gender equality.