"I knew starting my own fashion company as a woman would be hard because I am a in a male dominated profession. And, I knew I could do everything better. That is coming from a place of total confidence and competence. Where I used to work I saw generations of incompetent male decision makers stifling both creativity and conversation. I knew I could only grow so far working in this kind of environment. There's one supervisor that I still flip-off in my mind constantly. And, I still can't give the details about how ineffective and emotional abusive he was because this industry is so small. I can't wait for my business to grow so I can have a team working for me and the opportunity to treat my employees like humans." - Molly Shaheen designs and produces leather fanny packs. MollyShaheen.com
“I don’t think I’ve gotten ahead in life because I am a woman. I’ve always managed to land on my feet. When things get rough it lights a fire under me. I’m smart, I’m a transformer, I’ll adapt. My independence is important to me – I don’t want to owe anything to anyone.” – Daisy Linhares lives in Venice, CA. She is a clothing designer and owner of All Things Fabulous.
"I created and managed a five city tour called "My Black is Beautiful". It was an ad campaign for Proctor and Gamble and was a free beauty event for the audience/attendees. We went to Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago and New Orleans. It was great to bring these free performances and beauty events to these communities and if I wasn't a woman of color I wouldn't have had the insight to make the event as successful as it was." - Arlene Pitterson is an executive producer with Digitalflash
"My Dad told us we could do anything we wanted to do. My sister and I were too young to know that at that time, it wasn't really true. He raised us to think more like boys, to be independent, adventurous, and he believed in us. My sister and I took a cargo ship to Argentina when we were young, we traveled across the country alone. My Mother was aware of the danger of two girls traveling alone - and she worried about us, but my father believed we could do anything." - Jacquie McArdle is a fashion designer.
"Joan Rivers took a photo with me not long before she passed away and she told me, "You passed. You look hot." I was so excited to get a thumb's up from the fashion police. I love fashion; the lipstick, the nail polish, the sexy little lingerie, the swimwear. This is how I express myself. I love being a woman."
Luisa has been working at Rent The Runway for the past two years and she aspires to do something more intellectual in the fashion industry. "I want to do something where I make a difference in the world. The fashion world is disillusioning - I want to make clothing more meaningful, more intellectual and less about having something." She pointed out that sometimes it sucks to be a woman. "I am into politics. And there are huge inequalities between men and women. Even in fashion - everything costs more for women. It sucks. A lot of things suck about the inequalities between men and women and they go unnoticed or even if they are noticed nobody does anything about them," she said. She is Columbian and though she is an American citizen, when she travels alone to Columbia she has a hard time getting through security without a hassle. "It's like it is looked down upon to be a woman traveling by yourself. I was recently going to Columbia and there were all these other men traveling alone too, but when I put my passport or ID through the scanner I always get an X and have to go through further security scrutiny. I have to wonder if it is because I am a woman, none of those other men traveling alone who are in the same line get an X."