Who runs the world? Girls…Quite literally. If we look around, some of the world’s strongest global brands are run by women. If you’ve ever run an organization or company yourself, you know how hard it is. So, let’s appreciate some of these ladies who are setting the trends and hitting the marks.
Reformation, Yael Aflalo
In 2009, former model Yael Aflalo created Reformation as a way for fashion and sustainability to coexist. The company rapidly expanded in its first stage of transforming vintage, thrift store finds into remarkable pieces, even landing it a project with Urban Outfitters. Despite this growth, Aflalo wanted to expand the company’s sustainability practices, so they shut their doors in 2012 and relaunched as an e-commerce site. Now, the company operates with an over 3/4 female management team in LA’s garment district. The company is fully committed to using renewable energy and is emerging as one of the few bigger named brands providing information about its environmental impact. In contrast to other brands with similar environmental commitments, Aflalo has abandoned the strategy of “buy less, use less”; in her opinion, it’s a short-sighted and out-of-touch business practice. Instead of relying on the consumer to act sustainably, she understands that it is Reformation’s duty as a fashion brand to deal with the issue and work to become better.
Outdoor Voices, Tyler Haney
It’s time to throw away those old baggy workout pants and over-sized t-shirt. Your upgrade will be graciously be made available by Outdoor Voices, a new recreational apparel brand. Tyler Haney, the brand’s 26-year-old founder, sells the brand on the premise and tagline that Doing Things is much better than not Doing Things. Growing up in Boulder, Colorado, she admits that there’s no distinction between your active-life and your ‘life-life’ — they’re simultaneously one. It was essential to be active, but not be defined by it. With this in mind, she felt an urge to develop a line that was different than Nike, Adidas, or Lululemon; she wanted a line that was not pushing for its customer to become better or stronger, just something that accentuated a person’s femininity and athleticism. Haney attended Parsons and there created the beginnings of Outdoor Voices. Today the company has earned over $8 million in venture backing and is rapidly expanding in its digital-first strategy. Having no prior experience, Haney admits the process has been difficult, but because of her persistence, it was all possible.
Aday, Meg He and Nina Faulhaber
Another emerging fitness brand, Aday is breaking the mold and developing its own niche within the fitness/wellness world. The company’s founders Meg He and Nina Faulhaber designed the brand to fit into many different contexts. Knowing how precious time is, the creators built an apparel line that can be worn in the gym and then right out into your night on the town or informal business meeting. Long are the days when workout clothes are forbidden from wearing in any other place than your Zumba class or the track. The founders met while working at Goldman Sachs in New York and quickly hit it off. Recognizing this apparel problem, the two quit their respective jobs and teamed up to start Aday. Though the company is relatively new, they’re quickly gaining coverage all over the world. The collection is simple, but its fabrics and designs are innovative and totally unique. Go check it!
Birchbox, Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna
While the two were studying at Harvard Business School, Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna decided that the beauty product industry itself needed a little facelift. The two had previously been involved in marketing and consulting so it seemed to be perfect marriage of their experiences and interests. The duo knew that for most customers, the industry is overwhelming and totally unfamiliar. So, in order to make things friendlier for customers, they created a subscription service where they would send product samples to those women trying to find new products to use. While at the beginning their main focus was on women, they expanded to include a line dedicated to men’s beauty products in 2012. Altogether the company has more than one million subscribers who pay $10 a month to have customized beauty products show up right at their door.