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In honor of INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY, we went behind the scenes with some women in fashion- from editors to celebrity stylists to our very own CEO + Founder. Scroll now to access their exclusive interviews that will leave you feeling inspired, empowered, and more proud than ever to be a modern WOMAN.
Introducing Sierra Mayhew, an Editor for Who What Wear, writing about what’s best in fashion and creating viral social media posts. Prior to joining Who What Wear, she worked as a content coordinator for Bazaar. After interning at ELLE magazine and starting her ownblog in 2016, she learned that the fashion industry is where she saw herself working for the rest of her life.
What trends are you excited for this Spring/ Summer?
The trend that I’m telling everyone to buy into right now is the maxi denim skirt. I promise you, she’s not going anywhere. This trend will be following us for at least another year or two so I definitely recommend giving it a try. I am also loving the pops of red that we’ve been seeing on the runway lately. I think a red pair of socks or tights is in my future.
If you could only pick one denim style to live in, what would it be?
Call me boring but my answer has to be a wide-leg pair of jeans. Lately, I reach for them almost every other week. I have a few pairs that are so comfortable and almost feel like I’m wearing leggings. There are so many ways to style them and no matter what they always look cool.
What does womanhood mean to you?
The word womanhood doesn’t really speak to me. I prefer “being a woman” because I see my gender as a powerful act that I happily choose every day. Women right now are succeeding in every single way and I love to see it. I am so proud to be a woman because of how introspective, empathetic, and beautiful we are.
Introducing Georgia Makely, Ford’s Global Digital Director. Georgia develops and representsthe organization’s roster of fashion & lifestyle creatives, change makers, artists, & more,partnering them with the industry’s leading lifestyle and luxury brands for activations bothonline and offline. While Digital is a new exploration for the 75 year old company, Georgia and her team have ushered the division into quickly becoming one of the fastest growing at Ford globally.
Where would we find you when you are feeling most inspired?
I’ve long dreamt of being in the fashion industry. I began at sixteen working for a celebrity stylist in San Francisco, hoping that getting an early start would help me get my foot in the door in such a competitive business. With that big-dreamed teenage girl in mind, I find myself feeling inspired and grateful anytime I’m running around New York City at events, runway shows,or even simply emailing with a brand. Being able to work with some of the designers and talents I admire so much fuels me in my work and reminds me why I do what I do.
What does being a modern working woman mean to you?
The modern working woman is a well-rounded, creative, and ambitious leader who finds a healthy balance between her career and her personal life. Throughout the span of my career I’ve come to learn that I’m not able to perform at my best when I am ‘pouring from an empty cup.’ There is a common misconception that overworking yourself is the only way to be successful, when true success comes from prioritizing your mental well-being, finding efficiency, and learning how to properly delegate. Surrounding yourself with the right support system, both inside and outside of the office, is key to being a great working woman, friend, partner, and so on.
We all know that womanhood is about community, who are other women that inspire or influence you?
The sheer number of women who inspire me is countless! My mother is a designer and entrepreneur who has always instilled in me the importance in discovering and pursuing my passions. Within the industry, I look up to women like Eva Chen, Lindsey Peoples Wagner, and Aurora James. Each of these women are making waves within fashion in their own way, with Eva pushing the business further into the digital frontier, Lindsey amplifying more diverse voices in the editorial space, and Aurora as a designer & activist/co-founder of the 15 Percent Pledge. It is trailblazing women like Eva, Lindsey, and Aurora that move the needle and keep fashion relevant, forward-thinking, and accountable. I’m also grateful to be surrounded by women at Ford Models, both on my team and on my roster of digital influencers, whom I look up to immensely. These women have also been instrumental in supporting and uplifting me in founding the Digital program at Ford.
What are your favorite ways to wear or style denim? Any styles you always go back to?
I love that denim is truly timeless! My favorite denim look to style is a high-waisted straight-leg jean with a crisp white button down. It makes me feel like a 90’s supermodel off-duty and is casual enough for street style but polished enough for the office. I always keep a ‘Mom’ jean and a wide leg pair in every wash in my closet because they’re versatile and flattering on everyone (and every body).
What advice would you give to young women looking to enter the fashion/entertainment landscape?
My two primary pieces of advice to women entering the fashion/entertainment space are to create your own network and to ask for what you want. I often hear that fashion is an industry where you need to “know people in the right places” in order to succeed. In truth, it all is about connections, however I’m of the mind that you can create your own. You can search LinkedIn to request informational interviews, attend networking events, and even create a supportive online community on Instagram or Tik Tok. In doing so, you’ll find that you have people on your team who are willing to go to bat for you when it comes to finding your dream job. Whether it was reaching out to a new employer via email or communicating to my boss that I wanted more responsibility, the moments I’ve seen the most upward growth were those where I was vocal in communicating my goals. People underestimate the value and the respect that comes from being unabashedly ambitious!
Meet Tracy Shapoff, an LA based wardrobe stylist who most notably has styled Elizabeth Banks, Constance Wu, and Octavia Spenser for various red carpet events. She has also worked on the styling teams for season 13 of America’s Got Talent and MTV’s Undressed.
Describe your personal style in three words?
Trend-forward, Clean-eclectic, and Confident.
What are your favorite ways to wear or style denim?
I love a Vintage, baggy, 90s style denim with a simple white tee and a blazer. It is stylish, and effortlessly classic while being able to be dressed up or down depending on what shoes/jacket/accessories you pair with it. I also love a well-fitted, straight leg denim, paired with a sexy top and heels for a night out. The sexier top with a simple, straight pair of denim gives a balanced juxtaposition to your look. In the summer I love a pair of cut off denim shorts with a short sleeve white button down. This can be worn over a swimsuit to the beach, and then swapped out with a pair of summer heels for the evening. It’s clean, chic and effortless.
What is a recent trend you’re loving lately?
Denim with knee high boots. Whether that be jeans, denim shorts, or a denim maxi skirt, the knee high boot is a refreshing new style that is both professional and sexy. It’s very flattering on the leg whether you are tall or short, it does not cut the leg off awkwardly as an ankle boot may sometimes do and the over-the-knee boot is sometimes overwhelming on a shorter leg.
What is a recent project / collaboration you’re proud of?
I am most proud of styling my first two clients for the Golden Globes 2023. It was an amazing kickoff to a new year in my career. I styled both Cole and Cynthia Hauser for the Golden Globes. Cole was presenting on behalf of Yellowstone and Paramount, so that was also very exciting to not just have a Red Carpet moment but to also have a Presenter moment with my client.
Meet Grace Na, Creative Director for Pistola. Grace founded Pistola in 2013. She brings over 15 years of fashion industry experience at the buying, planning and executive levels. A complete denim obsessive, Na saw an opening in the market to design jeans that combine expert cuts with an edgy, streetwise sensibility.
What are the challenges you’ve faced while being a woman in business?
Earlier on, there were a lot of “boy’s clubs” within the various corporations I worked for, so it felt very hard to ‘break in’ or ‘stand out’ amongst them. But where there’s a will, there’s a way! Happy to report that this is not so much the case in the types of business dealings I have today.
What are attributes that would lead to a successful career in the fashion industry?
If I had to name just a few - curiosity, passion, and a strong work ethic.
How are you balancing motherhood, being a creative director, a wife, etc.?
All three require a lot of intentional effort, of course - so the key is to prioritize my time in a balanced and effective way. For example, there are weeks when I’m spending more time volunteering at my kids’ school (like during holidays), and times during seasonal launches that require more of my presence at work - and I love ensuring quality time with my husband during travels for work and pleasure. There’s no perfect formula besides just doing the best I can within each area at any given time.
What’s your favorite trend of the season?
I’m really into all the unique, non-conventional shapes that are happening in denim and pants. I’m also loving the outfit formula of pairing looser relaxed bottoms with a tight, structured top for a polished look.
Meet Judith Jones, Who What Wear’s fashion market editor, sharing her love and expertise on the most sought-after shopping picks and trends on the market. Prior to joining Who What Wear, she worked as a writer and TV host on the PBS travel show Globe Trekker. When Judith isn’t writing about fashion (or shopping!), she can be found snuggling and dancing with her wonderful son, eating her way through L.A’s restaurants, and dreaming up her next trip around the world.
What does being a modern working woman mean to you?
For me it means feeling empowered, independent, inspired, and passionate about my work and family life. It is continually educating, questioning, collaborating, and challenging myself to be the best version of me.
We all know women wear many different hats, being a mom and an editor, how do you balance your many hats?
I don’t think there is such a thing as balance being a working mom! It is rare that I can divide my time equally as a mother and full-time fashion editor, and honestly, I could not do it without the support and help of a caretaker. What I do strive for is being fully present when I am with my children—which means not looking at my phone, answering emails or multitasking (not always an easy feat!), and instead really taking the time to engage and enjoy the moments together. And equally, when I am working that means being there for my team, putting 100% into my stories, and being as efficient as possible. I’m also trying to be better at finding moments to care for myself physically and mentally—something I’m not great at prioritizing but definitely working on as it’s so important to my wellbeing. It’s all a bit of a juggle to be honest but I try and do it all with gratitude as it is such a privilege to have an amazing family and a seriously fun job.
What is your favorite go-to denim look?
I am a denim girl through and through. I wear jeans nearly every day. My go-to look is usually straight-leg jeans paired with a t-shirt or sweater and a chic blazer. I’ll style them with pointed-toe sling back heels or sneakers depending on where I’m going. If I have a work event I may pair my jeans with a chic blouse and belt for a pulled-together look.
Grace Na only has time for real, relevant style. Since 2013, she’s run Pistola Denim as a family business (yes, she’s a mom of 3 and, according to her team, a total babe) that puts quality over quantity, meticulously crowd-sourced fits over fast fashion, and attainable prices over try-hard hype.
Grace understands that her customers are as smart as she is, so she gives them what they want. Like 24/7 cool pieces that look 100 even when nothing else zips, elevated silhouettes that actually feel good, and investing in more eco-forward fibers.
Paris’s runways, NYC’s street style, and LA’s ease play into every (sold-out-for-a-reason) Pistola collection. It’s futuristic throwbacks you can’t find in the archives, it’s the put-together-yet-chill look you needed for date night, it’s the first thing you reach for once you have it.
15 years of experience in every facet of fashion means knowing how to cut through the noise. This isn’t Grace’s first rodeo, though it is her biggest biz-related win. She’s been a planner, she’s been a buyer, she’s been a VP—she’s now a creative director, a founder, an owner. Grace is a working woman, designing clothes that work for everyone. It’s not just denim, it’s the perfect vegan, alt-leather alternative to the moto jacket you love. It’s the sweater set you didn’t see coming. It’s the jumpsuit that’s actually adjustable—and actually comfortable. And it’s the jeans that you don’t have to take off, from the first coffee appointment to your last cocktail RSVP.
Pistola works as hard as you do, as hard as we do, as hard as Grace does—and makes it look easy.
Shop Grace’s Picks Below: