LESS IS MORE

LESS IS MORE

Who are your friends? Do they inspire you?

How do you spend your time? Does it make you feel enriched?

Where do you spend your time? Does it make you happy?

I’ve always liked beautiful things.  And lately I’ve been enveloping myself in a level of analysis that is all consumed by the notion of curation. I’m not just curating beautiful things… I’m curating who I give my time to, how I spend it, where I spend it, and what I choose to wear.

As a young child, I had big dreams. My father always told me that nothing in life would pay off more than hard work and sheer perseverance. And so that is exactly what I did. I chose to work relentlessly at every turn, I chose to burn the midnight candle many nights, and I definitely chose to be where I am today. And just as much as you did the same, together we deserve to feel proud and accomplished everyday. Our days of dreaming are far from over. Yet, let this moment in life serve as a reminder of the obstacles we have overcome, the challenges we have triumphed, and the victories we have won. Let’s celebrate by using our finest dining set every night and wearing beautiful fabrics that are luxurious on our skin so we can feel supple yet powerful every single day.

As part of this process of curation, I challenge you to depart with ‘things’ that don’t elevate you. Why have 50 things in your wardrobe that you don’t even remember? How about 20 pieces that you love and cannot live without? Re-shape your closet into a place that tells a story… a story about you, a story about your life, and a story about what’s to come.  #LessIsMore

dE ROSAIRO WOMAN: Alyene Schneidewind

dE ROSAIRO WOMAN: Alyene Schneidewind

Full Name: Alyene Schneidewind
City and Country: San Francisco, USA
Title: Vice President, Customer Success
Company: Salesforce

What about your career makes you feel proud?
Whenever I’m faced with new challenges, I look back and I’m proud that I've taken many risks in my career. Developing my confidence along the way has been a journey. As part of that journey, I've also learnt that showing up every day & giving it my all is what differentiates me as a leader. As I reflect on my career I know that I've made a significant impact to the companies and teams that I've been a part of, because I show up, I give it my all, and because I’m willing to take calculated risks.

What inspired you to be doing what you are in your career?
I love building & developing incredible teams. In a Customer Success business, people are our product. Because of that, I'm thrilled that in my career I've been able to deliver solid business results to customers through the amazing people that we hire & develop.

On your journey to success what has been your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge in my career has been maintaining a good balance between work and my life outside of work. Because of my commitment to success in both aspects of my career and outside life, and also because I place a high value on my health and relationships with the people I love, the key for me was realizing that everyday I am fully empowered to make choices pertaining to both these areas of my life. Sometimes I choose to prioritize a meeting or business trip, yet other times I choose to prioritize volunteering in my daughter’s classroom. I noticed that whenever I’m feeling stressed it’s because I am out of balance on where I am spending my time. And when that stress factor creeps in, I know its time for me to step back, literally breathe, and then give myself the space to think & re-prioritize.

How important is it to you that we recognize and grow women leaders as a society, and why?
My entire career has been built in the technology space, and the ratios for women have always ridiculously low. It's a fact that diverse teams deliver significantly greater business results. I am personally committed to growing & mentoring women leaders, and this will always be a large part of my personal impact and legacy.

Leadership continues to be applauded for traits of transparency and vulnerability. How do you stay true to these traits in your day-to-day life and career?
Being transparent and vulnerable is the only way I know how to be - it's authentically me! I also think that in order to exhibit these traits it's important to really connect with the people around you, because it allows you insight into the context from which they are operating. It's amazing how understanding what matters to people and what motivates them will open so many new paths for both you and them.

What advice do you have for other women leaders?
I have this to say to other women leaders: take chances, and don't rule yourself out from an opportunity because you're not a perfect fit. It is the combination of all your experiences that make you a uniquely qualified candidate. Own this with confidence.

Favorite quote and by whom?
While you are alive collect moments, not things. - Aarti Khurana

How does what you wear make you feel?
What I wear can make me feel all sorts of things – powerful, confident, fun, beautiful, strong, cozy. I love the feel of amazing fabric combined with the perfect fit. Building my wardrobe however, is not my area of expertise, so I am never afraid to ask for help. Oh, and I have learned that accessories matter!

What everyday luxuries do you enjoy?
Right now an everyday luxury for me is time. I love spending my time with my family, hiking in the San Francisco Bay Area, or at the beach. I also love really connecting on a human level with new people. All of these things really give me the satisfaction I need.

What social media links can we find you on?
LinkedInTwitter

SAPEURS and LOOK FEEL LEAD

SAPEURS and LOOK FEEL LEAD

I recently discovered the Congolese subculture of ‘Sapeurs’ located in the previous French colony of Brazzaville and Kinshasa in the Republic of Congo. A person who embraces the word ‘La Sape’ is called a Sapeur – ‘La Sape’ meaning ‘attire’ in English. The movement embodies men who exhibit both style and manners set to colonial times. What surprised me the most about this culture is the stark contrast that exists between the Sapeurs’ extreme style and manners versus the environment of poverty he lives in. Earning less than $100 a month, the Sapeur is known to not just clad himself in style, in fact he clothes himself in well-known designer suits from Versace, Prada, Gucci, and Armani.

At first I had a hard time understanding why someone of extreme poverty, earning 30 cents a day, would prioritize purchasing clothing that would typically be considered unaffordable. As I unraveled the layers of context in front of me, I came to understand that a Sapeur is actually a happy man if he can feed his body and soul through style, even if it means he will not eat as a result. I couldn’t help but wonder if the Sapeur had created this mental state of being as an escape from his environmental state of being. And if yes, how incredibly profound! The idea of feeding your body and soul through style as a primary necessity overturns our basic hierarchy of needs. And for Sapeurs who have been doing this for over 25 years, I reasonably assume that embracing style provides them with a means to elevate their life and escape their reality.

dE ROSAIRO as a brand has been built around the concept of ‘Look Feel Lead’. The discovery of the Sapeur arrives at the right time to me, just when I was pushing my paradigm to think differently on how we could extend our ‘Look Feel Lead’ outreach into the non-profit world. In recent months I have been asking myself, what if we could elevate women and men in less than ideal life circumstances through dE ROSAIRO and through the power and psychology of clothing? What if we could dress girls and women so that they could regain their confidence and lead more healthy and enhanced lives?

As a Creative Director, I’ve become fascinated with the power of clothes and how it impacts our society on multiple levels. The Sapeur is a timely example of a subculture that has pushed the boundaries of style in a contradicting environment, showing us more than ever, the inherent psychology behind why we chose to wear what we wear.

dE ROSAIRO WOMAN: Jill Michelle Williams

dE ROSAIRO WOMAN: Jill Michelle Williams

Full Name: Jill Michelle Williams
City and Country: New York, USA
Title: Television Producer and Showrunner
Company: Snacktime Entertainment, Inc.
 
 
What about your career makes you feel proud?
For the majority of producers, myself included, working in this industry is a constant hustle because we are freelancers. You are only as good as your last show and your network is everything! I am proud of all the hard work I put in to having the career that I now have and I feel even more proud knowing that I built it on my own. Blood, sweat, and tears – at times literally.

I grew up in a small town in Ohio and moved to L.A. after college. I didn’t know anyone in L.A. much less in the “biz”, but I had drive, ambition, goals, and a vision for myself. I held nearly every position from production assistant on up, and that knowledge now allows me to wear many hats today, as well as mentor others in the industry who need it.

What inspired you to be doing what you are in your career?
Growing up in Ohio, I was never exposed to television production. I remember being a little girl and watching my favorite television program, “Magnum P.I.” and reading the credits. I knew there was something in production out there for me; I just didn’t know what it was at that time.

On your journey to success what has been your greatest challenge?
Probably the biggest challenge I faced was moving to a new city where I didn't know anyone. For an industry that is all about who you know, building my network was by far my greatest challenge and was something that not only needed to be built, but something that continuously needs to be maintained.

What series are you most proud of producing?
I definitely tend to focus on lifestyle programming as I really love to work on series that help people in one way or another. Some of my favorite producing adventures have been working on the “Biggest Loser”, “Project Runway All Stars”, “Plain Jane”, and most recently “Mikie Saves The Date”.

How important is it to you that we recognize and grow women leaders as a society, and why?
I think it is crucial that we recognize and grow women leaders. I think it is especially important for women to lift other women as we climb. It seems like there is so much “girl on girl crime” in business as well as showcased in the media, and not to mention the varying view of women globally. It’s time to flip the script! I think it is important for women to continue to pave a new path where women embrace one another, mentor one another, hire one another, and are kind to one another.

Leadership continues to be applauded for traits of transparency and vulnerability. How do you stay true to these traits in your day-to-day life and career?
I believe that vulnerability is strength. And it’s okay to admit when you may not be as knowledgeable as you would like to be about a particular topic. We are human after all and no one likes a know-it-all. Being transparent and vulnerable is also about being true to your self – your authentic self. If you’re not being true to yourself you’re doing yourself and everyone else around you a disservice.

What advice do you have for other women leaders?
Hire qualified women whenever you are able to and pay them appropriately. Take time out of your busy day to mentor someone coming up. Keep on pushing forward and keep the conversation of women helping other women going.

Favorite quote and by whom?
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” | Anaïs Nin

How does what you wear make you feel?
What I wear definitely has an impact on how I feel. If I’m dressed down, I’m automatically more relaxed and not necessarily in work mode. If I’m dressed in my favorite work attire, something I deem chic casual and fashionable, I feel like I walk taller with my chin held high ready to conquer the day.

What everyday luxuries do you enjoy?
I love waking up to a sunny day, making green tea for myself and having some quiet time first thing in the morning to be thankful and focus on the day ahead. I always feel good when I take the time to walk to work enjoying the parks and bustling streets of Manhattan. I feel very blessed to live in New York City!

What social media links can we find you on?
LinkedInTwitter

WHAT’S MY ANGLE?

WHAT’S MY ANGLE?

People ask me all the time, “how did you have the courage to leave a successful corporate job and launch into an unknown world?” My answer is always the same; it took a lot of courage but fundamentally it felt right and it felt natural at the time. Whether you’re an entrepreneur with a vision on how you’re preparing to change the world, or whether you’re a corporate powerhouse living anything-but the nine to five, at the end of the day, the question we each have to ask ourselves is the same: “what’s my angle?”

The word ‘angle’ is an interesting one because it denotes both a point of view and a slope of an object. At the inception of dE ROSAIRO I focused all of my energy on building a strong point of view for the brand. I wanted to seep into the hearts and minds of our female customers through things that mattered to her and equally mattered to us. Providing the right branding experience from every touch point became an obsession. It became our angle. Our craftsmanship embodies the principle of locally made, soft-hand fabrications that you could practically sleep in, and custom details that the naked eye would pick up in a glance. Our designs from the get-go mastered their own points of view around the notions of power, architecture, and presence. We additionally adopted the slope, better known as asymmetry, in our designs. Not for the sake of it, but simply because that is the lens through which I view the world.

I recently had dinner with my fellow-Kiwi friend Peter in New York, who in addition to being a Managing Partner at an investment firm and a Professor at New York University, happens to also be heavily engaged in the arts. An encounter with Peter is always a highlight because of the vast and varied topics we discuss and delve into. At this particular dinner, we discussed the notion of asymmetry and why I so readily use it in my designs. For me, asymmetry denotes the natural balance in life. I think as humans we continuously strive to live better, eat better, exercise better… yet our natural gravitation finds us unbalanced and living in a world of asymmetry. Peter went on to remind me that even the human brain itself is asymmetrical with neuroanatomical differences between the left and the right sides of the brain.

Isn’t it natural then that asymmetry is the new symmetry?

dE ROSAIRO WOMAN: Alia Dedhar

dE ROSAIRO WOMAN: Alia Dedhar

    • Name: Alia Dedhar  
    • Name: City and Country: New York, USA  
    • Title: Diplomat, Head of Innovation  
    • Company: Consulate General of Canada in New York City  

 

  • What about your career makes you feel proud?  

I feel proud that I am part of the Canadian Foreign Service, which is a group that represents the government of Canada abroad. Being able to play a role firsthand in the impact that Canada has on the world gives me great pride.

      • What inspired you to be doing what you are in your career?

Ten years ago and fresh out of university, I was working as a junior officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. At the time I really didn’t know much about the Foreign Service or what it meant to be a “diplomat”. As my career progressed, I continued to be surrounded by people who had played roles in historical political moments, who were involved in negotiating trade agreements, and who assisted in relief efforts around the world. These were people who represented Canada for its values, policies and culture. Learning through their stories and experiences, coupled with my own interest in politics and economic issues, peaked my interest in The Canadian Foreign Service. And now in my current role as Head of Innovation at the Consulate General of Canada in New York, I focus on accelerating the commercial success of innovative Canadian companies through the Canadian Technology Accelerator.

      • On your journey to success what has been your greatest challenge?

The greatest challenge in my career is also the very reason I chose it. It can be hard living a life where you know that every couple of years, you'll be picking up from your current life that you're comfortable with, breaking away from the friends and networks you've spent time developing, only to go on your next assignment in a new city or country and start all over again. And the nature of the work from assignment to assignment can be drastically different, so that too presents a challenge; a learning curve you need to get over quickly.

I also see these challenges as positive. It has forced me to learn about myself, to get out of my comfort zone, to go out and meet different people, and to try new things.

      • How important is it to you that we recognize and grow women leaders as a society, and why?

I think it’s crucial to grow and recognize women leaders in society. There is so much evidence out there that speaks to diverse teams being more successful, and data that suggest that firms with women representation on boards outperform their rivals. Empowering women, improving their representation and participation in all walks of life, particularly in traditionally male-dominated areas can have a huge impact on each of our lives, and in my belief it can truly transform how we do business.

      • Leadership continues to be applauded for traits of authenticity and vulnerability. How do you stay true to these traits in your day-to-day life and career?

I believe that true leadership is ‘active’, which to me means having the willingness to move alongside someone through his or her career goals. I really try to communicate this belief through my actions, integrity and honesty in all aspects of my life.

      • What advice do you have for other women leaders?

I was recently at a women leadership panel where a comment made by another participant really stuck with me. The comment was about how we, as women, all too often use phrases to sabotage the strength of our statements. For example:

“I'm sorry, but…”
OR
“Could you do me a favor and…”
OR
“I was wondering if there was any way we could…”

At that moment, I realized that I was guilty of doing this myself! My takeaway, which I would like to pass on to other women, is don't apologize; just say what you mean and what you need. And as a result, you'll be heard, understood and respected.

      • Favorite quote and by whom?

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” | Maya Angelou

      • How does what you wear make you look, feel, and lead?

I like to be put together. When I dress the way I want to be treated, I feel confident and I also feel it plays a role in me gaining the respect of others, in the way that I intended.

      • What everyday luxuries do you enjoy?

It’s the little things I really enjoy; like the cool breeze coming through an open window when it’s nice outside, and the feeling of clean, soft sheets on my bed, and a glass of wine or champagne after a long day at the office.

      • What social media links can we find you on?

LinkedInTwitter

THE DUALITY OF STRUCTURE AND PLAY

THE DUALITY OF STRUCTURE AND PLAY

I remember growing up as a child in a household where my mother taught my sister and I the importance of dressing the part. As I reflect back on those years, I realize how we often forget the psychology behind why we choose to wear what we wear. Clothes continue to play a pivotal role in enforcing a current state of mind as well as reaching a desired state of mind. Remember that time when you didn’t feel like interacting with the world and you chose to hide under a hat. What about when you had to deliver a key presentation to a room full of executives and you wore your best dress, your high heels, and your pearls. Each of those times you relied on your clothing choice to evoke emotion and behavior. Each of those times, you understood that how you look, is how you feel, is how you lead.

Michelle Obama wears clothes that reflect poise, power, and success. She explained her appreciation for fashion when she said, “First and foremost, I wear what I love. That's what women have to focus on: what makes them happy and what makes them feel comfortable and beautiful. If I can have any impact, I want women to feel good about themselves and have fun with fashion." When viewed from the perspective of how looks translate into how we feel, and how we feel translates into how we lead, then we realize that feeling good has a direct impact on the results we produce and the impact we have on the world around us.

The Spring/Summer 15 collection is inspired by the duality of structure
and play. This powerful intersection empowers you to flow from one emotion and behavior, to another emotion and behavior, through slight tweaks of interpretation and expression. The collection draws perspective from the woman who includes structure as part of her ‘desk’ and play as part of her ‘dusk’ as she effortlessly transitions from ‘Desk 2 Dusk’ settings throughout her day. Italian wools and luscious knits combined with sultry foreplays of Italian leather and silk net are carefully constructed into garments of minuscule and custom importance. The Matrix of Life print seeps back into this collection on our signature Potent Popover Jacket; all of which continues to be inspired by the modern woman on a cosmopolitan stage.

Quote reference from http://www.vogue.com/3056753/michelle-obama-leading-lady/

 dE ROSAIRO WOMAN: Eileen Fernandes

dE ROSAIRO WOMAN: Eileen Fernandes

    • Name: Eileen Fernandes
    • City and Country: San Francisco, USA
    • Title: Principal, Mergers and Acquisitions
    • Company: Deloitte Consulting

 

What about your career makes you feel proud?
I still love what I do. I’ve had a long and exciting career with many different industry experiences, which ultimately led me down the consulting path. Every day I get to work with exciting global clients solving complex business challenges, and I also get to work with amazing colleagues – the brightest minds, especially those right out of college just embarking on their careers – all of whom make me proud every single day.

      • What inspired you to be doing what you are in your career?

I have an attitude of “bring it on.” I love ambiguity, a challenge, and a problem. That’s likely why I love working with clients on mergers and acquisitions. Many times, I’ve also been the one to raise my hand to get involved just because something sounded cool and exciting, and even when I had no idea what I was getting into or how large the task on hand was about to become. I say, follow your passion and good things will come.

      • On your journey to success what has been your greatest challenge?

Saying no has been my greatest challenge. It’s hard to set boundaries and say no to the bright, shiny new object when your mind and Type A personality says, “bring it on”. A colleague and good friend of mine, who is now a professional coach, took me on in a coaching capacity decades ago to work through what we called “Project Focus”. The goal of this project was to allow me to select and deselect where I would spend my time for the next performance year so I could make the biggest impact for success. This has continued to be a tool I use to focus my efforts and energy, and to say no when I need to.

      • How important is it to you that we recognize and grow women leaders as a society, and why?

I believe we need to grow “leaders” as a society – men and women alike. Our world is changing rapidly with technology, globalization, and collaboration, and we need inspirational leadership to engage the current and next generation of talent in the workforce. Engagement and leadership are among the top challenges facing global organizations today. Women are and need to be a force of influence in this face of change.

      • Leadership continues to be applauded for traits of authenticity and vulnerability. How do you stay true to these traits in your day-to-day life and career?

One of my fondest compliments was being told by a new consultant after attending an event at my home, “you’re the same at work as you are at home.” I prefer to blend my personal and professional life as one – how we work, live, and play should be in harmony.

      • What advice do you have for other women leaders?

Connect and commit, with and to, women colleagues. We have an unbelievable bond and power to help other women succeed personally and professionally. Take the time to be an active and meaningful mentor, coach, and confidant. We are powerful together. Pay it forward.

      • Favorite quote and by whom?

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away” | Maya Angelou

      • How does what you wear make you look, feel, and lead?

Your wardrobe is a reflection of who you are or aspire to be… classy, formal, casual, creative, flirtatious, or sporty. Your wardrobe should be consciously planned daily. I know colors matter for me.  Black is my comfort color, brown not so good, and winter colors make me happy. I recently did a major closet overhaul and got rid of clothes I hadn’t worn in ages, and clothes that didn’t put me in my happy zone.

      • What everyday luxuries do you enjoy?

Connectedness – technology enables us to connect and re-connect with life-long friends and family. We can hit “like” to a life moment, pin your bucket list, post your weekend moments, and/or text a friend to say you’re thinking of them. Technology allows us to connect instantly even when we have busy and demanding lives. Oh, and at the end of the day, I really enjoy a nice glass of wine!

      • What social media links can we find you on?

Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram | Pinterest