THE MODERN WOMAN

THE MODERN WOMAN

Throughout my life I have been intrigued by the role of the modern woman. I am drawn to the power she holds and how she so beautifully contains it within the boundaries of elegance and grace. She knows how to balance multiple demands, carry immense weight on her shoulders at times, and challenge the world with her independence. She also knows how to play the role of compassionate leader, caring mother, seductive partner and decision-maker. The dE ROSAIRO brand is about providing this woman with “desk 2 dusk” everyday luxury in the way that she craves it. Our purpose is to elevate her lifestyle while empowering her to be more.

Just recently I was at the inaugural Lead On conference in Silicon Valley where Hillary Clinton, Brene Brown, Diane von Furstenberg and other women shared their stories. I had many favorite moments, one of them was a quote delivered by Ramona Pierson, a TED speaker and successful Silicon Valley CEO. As a 22-year old girl Ramona had met with a catastrophic accident leading her into an 18 month-long coma and blindness. How does someone go from near-death to running her own company? None other than the mental tenets of strength, courage and pure determination can push someone so far beyond. Ramona’s story of tenacity should teach all of us a lesson, especially when she frames life from this perspective: “I wasn’t disabled. The rest of the world was not enabled”.

In light of all these women, and their stories of strength, perseverance and limitless boundaries, I have started a series called dE ROSAIRO Woman. The series is an important storytelling aspect of the dE ROSAIRO brand because I believe when we provide platforms for each of us to share our journeys we connect in a way that becomes personal. With the goal of showcasing incredible women doing significant things, I ask each of these women questions related to pride and inspiration in their career, the importance of growing other women leaders, why authenticity and vulnerability matter, and whether what they wear influences how they feel, act and lead.

Our very first dE ROSAIRO Woman is Eileen Fernandes, a Principal at Deloitte Consulting specializing in Mergers and Acquisitions. I had the privilege of working with Eileen at the beginning of my career. I know from my own personal experience that Eileen is an energetic, authentic and talented leader, and for that reason and more, I am excited to be able to feature her as our first dE ROSAIRO Woman.

 CELEBRATING ONE YEAR

CELEBRATING ONE YEAR

Exactly one year ago today, we opened our doors for business and received our first wholesale account. It was a day I would never forget. Twelve months later, here we are carried by specialty boutiques around the US and shipping our dE ROSAIRO designs through our Global Online Store to powerful women all over the world.

dE ROSAIRO is a story that matters. It matters because we design with immaculate craftsmanship in mind. Every waking detail from the fabrics used, to the custom zippers that glide on their tracks, to the darts that enhance fit and construction; these are the miniscule details we pour into every style that we design and construct.

I’m so proud to say that we are made in the heart of the garment district in New York. This is not an easy model to follow because it means we endure costs that are higher than the cost of producing overseas. So why do we do it? We do it because you care about making a difference in the world we live in. We do it because we care about reviving our local US manufacturing sector and we believe that quality has the ability to remain superior when produced locally.

People ask me all the time “why the hoodie?” and I smile each time because I already know that at the end of my answer they will be nodding their heads and smiling with me. The simple answer is: we live in a complex world yet our desires remain simple. Change continues to happen all around us, and in that constant sea of evolution, we look to things that bring us familiar comfort. The hoodie, an iconic symbol of American culture, is that familiar item. Yet with the multiple professional roles we play, many of us don’t have a way to incorporate it into our contemporary wardrobes beyond our college years. This is why we “re-imagined” the hoodie: to provide buttery comfort on the inside while re-imagining the outside, to empower desk 2 dusk transitions, to elicit power and success equal to our male counterparts in the boardrooms of the largest corporations of the world.

Join me and the team in our one-year milestone and celebration, as we provide more women around the world the ability to look, feel and act with power and might.

MATRIX OF LIFE

MATRIX OF LIFE

Ever wonder what a print you wear says about you? Hand painted by me and printed onto silk, our Fall/Winter 14 print signifies the journey of a woman through her life - the relationships, the experiences, the moments - as she transitions through “The Matrix of Life”.

The role of the woman has evolved tremendously over the last few decades. Women have reigned and set their marks on society ranging from Margaret Thatcher to Rosa Parks to Sirimavo Bandaranaike, to name just a few.

Bandaranaike, a name not known to many, was the first female Prime Minister in the world to be elected into power in 1960. She was elected on a small tropical Asian island, merely the size of West Virginia, called Ceylon at the time, and now recognized as Sri Lanka – a former British colony. Her role in government opened the doors to female leadership in the country, and one could even argue around the world, which was then followed by the rise of Margaret Thatcher into Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during 1979-90, and the first female President in the world, Chandrika Bandaranaike, rising from Sri Lanka during 1994-2005.

Eager to understand the mindset of the Sri Lankan people, I sat down for a long chat with my father, a native of Sri Lanka now living in New Zealand. I wanted to understand his thoughts on how Bandaranaike came into power, and how she influenced society, particularly with an angle to female leadership. Through this chat, I understood that Bandaranaike was elected at a time when Sri Lanka was solving for cultural identity and norms, and despite the difficulty and controversy that arrived during these transformative years, Bandaranaike was recognized as a formidable leader. What I came to appreciate more than anything was the sophisticated intelligence on the topic of female leadership more than 50 years ago in a developing country like Sri Lanka. Even though Bandaranaike herself didn’t directly discuss or advocate the topic of female leadership, her presence as a female leader was enough to set the stage for the country and the world. It made me wonder what could happen if we applied and expanded on that mindset to match the current times we live in now: just imagine the possibilities for growth, diversity, and opportunity.

I’ve been obsessing over my own personal Matrix of Life from a young age. I grew up knowing that I wanted to make a difference in the world. I didn’t want to “be” a gender, I wanted to be a leader. And because of how important this topic is to me, I continue to play a key role in women leadership and entrepreneurship, by sitting on a startup women advisory board, mentoring other women, and also by speaking at conferences around the country. My mission for dE ROSAIRO is bigger than design. dE ROSAIRO is empowering women around the world to elicit power and success because of what they wear, how that impacts how they feel, and how that feeling eventually transforms into how they act and lead. This is my Matrix of Life.

What about you? What’s your Matrix of Life?

RE-IMAGINATION: FROM SURVIVAL TO POWER

RE-IMAGINATION: FROM SURVIVAL TO POWER

I decided it was time and I was ready. I wanted to be the one to inspire, to lead, and to set visionary direction. Armed with three business degrees, nine years in Fortune 500 and Silicon Valley companies, I was ready to combine my two sacred passions: business + fashion.

As a CEO and Creative Director, I take immense pleasure in creating and re-imagining the world around me. In doing so and through dE ROSAIRO, I am celebrating the spirit of an iconic symbol of American culture; the hoodie. The hoodie re-imagined for the modern woman, in a way that she is able to incorporate it into her professional and contemporary wardrobe. I started with re-imagining the fit, the silhouette, the fabrics, with a degree of finesse, and as part of a collection that celebrates the hoodie. Italian wool jackets are designed with hoods that convert into high structured collars. Knit dresses and tops are constructed with a casual chic French drape.

When I first moved to the United States in 2003 to study my MBA, I was infatuated with the prevalence of the hoodie on college campus. The confidence, the anonymity, the attitude, coupled with a dichotomous appeal of comfort, intrigued me. In addition to personal fascination, the hoodie represented an iconic symbol of American culture prevailing through historical times, and first appearing in upstate New York where coal miners had to survive freezing temperatures. Followed by a few cultural interludes in the skating and then hip hop culture, and most recently transitioning into a symbol of status in Silicon Valley where male CEO’s have been flaunting the hoodie as a vehicle to communicate power and success. Due to the casual nature of the hoodie, women haven’t been able to play as equal participants in the boardroom. That is of course until now. Through dE ROSAIRO I want to empower women with the opportunity to draw parallels from their male counterparts, in their ability to equally demonstrate power and success.

And so, through this labor of intense love, I deliberately hand picked the finest of fabrics, carefully orchestrated the smallest of details, and poured every vessel of my mind and soul into creating modern, wearable separates that would steal a luxurious place in your heart. Thank you for soaring through this powerful journey with me.