“Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!” That line from the hit musical “Hamilton,” is exactly what we are seeing — a fashion industry revelation.
You may have been tempted in the recent months of the pandemic to recede or hide. Only now, look around: after six months, magic has been created. The business of fashion is remarkably inventive in bringing newness to the world in previously unthinkable ways. A most-loved element about fashion is our community. Saying goodbye at an event like Magic or Designers & Agents usually ends with a warm, “See you next time!”
Now is a good moment to pause and share a community-wide “bravo.” Trade shows have not skipped a beat in shifting to a virtual platform and keeping a community energized. Networking is thriving. Shopping has turned to online engagements. Others launched live shows on social media. Motivated individuals are unstoppable, right? So, we caught up with emerging women innovators to chat about how lucky we are to be alive right now and what they are doing during the pandemic.
Rosé All Day
Rosé All Day is a Jaxodyssey X Outrageous Mermaid Collaboration that brings together two creative minds, Daniela Jacques and Danielle Balderrama, who met a couple of years ago at a fashion event and became best friends. Jacques is the founder of Jaxodyssey and designer of functional styles for women on the go. The line is manufactured in Los Angeles and made of recycled, easy care, stretchy performance and embroidered fabrics. It totes the mission of the “power of building each other up.” Balderrama is the founder of Outrageous Mermaid and the designer of its whimsical statement pieces.
During these challenging times, the best friends partnered to create clothing that provides positive impact. The duo is introducing their “Rosé All Day” matching yoga set and face mask summer collection.
“Our yoga sets feel like a second skin, extremely soft and comfortable,” Jacques said. “Whether at home, the mat or happy hour, we want women to look stylish and ready for anything life throws at you with this matching set and face mask. Made for the summer heat, the fabric is airy, breathable and has four-way stretch that moves with you. The silky tie dye creates the perfect L.A. look, and the fit flatters multiple body types.”
Readers can use promo code JOM20 for a 20% discount at jaxodyssey.com.
Samantha Dong is the founder and CEO of Ally Shoes, a fashion brand designed for women by women. Ally is renowned for creating power heels minus the pain. After a foot injury, Dong couldn’t find shoes that fit. She teamed up with creative minds, including designer Sara Jaramillo and podiatric expert Dr. Roxann Clarke, to design stylish heels for all women. With a scientifically-designed internal structure (patent-pending) and inclusive sizing options, the brand’s mission is to be an ally in fashion for all women and to help them conquer the world in comfort.
Ally Shoes re-engineered the statement heel with a podiatric surgeon to create a flexible structure that secures your foot while also looking fabulous. Each shoe is designed to stretch with lightweight cushioning built into the soles to relieve all pressure points, available in inclusive sizes (U.S. 4-12) and four widths (narrow, medium, wide and extra wide). The brand has a semi-made-to-order process, which allows a more environmentally-friendly approach. This past year, Fast Company called Ally Shoes, “The most comfortable heels to wear to work.”
“In the wake of this pandemic, we are continuing to engage with our community by offering virtual events talking about topics from Zoom call styles to homeschooling tips,” Dong said. “We also launched an at-home trial box that brings our fitting room experience to our customers during the lockdown.”
Readers can use promo code ALLY40 for $40 off at ally.nyc.
“At a certain age, I started feeling uncomfortable with going bare-armed, but I wanted to be stylish and never matronly looking,” said Ruthann Greenblat, founder of Sleevey Wonders. “Being an artist, I had a tailor sew sleeves into my sleeveless clothes and received many compliments on how beautiful and original these cuts were.”
Beginning in 2008, when no such thing existed, Greenblat set her mind to create reversible slip-on sleeves, and with the help of a female patent attorney, applied for and was awarded multiple U.S. and international utility and design patents. The brand’s mission is to have a kind company that manufactures in the U.S. and makes women of all ages and sizes feel happier and more confident with themselves.
Lily Tomlin wears Sleevey Wonders on nearly every episode of “Grace and Frankie” on Netflix. They can be worn with anything sleeveless or strapless, from a casual tank top to professional attire to glamorous party dresses. You can take one little black dress and turn it into multiple looks by pairing it with different styles.
“The pandemic closed almost every boutique we were in, so we are introducing Sleevey Wonders’ online store,” Grenblat said. Readers can see the collection at sleeveywonders.com.
Adjani Design Agency
Adjani Design Agency is dedicated to the support and success of those in the fashion industry who may feel as though they have been thrown into the middle of the ocean, left to navigate to shore in the middle of hurricane season, its founder Adjani Jensen said.
Having worked in and around the fashion industry for years, Jensen was all too familiar with the pitfalls independent contractors faced.
“The horrors of COVID-19 provided a sort of starting line, as in we all had to figure out how to operate and succeed in an unfamiliar and frankly uncomfortable new set of circumstances,” she said. “This global reset was an opportunity.”
Jensen said that she sees this as time to help others succeed and is extending her branding consultations, lectures and presentations to lend direction. Adjani has spoken at the Power Players Conference for Her Headquarters and works with GlamHive stylists as well as fashion publications Alpha Fashion Magazine and Parasite. Jensen is offering a free 20-minute roadmap consultation to anyone needing pandemic recovery guidance at adjanidesign.com.
Daniella Platt is a concept to market expert who teaches creatives how to sell and writes on women innovators. Her most recent book is “Looking Good: How to Be a Sales Rockstar & Fashion Startup Playbook.” She can be reached at @lookinggoodyaya or (859) 359-6190.