Happy International Women’s Day. I’m off to a small intimate breakfast for influential women hosted by the fabulous Bobbi Brown. Bobbi is CCO of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and someone who I’ve respected and admired forever. The breakfast is in conjunction with Smart Works, a charity which helps provide high quality interview clothes, styling advice and interview training to unemployed women. They are hosting an early breakfast at the Detox Kitchen and have very excitingly invited me along!

As it is International Women’s Day I thought it would be a great day to shout out in general to some amazing, influential and talented women who are in the creative biz. They’re all totally inspirational and breaking boundaries in their respective fields. 

RETAIL

Jane Shepherdson

Jane Shepherdson

There are so many inspirational women in this biz it’s hard to know where to start, but here’s just a handful… Jane Shepherdson, CEO at Whistles. She came on board in 2008 and totally turned the brand around, from failing to fabulous as it is now. Jenna Lyons is also a continual source of inspiration – don’t believe me, just check out all the biz lessons you can learn from what Jenna has done a J. Crew. Then there’s Rosanna Orlandi, who runs one of my all-time favourite stores in the world, and Natalie Massenet who founded net-a-porter. Doesn’t get much bigger than that!

FASHION & DESIGN

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Iris Apfel

Some of my personal own design heroes are Kelly Wearstler, Ilse Crawford and Paola Navone. All major, major bigshots in the interiors world and amazing inspirations! Meanwhile fashion of course is one of the few industries where women really take the lead. Just think of some the biggest names –  Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington across the pond, and Alexandra Shulman at British Vogue, Donatella Versace, Donna Karen and Sarah Burton who’s taken the helm at McQueen. I’d also like to give some major kudos to Iris Apfel, who’s still fabulous at 94. Still a fashion icon and at the forefront of the industry, with a new documentary about her aired just last year.

FOOD

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Niki Nakayama

My newest Netflix obsession is Chef’s Table. Don’t know if you guys have seen it, but I can highly recommend – it’s a documentary that takes you into the minds and lives of some of the most extraordinary chefs around the world. I can’t get enough of it! It did bring something home to me that I hadn’t really appreciated before though: that the world of top restaurants is really very male.

That’s why it was so exciting to see the episode with Niki Nakayama. She’s one of just a handful of female sushi chefs in the world, and she’s acing it! Sushi is traditionally an all-male environment, but she’s at the top of her game with her own LA restaurant n/naka. Other pioneering women in food include Hilary White of The Hill restaurant – she was their first ever female exec chef. And of course this list wouldn’t be complete without the original pioneers, Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers of the iconic River Cafe.

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Ruth & Rose of The River Café

Speaking of food, it’s off to breakfast! Smart Works have some heavyweight strategic partners on board including Bobbi, The Outnet, Whistles and The Sunday Times Style Magazine. All for helping every women up on their feet, and providing them with the tools and the confidence they need to be able to find work. Hugely flattered to be invited and to shout out to the incredible work this charity does oh and to every woman out there – believe in yourself, when you do fabulous things start to happen.