Lead Like A Woman

Three wildly successful creatives on their office style, on-the-job words of wisdom, and the advice they’d give young women just entering the workforce

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we partnered with the must-read fashion and lifestyle site Coveteur to interview three professional creatives who know a thing or two about making a career out of their passions. Below, their advice on getting the job done and staying enviably stylish while doing so.


Multidisciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation, and photography

On the best piece of fashion advice she’s ever received: “One of my closest friends is an amazing costume designer. She told me to spend money on tailoring the clothes I already have instead of buying new ones. Now I make sure that my pieces actually fit well—it’s made a big difference.”

On turning setbacks into career advantages: “Recently, I wrote a poetic essay for a big publication, and they didn’t like it. In the end, I wrote something more traditional for them but took the first piece of writing and started embroidering snippets of the text—which happened to pertain to sexual and domestic violence—onto vintage dishcloths. Those pieces have informed my new series and will also be part of my next solo show.”

On what style advice she’d give a young woman entering the work world: “There is a lot of pressure on women to look a particular way—socially, professionally, personally. It can be overwhelming, and the ‘rules’ are often contradictory. Dress authentically to how you feel.”


Founder of New York City– and Los Angeles–based restaurants by CHLOE and DEZ

On venturing into the restaurant business: “As a kid growing up in New York City, where backyards aren’t so much a thing, I found myself spending most of my free time hanging with friends and family in restaurants. After graduating from college and working in celebrity endorsements for three years, I was unfulfilled creatively. The ability to create beautiful spaces and truly unique brands that spoke to me and my friends was ultimately what inspired me to take a leap of faith. I knew at 25 years old that I needed to listen to the voice in my head or I would regret it forever.”

On the perfect work wardrobe: “I try not to subscribe to any philosophy or rules in fashion. I like to dress for my mood. I don’t shy away from mixing accessories, patterns, or colors. It’s all about what makes you feel good and not what people tell you should make you feel good.”

On learning the hard lessons: “The first tough lesson I learned is that you can’t satisfy everyone. Being one of the first mainstream plant-based restaurants to open made us a prime target for criticism. We received a ton of positive reviews when by CHLOE first opened, but, of course, we also saw some not-so-fabulous feedback. Reading each and every review drove me crazy and totally stressed out those around me. I quickly realized that I needed to filter out the negative.”


Founder of the female music collective Les Filles

On overcoming professional roadblocks: “I never understood just how hard it was going to be to get my foot in the door. My first year in New York I was literally knocking on doors trying to get people in the music community to let me in. I didn’t realize that being female was a detriment to me getting the jobs that my male counterparts were getting so easily. I still have to take a deep breath and smile when I look at the way I have managed to sidestep this problem and work within a bigger, more creative capacity within the industry.”

On her personal style philosophy: “What you see is what you get. If I had it my way, I would forever be living in a silk slip or high-waisted mom jeans. For shoes, good luck catching me in anything but a black Chelsea boot, black loafer, or high-top sneaker. Working with more corporate clients, you do have to dress things up with a blazer or a suit pant.”

On fashion advice she’d give young women: “Don’t dress for the job; dress for yourself and how you want to feel within the job. Work today is about finding your passion so that it no longer feels like work. Why dress in a way that isn’t you if you’re trying to find yourself?”

  • Courtesy of Coveteur