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How women fashion founders are increasingly making their mark

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As fashion evolves every year, new power dynamics come into play more than ever. A study by Business of Fashion revealed that women created 40% of women’s clothing brands, but only represent about 14% of management positions among the biggest fashion brands. Another report revealed that women run less than 13% of Fortune 1000 retail and apparel companies.

However, there is no doubt that women’s fashion founders are increasingly making a name for themselves by promoting sustainable products, revolutionizing plus size fashion and championing inclusive designs.

The new sustainable statements of the women behind fashion

Cotton Incorporated’s Lifestyle Monitor survey results reported that 30% of consumers always/usually buy clothing marketed as sustainable. As a result, fashion companies and their leaders are springing up to meet the demand for eco-friendly clothing.

SKATIE founders Skatie Noyes Hutchison and Mandi Glynn met in 2009 while studying at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM). They launched their sustainable SKATIE swimwear (the sportswear tracked in 2018) seven years later, using Instagram.

“We founded Skatie based on our desire to be sustainable and use what was readily available in the market,” Noyes said. “We started by buying unused fabrics from other designers. Then I approached brands like Beach Riot, Mara Hoffman, Bettinis and other people based in Los Angeles who produced here and bought what they wanted. remains of old collections.”

Along with finding success as a founder, Brewin focuses on sustainability by using faux fur to craft these luxe hats. Plus, she’s capitalized on the vegan trend as her made-to-order hats embody the slow fashion movement and are designed to last a lifetime.

These founders create inclusive fashion

Another change in the fashion industry has been the demand for inclusive clothing sizes. In 2019, the plus size clothing market accumulated $480.99 billion. Allied Market Research estimates that these numbers will increase to $696.71 billion by 2027. Leaders in women’s fashion have not missed this increased importance of size inclusivity and body positivity.

As founder of JessaKae, Jessa Maddocks hopes to change the way fashion brands treat plus size women. Instead of selling only beautiful dresses for size 0 women, she made each of her pieces available in a full range of sizes.

“The movement I would like to inspire is the holistic inclusion of plus size for women across the entire fashion industry,” Maddocks explained. “Most designer brands only go up to XL. The average American woman is about a size 16. At JessaKae, all of our dresses are produced in sizes XXS to 6XL. I’d like to remove the term “more -size” by including plus size stores or plus size sections on their websites. A brand should tailor their garment and fit it to fit all sizes of women. We do. It’s possible.

Good American is another example of the possibility of Maddock’s goals. This company was co-founded by Khloe Kardashian and Emma Grede in 2016. The company emphasizes body inclusivity, which is evident in their jeans sizes, ranging from 00 to 32.

However, it’s important to note that inclusiveness in fashion doesn’t stop at the waistline. Marwa Atik was only 18 when she realized there was no place where she could buy fashionable scarves. So, with her sister, Tasneem Atik Sabri, she created VELA. According to their website, Vela aims to “revolutionize the way the world looks at hijab and modest style.”

Today, VELA creates a wide range of fashion products for Muslim women. Along with their commitment to fashion inclusivity, they also use bamboo and other sustainable products to create eco-friendly pieces. Thanks to Atik’s efforts, VELA has made it easier for women to find these products.

As another founder who has used her role in fashion to champion a cause, Alicia Sandve founded her jewelry brand HEYMAEVE to help survivors of sexual assault like herself. Sandve donates $1 to a women-focused nonprofit every time someone buys the site.

The HEYMAEVE team also supports Destiny Rescue, an organization that helps rescue children who have suffered from human trafficking. Like many companies today, HEYMAEVE uses environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues to define its brand and have a positive impact on the world.

The future of female founders in fashion

Although the numbers are still low, we have seen tremendous progress in recent years. In 2017, Clare Waight Keller was named the first woman to lead Givenchy since 1952. Maria Grazia Chiuri experienced a similar moment when she became Dior’s first female creative director in 70 years. When Karl Lagerfeld died, two women were named responsible; Virginie Viard at Chanel and Silvia Venturini Fendi at Fendi.

In 2020, the growth of female presence among CEOs in the apparel industry was promising, increasing by 95%, with more than 100 women rising to the CEO position, according to a report by data analytics firm Nextail.

Ultimately, since fashion has long been led by men but made for women, it’s exciting to see many brands disrupting the industry and helping to shape a more inclusive future.