ALL POSTS Culture Interviews Style

Four Influential Women Dish on Career Success, Interview Outfits and the Secret to Networking

www1

Are you posting a #WCW on Instagram today? If you haven’t already, you should, because today is International Women’s Day, a day when women all over the world are celebrating each other and the collective goal of building a more unified working world. And it’s no secret that the fashion and beauty worlds are led by smart, successful women who not only influence the way we shop, dress and curate our top shelves (not to mention our Pinterest boards) but also inspire us with their amazing personal achievements and career stories. From nail polish moguls and fashion designers to editors and photographers, we interviewed four amazing women who filled us in on their work wisdom, career advice and (bonus!) what they wore to their first interviews.

IWD1

Andrea Lieberman | Creative Director and Founder of A.L.C.

Describe your personal style in three words:
An effortless uniform.

Who is your style muse?
I celebrate personal style and have a deep appreciation for women who own it, from Sade to Ali MacGraw to Patti Smith.

Describe the outfit you wore to your first real-world job interview:
My first real-world job was in high school at a store called Style Counsel in SoHo. I showed up in Doc Martens and black pants with a homemade bum flap that I sewed on myself. My hair was half-shaved and dyed deep navy.

Tell us how you got your start in the fashion industry:
I have been interested in fashion from a really young age. I started taking classes at Parsons while still in high school, and I enrolled there for college just after. My first official step through the door would be my internship at Romeo Gigli.

What is the best advice you give to others who want to follow in your footsteps?
My advice: Intern, intern, intern.

What’s your favorite and most effective way to network?
Authentically. For me, it’s about finding common ground.

Name some female leaders you would love to have a working lunch with:
Michelle Obama. No explanation necessary. [Apple’s] Angela Ahrendts because of her undeniable strength as a leader and her ability to engage both her organization and the community at large. Beyoncé: She is a force, a beautiful, dignified, creative who is continually pushing the boundaries.

www1www1www1www1

SHOP: A.L.C. sweater | A.L.C. cashmere sweater | Christopher Kane trousers | rag & bone bootie

iwd2

Deborah Lippmann | Celebrity Manicurist; Founder and Creative Director of deborah lippmann

Who is your style muse?
I’m lucky enough to work in an industry where I am surrounded by so many style muses and creative geniuses who inspire me every day. Between my editorial work, New York Fashion Week and red-carpet season, I am blown away by the talent so many of my dear friends possess.

Tell us how you got your start in the fashion industry:
When I was working at Frederic Fekkai, Martha Stewart sat in my chair and had a manicure with me. She told me that I was extremely talented, and I was flabbergasted—it was a big deal to me that she was even in my salon chair! A little while after that, Allure sent a reporter in undercover, and [the magazine] called the salon afterward to let them know I was going to be included in The Directory, a section of the nation’s top industry spa/salon/stylist pros. It all happened within a year; I was blown away!

What is the best advice you give to others who want to follow in your footsteps?
I would say that if you have it in your gut and you want to try it, you have to go ahead. Go with your gut, and get as many mentors as you can. There’s no one road to success. Estée Lauder didn’t get to where she was the same way as Bobbi Brown. I’m not getting there the same way anyone else before me. Be true to yourself; be willing to listen.

What’s your favorite and most effective way to network?
Talk to everyone you can, and don’t be afraid to approach anybody!

What is the one piece of advice that sparked your success?
Take off your blinders and step into the unknown! If you’re passionate about something, figure out a way to make it happen. But also know that owning your own company is a 24/7 job, and you need to be ready for that.

www1www1www1www1www1www1

SHOP: deborah lippmann nail polish (seen here in Wild Thing, Higher Ground and Happy Days) | Proenza Schouler sweater | Victor Alfaro cardigan | Vince skirt

Faith Xue

Faith Xue | Editorial Director for Byrdie Beauty

Describe your beauty style in three words:
Polished, fun, experimental.

Who is your beauty muse?
Toss-up between Zoe Kravitz, Fernanda Ly and French makeup artist Violette.

Describe the beauty look you wore to your first real-world job interview:
It’s hard to remember exactly, but I imagine I went with my standard black liner, rosy lip and loose wave combo—it hasn’t failed me yet.

Tell us how you got your start in the beauty industry:
I started my career in editorial through a nontraditional route: I worked at an agency as a ghostwriter for celebrity websites. I ended up learning so much about the digital space and how editorial and social intersect there, and it was during that period I discovered my love of beauty. From there, I started working as an editor for an online site owned by L’Oréal while freelance writing on the side. One day, the current president of digital at CMG reached out to me about a job at Byrdie—we had worked together at my first job at the digital agency—and, of course, I jumped at the opportunity.

What is the best advice you give to others who want to follow in your footsteps?
Do your best work, always—even if you don’t have your dream job just quite yet. You never know who will be watching, or which relationships you’ll build that will impact you in the future.

What’s one piece of advice that sparked your success?
I interviewed for an editorial assistant position at a website I admired right out of college and, though I didn’t end up getting it, the editor shared one piece of advice that really spurred me to push myself and ultimately helped me get where I am today: if you want to work in editorial, the most important thing you can do is write, write and write. Even if you have to write for free, even if it feels like no one is reading your work, even if you already have a full-time job and you have to do it after hours, building a portfolio that shows your skill and passion, that’s ready to go at a moment’s notice will ultimately serve you in the long run (and impress potential employers). This is advice that applies to any occupation, too.

What’s your favorite and most effective way to network?
I like networking naturally, usually through mutual friends or colleagues (though a nice email and coffee date work, too).

Name some female leaders you would love to have a working lunch with and why:
Obviously Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr, the two incredibly inspiring cofounders of CMG (luckily, I already get to work for them). Eva Chen and Michelle Lee for being trailblazing Asian women in editorial, and probably someone outside my industry doing things that is ultimately changing the way women live—like Sonia Patel, chief pharmacist for the digital pharmacy, Capsule.

www1www1www1www1

SHOP: Vince Camuto pump | A.L.C. coat | Tibi blouse | FRAME blazer

iwd4

Emily Soto | Fashion Photographer

Describe your personal style in three words:
Classic, chic, romantic.

Describe the outfit you wore to your first real-world job interview:
I was taught in school how to dress “professional,” and I definitely bought a pantsuit with a white button-down and pulled my hair back. I cringe thinking about it, as it’s so not me!

Tell us how you got your start in the fashion industry:
I am a self-taught photographer, and I knew after graduating from school that it was something I wanted to pursue, but coming from a very small town, I really didn’t know where to start. I have learned so much from stepping out, saying yes to opportunities, and not being afraid of rejection or failure. I believe one of the most important things in the fashion industry is believing in yourself and being confident in your work.

Name some female leaders you would love to have a working lunch with:
Iris Apfel, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres… I love that they have paved the way for women in so many different ways, and I would love to hear their stories.

What is the best advice you give to others who want to follow in your footsteps?
Love what you do. It’s so important to stay passionate about the work that you are doing. As a photographer, I feel as if the best photos reveal so much of the photographer’s sense of self.

What’s your favorite and most effective way to network?
I love Instagram; it’s an easy way to stay connected and up to date on what is happening in the industry.

www1www1www1www1www1www1

SHOP: 3.1 Phillip Lim shirt | Topshop blazer | AG jeans | Gucci loafer | Topshop bomber jacket | Elizabeth and James bag