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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2021: THANKING THE WOMEN WHO CAME BEFORE US, AND ALL OTHERS WHO INSPIRE US EVERY DAY

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2021: THANKING THE WOMEN WHO CAME BEFORE US, AND ALL OTHERS WHO INSPIRE US EVERY DAY

On International Women’s Day we celebrate all of the phenomenal things that women have achieved, while consistently working towards gender parity in social, economic and environmental spaces. 

International Women’s Day was first celebrated in 1911, so this year marks well over a century of celebrating women's empowerment. We are taking this time to admire the strength and camaraderie amongst women and thank those in our lives for standing by us every day. The theme of this year’s IWD is “Women in Leadership”.

At Baiia, this day is important for us as a female-founded brand, because it is a reminder of why we do what we do. While an overwhelming majority of fashion designers and incoming students are women, a study by Business of Fashion in 2016 revealed that only 14% of companies surveyed had a woman in the highest position of the business. While that statistic may have risen in the last few years, it’s undeniable that women are underrepresented in fashion, despite being a demographic with huge spending power. 

At Baiia, we are committed to always designing with a female-focused gaze, and goals that are less focused on KPIs like amount of sales and more focused on making women feel their best. 

We wouldn't be able to be here without the phenomenal acts of women before us who made this possible, so we’ve included below a few of our icons who paved the way for Baiia and for women worldwide.

At Baiia, this day is important for us as a female-founded brand, because it is a reminder of why we do what we do. While an overwhelming majority of fashion designers and incoming students are women, a study by Business of Fashion in 2016 revealed that only 14% of companies surveyed had a woman in the highest position of the business. While that statistic may have risen in the last few years, it’s undeniable that women are underrepresented in fashion, despite being a demographic with huge spending power. 

At Baiia, we are committed to always designing with a female-focused gaze, and goals that are less focused on KPIs like amount of sales and more focused on making women feel their best. 

 

Annette Kellermann: 

We wouldn't be able to be here without the phenomenal acts of women before us who made this possible, so we’ve included below a few of our icons who paved the way for Baiia and for women worldwide.

 

Claire McCardell:

 

One of the first female American designers, responsible for bringing sportswear and functional clothing into the mainstream - she thrived in the post-war fabric rationing and used this as an opportunity to be uniquely innovative and creative. 

 

Anne Lowe:

The first female designer of colour. She is renowned for making Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress, though was not credited for this at the time. Many of her pieces are on display in museums such as the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum at FIT.

 

Madam C.J. Walker:

The first self-made female millionaire and a prominent member of the NAACP. She is known for creating a line of women’s hair care products specifically designed for black women. She was also a philanthropist, donating thousands of dollars throughout the year to support education, racial justice and other organisations committed to the wellbeing of Black Americans.

We took this opportunity to ask our team some questions about our role in women-led business, and who inspires them. We hope you identify with some of our role models! 

 

 

As a female-led womenswear brand, what do you think are our key responsibilities to women worldwide?

 

Amber (Founder, Director & Designer)

To truly create something that brings forth the best in a woman. I’m sure many of us at one point or another have felt like we have to hide ourselves or become less of ourselves in swimwear, and it’s something that i'm fundamentally against. In the design process I'm thinking of the woman i’m designing for;  I want to create something that reminds her just how marvellous she really is and that her body isn’t something to ever hide, it’s something to celebrate.

 

Angie (Fit Expert + Social Media Regulator)

I think one of our key responsibilities is making sure that we have a positive space for women to express who they are and who they want to be. I think it’s really important that we, being a female-run brand, provide that space for women. 



Christina (2IC + Marketing Coordinator)

I feel like one of our key responsibilities is to uplift women around the world, make them feel empowered and comfortable in their own skin. As a brand, we obviously have a huge responsibility to always be inclusive and showing diversity so all women feel represented and supported. Reminding women that they are enough and that we are the strongest when we come together. As a brand we have the opportunity to really talk to women, listen to them, and cater to them. 

 

Lani (Fit Expert + Admin Assistant)

 

Our key responsibility is to always have the best intentions for others, and to celebrate women of all shapes, sizes, skin colours, body types and beyond. We do this and at the same time, think consciously for our world. Here at Baiia, we stand for the value of respecting everyone and hearing their voices. We are committed to making people feel confident about themselves because we believe everyone deserves that.

 

Shaneen (Head of Customer Relations + Copywriter)

I think this is a key responsibility for all brands but particularly womenswear; transparency. We as consumers have a right to know who makes our clothes and where they come from, etc. I think especially for women we live in a world with so much mystery (this can be good or bad), but we do really go through life not knowing a lot about a lot of things and we’re really shielded from a lot of knowledge that could benefit us. I think for any brand but particularly Baiia, we have a responsibility to our consumer to be transparent with them about changes that we’re making, and why we’re making those changes so they know that anything we do, everything we do is for them. Basically, it comes back to giving women a space to be truly heard when they are so often not heard. 



Vanessa (Pick-packer & Warehouse Manager)

I think one of our big responsibilities to women worldwide is to find ways through our brand to empower and support women. I think it’s so important to recognise diversity and not to add to the industry and societal pressures and systems often in place that make women feel like they must look a certain way, size, and shape in order to have value and worth. I really enjoy working at Baiia because it aims not only to make women look their best but feel their best, and they do so by constantly listening to women, taking on feedback, and exploring ways to improve and adapt to their customers needs and wants.

 

 

Who inspires you and why? Besides your mum, of course! 

 

Amber

It might seem a little cliche but Oprah has always been a massive inspiration to me. She’s such a true testament of someone who has had all of the odds against her, and despite going through so much that I don't think a lot of people will ever have to comprehend, she was committed to living to her fullest potential and she created an extraordinary life while never falling victim to what life presented her. Watching her show when I was a young girl, she was a real role model for confidence, courage, boundaries, self-belief, self-commitment and a kind heart, and what all of that can do for the world. For all of that, she’s always held a big part on my inspiration board. 

 

Angie

The first person who comes to mind is my sister Anna-Liza, she was a big inspiration to me growing up. I’ve always admired her courage and her aspiration for always wanting to achieve everything she sets her mind to. She’s gone to the Olympics while also studying and working two jobs and now she’s a mum with another bub on the way! She's also now studying again. She’s someone who always inspires me to try and do more in life. She’s studying to be a councillor so on top of all of what she's already done and being a mum, she still wants to help others too. 



Christina

Obviously I’d love to say my mum or sister who are superheroes to me, but if I had to pick the next person in line, it would be a celebrity that inspired me since I was little. I’d have to say Beyoncé because I feel like she’s always found a balance in being strong yet vulnerable. When I used to watch her when I was little, she always made me feel like anything was possible because of how fierce, confident and fearless she is. I’ve always admired her work ethic, her entrepreneurial spirit and her independence as a woman. My favourite quote from her is, “it’s not about perfection it’s about purpose”. I think she does a really good job at using her platform to encourage women not to be afraid to take up space, and to always speak your mind. She also always embraces her curves and the female figure which I think is really empowering. 

 

Lani

Currently it’s Angel Locsin, she’s a Filipina actress. Over the past decade, she has generously donated to many causes, raised funds to support educational scholarships, supporting the economic and political rights of indigenous people, and ending violence against women and children. She has also been named as one of Forbes Asia's 'Heroes of Philanthropy' in 2019. 

 

I admire her for being so selfless despite the limelight, she has the uncanny ability to motivate others. She inspires me on how she leads a life in service of others. Her name suits her, a woman with a deep passion for a better and kinder world, such an Angel! 

 

“I want to be remembered for how I’ve been able to make other people feel that ‘I’m here’, ‘I care’. That for me would be the bigger achievement.” 

-Angel Locsin

 

Shaneen

It was really hard for me to pick but I think one person I consistently go back to is Clare Press. For those who aren’t familiar with her, she’s the first ever Sustainability Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Australia. She also hosts a podcast called Wardrobe Crisis and is an author of two books. She’s a real professional inspiration of mine; I’d love to do what she does one day, when I’m a big kid. I love that she makes sustainability really accessible and she uses her platform to amplify others. On her podcast recently she’s been doing a segment called #ShareThePodcastMic where she has a BIPOC person guest-host the postcast and interviews someone else, which I really love because most of the people her hosts interviewed were other people of colour, small business owners or other people who are marginalised in some respect. I love that she as a cisgender white woman is able to use that platform to lift up others, who she knows are more knowledgable than her. She also really encourages changes of any aspect. I think sustainability can be really daunting sometimes and it’s really easy to get a sense of “I’m not doing enough”. What I love about Clare’s message is she’s always so encouraging and is happy to hear about anything. I just think she’s wonderful!




Vanessa

Someone who inspires me every day is my best friend Dianne. She is one of the toughest and most resilient people I know but also one of the kindest and caring. Throughout our friendship she's been with me through highs and lows, she's seen and accepted all of my mistakes, and she inspires and encourages me to be a better person, the best version of me that I can be. She’s a sister, a soulmate, I've learnt so much from her and I wouldn't be the person I am today without her. I think the love that women show each other is so unique and powerful and women supporting women a force to be reckoned with. 

 

 

 

 

One of our key responsibilities on a brand level is our continued commitment to corporate social responsibility; remaining as transparent and honest as possible, and using our platform to advocate for change. We donate a percentage of profits to Kurandza — a non-for-profit that is committed to providing education to girls in Mozambique, because as they say: “every girl who receives access to an education represents one step in the direction of positive global change”.

 

We are forever committed to making sure that Baiia is a space where your voice can be heard and where opinions matter, no matter how small. If you’d like to make your voice heard, we’ve just released a survey asking for opinions from our community. As a thank you for sharing your thoughts, we are offering all participants 20% off their next purchase (this never happens!). 

Link here, we can’t wait to hear from you!

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