What’s the Unexpected But Key Role of a Fashion Tech Boss? Check Out This Story & Find Out

IMG_20170210_111346

Welcome to our third podcast from the NRF Big Show a month ago.  For this podcast I spoke with Dolly Singh, founder of Thesis Couture, and Alison Lewis, founder of Switch Embassy.   We also had the privilege of re-joining with Monica Phromsavanh, Founder of Modabox.  Dolly and Alison shared with us gorgeous, hi-tech items including: Thesis Couture’s first-of-its-kind scrappy, high-heels that are as beautiful for your back as they are for your feet; and covetable purses like a light, “soft, squishy,” nature-inspired, blue-tooth enabled leather clutch with LED lights and flexible display.

Our conversation spanned topics from how to gather and learn from one another as tech bosses  (leveraging those “secret societies” out there) to what we wished our shoes could do in a dream world (flying, being able to hold our babies, you name it).  One of my favorite statements of the discussion came from Dolly: “It’s desire that drives the world…I don’t want ugly shoes, I want shoes that make me feel like a million bucks…logic doesn’t prevail.”  I couldn’t agree more!

What became so evident from our conversation is the importance  of these women’s ability to communicate — better yet — translate to others.  I immediately connected with that.  So much of my role at Google is to decode and translate the true value of digital to our clients, or translate the user’s underlying motivation and needs to my creative and engineering counterparts.

The same is true for these women.  Not only do they have an amazing sense of vision, but they have a strong ability to translate that vision to all the respective parties.  These different parties often come from very very, different “worlds”, like Silicon Valley engineers and luxury Italian shoe designers.   Alison named her company “Switch Embassy” because of the necessity to be able to pivot AND be “bi-lingual” (my words, not hers).  She has to “speak” fashion AND tech in order to combine these two worlds.  Her role is to really listen, translate and bridge all the expertise.   In her words: “Tech guys don’t know how to talk to brands, and brands don’t know what to ask.”

We sometimes forget how valuable being a great translator and communicator truly is.  We revere the creator, which, having grown up in the advertising world where the creative  director is king, I get it.  But without the ability to bring people together and to get them to see one another’s needs, aspirations and visions, nothing would come to fruition.  As Monica pointed out, “it’s about getting things to market, not just creating them.”  Without the ability to translate among many different teams, collaboration could never happen, and the final product would just be a nice image in someone’s head.  I don’t know about you but I want those beautiful, hi tech purses and shoes in my hands and on my feet, not in my dreams! :).

For the full, fantastic conversation among these tech bosses, have a listen to our audio podcast.

https://soundcloud.com/kathleen-kiley/show-3-beautyskew-mixdown

And if you want to see the live version on camera, have fun watching this…again forgive us for the sound!

Screen Shot 2017-02-10 at 10.23.26 AM

Weekend Observations: The Love for Heels Starts Young


“Laila looks AMAZING in her new boots!”
This was the introduction I received one late night from my awesome doorman.  I was returning from work and instead of getting the usual, “Good evening Ms Posner,” I got complimented on Laila’s new look.
Our doorman knows how much we try to get Laila to dress like a girl vs a schlubby boy, so his nice words aren’t just compliments for Laila but his way of supporting me in my endless endeavor.
The boots are nothing special.  We found them a week ago during our monthly Target trip.  But they have these cute little heels that transform Laila from a tomboy to a young girl.  When she dons them, she doesn’t just walk in them, she swaggers.  Those little heels make her feel special.
One could argue she’s mimicking her mommy who loves heels.  But I don’t think that’s it.  After all, there are many feminine aspects to my attire that Laila finds no use for like dresses, cute blouses, and fun skirts.
No, heels have a powerful spell that no one can quite explain.
I’m sure the chiropractors of the world will slap me for saying this, but I’m reveling in her new-found appreciation for her new feminine boots.  I look forward to her benefiting from the major confidence boost we all get from heels over the course of her life.

Weekend Observations: Will this Addiction Ever Cease?

 

I have so little time to shop, so when I have 2 secs to pop into a store between errands and see something I like, I grab it.  And what do I gravitate towards?  High heels.  I mean REALLY high heels. Case in point, the shoes you see here.

People often ask me how I can stand, walk, even run at times, in high heels.  Just as much as I gets looks of admiration when standing 10 feet tall in a bunch of stilettos, I also get cautionary tales of knees gone bad thanks to constant heel wearing.

I get it, I really do.

But I can’t imagine NOT wearing them.  Of course I love the height and instant style I get from a pair of heels.  But there’s another side of me that WANTS to like low heeled shoes.  Many of them are cute  and stylish, and yet my eyes turn away from them.  They are the nice but ugly girls at the dance that the boys ignore.  It’s physiological.  It’s like having a sweet tooth or cravings for salty food.

It’s ingrained.  It’s inevitable.  And I’m not sure I can stop it.

Are we destined to wear a certain heel height?  I can’t really argue that it’s genetic.  My mother and sister don’t wear anything above 2 inches.  But then again, I’m shorter than them which explains why they don’t NEED to wear high heels.   And it also indicates that not all traits are passed down,including the desire for high heels, right???  (Getting a bit circuitous, no 🙂 )

The next time someone “innocently” asks me how I can wear such high heels, I’ll just tell them “I was born this way…please don’t discriminate” and see what happens 🙂

 

Week in Review: 11/6-11/12

Take a look at the stories we shared this week:

Who says you have to look dumpy when the sky dumps on us? Weekend Observations: I Want to Look Hot, Even When It’s A Foot Deep

Salon du Chocolate inspired some amazing clothing and shoes made out of chocolate! Pic of the Week: Chocolate Fashion!?

In response to a blogger’s efforts to do without a mirror for a year, I condone the mirror and all its, believe it or not, deep benefits Mirrors Aren’t the Bad Guys

A great article to help 50ish men learn how to dress better and the deeper consequences of doing so Finally Some Great Fashion Advice for 50ish Men

Ah, even more beauty reading to add to the list More to Love: Additions to the Reading List

Have a splendid weekend!

Hotties Get More For Free

Bright Hand Pictures created a documentary, Sexy Girls Have It Easy, about a girl that scores all types of freebies thanks to her sexy good looks (check it out on Vimeo).  Donning high heels and make-up, she’s able to get things like taxi rides, cake and champagne for free just by asking.
You could argue this is another case of looks discrimination.  And this theory is reinforced by the fact that this same hot woman is video-taped going out wearing a blah outfit, sans make-up and her hair in a pony-tail.  And like the first version, she asks for the same things for free but this time around she isn’t nearly as successful.
But instead of seeing this video as a statement of what’s wrong in our society, see it for the positive points it reveals.  Yes, she is discriminated against as a Plain Jane.  But all she needed to do to benefit from our culture’s (or human nature’s) biases is put a bit of lipstick and heels on!  In other words, beauty and the benefits reaped from it aren’t out of reach.  They just may require a bit more effort to obtain.
Oh, yeah, and you may even be able to make up the costs of the fancy duds and blow-outs thanks to all the freebies you’d get!
Watch the video and see for yourself:
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/12030156]