Founder Files : To all my Muses, Strong Women

Dear friends,

As many of you know, I left banking last year and took some time off to figure out my next adventure, passion and purpose. Two parts of the equation became clear for me: being entrepreneurial and expressing creatively.

Having dressed for work for many many years as all of you have, I felt less than satisfied with the offerings available to us, the ambitious, on-the-move women in the most demanding of roles and in the most conservative echelons of office dress codes. On the one hand, I would have loved to rock up in subtly fashionable investment pieces from runway-status luxury designers, but their price tags weren’t the most accessible for me to stock a full-time work wardrobe. On the other hand, most brands at more contemporary price points were designed with trend in mind rather than comfort, practicality, and quality (and office appropriateness). To my experience, brands striking the right balance were few and far between.

High-performing. Elegant. Effortless. Left: Dai 01 campaign image by Marija Vainilaviciute. Right: Richard Avedon, 1957

Fortunately, the office wardrobe landscape is changing in favor of comfort. The athleisure trend is decidedly here to stay and forms of “workleisure” basics are increasingly starting to be offered. As well, conservative corporate cultures are adapting to more casual dress codes in order to compete over talent with startups offering more flexible lifestyles with attractive packages.

Therefore, as my solution to the workwear gap and contribution beyond just the basic offerings currently available in workleisure, the concept of subtly edgy, elegantly tailored, and comfortable womenswear for the cool, confident woman was born.

Comfort is confidence. And confidence is key especially for women in our rigorous work environments and even more crucially now in this alarming post-election reality.

Since September, I have been laying the foundations for my startup, from weeks of intensive coursework at London College of Fashion to months of interning at Emilia Wickstead to the countless textile exhibitions, factories, workshops and events, coffees with fashion veterans, and the list goes on.

You are all a part of the community of incredibly talented and ambitious women who inspire me greatly and for whom I am designing. In particular, if you work in a business formal or business casual work environment, you opinion is a key piece of the puzzle. Please keep providing feedback and comments as this is a solution for you. You can email me anytime at joanna@daiwear.com.

I cannot thank you enough for your time to read this. I look forward to sharing my progress in the coming months.

All the best,

Joanna

This was originally emailed on Saturday, February 18, 2017 to every professional woman I knew after leaving my 8-year finance career behind and before embarking on this new journey.

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