Years ago, I met Elise Whang, co-founder of LePrix in Washington, DC when Worn was still based there. At the time her company was called SnobSwap, and was focused on selling high end designer clothing and accessories online and enabling customers to swap their goods with each other. Her and her sister Emily had turned their addiction to designer thrifting into a full blown tech company. Elise launched SnobSwap in between having her two kids. She’s always been incredibly determined and has persevered through all the challenges that entrepreneurship has thrown at her. I’ve admired her grit for years.

That’s why when Elise got in touch and said it was time for a total rebrand, we were thrilled to work with her. Our creative challenge was to rename and rebrand Snobswap in order to reflect the current business model, which no longer includes swapping clothing, but is focused on bringing inventory from high end consignment shops around the world, online in a single marketplace.

Our focus from the beginning was to relaunch the company with a brand that felt luxurious and trustworthy but also approachable and fun. It was important to keep the sense of excitement that comes with finding that perfect pre-owned Chanel bag and getting it at a discount, vs. the more exclusive feeling of walking into a store and buying a brand new Chanel for three times the price.

Using data on the top brands that customers shop on the site and Elise and Emily’s deep knowledge of their “girl”, as well as in depth competitive and target audience research, we took SnobSwap through our naming process and ultimately settled on the new name – LePrix. In French, “le prix” means “the prize” so the name refers to the hunt for the designer item you’re looking for and the prize when you find it.

From there we designed the LePrix brand identity including a new logo, color palette, and photography guidelines to ensure that all the inventory on the site was photographed in a uniform way.

Worn wrote new core messaging to reintroduce LePrix to the world and ensure the founders story was correct and concise.

Finally, we redesigned the LePrix website homepage, product pages and navigation to launch the new brand to the world and ensure a seamless shopping experience that was inspiring and easy to navigate.

April was an entire month of celebrations. Not only did we celebrate Nicole and April’s birthdays, but, drum roll… we celebrated Worn’s 5 Year Anniversary!!! On this fateful day, 5 years ago, Nicole placed a sticky note on her computer with the name ‘Worn’ and that was the day everything started.

With only 20% of businesses reaching five years and only 2% of women-owned businesses reaching the $1M revenue mark, we had a lot to celebrate. Over the past 5 years Worn has:

  • Grown into a team of 9 incredible women (after starting with just Nicole)
  • Worked with 5 Fortune 500 companies and 100+ organizations
  • Reached the 1M revenue mark in 2017
  • Renovated an office in Williamsburg exclusively for Worn that will be finished in Fall ‘18

To celebrate, we did it the best way we know how –  impromptu dress-up and Vogue style 73-questions video shoot, manicures and massages for the team and a private chef meal prepared our neighbors, The Culinistas. And, last but not least, a team favorite matcha crepe cake from Lady M.

When New York City Hall called us to tell us we had won the project to brand New York City as the best city for women to make money and achieve positions of power, our team was THRILLED. We screamed, we cried, we hugged, and there was champagne involved. And then we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.

We began by strategizing, researching, and reading books like The Women Who Made New York. We put ourselves in the shoes of the millions of women who live in the city: the hustlers who are working 2 jobs to pay off their debt, the moms who are studying for another degree, the self-made entrepreneurs who are networking and finding funding for their next company. We were conscious of the many types of women whose working lives in New York City are all uniquely different. So when it came to naming this campaign, a campaign for all women of New York City, it seemed there was no more inclusive name than women.nyc.

The next challenge was to create a campaign that would hold women accountable. When was the last time you asked for a raise?

We proceeded by asking a diverse group of women what they would want to hear from their city. Based on the feedback we received, we decided to hone in on the campaign’s messaging as our focal point, to promote the city’s hundreds of resources that benefit women. Instead of distracting visuals or colorful patterns – we opted to let the words boldly speak for themselves. Our CEO Nicole Corbett sums it up in June’s New Yorker article:

“It’s all about the power of words. Words like ‘We know you can do it alone, but you don’t have to.’ That’s coming from talking to women around the city, saying, ‘What’s real? What do you want to hear?’”

Our next challenge was to find a way to showcase all of the city’s policies and programs that benefit women… in one central and easy-to-access location. We did not want this to feel like your average government website. It needed to be visually compelling and easy to navigate. We designed a drop down filter menu that simplified the wayfinding process to suit every woman’s needs, whether she was visiting the site to seek help with finding a job, continuing her education, accessing health services, raising a child, managing her money or finding legal help. We wanted women.nyc to be a one-stop-shop that could help you find the information you need to make your power move.

The launch of the campaign was celebrated with a press conference at City Hall hosted by the First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray, and Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen. “New York City cannot continue as a successful city if women cannot succeed too. And now, for the first time in history, the women of New York City have all the tools they need to succeed in one place with Women.NYC,” announced First Lady Chirlane McCray.

As the women.nyc website was unveiled, women from across all five boroughs were invited to Make a Power Move. The lineup of speakers included amazing women from NYC government including Council Members Helen Rosenthal, Margaret S. Chin, and Debi Rose, Senator Marisol Alcantara, Assemblymembers Jo Anne Simon and Carmen De La Rosa, as well as special guests like Nicole Doz, a sanitation worker who was crowned Miss Staten Island 2018.

“With the launch of Women.NYC, we take another important step, providing women with the practical tools, resources and networking opportunities to further advance their careers. I encourage women to explore this dynamic website, and to inspire and empower other women by joining the conversation.” – Council Member Debi Rose

The press conference was followed by an epic launch party at The Brooklyn Museum, hosted alongside incredible sponsors like NYC’s Planned Parenthood, The Broad Room and the Cut. Worn joined Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and 200 other guests for a night dedicated to women and work. Power duo Coco and Breezy spun tunes for the crowd and an inspiring roundup of speakers shared their Power Move stories, including female founders like Lida Orzeck and Gale Epstein of Hanky Panky, and many more.   

As part of our 360 degree campaign launch we blanketed the five boroughs with ads that acted as a call-to-action to visit women.nyc. This included animated and static OOH ads across street pole banners, bus shelters, news stands, LinkNYC, MTA Go kiosks on subway platforms, geo-fence mobile ads, posters on Brooklyn MTA buses, and ads in both Spanish and English for publications like amNY and El Diario. We even took over a giant animated Port Authority billboard for the week! In addition to these assets, we created a 30-second spot featuring an array of women’s voices who spoke to what New York City means to them. The spot aired on Cable TV in Spanish and English, as well as on Taxi TV. The video’s end sequence directs women to the campaign website after reassuring them with the words, “We know you can do it alone, but you don’t have to.”

And now for the grand finale of the campaign! During launch week, women gathered in the heart of Washington Square Park for a public unveiling of the women.nyc campaign. An all-women drum line, Fogo Azul, set the scene with a powerful sequence of beats, as our campaign slogans were projected onto the Washington Square Arch. We lit up the arch by posing the question, “How does a city work for women?” as examples of City programming and resources that benefit women populated left and right, including “Paid Parental Leave”, “Free Tax Prep”, “Salary History Ban” and more. As the projections shone bright, an incredible lineup of activists took to the center of the arch to acknowledge their support of the campaign.  


The New Yorker summed it up perfectly:

“As the sun set, the program started. Glen spoke, followed by, among others, Jessica González-Rojas, the executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health; Erin Vilardi, the C.E.O. of VoteRunLead, which helps women run for office; and Sophia Chang, a writer and a former manager of some of the Wu-Tang Clan. A crowd gathered, and several women of New York City stopped to see what the fuss was about.”

For Worn, this has truly been the campaign of a lifetime. At the end of the day, this campaign epitomizes what we strive to achieve as an agency. To use our creative powers to help women step into their power, and access all the things they need to succeed in business and in life. We could not have asked for a better partner in bringing this to life. Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and her team at City Hall are making it possible for women of New York City to overcome boundaries and achieve their full potential and we’re so honored to be able to help them in doing so.

We’re excited to announce that we’ve welcomed a new leading lady to the team! Liezel Oosthuizen joined the Worn family as our new Operations Manager. Liezel comes from a tech startup, where her event and client services experience developed both the company and her nonprofit client’s success. While her passion lies with logistics and operations, she is driven by Worn’s creative work and mission to empower women. Originally from South Africa, Liezel has lived in Europe and moved to the US at the age of 14. Here’s a quick Q&A between Nicole Corbett, CEO of Worn and Liezel to help you get to know her and see why we couldn’t be happier to have her on our team.

N: What was the #1 thing that made you want to work at Worn?

L: The #1 thing that drew me in is the incredible team of women who, together, have managed to build the most uplifting and collaborative work culture that is unlike any other. I felt it the second I stepped into the office for the first time and knew I wanted to be a part of this family. They care about their clients the same way they care about each other and that’s the recipe and special sauce for empowering women to lead and be successful!

N: Describe your first week at Worn. Was it what you expected?

L: It was like a party when I walked in and everyone was just as excited to see me as I was to see them! With a decorated desk and a wonder woman balloon, I was ready to take on my first day. I loved getting to know the team over a cozy lunch and really enjoyed diving straight into the work. By the end of the day it somehow felt like I had been working there for months because everyone made me feel so welcomed and comfortable.

N: Why are you passionate about empowering women?

L: We’ve come so far but it’s shocking how much ground we still have to cover to reach true equality for women in the world. It seems so simple that men and women should have equal opportunities in economic participation and political representation, but the progress we need to see is happening all too slowly. Empowering one woman to lead means that she can turn around and empower ten more women to be strong and stand up for their rights and to go after powerful positions in the workforce. We can speed up the change we need to see and make a lasting impact by working hard to empower the women around us. I want to see true equality for women in my lifetime!

N: Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

L: Ooo fun! First on the list is Nelson Mandela, my grandma and Jesus. All are my heroes and would be able to provide all the wisdom we could wish for. Michelle Obama is also there with her plus one. Brene Brown and Seth Godin both teach me so much about living boldly both personally and professionally and I’d be honored to have them in conversation. To keep things fun, Jimmy Fallon, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones are all there to keep everyone laughing. I also need to be in the same room as two of the greatest talents of our time, so Meryl Streep and Beyonce are there and probably sitting at the heads of the table. To complete the most amazing dinner party of my life, my Worn family will be there to enjoy every second of it with me!

We’re excited to announce that we’ve added to the Worn family! April Qi joined the Worn family last Monday as our new Designer. April Qi is a Chinese-Canadian living in Brooklyn, NY. She studied at The New School and has dabbled in many industries, from hospitality to fashion to tech. Here’s a quick Q&A between Nicole Corbett, CEO of Worn and April to help you get to know her and see why we couldn’t be happier to have her on our team.

N: What was the #1 thing that made you want to work at Worn?

A: Worn’s mission statement. I talk to so many designers who love to design but feel as though they’re not making an impact, so finding Worn and learning that their mission aligns with my own felt like finding a golden ticket. It felt like a chance at accomplishing two things I’m passionate about, design and helping women. Also taking a look at Worn’s website and Instagram you can see how close the team is and how positive the culture is, and that has always been important to me. 

N: Describe your first week at Worn. Was it what you expected?

A: My first week at Worn was a blur – it was during a particularly busy week and I was given trust and responsibility from the get go and personally I love learning that way. I was part of every meeting, every brainstorm, and immediately felt like I belonged. That was also partly due to the team’s warmth the second I walked through the door.

N: What is one of your favorite design projects you have worked on?

A: One of my favorite design projects was a passion project of mine that I named Power to the Postcard. It was after the election and I wanted to still participate in the conversation and dedicate some time to making a difference on things that I felt were important, so I created postcard templates targeting specific issues that were being threatened. I shared the idea with my colleagues and we teamed up, reached out to some contacts to find a location and a liquor sponsor, and hosted a postcard writing party to our senators and representatives. We counted almost 300 postcards on a Monday night.

N: Why are you passionate about empowering women?

A:  I have been surrounded by strong women raising and guiding me every day, and I think it’s important to do so for others and give back however I can – whether it’s giving design advice, giving an inspiring pep talk or just being there to listen. Things are certainly not equal now, and we still have a lot of work to do, which is why I’m passionate about passing a better world to the next generation.

N: Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

A: It would be just me and J.K. Rowling, eating Shake Shack and talking about Harry Potter.

One thing is clear, the women of F*it have no room for bullshit. Thursday night, Cynthia Salim, CEO of Citizen’s Mark, Tracie Egan-Morrissey, Editor in Chief of Broadly, and Gina Hadley, founder of The Second Shift shared their personal stories of getting blown off, passed up for promotions, told to dress differently, told they wouldn’t make good bosses, and then they called bullshit on it and found ways to succeed anyway.

Cynthia convinced the best manufacturers in the world to make her blazers, Tracie convinced Vice Media to hire her to found a feminist channel, and Gina made her work fit her lifestyle and started a company that made that possible for all women. Here’s a snapshot of each woman’s story. Stay tuned for the complete videos on YouTube.

 Cynthia Salim CEO Citizen's Mark Blazers

The only way you’re going to have negotiation power is if you have someone else to go to.
— Cynthia Salim

Cynthia Salim, founder of Citizen’s Mark, which makes responsibly made blazers for women on the rise, taught us all that you’re never too small to matter. When she was first starting out, getting wool manufacturers and factories to pay attention to her was a struggle. Despite flying to Italy and Portugal and driving hours to the factories, once she got home, no one would return her emails. She wasn’t Armani or Stella McCartney placing 10,000 yard orders – she was Citizen’s Mark, which was a totally new brand, but full of potential.

So she got back on a plane (using miles!) and showed up in Italy and Portugal at these factories repeatedly. She learned that if you’re there in person, they can’t ignore you. You’re not just an email on a screen anymore, and they agreed to work with her. She convinced the top factories in the world to let her place tiny orders because Citizen’s Mark is small, but it’s getting top quality blazers for women right.

 Tracie Egan Morrissey Editor in Chief of Broadly

Tracie Egan Morrissey Editor in Chief of Broadly

I was told women make good managers but not good bosses.
— Tracie Egan-Morrissey

Tracie Morrissey shared the unbelievable story of how she convinced Vice media to start a feminist channel and hire her to lead it. After founding Jezebel and seeing no room for women in leadership positions at Gawker, Tracie decided that the industry needed a media outlet for women, by women that could afford to write about the issues that women care about.

So she cold emailed Suroosh Alvi, one of the founders of Vice Media and told him she had some ideas. This is the kind of meeting you prepare for or blow it, and she wasn’t going to blow it. She designed a deck, putting in quotes from the media about Vice being a male-focused channel (which they didn’t like but listened to), rented iPads to hand out to everyone in the room and made her case for a new feminist channel to the team. The meeting ended with “yeah I get, you’re hired, what’s next?” And the rest is history! Broadly launched in August 2015.

 Gina Hadley founder The Second Shift

Gina Hadley founder The Second Shift

The ROI on the hustle sucks.
— Gina Hadley

Gina Hadley, founder of The Second Shift, has lived many lives. She’s been an entrepreneur, global agency executive, startup founder, stay at home mom, and even Catholic school administrator (that didn’t last.) Throughout her journey, she learned that your personal circumstances, whether you’re a mom, move to a new city, or are transitioning to a new stage of life, you should never let your situation jeopardize the potential you can have in your career. Gina started The Second Shift so educated, accomplished, high level executive women could go back to doing the work they love, no matter what.

 Made Real Vodka

Thank you to our sponsor Made Real Vodka for supporting the women of F*it and whipping up delicious Moscow Mules for the night. P.S. We love that you’re #selfmade

ATTEND: Find out more about F*it and sign up to be a speaker or attend a future F*it storytelling night, click here.

PHOTOS: See photos from Wednesday night’s F*it event and other nights, also click here.

VIDEOS: Watch videos from previous F*it speakers on YouTube.

WORN: We’re a mission-based creative agency that empowers women to lead.

 

Last month, Worn CEO Nicole (Aguirre) Corbett hopped on the phone with Elayne Fluker, founder of Chic Rebellion Media and creator of the Support is Sexy podcast to talk about “The Power of the Pivot”. The conversation focused on how to reinvent your company in order to take it to the next level.

In this podcast, Nicole shares her personal story of setting aside her career in foreign affairs to follow her passion as an entrepreneur. She shares her insights into how she Worn transformed from a magazine into the digital agency it is today, and mind hacks for how to think differently about your business and your own potential as an entrepreneur.

Here are a few pieces of advice for entrepreneurs who want to shift their perspective and their companies along with it:

  1. Do everything you can to see the situation from a new perspective. Admit that what you’re currently doing isn’t working.
  2. Decide where you want to be in a certain amount of time and realize what could be standing in your way. (It could be yourself.)
  3. Do not underestimate yourself. Assume you can do twice what you think you can do.

There is something powerful that happens when you’re met at a crossroad. Learn more from Nicole and Elayne by listening to the podcast above.

The Support is Sexy initiative is home to an online community for women and five-times-a-week podcast interviewing successful women entrepreneurs about building profitable business and purposeful lives. Learn more about Elayne and the podcast at ElayneFluker.com.

On this episode of F*it Radio, Jessica González-Rojas, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health shares her personal story of being assaulted by protesters outside a Planned Parenthood and how the experience turned her into an activist for reproductive justice.

Jessica spoke from the stage at the Women’s March on Washington just a couple of weeks ago and at Worn’s live F*it the night before the March. The story of her political awakening and how simply getting healthcare turned into a “political act of courage” truly moved us. Take a listen.

Jessica González-Rojas is Executive Director at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, the only national reproductive justice organization working to advance reproductive health, rights and justice for the 28 million Latinas in the U.S. Learn more about NLIRH and donate at latinainstitute.org/en.

To listen to this episode on iTunes, click here and don’t forget to subscribe! You can also listen on Soundcloud, or your favorite podcast app.  

If you’re enjoying the show write a review on iTunes—or hit us up on Twitter or Instagram. See you on the next episode of F*it Radio every Wednesday.

 

 

We’re excited to announce that we’ve welcomed a new leading lady to the team! Jamie Jordan joined the Worn family last Monday as our new Senior Designer. Jamie is Filipino-American, living in Brooklyn, NY. She studied at Parsons School of Design and spent the next five years working with great creatives to hone her amazing design skills. Here’s a quick Q&A between Nicole Corbett, CEO of Worn and Jamie to help you get to know her and see why we couldn’t be happier to have her on our team.

N: What was the #1 thing that made you want to work at Worn?

J: Confidence & collaboration. Those are two things, but they go hand-in-hand, so I hope they count as one! Before I had even spoken to you and the rest of the Worn team, I researched and studied the projects you had done and was completely enamored. I’ve never worked for a mission-based agency and right away I knew it was for me. The Worn team is not only smart, confident and talented, but most of all, caring! They are true collaborators and motivators; qualities that are incredibly rare to find in any workplace.

N: Describe your first week at Worn. Was it what you expected?

J: I would describe my first week at Worn as the feeling you get from watching the scene in Trolls when Princess Poppy was inviting everyone to her party. Energetic, positive, motivated and most of all: HAPPY! The dynamic at the office is unlike any place I’ve worked at and I feel so lucky! My first project is working on redesigning the Worn website and re-visiting the brand’s color palette. Through this, I’m learning more about Worn and the team.

N: What is one of your favorite design projects you have worked on?

J: My favorite design project would be a branding and packaging design for Jean Prounis, a jewelry designer. Jean designs and hand makes all of her jewelry! She is a small business owner and has great vision for her brand. Because her jewelry is so tactile and personal, she wanted her branding and packaging to feel the same. We went to a printing press in Brooklyn to look through a collection of Linotype typefaces and type set her logo. Just the smell of the ink gave me shivers!

N: Why are you passionate about empowering women?

J:  When you research great designers online, only a handful of women make the list and minority women are close to none. It’s incredibly unfortunate because I have worked with the most talented female creatives that deserve as much recognition and applause as who are regularly recognized on these “best of” lists. Growing up it was difficult finding relatable heroes and mentors. I’d love for the future generation to see a wider range of figures to look up to. Most importantly, to feel that they could achieve their goals!

N: Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

J: I love this question because I am an absolute eater (easily confused by the term foodie), love to cook and prep for parties (I wish I had a backyard/bigger apt to entertain)! I would invite my mom who’s an incredible cook and sister who’s a chef. They would definitely offer to cook for the party!  Irma Boom is Dutch book designer and my ultimate idol. Also, Massimo Vignelli who designs everything from furniture to signage. A few years ago, I saw them both speak at a book design panel and they were a riot! They both have amazing quirky personalities and incredible insight on the design industry. My dream has always been to meet Michelle Obama and Princess Diana! I think I wouldn’t be able to speak if I was in front of them. sAlso, I would love to converse with some great entertainers: Tracee Ellis Ross, Queen Bey, Denzel Washington (my celebrity crush), Daenerys Targaryen (I’m not opposed to riding a dragon!) and 2 Dope Queens: Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams.Saving the best for last: My Worn family!

Want to work with Worn? Get in touch with Jamie at jamie@worn.nyc

For those of you who missed it F*it DC this month, we’d like to share with you three videos from three incredibly fearless women. This F*it was the first that actually brought us to tears. Those tears came from incredible stories of triumph and overcoming hardship. Watch their stories below.

Sign up to attend the next F*it in D.C. of New York City here.

Brandy Butler, President of ADC Management Solutions shared the story of having to say no to her aunt, the matriarch of her family, when she reached out for help and asked Brandy to do something she felt was extremely unethical and would have put her out of business. Ultimately, Brandy said no and paid a very high price for it. She was shunned by her family, uninvited to Christmas, and became an outcast in her own family. Still, had she not made that decision, she’d be out of business today. Watch her story in the video above.

Sonal Shah, Executive Director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovationand Senior Advisor to President Obama spoke about times when she chose “fearlessness.” She started by telling the story of moving to Sarajevo at 26 to open their Central Bank, when she knew nothing about opening a Central Bank. She was dropped off on the Serb side and told “we’ll pick you up in 2 weeks.” She also spoke about her decision not listen to other people’s advice and take a year off after her time in the White House to take care of her dying grandmother. Watch her video above to hear it in her own words.

Michelle Freeman, President of four companies, including part owner of the Mavericks, Mystics and Caps and Chairman of two non-profit foundations spoke about making your mess your message. Michelle Freeman had a child alone at 23, was a drug addict, on food stamps and ultimately lost her husband to a tragic accident. Michelle rose to the occasion and took over her husband’s real estate business when he passed. Despite everyone (including other women) saying, “Why are you still here? Why don’t you just take the money and go take care of your babies?” She chose to stay and grow the business she loves. She is dominating multiple male-dominating industries- construction, real estate and sports and owning her story.

Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to BE the right person.
— Gloria Steinem

Women entrepreneurs F*it Worn

We want you all to ask yourselves the same question we asked everyone at F*it:

What is your dream for yourself that you’ve never voiced aloud because you’re not 100% confident in yourself that you can get there?
— Worn

We posed this question to our breakout groups and we overheard one woman sheepishly say “well… it’s silly but… I want to be a backup dancer for Beyoncé.” The woman next to her about fell over and said “That’s crazy because my best friend is a backup dancer for Beyoncé- I’ll put you two in touch.”

That’s what it’s all about! Let’s make dreams reality.