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Portrait of a Woman

Cindy Sherman Secretary
Untitled (Secretary), 1978 via Artsy
For decades, Cindy Sherman has created captivating photos that are an odd mixture of beauty, mystery and peculiarity. Cindy began creating her works as an artist in the 1970s in New York City. What began as dressing up at home and playing with makeup, turned into the beginnings of her career as an artist, and our invitation as viewers to explore the ideas and identities presented in her work.
Cindy Sherman photography portrait
Untitled #465, 2008 via MoMA
Though they appear to be self-portraits with Cindy in front of the lens, we never truly see the real Cindy. Each image is instead a glimpse into the world of the character she has created. 

Roman Holiday

Audrey Hepburn on scooter for Roman Holiday
Every summer calls for a little getaway. Whether it’s somewhere outdoors like the beach or lake, or to a new place all together, a bit of exploration is just what the season calls for. Though this summer’s travel season might be nearing its end and be bit different than normal, that doesn’t mean we can’t do some dreaming. 
Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday

Floral spring summer dress
Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2016

Italian breakfast on veranda
Image via FlixList
With this in mind, the perfect inspiration can be found with the help of Audrey Hepburn, “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and Dolce & Gabbana. 

Summer Power Dressing

Tory Burch Spring 2020
Bows. Prints. Sneakers. Florals. Tweed. Metal. Using a variety of prints, colors, textures and styles, the Spring 2020 collection from Tory Burch offered a fresh take on work ready clothing. 

Tory Burch Spring 2020 suit
No longer are women confined to the 1980s definition of the power suit in order to walk into the office with a girl boss persona. Now women can embrace femininity alongside powerful details, whimsical prints and athleisure ready accessories when creating a workwear wardrobe. 

What if Catherine the Great had a LinkedIn

Helen Mirren as Catherine the Great via HBO
What if Catherine the Great had a LinkedIn? How would she represent her array of accomplishments like empress, politician, education advocate and writer in a way that would be both credible and approachable? 

What is LinkedIn & Does it Matter?   

Each section of a LinkedIn profile provides an opportunity to tell part of your story. LinkedIn allows users to connect with previous and current coworkers, companies and leaders in every imaginable job field. 

If you don’t already have a profile and you’re asking yourself whether or not you should bother investing in another social media platform, the answer is YES. It’s one of the first places employers look to post jobs, search for potential new employees and screen candidates. 

When thinking about your personal brand and the 7 Ps of marketing, LinkedIn is a must in helping share your story (positioning) and ensuring your professional information is accessible (placement).

The Leading Lady
Before diving into the how-to of Catherine’s hypothetical LinkedIn, let’s meet this leading lady. Catherine ruled the Russian empire from 1762-1796. She remains the longest reigning female in Russian history. Her time as Empress made such an impact that it is often called the Catherinian era and is considered the Golden Age for the nation. Even actress Helen Mirren points out that Catherine “rewrote the rules of governance by a woman, and succeeded to the extent of having the word ‘Great’ attached to her name.” 
Catherine around the time of her marriage via History.com
What’s amazing about Catherine is that she wasn’t born into riches and wasn’t even born in Russia. Though born a Prussian princess, Catherine was penniless and given away in an arranged marriage. But circumstances, including having a drunk and idiotic husband, did not dampen Catherine’s ambition. 

Once in power, she led Russia into the European cultural and political scene, expanded the territory, created new cities, spearheaded vaccinations, started a girls school, championed the arts and even wrote artistic works of her own. 
Catherine the Great and her husband Peter III of Russia via History.com
However, Catherine was not without her weaknesses and critics. When married to Peter III, she was unable to provide an heir for nine years. This put her at risk for time in jail, a nunnery, or even exile. Later, a cloud of suspicion hung over her ascension to the throne since Peter’s death followed her strategic coup and his absence allowed her to reign without rival. 
Helen Mirren as Catherine the Great via The Telegraph
Her collection of lovers may seem like an early illustration of feministic freedom, but the revolving door of boy toys incensed many whispered judgments about the scandalous nature of her relationships. Additionally, she had an ongoing list of great ideas, but some said she did not succeed in truly implementing enough positive changes or systems, including a true education system. 

When creating her LinkedIn, Catherine would obviously leave out any of the criticisms or unflattering portrayals of her character. The goal would be to underscore her strengths and the great things she did accomplish. 
Helen Mirren as Catherine the Great via New Statesman
So now that we understand who Catherine was, we can imagine her reclining on a chaise lounge in the Winter Palace with her iPhone, considering how to craft her LinkedIn profile. The brisk Russian weather is offset by a blazing fire nearby, while Vasily Pashkevich’s “Fevey” is playing softly in the background. Letters are on her desk awaiting her review from Grigory Potemkin on the military front, as well as her friend Voltaire. But those can wait, because nothing stands between this ambitious girl boss and taking action to help her career. 

The Glitter Plan

Pink Juicy Couture tracksuit collage Mean Girls
By Meg O’Donnell via Refinery29.
Once upon a time, in a far-away land called Los Angeles, there were two girls that dreamed of fashion in the sweetest of colors. It was fashion that felt luxurious, fit like a dream and delightfully came in every color of the rainbow. 

It was Juicy Couture. 
Marie Antoinette pink hair rococo style ad by Tim Walker

Juicy Couture as by Tim Walker with vintage car and surfboard
2007 ad campaign photographed by Tim Walker. Image via Dallo Spazio.
For designers Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor, they didn’t need a business plan. They needed a glitter plan. As they created a world full of terry cloth tracksuits, California style and casual luxury, they didn’t follow the rules. Instead, they embraced a “specifically female, punk-rock style of entrepreneurship.” And in the process, they reshaped the fashion landscape and created a global brand.