Hot on the heels of International Women’s Day comes another reason to celebrate women (as if we needed help coming up with another one!). E-commerce website and app SPRING has launched #SpringStories, a campaign that honors 33 female founders of fashion and accessory brands through an intimate portrait series by Diego Uchitel to support the #PledgeForParity.
The portraits, featuring designers like Rebecca Minkoff, Eileen Fisher (above), and Suno’s Erin Beatty, will be paired with personal stories about the inspiring and hard work these women put into building their brands, what they learned along the way, and what keeps them feeling empowered. "I am honored to take part in a project where women are sharing their authentic stories," says Fisher of the campaign. "When we learn about the challenges other women have faced and overcome we feel connected, understood, and encouraged."
And, while the campaign pays homage to the vision and persistence of these established #girlbosses, it also looks to honor the next generation of young women with an in-app experience that will allow consumers the opportunity to swipe and donate to charity partner I Am That Girl (each donation will be fully matched by SPRING). The charity, founded by Alexis Jones and Emily Greener, works with young girls to transform self-doubt into self-love through open and honest dialogues.
“If we are going to succeed in shifting girl culture, we have to weave our message through mainstream pop culture and what better way to do that than by celebrating these powerhouse women who set the trends,” says Greener, adding that campaigns like this one make uplifting women and admiring positive female role models the latest trend.
Scroll down to see more exclusive portraits from the campaign and read what these designers have to say about the significance of empowering women and making the #PledgeForParity. Then head over to the SPRING app to check out all of the women's portraits and stories and learn more about the inspiring impact IATG is making in the lives of young girls.
1. Colette Malouf
"I want to help young girls build strength and gain opportunities through their challenges," says Malouf, who is on the board of Studio Samuel, which trains adolescent girls below the poverty line with critical life skills, guiding them to get an education and become self-reliant. "It is a fact that women are change-makers in their communities and have a rippling effect for all future generations. A world with strong women is more balanced."
2. Erin Beatty, Co-Founder of Suno
"I try to only participate in campaigns that feel authentic and true to me and that's what appealed to me about this campaign: sharing a story that is true and letting others know what has held you back and pushed you forward," says Beatty. "I was honored to be included in such an incredible group of women."
3. Anna Sheffield, founder of Anna Sheffield and Bing Bang
"This initiative is an opportunity to not only promote these successful women, but also to bring us together and show our uniqueness, and share a glimpse into our process, as well as our struggles," says Sheffield. "I believe this will create a solidarity among us that is impactful and this is an incredible opportunity to link our efforts to the pledge for parity."
4. Aubrie Pagano, Founder of Bow & Drape
"As a young girl I always thought successful women made it look so easy and the reality is... it's not," say Pagano. "This campaign is special because it acknowledges challenges and celebrates overcoming them. Having our role models speak openly about their experiences helps us model our behavior and say 'I can do this and I'm not alone!'"
5. Lauren Schwab and Marissa Vosper, founders of Negative Underwear
"When you start a business with the goal of disruption, it often seems like everything you do is from scratch," says Vosper. "It's always a good exercise to remind yourself of all the trailblazers who have paved the path before you—especially other women. "Being an entrepreneur of any kind can feel lonely and scary," echoes Schwab. "It's inspiration to hear from amazing women who are also trying to build their own empire.