Garance routinely speaks about simply being a feminist through actions, as opposed to relying on words and shouting about it from the rooftops. Of our 15 staff members, 14 are women, and the large majority of our freelancers are also women, not to mention the hundreds of phenomenal women we profile on the site. Needless to say, the estrogen in this office runs deep.
So while we still think actions speak louder than words, in honor of Women’s Month we wanted to take a moment to highlight the beauty in being a woman. We partnered with one of our favorite brands right now, GANNI, to help introduce you to three extraordinary women: Arpana Rayamajhi, Marjon Carlos, and Pam Nasr (the latter two also happen to be friends IRL!).
If you don’t already know about the Copenhagen based brand, GANNI, we’re thrilled to introduce you to them. GANNI was birthed in 2000 and originally started out with a dream to create the perfect cashmere knit. In 2009, husband and wife team, Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup joined the company. They felt that Scandinavian fashion was missing a particular aesthetic, and they were going to be the ones to fill it. What they created is a brand based on personality, experimentation and playfulness, while still adhering to a look that women can easily reach for and wear everyday.
Marjon Carlos | Journalist, Editor, Public Speaker, Creative Consultant
How did you and Pam Nasr meet? Can you describe your relationship / friendship?
I actually met Pammy on the internet through Instagram! Our mutual friend, Carmen, told me I would love this girl, and so we started following each other. Carmen was so right: we found ourselves DMing one another every day before we had even met, and then she finally through to one of my house parties with her boyfriend, Gogy, who I also adore. We hit it off immediately. I admired her passion for her craft and talent–she was super ambitious, but very loving and warm. She literally lights up a room with her obvious style and swag. She reminds me to be fearless in my creative endeavors and not to be so hard on myself. Our friendship is also cross-cultural and we learn so much from one another. We always wind up talking about the international experience of being a WOC. Like after our shoot, we had dinner and started talking about how black and brown moms lovingly nag on us in the same ways. It was hilarious!
What do female friendships mean to you? Do you find yourself prioritizing them, relying on them to help navigate the world as a woman?
Female friendships have become so important to me as I grow older and I really work to nurture them. I continually meet incredible and inspiring women in this city (and on the gram!), but I also make time to check in with my bffs who live across the country with really long, therapeutic phone calls (shout out to Dionica and Mia!). I went to an all-girls school growing up and that atmosphere creates an environment of competition and resentment, and I hated that shit. I feel like my friendships with women now are restorative and about correcting that ugly pattern that pits women against women.
What’s your favorite thing about being a woman?
I’m not sure if this can be attributed to being a woman, but I definitely feel an innate sense to protect the people that I care about, and to stand up for what’s right. I love those qualities about myself and I lean into them more and more.
Arpana Rayamajhi | Jeweler and Actress, studying Meisner Technique
What do you love most about designing for women?
In jewelry, my main inspirations are jewels that seem and feel like they have lived for years, if not decades and centuries. I love historical antique jewelry because, for the most part, they aren’t as minimal and don’t mimic minimalism. The jewels are bolder and it makes me think of a certain type of woman, one who is not afraid to push her own boundaries. She is comfortable being autonomous, rather than always catering to trends, or peers, or a larger group identity. The one thing I can say is that numbers and popularity do not dictate my work. And that is crucial.
How have fellow women helped you most over the course of your career?
My mom will always be number one and my sister will always be number two. I have to say that I have been very fortunate to work mostly with women. Most of my clients are women and the shoots I do are mainly with women. And a few select women in New York have been the reason why I do what I do. I have rarely worked with men, be it photographers, or videographers, or creative directors, etc., but I feel like women have shown a lot of interest in my work, my style, and just a general curiosity about who I am and where I am from. I’m very fortunate.
What are you most proud of about being a woman?
My answer to this has changed so much in the last 10 years. As an adult (or rather an adult in the making, because what is growing up anyway?), what makes me most proud is that despite being of the largest (human) oppressed demographic, I am now able to say that women and men are being recognized as equal. The only thing that separates us is our bodies. I am proud to say that I am now more open to all of humanity, irrespective of gender, race, class, whatever it might be. And most importantly, I care less about how people think about where I stand ideologically whether it is popular or not so popular. I do not think women are better than men and I do not think men are better than women. I believe in being a good person who can care for animals and the environment, not just humanity.
Pam Nasr | Lebanese Film Director
How did you and Marjon meet? Can you describe your friendship?
Marjon and I met on instagram – my first internet friend! At the time, I didn’t interact much via DM, but Marjon was so warm and personable, we just couldn’t stop talking – about everything! She then invited me over to her place for a fish taco night, and it was as if I had known her for a long time. Marjon has been super open with me, super inspiring, and allows for great conversation with no judgement – I love that about her. We constantly inform one another about our cultures and talk about how we can inspire others and do well in this world.
I overheard you saying that you dislike that women are always asked, “what’s it like being a woman in the modern world.” Can you speak a bit on why it might not be necessary (and may even be potentially harmful) to continue to ask women these questions that are not asked of men?
I really wouldn’t know how else to answer that question because I simply am a woman in the modern world. I was also asked what makes me feel powerful as a woman. We never ask men how they feel to be a man or what makes them feel powerful about being a man. I do understand the importance of these questions given the climate, but by normalizing these questions as a form of empowerment, we are perpetuating the same stereotypes that we often stand against. I see us just as powerful, if not more.