The new feminists

At a time of controversy over the pay gap between men and women and the new gender codes, a new generation of feminists is coming to the fore.

Morgane Sézalory, founder of Sézane, from The Socialite Family
Morgane Sézalory, founder of Sézane, from The Socialite Family

Spearheaded by the post-Millennials (i.e. the members of Generation Z, between the ages of 10 and 20), the “girl power” movement is embodied by new figureheads, some highly educated and others self-taught. Its modern ideology relies heavily on the social media, which relay influential opinions and enable personal branding. These superwomen – many still in their teens – go straight to the head of the class! Hyperconnected, enterprising, uninhibited and inventive, they are redefining social conventions and status. Over and above success, the women in this new generation are seeking personal and professional satisfaction. Sometimes – in fact, often – they combine the two, forgoing a filter. They do their own thing. Their objectives are not exclusively material: making a ton of money is no longer a valid goal in and of itself.

Inspiring role models

Emily Weiss, founder of Glossier
Emily Weiss, founder of Glossier
#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, designed by Leslie David
#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, designed by Leslie David

Many young women are showing audacity, doing well and rejuvenating the business world. No longer confined to particular sectors (e.g. communication and image management), they are landing key jobs in fields that used to be male territory. Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook), the self-taught feminist Sophia Amuroso (Nastygal) and Emily Weiss (Glossier) come to mind, not to mention Morgane Sezalory, founder of the online fashion brand Sezane, and Alice Zagury, co-founder of The Family, an investment fund that encourages entrepreneurial activism. Ready to rock the boat, they are reinventing the ecosystem of labor and the work-life balance. They show a collective spirit, provide mutual assistance and engage in community/social dynamics. The result is a fresh sense of energy and a new definition of power, unencumbered by the conventions and customs of past generations. Audacious and successful, these #squads are inspiring their community in a big way.

Time's cover, Sheryl Sandberg by Belinda Luscombe
Time’s cover, Sheryl Sandberg by Belinda Luscombe

A new take on #empowering women

Channel Trailer by Karlie Kloss on YouTube

Today’s young women are advocating social and political engagement, blurring boundaries and speaking up on the issues in all sectors (e.g. IT, science, the media and politics). Initiatives are being sponsored by experienced businesswomen, such as Karlie Kloss with her “Kode with Klossy” summer camps for girls (http://kodewithklossy.com/); Nadège Winter and Delphine de Candecaude and their community magazine Twenty; as well as Hélène Supau-Boulet, CEO of the online retail platform Sarenza, who wants to help grow the ranks of women engineers and boost relevant indicators, such as the proportion of women students at top engineering schools (e.g. 15% at France’s Ecole Polytechnique) or the percentage of patent applications submitted by women (in France, 4% in 1980 and 15.5% in 2013). The prominent actress/activist Emma Watson, a Women Goodwill Ambassador for the U.N., is militating for gender equality via the HeForShe campaign. In France, the weekly feminist newsletter Les Glorieuses advocates an uninhibited #empowerment of women that is accessible to all.

Brands sit up and take notice

This trend has not gone unnoticed by the fashion world, now adopting these values. The Spring-Summer 2017 runway by Dior’s first women creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, claimed that #weshouldallbefeminists, supplying a hot trending topic during Paris Fashion Week.

We should all be feminist by Dior (SS17)
We should all be feminist by Dior (SS17)

“I try to be attentive to the world and to create fashion that resembles the women of today. Fashion that corresponds to their changing needs, freed from the stereotypical categories of ‘masculine/feminine,’ ‘young/not so young,’ ‘reason/emotion.'”

Not a bad way to create a social buzz …

Featured Image: Morgane Sézalory, founder of Sézane, from The Socialite Family

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