Astro recently had the pleasure of hosting 40 women for Ladies, Wine, Design: The New Feminine. Originally a concept started by Jessica Walsh in New York City, LWD aims to bring women in design together for salon evenings to discuss “creativity, business, and life.” A few of us ladies at Astro wanted to bring the female centric conversation to Astro, and teamed up with LWD to make it happen.
We were graciously joined by three panelists to lead our discussion; Audrey Liu of Thumbtack, Shu Bertrand of Aplat, and Ali Maiorano of Big Tomorrow.
Our leading question for the evening was, “how do we as designers empower ‘the new feminine’ for the next generation?” To frame up “the new feminine,” Melody Yung and Dennice Quijano of Astro shared insights on current trends in brands in culture. We looked at how brands today are giving women more room for expression through individual choice. Current brands are also leaning more gender-neutral, for women as well as children. Some brands, like lingerie brand Third Love, subvert the traditional male gaze and ask women to dress in what feels good for her own benefit, not anyone else’s. We also saw how insights into women’s desires and needs are more impactful for brands, as opposed to stereotype-based assumptions.
As we got into discussion, it became clear that the topic of femininity is vast and varied according to whomever experiences it. As consumers, we shape brands with our needs and wants, and our panelists encouraged us to use that power for good. Femininity is a strength that is not confined to biology, and we hope to see the definition of it expanded and more encompassing in the future. As designers, our challenge is to create products and brands that allow for expression; that allow for the empowerment of traditionally feminine attributes.
Thank you to all who joined us! The conversation could have gone on for much longer, and we’re hoping to host more of these in the future.