Jordana Guimaraes is a co-founder of Fashinnovation. She has been in the fashion industry, in the marketing and public relations department for years when her husband Marcelo, presented a thought to Jordana. He wanted to assemble a group of diverse entrepreneurs to inspire via panel talks, and followed it up with one simple question: “Would it make sense to mix enterprises and technology with the world of fashion?”. Jordana jumped at the opportunity and Fashinnovation was born.
Since, they have hosted over 500 of fashion’s leading innovators to audiences representing 120 countries. Respected voices like Diane Von Furstenberg, Susan Rockefeller, Kenneth Cole, Julie Gilhart, Fern Mallis, Steve Aoki, Steve Madden, Rachel Zoe, Donna Karan, Tonne Goodman, Coco Rocha, Oskar Metsavaht, Mara Hoffman, Miroslava Duma, and many more have shared knowledge through their platform. Jordana Guimaraes has also published a book “It Can be You” and she hosts a bi-weekly series “Fashion & Wine Talks With Jordana”.
Interview by: Tijana Ibrahimovic
Edited by: Lidia Goldberg
Tijana : Hi guys. I’m here with Jordana Guimaraes and she is the co-founder of Fashinnovation. We are very pleased to have you here at POP Style TV and I’d love to hear uh, about your beginnings, about how did you end up in fashion the industry?
Jordana Guimaraes: I was always a people person, so I love people. I’ve always loved communicating with people. I love meeting people. It’s just like really what drives me. And I went on Craigslist, which at the time was like really great. And I started looking at jobs and I found a PR director position for Nina Ricci, Lanvin like all these huge brands, no experience, no college degree reading PR for dummies. Cause I was like, this is the job I’m going to apply for. So I found a president of the company, I emailed him, I found his email and I said, hi, my name is Jordana. I don’t have any experience. I don’t know anything about PR but give me the chance because I’m very passionate and I know that I could do it. So literally, yeah, it was very ballsy and that’s exactly he replied, which I was shocked. Then he said I had a lot of balls to apply for positions on from saying, he said, but I want to meet you because I never got an email like this before. I’m curious.
Tijana: I mean, it probably just showed what you’re passionate about and what you’re capable of doing so it’s impressive.
Jordana Guimaraes: Two things, it’s fashion and it’s going after it and not being afraid because if you’re not, and you shouldn’t be afraid because really the worst that can happen is if someone doesn’t reply.
Tijana: What is fashion innovation?
Jordana Guimaraes: I always wanted to focus on three key pillars, which were technology /innovation, sustainability, and entrepreneurship. So we would do these physical events during New York Fashion Week and as it evolved, we found that a lot of the partners that were coming on, like we worked with, you know, UPS and Blue Sign and brands from like Mara Hoffman to DVF. They all wanted to.innovate, they didn’t know where to find these technologies so we started becoming like that middleman, almost that matchmaker, we just pivoted to online and that’s when magic happened now we see, because we went from a thousand physical attendees to over a 100, 120,000 at our first digital summit and 129 countries and we realized the power of online, but also how big the community that is interested in sustainability and technology. And they don’t really have, I mean, you have BOF they do an amazing job of what they do, WWD and all those publications, but they, it’s not easy to go in there and find innovation and technology for a pain point that you’re having as a brand.
Tijana: What do you think is the future for Fashinnovation and for fashion in general?
Jordana Guimaraes: I can tell you that there’s going to be video talks and content engaging the audience all year round. It’s something we’re working on right now. I. I do see the industry, finally, not being this exclusive bubble that everyone’s like, Ooh, fashion. What is it like? But rather like the doors opening up for other industries to come in and give ideas and implement things that they’re doing, that’s working for the fashion industry to start working in the way that it should with sustainability, with inclusivity, with innovation. Um, so then not only the industry becomes better, but the world becomes a better place as well.
Tijana: I know you’re very active related to sustainability. Uh, where do you think the world currency is and how can we make it faster in improvement when it comes to it?
Jordana Guimaraes: The thing is like, how do we, you know, really make change so that there is no landfills. we don’t have all this ways. And it was brought to my attention, which is super scary that we have exactly nine years to lessen the carbon footprint in the industry by at least 80% before like immeasurable damage was made to the environment. It’s a big conversation. Um, I think a lot more needs to happen than it’s happening already. I think a lot less talking a lot more action needs to be taking place.
Tijana:Congratulations on your new book. “It Can Be You: tell me about “It Can Be You”
Jordana Guimaraes: Its to humanize homelessness using the voices of the fashion industry. So in the book, “It Can Be You”, you have the story of the influencer with a picture of them, something that’s going to call attention to the reader, to the people.And when they read the struggle right underneath the struggle of their favorite influencer will be this very similar struggle of a homeless individual today. It will show you the circumstances that separate the two people.
Tijana: Thank you so much Jordana for sharing your story with us and we look forward to seeing you at your next event.
cover photo from Welum