Photos by Zeno Gill
Occupation: Fashion Market Director at Style.com
Tell us about yourself in under 100 words:
I’ve lived in Brooklyn for almost ten years now so I can almost call myself a New Yorker, though I associate myself more with being from the beach in Southern California. My ethnic background is Chinese, Scottish, and Irish. I love anything old and with a story. My favorite food is avocado. I love riding bikes and swimming in any natural body of water. I was raised by a single mom who is my biggest inspiration. I am a feminist.
What is something about you that most people don’t know?
I backpacked through Europe alone when I was 20.
Why did you take time out of your busy day to get RAW?
I think it’s incredibly important for women to have a safe space to be completely themselves, without the armor of fancy clothes, makeup and hair.
Close your eyes and picture “beautiful”. What comes to mind?
Any pristine natural landscape.
What is the most amazing thing your body has done for you?
Honestly, I feel like every day that my body gets me through is a tremendous feat. Running the NYC Marathon was pretty amazing. Hiking the Himalayas, Machu Picchu and Mt. Olympus were also amazing!
We are currently running a campaign asking women’s magazines to reduce the amount of photo retouching they use on the women that they feature. As the Fashion Market Director of Style.com and someone who works intimately within the industry do you think this is something we’ll ever see happen?
I do. I think that there is already a change in climate when it comes to appreciation for a more natural look. The aesthetic Phoebe Philo’s has brought to Celine, with minimal makeup and retouching in the advertising campaigns shot by Juergen Teller has set the precedent. It will no doubt take time, but the industry will catch on.
Do you think magazines (online and in print), actresses, bloggers and other influencers have a responsibility to the younger women who look up to them to be somewhat transparent about how the images they release were altered or produced?
Absolutely. Though how seriously each brand and individual takes their influence is up to them. Disclaimers, however, aren’t sexy. I think the solution is to just be transparent with the images. In a way Snapchat is a great platform for this conversation. There is no retouching. People are completely as they are.
If you could give one message to women of the world what would it be?
I’m not sure there is any one message I’m qualified to give, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about women who choose to age naturally. It’s strange that this is even worth mentioning but, I find this to be the most beautiful and inspiring statement a woman can make. It speaks volumes of her character and confidence and sets an amazing, if subconscious, example for the women around her.