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Happy International Women's Day!

Although this event is almost 100 years old it’s only as recently as 1975 that the United Nations adopted it as a day to be celebrated and on March 8th each year it is marked differently in different countries; for some it’s a public holiday, for some it’s ignored entirely, in some countries it’s a day of protest and for some countries it’s a day that celebrates womanhood.

The latter works for me and this year’s IWD is all about balance, in that a balanced world is a better world #BalanceforBetter which goes right to the heart of Hope.

When I was putting the Hope concept together 5 years ago, I knew I wanted to create something ‘for women by women’. I wanted to work with people who understood my target customer because they were my target customer. That could share my vision for creating a community of like-minded women who were looking for a brand to make them feel beautifully confident in a non-patronising way.

Today I am delighted that my small team is 90% female, we range in age from 20 to 63 and we chat about our kids, our parents, what we’re cooking for supper that evening, what box sets we’re watching and obviously fashion.

I wanted this brand to look like it was talking to an older woman and 3 years ago this was a complete faux pas, we were encouraged to work with young models because that’s what the industry expects. Today it warms my heart to see a number of older women albeit older ‘Super’s’ making a comeback on the catwalk, Christy Turlington, Patti Henson and my personal favourite the indomitable Grace Jones strutting her stuff for Tommy Hilfiger at the age of 70, must be the Jamaican blood!

Our shoot last week really brought these 2 values together, almost the entire crew were and I’m delighted to say all 4 of our gorgeous models were over 40, and looked beautiful together, I hope you like the behind the scene images.

I am often asked which female role models do I most admire and of course you’ve heard me talk about my absolute respect for women like Danna Karan and Oprah Winfrey, women who’ve carved out careers and lives for themselves through hard work, grit and determination. The reality is that my true icon is my amazing Mother who was the true inspiration for Hope and indeed its namesake.

Nayna and Mum

Whatever you’re doing today, please celebrate womenhood and the amazing things we make happen and don’t forget to take some time out for yourself,

 

nayna-signature-gold

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Coco Chanel