An inspiring woman,
The Incredible Women Podcast by NET-A-PORTER: In conversation with Content Director Alice Casely-Hayford
Together with the Fashion Director, Kay Barron, she hosts conversations with guests like actress and producer, Laverne Cox; British Indian designer and LVMH prize winner, Supriya Lele; and award-winning singer-songwriter, Arlo Parks, exploring their success stories and sources of creativity, goals, and life lessons. Fräulein had the honor to chat with Alice about the background of her admirable work.
Dying to know, to whom did you look up to in your teenage years?
My parents have always been my biggest role models. From a young age I was surrounded by creatives because they owned a fashion brand, and more often than not we would have photographers, models, and stylists streaming into their studio where my brother and I spent a lot of time. There was a constant buzz which always felt so exciting. Witnessing their success firsthand was incredibly inspiring and how they worked hard to balance building a brand together whilst making time for family life.
What about women fascinates you?
The fortitude, compassion, and ability to multitask in women is endlessly inspiring to me. I’m lucky enough to speak to a whole host of incredible women every day, from colleagues and friends to the amazing females who feature on our ‘Incredible Women’ podcast and PORTER cover stories. We recently interviewed Laverne Cox, Arlo Parks, and Yalda Hakim for our latest podcast series, ‘The Disruptors’, all who are shaking up their industries and challenging the status quo.
In your opinion, where are the fundamental differences between female and male role models? What functions do women have to additionally fulfill once they reached a certain level of success?
Although I try to avoid making generalisations, women can be more empathetic and that is invaluable in terms of being a good listener and leader. To make good work, collaboration is key and the vast majority of women I’ve had the pleasure of working with are all about celebrating each other’s successes and working together for the greater good.
I admire your choice of guests, whom would you personally love to invite next?
I’ve interviewed Zadie Smith once before but I would love to have a more intimate chat with her on a podcast. I’d also love to sit down with Hanya Yanagihara.
How are male and female concepts of success different?
I think males often measure success against earning a high income and how quickly it takes them to get to where they want to be. Whereas women will consider their entire career journey, analyse the obstacles they have overcome, whilst considering their influence and even their work relationships and work-life balance.
Whom do you intend to inspire in life?
I’ve never really thought about who I might inspire but I’ve put more focus on how I can use my career and life to raise the voices of those who should be heard, tell the stories that more of us need to see, and work committedly to diversify the fashion industry.
What do you want the listener to do right after listening to an episode of “The Incredible Women Podcast”?
I like to think our listeners leave each episode feeling inspired and that they have learnt something new. It’s an amazing storytelling platform that raises awareness and gives exclusive insight into some of the most culturally relevant women in our industry today.
Speaking of the social availability of success and self-fulfillment, what do you think, we can do as creatives to make it easier for women to succeed?
We should use our unique positions and voices to champion women by sharing positive stories, offering practical support through mentorships, celebrating their achievements, providing advice, or simply listening, as well as investing in female-owned businesses and amplifying their voices.
What character traits are vital to develop in order to be a fair and authentic leader or role model?
It goes without saying that integrity and dedication are vital, but I think the ability to listen, be patient, and empathise are equally as important. Women are typically more nurturing and emotional by nature, and I think these traits are highly valued and can go a long way.
Who do you see the young generations admire in the future? How is she?
It’s incredibly inspiring and buoying to see the younger generations fight for equality, sustainability, and diversity with such vigour and authenticity. I always say, be the change you want to see, and so many young people live by that motto.