The Women that Inspired our First Necktie Collection We have been loving doing events and talking with people about our women inspired neckties! With each event or conversation, we always get the question of "how did you decide on the first set of women to design for?" It is a perfectly valid question as selecting the first seven was the most difficult part of the design process, but arguably the most fun. It forced us to research a large, diverse group of women, which was more play than work. This process gave us even more motivation to make andieanderin come to life and it also helped us signify the premise of the core of andieanderin; celebrating women! While we were doing our homework, we were also surveying women and men on which women inspired them most - in sports, education, politics, entertainment, philanthropy, business and more. It was these two exercises together that led us to selecting our first seven. There are still a laundry list of women we want to use as muses for upcoming necktie designs - and we will! We are working on our second collection now and are so anxious to unveil the designs and share the names of the women that inspired them. In the meantime, we want to share some fun tidbits on the women that inspired our first seven neckties. As you are probably aware already, each of our neckties come with a storyboard that includes a unique illustration of the women and a write up on what makes her such a badass. You are now also able to purchase these limited edition prints separate from the neckties. Below is the copy that you can find on each of the storyboards.* Beyoncé Knowles Carter “It is so liberating to really know what I want, what truly makes me happy, what I will not tolerate. I have learned that it is no one else’s job to take care of me but me.” Beyoncé aka ‘Sasha Fierce’ aka ‘Queen’ is a pop culture force that will likely create 100 more internet-breaking headlines before we can even go to print, simply by getting dressed in the morning. But here are some of her slay-worthy moments from her first 35 years of life. In short, Beyoncé went from singing “No, no, no, no, no” alongside her childhood besties to being named the top woman entertainer in 2015 by Forbes...as well as by anyone who’ve seen her perform live. She hasn’t been dubbed “Queen Bey” for nothing. Beyoncé has 20 Grammys to her name for her solo career alone and her Lemonade album from 2016 is one for the history books. The album, which was also an Emmy nominated film, took her fans on an emotional and political roller coaster, dominating the music scene for the year and was tagged “her most powerful, ambitious statement yet” as well as “Album of the Year” by Rolling Stones. And by way of this album, she single-handedly made the lemon the most used emoticon and the name “Becky” the least likely child name of 2016. Ok, these last two statements are wild assumptions and unproven, but listen to her track “Sorry” and you will understand. She really does have Superpower (see 2013 self-titled album). Not since M.I.A.performed nine months pregnant alongside Mrs. Carter’s husband, have we seen a pregnant singer dare to take the stage. That is until Beyoncé rocked the 2017 Grammys with two little humans in her belly. Both ladies proved that not many people have “Swagga Like Us.” Oh yeah, and Beyoncé has acting chops as well, as demonstrated by an Oscar nomination for Dreamgirls. (nbd) Bey is an unequivocally fierce entertainer, but her philanthropy work off stage is just as impressive. She has teamed with her husband Jay-Z, fellow musical mate Kelly Rowland and her mother Tina Knowles to create foundations for women, children and the underprivileged. Her BeyGOOD efforts have her leading the charts as one of the most charitable entertainers. But what we love most about Beyoncé is that she is in control. She expresses messages through her art and responds to critics with silence. And in 2016, she did just that, mixing art and message to tackle the controversial killings of black males by predominantly white police officers. Some of the symbolism she chose to incorporate in her performances received backlash, but then again, can anyone make a strong statement without someone not liking it? Her response? Selling BOYCOTT BEYONCÉ shirts at her concerts - “best revenge is your paper.” :) Frida Kahlo “Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.” Talk about R-E-S-I-L-I-E-N-C-Y. (slam that period) Frida Kahlo endured polio, a life-threatening bus accident, amputation of a leg, bedridden for months on end, marriage infidelity - and that is only part of it. She is a woman who endured more than your fair share of tragedies. And she took those tragedies and made them into some of the most provocative paintings the world has seen - showing her brutally-honest attitude towards pain and her right to confront and glorify it. Some people become artists for pleasure, while others have the ability to perceive art in a deeper sense than what is being presented…Frida Kahlo emerged as one such artist. She used her life as her canvas and we are so thankful that she did. Through her unique blend of bawdiness and profound emotion, she put brush to canvas for 143 paintings, with 55 of them as self-portraits. For a person who had to experience a staggering 30+ surgeries in her lifetime, it is no shock that she was able to paint herself as if her body was something separate altogether. She stated herself that, “they thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my reality.” Pushing boundaries in all aspects of life, Frida was a feminist who today, happens to also be infamous for her unibrow and unkempt natural body hair. Pushing past traditional labels, she struggled with the cultural demands on her gender, at a time when women were demanding change from the antiquated roles of pretty and submissive wives and mothers. She would not be the docile woman expected of her and instead was often crude, drinking, smoking and cursing like the men. Her no-BS attitude was perfectly on display when she stated, “I drank to drown my sorrows, but the damned things learned how to swim.” Frida was a natural rule-breaker and that is what makes her so darn compelling (and of course there is her artistic talent too). Her lack of filter on her art and her presence is awe-inspiring. And the fact that you know she loved as hard as the rest of us made her seem so pure. Curators and art historians will continue to have a hayday with Frida’s limited paintings and diary, while the rest of us will be drawing in our unibrow and affixing flowers in our hair to pay respect and channel our inner badass on Halloween. Hillary Clinton "Despite all the challenges we face, I remain convinced that yes, the future is female." Hillary...oh Hillary...in short, she started a movement and not just for pantsuits (which look great with a necktie, ‘wink’). This woman started a movement that will allow the next generation of women candidates to have a real chance of winning a debate, state primary, major party nomination, or even the popular vote. Not only is Hillary America’s original “nasty woman,” she is also America’s first woman in history to top a majority party presidential ticket. And this is after she already mastered the role of FLOTUS, US Secretary of State and New York State Senator AS WELL AS her global philanthropy work with the Clinton Foundation. Say what? That’s a pretty frickin big deal! She may have lost the 2016 presidential election, which we will have to relive in whatever Hollywood remake comes of it, but she won the popular vote by almost 2.9 million. More Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than any other losing presidential candidate in US history (something's not right here). And to think, the Marines rejected her on the basis of her gender...tisk tisk tisk. It’s not every day that a person like Hillary Clinton comes along. She is a proven change-maker. Her lifelong dedication to shaping the world we live in is truly inspiring and her reach is boundless, admired by leaders worldwide and often recognized by women internationally as a globetrotting champion for women’s and children’s rights. Behold the greatness of this woman. With a very long list of achievements in activism, and public service, oh and we should mention Hillary even has a Grammy under her belt for her 1997 audiobook titled “It Takes a Village” - simply, Hilz is a fierce female. “Women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely - and the right to be heard.” (‘nuff said) Ladies and Gentlemen, Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton. We now eagerly look to 2020 to see how the Hillary-effect shapes the next election, while Hillary is hopefully hangin’ and relaxin’ with her grandchildren. Malala Yousafzai “I believe it’s a woman’s right to decide what she wants to wear and if a woman can go to the beach and wear nothing, then why can’t she also wear everything?” If Superwoman had a mission to bring education to all the children of the world, that would be Malala Yousafzai. She is an astoundingly strong and passionate young woman who started this fight at an age when most kids are celebrating their elementary school graduation. At the age of 11, Malala anonymously wrote for BBC about the Taliban taking rule of her hometown and denying young girls access to education. However, once her identity was revealed and she began speaking publicly, her safety was in jeopardy. At a mere 15 years young, Malala was tragically shot by the Taliban as she rode the school bus. Let me say it again, Malala was specifically targeted and shot in the head by the Taliban simply because she believed in her right and the right of all children to have an education. (shaking head in disbelief) It’s hard to even fathom. Thankfully, with quick action and continued support, she survived and is STILL fighting for that right today. Check out the Malala Fund, it’s the real-real deal. Just one year later, Malala’s chart-topping autobiography, I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, was published. It’s a really GREAT read, but don’t take our word for it - check out the rave reviews by the millions of people that have purchased a copy. Malala’s altruistic efforts didn’t go unnoticed and at the ripe age of 17, she became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for “the struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.” As a tween, while Malala was already a strong voice for education, she enjoyed ‘the normal’ activities of any teenage girl. She loved the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, was focused on her studies and enjoyed playing with her friends. She even bashfully admitted to admiring Roger Federer in her documentary, He Named Me Malala. We are thankful she has a Superman of a father that was able to foster her strong voice. Malala is a natural activist of our time and we cannot wait to see what awaits her after school - hopefully she is able to keep her fearless spirit and peacefully visit her hometown in Swat Valley again. Michelle Obama “...when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don't stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.” What is there not to love about Mrs. Michelle Obama? A gutsy, smart, bold and determined woman equal to her husband (ahem, the former president), she is a true symbol of femininity and strength. She has shown girls that they can be equals if they first see themselves as equals. Michelle has undoubtedly become an idol to so many girls and women by instilling hope and the idea that self-determination enables you to rise above obstacles to achieve your dreams. A quote from her final speech as first lady states, “Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourselves with a good education. Then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example and never fear.” Already an accomplished lawyer, loving mother and public service advocate before her husband was elected the 44th POTUS, it is no surprise she was able to master the FLOTUS position, lead multiple initiatives and make us all shake our heads in admiration with her rousing speeches. I mean, she first met Barack when she was assigned as his mentor at a law firm - ‘nuff said. (drop the mic) But even with all her fame and success, Michelle is a woman that people feel they can relate to. She can deliver a speech with fierce conviction, and then sing carpool karaoke with James Corden, hang in a blanket fort with Stephen Colbert, dance onstage with Ellen DeGeneres and publically tease her husband about the size of his ears - all while filling our hearts with warm fuzzies. And, she loves fashion. Even better, we could wear some of the ensembles she is rockin’. But the best-est of all is that she knows with her position of power, she can make a person’s career just by wearing their designs - and she does! Tracy Reese and Jason Wu are just a couple of the up-and-coming designers thankful that the first lady zipped into their clothes. When the Obamas second term came to a close and they exited the White House, there was probably enough tears shed to water her organic south lawn garden for a year. I think we would all love to be enveloped in Michelle’s amazing toned arms, in what we can only imagine is a super warm and comforting embrace. Oprah Winfrey “It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” All it takes is Oprah to questioningly say “Oh?” when asked whether she would run for president and we all jump from our couches to start campaigning for 2020. She quickly followed with “it is never going to happen” but we all chose to dismiss that part and instead got out our button makers. And the reason: we respect Oprah and think she very-well-could-be the first woman to be president of the United States. Oprah, a woman that needs no last name AND can grace the cover of her own magazine every month and still sell oodles of copies, is a mega media giant. Reaching billionaire status and topping the charts everywhere, she is an Emmy-awarded journalist, Oscar-nominated actress, philanthropist, publisher, writer, producer and so powerful she makes anyone she endorses instantly rise to superstardom. Her accomplishments and philanthropic work are so abundant, we could fill books just listing them out. Ms. O first made her mark with The Oprah Winfrey Show, which ran for 25 years, reached 44 million US viewers a week and was broadcast in 140 countries - (nbd) - but since stepping away, her popularity hasn’t wavered. She has continued to tell stories through her various magazines, philanthropy work and production company - not to mention the Leadership Academy for Girls that she opened and continues to support in South Africa. Additionally, in the early 90’s, Oprah made her way to DC to testify for the Oprah Bill. Signed in by then president Bill Clinton, the bill became the National Child Protection Act of 1993 and established a national database of convicted child abusers. And again in 2008, she urged her TV viewers to contact their senators to pass the PROTECT Our Children Act, a bill to increase resources, investigate and prosecute child predators and make improvements on internet crimes against children. No doubt, there are few people that can accomplish what Oprah has been able to do. She is and will remain a woman to admire. And let’s not forget the ever-so-famous 2004 episode when Oprah cheered “You get a car, you get a car, everybody gets a car!” Its that time when she literally awarded all 276 of her audience members with a Pontiac G6. The giveaway totalled $7 million and each of those audience members were hand-selected from letters that were written into the show. (insert heart emoji and a 2020 campaign badge) Mother Teresa “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love” Mother Teresa is a saint amongst the saints (if you catch my drift). She is a woman admired and respected as one of the greatest humanitarians of the 20th-century. She was a person that made a profound impact on human life and forced people to look at the world with a different eye. The world is full of good people, great humanitarians, people who donate oodles of money, who raise their voices to make a difference, but Mother Teresa stands out in the crowd for her complete selflessness and dedication to her cause with little or no resources. She was a person who lived a life that was identical to the image the world had of her. Mother Teresa’s primary objective was compassionate care of all people - the people nobody else wanted to look after and to love those most vulnerable in society. A passionate person, Mother Teresa, devoted her life’s work to serving the poor and impoverished around the world. In 1948, after nearly two decades of teaching, Mother Teresa says she “received her call” and left the convent to live full-time amongst the poor and destitute. And it was at this time when she chose to dress in the white Indian sari with blue border that we are accustomed to seeing her in, out of respect for the traditional Indian dress. Mother Teresa’s humanitarian efforts led to her being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She was not only passionate about helping the poorest of the poor and tending to the needs of her sisters, but she was also willing to befriend anyone that God placed on her path. One such relationship was her friendship with Princess Diana. The two met on occasion and it is believed that Princess Diana had a collective hand in founding a shelter for unmarried, pregnant women. Eerily, the two passed away just days apart of each other in 1997 and Princess Diana was even buried with a rosary that Mother Teresa had gifted her. Devoting your life to a higher power may not be the calling for everyone, but the loving spirit and compassion that Mother Teresa embodied is awe-inspiring. (enter heart emoji) *The storyboards were written in 2017.