For 2023 International Women's Day, we spoke to a group of five women including Sophie Lorimer, a sustainable stylist who specialises in dressing corporate mums. Our very own Tash Walsh, E-commerce Business Manager for Beyond Retro and Diana D'Aloisio who is not only featured in an upcoming campaign of ours, but works full time as a lawyer whilst volunteering as a licensed councillor.  

Not to mention two incredible female founders - Francesca Gamble  who founded the podcast "Becoming More Human" and Alice Williams, founder of Luminary Bakery, a London based bakery who use baking as a tool to take women on a journey to employability and entrepreneurship, equipping them with transferable skills for the working world.

We ask these five amazing women about everything from their style icons over the years, to what this years theme, #EmbraceEquity means to them.



What Empowers You?


Francesca - 

“A great jacket and some great shoulder pads certainly goes a long way to feeling empowered but that's feeling empowered on the outside. For me, the inner feeling of being empowered is having a sense of community and understanding who your community is. For me I'm surrounded by like-minded people who are prepared to push me, to support me and they want to see me do well which makes me feel empowered.”

Tash -

“This is an interesting question because there are so many different answers and so many different things that can empower me dependant on the circumstance. Whether I'm looking for empowerment in my career or in my day-to-day life, the one thing that I always come back to is to have a positive mental attitude. I think it's something that you can apply to everything. I'm someone that in the past has suffered with severe depression and anxiety, and I think the one thing that helps me get through is always looking at the positives in any situation. It empowers me to get out of bed in the morning, to get through a challenging meeting at work and in many different other ways. It’s the one thing I always come back to, and I think it's important to always look at the positives in any situation.”


Who is your style icon? 

Francesca -

“Well, I can't talk about fashion and being a woman without talking about my Nana.  It's not anyone famous. She is mega. Since I was young, I always remember seeing her in the most fabulous clothes with the most fabulous jewelry, unapologetically just throwing it all on and being totally herself. My mum always says it skips a generation and she never felt that gene, but I certainly have. I love how clothes make you feel, and I always appreciate seeing a woman looking spectacular.”

Sophia - 

“An absolute style icon for me has to be Iris Apfel.  I'm just obsessed with that woman. I love the fact that she breaks down any kind of stereotype and she dresses for herself.”

Diana -

“For me it's Coco Chanel. I think she was a leader of her time. I love the way she was able to transform women's clothing into a more masculine feel and she was just beyond her years. I love her use of tweed and the suits she created.  She came from humble backgrounds and was successful, never giving up.” 

Tash - 

Someone thats inspired me for as long as I can remember is Siouxsie Sioux. I love her music, I love the way she dresses and the way she mixes androgyny into her style, as well as her punk and goth influences. Although I've definitely dialled the punk down as I've got older, she remains a key influence in how I dress today!


Which women inspire you the most? 

Tash - 

“I have been able to work with some amazing women. From my first manager when I started at Asos through to some amazing women when I worked at Farfetch, and all the way up to now working at Beyond Retro. I have always been inspired by the female leaders that have helped shape my career independently. I think probably the most notable at Beyond Retro is Kate Peters, who is our retail director. She's been part of Beyond Retro since the dawn of time, she is an integral part of what Beyond Retro stands for and what Beyond Retro as a business looks like today.” 

Alice - 

“Women that inspire me are definitely the women that I meet every day at Luminary who have overcome so much adversity and go on to achieve the most incredible things. They are a daily inspiration.”

Sophia - 

“Mine has to be my daughter, first and foremost, because it's her that inspired me to create my business and she inspires me every day to keep on going and to not give up on my absolute passion.”


This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #EmbraceEquity. What does this mean to you?


Diana - 

“I think it means equality for all sexes. I think there's still a lot to be done particularly in third world countries and there's still a lot to be done here also around equal pay and equal opportunities. Women are still leaving the workforce early for different reasons so getting more support is important. I think it's great that we're talking about it more and it's all very positive.”


Sophia - 

“It means unity for me and zero judgment. It also means all of us being a collective and being stronger together. I just feel like there can be a lot of divides today that divide us, but I feel like we are stronger together and we should unite and support and love one another in that way.”


Alice Williams - 

“Embracing equity to me means making the world fairer, creating opportunities for people that enable them to thrive and that's why I do the work that I do.”

Fran - 

“This is a theme that runs deep and something that we needed to have addressed years and years ago, so it's amazing that we're only really talking about it now. Equity is not necessarily about being fair, it's about spreading support equally to the people that need it and not necessarily just giving it to the people that don't need it. We need to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to support the next generation of women, so they come into a world that feels more equal and more obtainable. They need to be able to dream, they need to be able to see their future and they need to be able to have the support now to feel that they can reach their potential. Support of all women and men in fact, will help enable that. So, it's really important that we get behind the equity theme and in general get behind International Women's Day to really support the next generation of women.” 


Want to connect? Learn more about each incredible woman below. 


Francesca Gamble: @becoming_more_human

Founder and Presenter of ‘Becoming More Human’ podcast

Diana D'Aloisio:  @dianalovesfashion_

Lawyer / Model and Qualified counsellor/ psychotherapist charity volounteer

Sophia Lorimer:  @finetunedwardrobe 

Sustainable Stylist helping corporate mums

Alice Williams: @luminarybakery 

Founder of Luminary Bakery, an award winning London based social enterprise supporting women who have experienced gender based violence and multiple disadvantages

Tash Walsh: @tashwalsh

E-commerce Business Manager for Beyond Retro, Mentor

January 05, 2024 — Tash Hall