After migrating my blog last fall, I've been working on getting my blog game back to 100. Balancing work & life while finding time to tell the stories I want to write have been a challenge. One of the things I miss most is interviewing purposeful people who light my fire - women and people of color in particular. Today, I'm breathing life back into the Aces Interview series with Ruby Veridiano.
Ruby and I were introduced by our mutual friend and another boss lady of color, Hollis. I love how Ruby has embraced every part of her personal interests and professional careers; the culminating force of her experience is fully realized in her site relaunch and her latest project, the Glamourbaby Diaries. Meet Ruby!
After spending the past decade in diverse industries (performance arts, arts education, TV/media, non-profit/NGO, and fashion/luxury), my new website is the culminations of all the dots in my career connecting. Throughout the different industries that I've worked in, there was a time I worried that my experiences seemed like a random, mumbo jumbo mash-up. But my work has always had a strong common thread: my mission to empower women and to promote social change. I now realize that my past and present worlds have found the right time to collide in order to give me a unique niche as a writer, speaker, video host, and consultant that champions women's empowerment and social responsibility in the fashion industry.
Today, my new website represents the intricately woven fabric of work that unite to create a mission and a movement that is uniquely mine: the Glamourbaby Diaries (GBD), a writing workshop that educates young women about social issues through the lens of fashion. I have always loved fashion and am deeply passionate about social change. GBD gave me a way to fuse two unlikely worlds together to create a new culture of glamour that encourages women to find their voice, confidence, and most of all, their purpose.
While GBD began as a way to serve young Asian-American women by exploring issues such as body image and cultural identity through fashion media, I am now opening it up to serve diverse, multi-cultural women, as well as adding a component to educate participants about ethical fashion and conscious consumerism. As I became more immersed in the fashion industry, I came across the realization that if I truly cared about women, I also have to advocate for a better fashion industry - an industry that impacts women all over the world.
2. What inspired you to pursue fashion as a career?
In 2013, when I landed a summer job at the Louis Vuitton corporate office in SF, I came across their company newsletter and saw that the company had meaningful social responsibility initiatives. I immediately thought, fashion and social responsibility? This is the Glamourbaby concept at work! I was inspired to follow that trail and to apply for graduate school to specialize in social responsibility for the fashion and luxury industry. In 2014, I packed my bags and moved to Paris, where I started my graduate program at the American University of Paris.
Throughout my program, I fully immersed myself in the industry, learning everything from fashion journalism to consumer behaviors, and from fashion history to ethical fashion. I became even more in love with and inspired by fashion. In 2015, I joined the Social Responsibility team at the Louis Vuitton parent company, LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy), and in 2016, the time has come for me to be a full-time Glamourbaby :)
3. Women helping women is a motivation that drives us both! Who are some of your favorite women and why?
China Machado - At over eighty years old, she is still as ravishing as she was when she graced the cover of Harper's Bazaar in 1959 as the first model of color to appear on the cover of a Western publication.
Michelle Obama - This is pretty self-explanatory, but the FLOTUS is the perfect combination of purposeful leadership, intellect, and flawless glamour.
Sade - She is a goddess whose timeless music and unparalleled beauty is arguably out of this world.
Maita Gomez - As a Filipina beauty queen born to aristocracy, she had the potential to become a celebrity superstar. Instead, she dedicated her life as an activist, going undercover in the villages to serve the people's movement.
4. What are you currently reading?
5. Do you have any good music on repeat lately?
A song called "It's a New Day" by will.i.am is my 2016 theme song!
Johnnyswim's "Diamonds" album
Lianne La Havas "Blood" album
Obsessed with pretty much everything Soulection Crew, Disclosure and Florence and the Machine
Also, it's worth adding that I firmly believe Beyonce, Ledisi, and Stevie Wonder can do absolutely do no wrong.
6. What are you most excited for in the coming year?
I am most excited about launching my independent work, and creating a platform that serves others. I am most excited about being able to build and connect with people in a meaningful way through my workshops and speaking engagements, my writings, and my video content. I am excited about the potential to help women find their voices. I am excited about connections and collaborations with other purpose-driven women like you!
And finally, I am also excited about traveling more this year to countries and cities I've never been to, eating food from diverse cuisines, and reading more books. I am excited to continue experiencing life to the fullest, and enjoying life's simple luxuries - something the Parisian life has taught me well! :)
Thanks, Ruby! Check her out at rubyveridiano.com.