Who run the world

March 8, 2024

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Happy international women’s day to women all across the world. On this day, we are paying a debt that’s long overdue and that is putting the powerful women that were pioneers of marketing and design in focus.

A little history lesson

International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on March 8th to honor the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world. It is also a day to raise awareness about gender equality and women's rights.

The first Women's Day observance took place on February 28, 1909, in New York City, organized by the Socialist Party of America. It was held in honor of the 1908 garment workers' strike, where women protested against poor working conditions and demanded better pay, shorter hours, and voting rights.

The idea of an International Women's Day was proposed at the 1910 International Socialist Women's Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. Clara Zetkin, a German socialist, suggested the idea as a way to promote equal rights, including suffrage, for women worldwide. The conference unanimously approved the proposal, and the first International Women's Day was celebrated on March 19, 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerlandy.

In 1975, the United Nations officially recognized March 8th as International Women's Day and began celebrating it as a global event. 

Mathilde C. Weil - First of her kind

A german born immigrant, Mathilde C. Weil started the ad shop M.C. Weil in 1880 in New York, a first woman-owned advertising agency. Later on she was joined by two more female partners, making M.C. Weil a first fully women-owned marketing agency.

Ada Lovelace - A mathematical genius

A daughter of the famous poet Lord Byron, but that’s not where her fame ends.

Lovelace showed an early aptitude for mathematics and science, encouraged by her mother who was determined that she receive an education in mathematics and logic, subjects typically reserved for men at the time.

Lovelace's most notable work is her collaboration with Charles Babbage, a mathematician and inventor known for his design of the Analytical Engine, a mechanical general-purpose computer.

Lovelace's contributions to computing were not fully recognized during her lifetime, as the Analytical Engine was never completed, and her work remained relatively obscure for many years. However, in the mid-20th century, her notes were rediscovered and gained recognition for their significance in the history of computing. Today, Ada Lovelace is celebrated as a pioneer of computer science, and her contributions are commemorated annually on Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Mary Wells Lawrence - The lioness of Cannes

Mary Wells Lawrence was an American advertising executive known for her pioneering work in the male-dominated advertising industry. She was the first female CEO of a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange and played a significant role in shaping modern advertising practices.

Lawrence began her career in advertising in the 1950s, working at various agencies before co-founding the agency Wells Rich Greene (WRG) in 1966, along with her husband Harding Lawrence and colleague Richard Rich. Under her leadership, WRG became one of the most successful agencies of its time, with clients including American Motors, Braniff International Airways, Procter & Gamble, and IBM.

She is also the recipient of Cannes Lions’ “The Lion of St. Mark”, the most prestigious advertising honor in the world that is awarded for one’s lifetime achievement.

Jane Maas - The Giant of NY

Speaking of WRG, we have to mention Jane Mass. 

As a senior vice president at Wells Rich Greene, Ms. Maas was widely credited with shepherding one of the most successful tourism campaigns ever — “I Love New York” — which the agency devised for the New York Department of Commerce to help resuscitate the city and state in the late 1970s.

Paula Scher - Bold and Vibrant

Paula Scher is a highly acclaimed graphic designer and artist known for her bold, innovative, and iconic work in the field of graphic design. 

One of Scher's most notable achievements is her role as a partner at Pentagram, one of the world's largest and most prestigious design firms. She joined Pentagram in 1991 and became the first female principal at the firm's New York office. Scher's work at Pentagram has been instrumental in shaping the firm's reputation for excellence in design.

One of Scher's most famous projects is her redesign of the identity for the Public Theater in New York City in 1994. Her bold, graphic identity for the theater, featuring a vibrant red box with the word "Public" in bold, white letters, became an iconic symbol of the institution and is still in use today.

Zaha Hadid - Pushing the boundaries of what’s possible

We know Architecture is not really our area of work, but we simply couldn’t resist putting Zaha Hadid and her designs on this list.

Zaha Hadid was a pioneering Iraqi-British architect and the first woman to receive the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize. Known for her bold and innovative designs, Hadid pushed the boundaries of architecture with her futuristic and visionary creations.

Hadid's architectural style was characterized by fluid forms, dynamic curves, and unconventional geometries, inspired by her interest in mathematics and the natural world. She embraced advanced digital technologies and computer-aided design to realize her ambitious designs, which often defied traditional architectural conventions.

Carolyn Davidson - The Swoosh Creator

The name of Carolyn Davidson may not ring a bell right away, but I’m sure many of you are familiar with her story. She is the designer behind the Nike’s logo. Davidson created the first drafts of the logo on a piece of tissue. One of them was the world famous Swoosh logo.

She took inspiration from the statue of the Greek goddess Nike, the goddess of victory. Her invoice for the logo, which became a global symbol of Nike, was $35. She was later compensated with a golden ring and 500 shares of Nike, which later turned into 32,000 shares making her a multimillionaire. 

Sanja Iveković - Getting the Message Through

Sanja Ivekovičć is a croatian artist, designer and an activist, one of the founders of the New Art Direction.

With her art, she easily and transparently communicates with the viewer, two generations of audiences from before and today, using a visual language that can translate her political statements.

There are three main areas of her work

  • Political activism 
  • Femnist activism
  • Propitivanje Questioning the role of the artist in the context of general art history

Ivana Tomljenović Meller - A Bauhaus star from Zagreb

Ivana Tomljenović, later Tomljenović-Meller, was a Croatian avant-garde artist and athlete. She was the daughter of Croatian ban Tomislav Tomljenović, sister of the first organizer of the Croatian bridge tournament, Juraj Tomljenović, and aunt of Croatian lawyer Marijan Hanžeković.

She was known for her leftist views. Her artistic works included photographs and paintings using tempera technique. Her most famous work is the photomontage Dictatorship of King Alexander, a masterpiece of the so-called New Visuality from the Bauhaus movement. A significant number of her works are in the “Judge” collection.

Women of VIPstaple

Anđela Marijanović - Our VIPstaple Pioneer

I am Anđela Marijanović, and over the last year, I have been deeply engaged in the world of social media management at Vip Staple. My journey into this field was fueled by a deep-seated passion for creative expression and a strong desire to build impactful connections.

The narrative of women in marketing is one marked by resilience and groundbreaking innovation. I am continually inspired by the collective accomplishments of women who have challenged the status quo and redefined industry standards. Their pioneering efforts inspire me to explore new frontiers, tackle challenges head-on, and strive for a more inclusive and diverse professional environment.Being a woman in marketing is about leveraging our distinct viewpoints and employing our creative talents to foster change. It involves leading with compassion, motivating others, and effecting real-world influence. As I progress along this path, my commitment extends beyond personal advancement; I am dedicated to empowering other women to follow their dreams and play a pivotal role in the future of marketing.

Ena Borec - The Eccentric Multitalent

In a constantly evolving world, and one that strives for innovation, I have found my place as a bridge between two different yet related worlds - marketing design and interior design. My name is Ena Borec, and this is my perspective on life at the intersection of creativity and functionality, and what it means to be a woman in the design industry.

I believe that being a designer is not just a profession driven by pure creativity, but a combination of empathy and the ability to understand the world's needs, leading to functionally designed problem-solving solutions. Being a woman in this sector, as an empathetic being, brings its challenges, but also allows for the offering of a new perspective that enriches every project.

Balancing between these two branches, every day brings new challenges. Organizing time and priorities is key to success, as well as the ability to remain creative under pressure. Every excitement that comes with recognizing and achieving clients' visions is indescribable. Every successfully completed project is a reminder of why I love what I do.

Nevertheless, as a woman, I believe that creativity and innovation have no gender, and that the only important thing is to feel the energy within you that drives you, and to love what you do. As a designer of marketing campaigns and visuals, I awaken the little girl in me who loves to think in countless directions and create ideas that push boundaries.

My mission is to continue to grow, learn, and inspire others, exploring new techniques and approaches that will be beneficial to my environment. Through my work, I hope to be an inspiration to designers, especially women in this dynamic industry.

Finally, being a woman in the VIPstaple community is a special feeling. Every day is an opportunity for learning and growth, but most importantly - the team is exceptional and irreplaceable.

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