INSPIRING WOMEN TO CELEBRATE ON INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY
Every day is a great day to celebrate amazing women in life, but International Women’s Day gives us a particular reason to do just that with vigour. This year, International Women’s Day holds the #ChooseToChallenge theme to encourage everyone to actively choose to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness about women’s equality, fight for accelerated and gender parity. It’s a talking point that motivated Wintergarden to showcase local female-run businesses or women on the importance of mentoring, work-life balance and how to move forward inequality.
From day one, Annabel Falco has always been interested in fashion and knew she was born to work in the industry. Fast-forward to know, Annabel is a successful Fashion Journalist and Stylist, and a mother-of-two. As a successful woman in fashion, we wanted to know what International Women’s Day means to her and what changes she hopes to see in the future.
First off, tell us about yourself, what you do and why you followed this career path.
My name is Annabel Falco and I’m a Fashion Journalist and Stylist, and mother-of-two (three if you include my sausage dog!).
I’m the current Fashion Editor for the Courier Mail’s Q Weekend Magazine and the current Fashion Ambassador for Brisbane City/Queen St Mall.I also freelance for a variety of local, national and international fashion labels and brands – creating content, hosting events or styling campaigns.
Fashion has always been my biggest passion – even as a toddler. “Shoe” was my first word. I grew up reading Vogue and always carried a notebook around so I could sketch dream outfits or dress designs. I often conducted photoshoots with my sisters and cousins where I would do their makeup; dress them in clothes made from bedsheets; take their photo; then make my own “fashion magazine”. I was BORN to do what I do!
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Fashion Journalist/Stylist. Always. From day one. No questions asked.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
Celebrating women. From the CEO’s through to the stay-at-home mums. For me, it’s about celebrating women living out THEIR choices and doing what they love most.
What’s your favourite thing about being a woman?
Being a “mother”. Not just a parent, but a mother. It truly is the most badass title I have!
Do you think there’s a stereotype attached to being a woman in fashion?
Yes…and no. I think this is the one industry where men are equally judged for “working in fashion”. The industry itself attracts the stigma, not the gender. There are definitely “show ponies” in my industry, I always strive to be a “work horse”.
What change do you hope to see in your industry in the future?
No more free interning or free work. In the fashion industry, it is expected that you will work for a period of time (often years!) for free. What I/we have to offer is a skill and should be recognised with proper remuneration.
Who is the most influential woman you know?
All the women I know are influential in their own way. I’m very proud to be related to and friends with such strong, intelligent, opinionated and hard-working women. You are who you hang with, so I pick and choose my gal tribe very carefully.
If you could have a meal with any woman in the world, past or present, who would it be & why?
OPRAH! I love Oprah! We share the same birthday. In grade 10, we were asked to present on the most influential person of our time. We were given a list of names to choose from. I went off the list and asked to present on Oprah however my teachers told me I was “missing the point of the assignment” and said I would most likely fail. I presented on Oprah. I received an A for that assignment!
What do you think is the biggest challenge for women in 2021?
I think we have a long way to go when it comes to working and having children. It’s not easy to do both and you often feel like you have to choose between one or the other. Or feel like you are doing both badly. More support in this area is essential.
What’s been your greatest moment as a woman in your personal life and career?
Becoming a mother. Second to that, navigating life as a working mother. I’m so proud to be able to do both and show my kids that mum’s AND dad’s share the parenting/workloads.
How important is it for us as women to be on the same team and lift each other up?
SO important. My industry is quite a competitive one but I truly believe we all have a unique skill set to offer and there is a place for everyone. Some of my best friends are Stylists and Fashion Journalists. We celebrate each other’s achievements and recommend each other for jobs.
What could be done better for women in the workforce?
Equal pay and better incentives when it comes to maternity leave.
What piece of advice would you give to women looking to follow a similar career to you?
Make sure you love fashion – “shopping” and “styling” are two VERY different things! I would also encourage you to be nice to everyone. That assistant will one day be a director…
What quote do you live by or love the most?
“Overprepare then go with the flow.” Working in a creative industry, it is so important to pick up on certain energy and emotions, as well as be open to inspiration and change. Good preparation allows for that creativity.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would you say to her?
Don’t worry about what other people think. It’s taken me years to work on this mantra. A thick skin is mandatory within the fashion industry!