Moving seamlessly from the gym to the office is a relatable nuisance most women can understand. Save showing up to work in a sports bra, we often have to be quick-change artists, moving from one setting to the other, many times with wet hair.
Meant to simplify a woman's life with timeless silhouettes, intelligent fabric (think: moisture wicking and wrinkle releasing), and “technical details" like secret cell phone pockets, Olympic-quality spandex seams and body-cooling side slits, ADAY is literally designed to bridge a woman's active and professional lives. Founded in June 2015 with just eight styles, the line has grown to include over 80, including comfy-yet-sleek cigarette pants, versatile tops, chic sports bras and multifunctional swimwear. “We are focused on simplicity and figuring out how to simplify our life," says ADAY Co-Founder Nina Faulhaber. “If you see any sci-fi film like Star Wars, they never change clothing. We wanted to make clothing of the future that could do anything."
The two founders, Faulhaber and Megan He, who met as investment bankers at Goldman Sachs, say they wanted to create a business focused on upgrading something women use regularly.
“After leaving Goldman, we spent the past couple of years in the technology world at venture capital funds and tech startups, and saw a lot of friends doing really cool things, but no one was really innovative in the industry we were most passionate about: the clothes we wear every day," says Faulhaber, who grew up as a competitive gymnast.
With the goal of creating “clothing of their dreams," the two set out to build a collection that would give women the flexibility and ease to go from work to working out.
"We wanted our clothing to last longer than our everyday staples - we needed them to be technical, beautiful, and sustainable," says He, who completed her yoga certification in California. "Ultimately, we got really passionate about what we think of now as 'clothing of the future.'"
The founders went on to say that when thinking of a distribution plan, they decided to stay as close to the customer as they could, so they launched on their site, selling directly to her. “A lot of the beginning was understanding what customers were saying," says He, adding that ADAY products are seen as innovative tech offerings more so than clothing. "Almost immediately we know what they loved or if something needed tweaking."
Despite launching ADAY in London, He and Faulhaber quickly realized that 90 percent of the company's revenue came from the US. The eight-person ADAY team packed up and moved to the company's headquarters to New York “leaving behind our families, significant others and pets to build ADAY and follow our dreams," says He. “We really looked at how to make clothing and started asking a lot of people for help. Over time, we were connected with some amazing factories and started to put in effect our vision." The company was aided by investors including former CEO and Chariman of Escentuals Leslie Blodgett, Cowboy Ventures, and Truestart.
“By simplifying your wardrobe you can simplify your life."
Technical Tailored Shirt
Priced from $60 to $165, the line, currently available in Australia, Canada, UK, Germany, Hong Kong and the US, is proving to be a fast favorite with consumers. Among its best selling products is its Throw & Roll leggings, which Faulhaber says kept selling out in just a few days. Now to keep up with demand, there is a “whole family" of leggings, in different colors and styles. “We use an Italian material fabric that is fully sculpted and bonded at every seam," says Faulhaber, adding that the brand introduces new styles every four to six weeks. “It's incredibly comfortable. It fits like jeans. Our leggings are by far one of the most comfortable items of clothing I own. I once wore a pair for four days straight!"
ADAY in a nutshell
1. Can you talk about the white space you saw?
With the Marie Kondo movement, so many of us learned to minimize our lives through prioritizing the possessions that sparked joy.
2. What was the first product you introduced? Best selling to date?
We started off with a seven piece collection, but our Throw & Roll Leggings were indeed the first piece we ever designed before ADAY was even incorporated.
3. What is your philosophy for all ADAY garments? The connective 'thread' if you will?
At ADAY, we have always been focused on three core pieces - to be technical, sustainable and seasonless.
4. What is your inspiration for design and new products?
In our design process we ask ourselves, what does the clothing of the future look like? We want to set a new standard for wardrobe staples, one that lasts through the seasons and focuses on versatility. We're allowing customers to consume less, which creates more focus on the things that really matter in life, rather than what to wear
5. Lastly, can you please describe your consumer.
Our woman is highly engaged and she's present, she's spontaneous, and she lives life on her terms.
In addition, to keep the brand relevant and approachable, the ADAY website is designed to speak to its clients like a friend would, giving specific sizing recommendations like “if you prefer to wear on the waist, or between sizes then size up." The overall tone brand feels high-tech but trustworthy and comfortable, say ADAY consumers.
“We're reimagining everyday seasonless staples."
“This brand had to be so much better than what was out there that it became a no brainer for women," says He, who hints at a new collection and pop up store later this year. “We created ADAY because it didn't exist and we thought it should. When we make a white shirt, it should be your staple but if you want to go rock climbing in it you should be able to. Suddenly, you became free of all your restrictions. We saw a lot of fashion companies creating hundreds of thousands of styles. We wanted to just focus on the classics and make everything better."
To be sure, part of the ADAY legacy, for both founders is its ability to become a staple; a timeless closet companion that truly offers its wearer peace of mind, as well as a sense of sustainability.
“We created ADAY because our clothing restricted us; our wardrobes were beautiful, yet so specialized," says Faulhaber. “By creating better and longer lasting clothing, we also eliminate the need to replenish wardrobes every season, a conscious impact which we think about a lot."
And the ADAY message is spreading. According to He, the brand has just launched its first pop-up shop on 268 Elizabeth St, NYC. Additionally, this summer the brand is on tour, and will be visiting LA, San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, London and Stockholm to bring in even more fans and customers to the line.
Looking to the future, plans call for extensions into existing categories. “We recently launched our Technical Tailored and you can expect more in the technical daywear category very soon," says He, adding that customers can of course expect more leggings as well. "There will also be more garments that are as light, as easily packable and as easy to care for as many of the existing ADAY pieces. Also, we're getting a lot of demand for men's and adjacent categories too. Although we'd like to stay focused on women's clothing for a little longer, there's still so much to do here!"
And for those wondering what ADAY means, the answer is simpler than you might think.
“We were very bad at naming," laughs Faulhaber. "After coming up with all these options, we realized the ones we liked no one could spell. We liked ADAY because there is a time connotation. The brand reminds you that each day is an opportunity to create something or make an impact. So much of what we think about how to structure our life is in terms of what we can accomplish each day."
The Quick 10
1. What app do you use the most?
Meg: Telegram, the best messaging app in the world! It has stickers for all your long distance messaging needs.
2. Briefly describe your morning routine.
Nina: Shower and meditate.
Meg: Cuddle my rescue pup, Forrest.
3. Name a business mogul you admire.
Nina: Bill + Melinda Gates.
Meg: Angela Ahrendts.
4. What product do you wish you had invented?
Nina: Kindle, although my design would have been very different. :)
Meg: The S'well water bottle. Brilliant product – so simple, so effective.
5. What is your spirit animal?
Meg: Peregrine falcon.
6. What is your life motto?
Nina: I have a few: Be curious, build a life you don't need a vacation from, and make it simple but significant.
Meg: Do what makes your heart beat faster.
7. Name your favorite work day snack.
Nina: Ice cream.
8. What's something that's always in your bag?
Nina: Lip balm.
Meg: My yoga tune up ball.
9. What's the most inspiring place you've traveled to?
Nina: Cambodia. So much history, kind people and chaotic beauty.
Meg: Uzbekistan. Remote, untouched, and wild.
10. Desert Island. Three things, go.
Nina: Journal and pen, water colors, and bkr water bottle.
Meg: Sunscreen, Anna Karenina, and an album of Chopin's Nocturne.
Women in the workplace have always experienced a certain degree of discrimination from male colleagues, and according to new studies, it appears that it is becoming even more difficult for women to get acclimated to modern day work environments, in wake of the #MeToo Movement.
In a recent study conducted by LeanIn.org, in partnership with SurveyMonkey, 60% of male managers confessed to feeling uncomfortable engaging in social situations with women in and outside of the workplace. This includes interactions such as mentorships, meetings, and basic work activities. This statistic comes as a shocking 32% rise from 2018.
What appears the be the crux of the matter is that men are afraid of being accused of sexual harassment. While it is impossible to discredit this fear as incidents of wrongful accusations have taken place, the extent to which it has burgeoned is unacceptable. The #MeToo movement was never a movement against men, but an empowering opportunity for women to speak up about their experiences as victims of sexual harassment. Not only were women supporting one another in sharing to the public that these incidents do occur, and are often swept under the rug, but offered men insight into behaviors and conversations that are typically deemed unwelcomed and unwarranted.
Restricting interaction with women in the workplace is not a solution, but a mere attempt at deflecting from the core issue. Resorting to isolation and exclusion relays the message that if men can't treat women how they want, then they rather not deal with them at all. Educating both men and women on what behaviors are unacceptable while also creating a work environment where men and women are held accountable for their actions would be the ideal scenario. However, the impact of denying women opportunities of mentorship and productive one-on-one meetings hinders growth within their careers and professional networks.
Women, particularly women of color, have always had far fewer opportunities for mentorship which makes it impossible to achieve growth within their careers without them. If women are given limited opportunities to network in and outside of a work environment, then men must limit those opportunities amongst each other, as well. At the most basic level, men should be approaching female colleagues as they would approach their male colleagues. Striving to achieve gender equality within the workplace is essential towards creating a safer environment.
While restricted communication and interaction may diminish the possibility of men being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment, it creates a hostile
environment that perpetuates women-shaming and victim-blaming. Creating distance between men and women only prompts women to believe that male colleagues who avoid them will look away from or entirely discredit sexual harassment they experience from other men in the workplace. This creates an unsafe working environment for both parties where the problem at hand is not solved, but overlooked.
According to LeanIn's study, only 85% of women said they feel safe on the job, a 5% drop from 2018. In the report, Jillesa Gebhardt wrote, "Media coverage that is intended to hold aggressors accountable also seems to create a sense of threat, and people don't seem to feel like aggressors are held accountable." Unfortunately, only 16% of workers believed that harassers holding high positions are held accountable for their actions which inevitably puts victims in difficult, and quite possibly dangerous, situations. 50% of workers also believe that there are more repercussions for the victims than harassers when speaking up.
In a research poll conducted by Edison Research in 2018, 30% of women agreed that their employers did not handle harassment situations properly while 53% percent of men agreed that they did. Often times, male harassers hold a significant amount of power within their careers that gives them a sense of security and freedom to go forward with sexual misconduct. This can be seen in cases such as that of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and R. Kelly. Men in power seemingly have little to no fear that they will face punishment for their actions.
Source-Alex Brandon, AP
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and founder of LeanIn.org., believes that in order for there to be positive changes within work environments, more women should be in higher positions. In an interview with CNBC's Julia Boorstin, Sandberg stated, "you know where the least sexual harassment is? Organizations that have more women in senior leadership roles. And so, we need to mentor women, we need to sponsor women, we need to have one-on-one conversations with them that get them promoted." Fortunately, the number of women in leadership positions are slowly increasing which means the prospect of gender equality and safer work environments are looking up.
Despite these concerning statistics, Sandberg does not believe that movements such as the Times Up and Me Too movements, have been responsible for the hardship women have been experiencing in the workplace. "I don't believe they've had negative implications. I believe they're overwhelmingly positive. Because half of women have been sexually harassed. But the thing is it is not enough. It is really important not to harass anyone. But that's pretty basic. We also need to not be ignored," she stated. While men may be feeling uncomfortable, putting an unrealistic amount of distance between themselves and female coworkers is more harmful to all parties than it is beneficial. Men cannot avoid working with women and vice versa. Creating such a hostile environment is also detrimental to any business as productivity and communication will significantly decrease.
The fear or being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment is a legitimate fear that deserves recognition and understanding. However, restricting interactions with women in the workplace is not a sensible solution as it can have negatively impact a woman's career. Companies are in need of proper training and resources to help both men and women understand what is appropriate workplace behavior. Refraining from physical interactions, commenting on physical appearance, making lewd or sexist jokes and inquiring about personal information are also beneficial steps towards respecting your colleagues' personal space. There is still much work to be done in order to create safe work environments, but with more and more women speaking up and taking on higher positions, women can feel safer and hopefully have less contributions to make to the #MeToo movement.