Hampton Daze: Celebrating International Women’s Day with Cynthia Rowley and Cindy Press

To All The Boss Babes




Give a girl the right shoes and she can take over the world. Friday, March 8, marked International Women’s Day — a day for celebrating all things ladies. According to www.internationalwomensday.com, the holiday is a “moment to showcase commitment to women’s equality, launch new initiatives and action, celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness, highlight gender parity gains, and more.” Sing it, sister!

I started my International Women’s Day at one of the most positive female places in New York, The Wing in SoHo. It’s an all female co-working space (not unlike The Shed on the East End). It’s wonderful how the like-minded, positive female energy can fill a space and encourage all of the best vibes. The Wing offers an intriguing group of female panelists and events. This week, Chelsea Clinton was there. Next week, it’s Arianna Huffington. There’s also a beauty room, a pump room for the new moms, and a “Little Wing” for kids. Girl power!

For me, International Women’s Day is a day to be proud. I am proud of all the powerful boss babes in my life. This includes friends, family members, and co-workers.

I just love that there’s such a powerful female presence at The Independent. That’s not always the case in all newsrooms — apparently, we still need to shatter the same glass ceilings as shows like “Murphy Brown” or “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Last year, two female co-workers and I headed to a newspaper conference. The tollbooth operator asked if we were headed to the “pretty lady convention.” (Insert eye roll here.) We were not headed to the pretty lady convention at all. Ladies are the minority, but the gender gap is slowly closing. Here at Indy, it’s been closed and that’s something to be proud of.

There’s no doubt that women deserve equal pay and an equal voice. Always the optimist, I believe positive changes are happening and that there’s never been a better time to be a woman. We continue to move forward. It’s hard to imagine that only a century ago we weren’t even allowed the right to vote.

That evening, continuing on the boss lady trajectory of the day, I joined Cynthia Rowley and LUMAS Gallery in Manhattan for an International Women’s Day celebration. A special panel featured fashion designer and Montauk resident Rowley and painter Cindy Press. Guests mixed with creative industry professionals and indulged in cocktails and bites while viewing a live art presentation by Press. During the panel, moderated by Rowley’s daughter Kit Clementine Keenan, also a fashion designer, the three discussed all things female. There were also raffles, including products from female-founded companies.

“I’m so feeling your energy now,” said Rowley to the intimate crowd at the gallery. “All this girl power is so good.”

Rowley described that her company is “Almost all women . . . There are a couple of dudes that snuck in,” she joked. “We’re making women’s clothes so we have to be feeling that energy.”

“I’ve always been an artist,” said Press. Her work displays her background in fashion illustration and painting. “My work celebrates the woman and sexuality, because in every other aspect of our lives we have to repress it and I think it should be honored,” Press exclaimed.

The duo also gave some sound advice to women starting out in the fashion and art worlds. “Don’t take no for an answer” and “dream as big as you’re willing to work,” said Rowley.

“We’re all on the same team,” noted Press.

“We want to help each other. We want to lift each other up,” said Rowley.

We later hopped across the street to Diane von Furstenberg to see Ashley Longshore’s new exhibit. The colorful paintings display portraits of female trailblazers like Diana Ross, Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Jacqueline Kennedy, and of course, a portrait of von Furstenberg herself, among others. It’s definitely worth checking out. The exhibit is on display until May.

For International Women’s Day and every other day of the year, let’s celebrate the achievements of women across the globe. In the words of Coco Chanel: “A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.”