At StartUp Terminal, we believe our diversity is our strength. As International Woman’s Day grows near, we celebrate the achievements of women around the world.
To kick off our celebration, we’ve asked US-based Emily Landsman, Founder & CEO, Designer: della terra shoes few questions on her experience achieving success in the field of entrepreneurship, and what advice she has for women entering the workforce today.
ST: Please tell us briefly about you.
Emily: I’m the founder and CEO of della terra shoes, which was started during the Covid-19 pandemic as an answer to what was missing from the contemporary landscape in fashion footwear and sustainability. I have been a footwear designer for almost 20 years; designing for brands like Alice + Olivia, Diane von Furstenberg and Vera Wang and have a Master’s Degree in Fashion Design. Bridging the gap between technology and fashion has always been a passion of mine, as well as making art and fashion education accessible.
ST: Who is a woman that inspires you the most and why?
Emily: Vivienne Westwood is a huge inspiration to me. She created a fashion empire based on a bold anti-establishment message and is bold enough to evolve that message over time. Westwood has made a move towards streamlining her giant collection of goods and has spoken about the journey she’s taken personally and professionally.
“Buy less, choose well, make it last” is one of my favorite quotes from the designer.
It isn’t about producing more and more, but instead careful curating a permanent collection of things. I only want to own things that are beautiful and sustainable, and help me to stay organized and focused. So, I strive to create only those things.
ST: How are you celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day?
Emily: This year International Women’s Day means even more to me because I am experiencing what it is like to run a company for the first time. Although I’ve had roles that meant a great deal to me in the past, the launch of della terra, a women-led sustainable fashion start-up, makes me especially proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish this year, as well as the impact we hope to have on fashion and the sustainable fashion landscape.
ST: What is the most important message you want to send out to all the women around the world on this occasion?
Emily: Yes. You Can. Keep working towards your dream and you will get there. You also have permission to be human along the way. Know that you are a magical unicorn, totally unique and totally equipped to handle everything that comes your way. The world doesn’t need another someone else, it needs you, just as you are, on your journey.
ST: What according to you is ‘women empowerment’?
Emily: Women empowerment for me means providing a fantastic product that is made to help women achieve the amazing things they are already doing. We create the product with her real-life in mind and we’re empowered by her story. Della terra is a brand made to empower people, which inspires and empowers us, the creators, along the way.
ST: What would you say are the main challenges facing women at present globally?
Emily: Equity is a work in progress. We are making so much progress because we are having these conversations and there is a much more apparent acknowledgment of inequity that has been present for working women. It will take more work for us to get to a place where biases and assumptions about what women can accomplish don’t play such a role in the landscape. Women have a unique challenge when it comes to balancing family and work. I strive to embrace both the domestic family talents that I have as well as the hard-working CEO and creator talents and hope to soon be in a world where these are not at odds with one another.