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Trendsetters, Zady

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

Stylish? Check. Sleek? Double check. Sustainable? You bet!

As a budding brand, Zady's got a fresh approach to entering the fashion biz—creating stylish and sophisticated pieces that withstand the tests of time (and fleeting trends). No fleeting fashion, no sacrificing quality to save time and certainly no unnecessary waste. Really, they say it best themselves: "Fast fashion is fast food. Empty calories that make us feel full." Amen to that!

We caught up with Zady's co-founder Maxine Bédat on everything from her days interning at the UN to her guilty snack pleasures. So go ahead—catch up with this trendsetter at work! 

Trendsetters, Zady

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

What was your first job?
My first job was as a tennis instructor. I spent a lot of time in the clubhouse studying for my SATs. 

How did you get started in your career?
I think because I grew up in an international home, I was very interested in international relations. The UN was totally fascinating to me—all the countries of the world talking to each other. I was lucky enough to go to college in New York. The UN doesn't have an internship program for undergraduates, but I knew that's what I wanted to do, so I applied at all of the smaller countries, and was lucky enough to be accepted by the Belize Mission. Sitting as a member of the mission in the big halls of the UN was an incredible introduction to my professional life that transitioned from there, to working on diplomacy issues with foreign ministers and president then into the law, and finally to Zady.

What is a typical day like for you?
While no two days are ever the same at a fashion start-up, I do always wake up very early (alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m.), it's the only time in the day that I get to myself to organize my thoughts and get ready for the day ahead. I tend to make meetings in the morning and late afternoon so that I have as much time with the team as possible. There is a great restaurant that just opened, Satina, right by my apartment, so I often have a meeting there before heading into the office downtown. We're developing a lot of great products and great content so when I'm in the office, I'm heads down with the team executing on that. Then it's off to a speaking engagement, to speak about our work disrupting the $1 trillion fashion industry through sustainability (or sometimes if I'm very lucky, I get to have dinner with my husband) and then it's off to bed!   

Trendsetters, Zady

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

Tell us about your office décor. What was your inspiration?
We created an office as a team to feel like a beautiful home. The space has industrial bones, which we balance with warmer more natural materials, like wood and hand-woven rugs. And then of course we have our kitchen filled with healthy (and sometimes not so healthy) snacks. It's a very collaborative space and food always helps!

What's the best part of your job?
I just can't believe I get to wake up and work with such talented people who bring their inspired A-game to work every day. 

Where do you shop for work clothes? What are your favorite brands of accessories?
I'm lucky enough to have access to the best products in the world at Zady! For accessories, I love my Clare V pouch, and my Alice*D bag, it's a classic that I use just about every day.

What's your guilty pleasure?
Red Hots and pizza; delicious.

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Nothing takes the place of a thoughtful handwritten note.

Who are some of your career heroes?
Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla. He sees the world as its going to be and then creates it.  Yvon Chouniard, the founder of Patagonia, for creating inspired product that integrates transparency and sustainability from the ground up.

What's your design inspiration?
We focus on the customer. We think about how we're living our lives and what product we can make to make a person's life easier and more beautiful. I guess it's taking Apple's design approach to clothing.

What's the biggest risk you've ever taken at work?
Well we're shaking up a $1 trillion industry, I'd call that a great risk!

Trendsetters, Zady

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

Finish the sentences below:
Today for lunch I had… an avocado smash from Blue Stone Lane, it's from the best little restaurant just below our office. They're all Australian, so not only do they have the best food, they have the best accents, too!
The first website I log onto every day is…  Twitter; best way to stay informed. Then Pinterest for some visual inspiration.
The beauty product you can always find in my purse is… Lip Smackers in Dr. Pepper, I am told they are discontinuing it so I have a stockpile.
My must-have work gadget is… my iPhone—it really is the remote control for my whole life. I control my music, my email, the power in my home, all from my iPhone.
My usual Starbucks order is… classic drip.
If I need a quick break during work… I usually make myself a tea.
If I wasn't doing this job, I would… I have always wanted to be an astronaut.  
My favorite Instagram filter is… I edit within the iPhone app and my favorite is chrome, it's the best.
My celeb style icon is…  Audrey Hepburn from the past and Olivia Palermo today; she's got great style.