Empowering Women: Interview with Legendary Fashion Designer Jackie Rogers
Today is a very exciting day as American Fashion Network (AFN) reveals our first behind the scenes interview from one of our highlighted women in our Empowering Women campaign. This campaign is drawing attention to the often overlooked, but critically important ways to empower women while calling companies and organizations to take action to empower women internally. The campaign also highlights the crucial importance of confidence as a component of success in business and the role that apparel plays in building it.
Today we introduce to you a legend in the fashion industry and the woman who has been named the official designer for women executives. Today we bring you Jackie Rogers, giving us a look into her life, what confidence means to her and advice she has on succeeding in life and career.
Designer Jackie Rogers
AFN: Tell us how your career began.
JR: I was living in Rome in the early 60’s, doing Italian low-budget movies and modeling. While getting my hair done in Paris one day, sitting next to me was a beautiful model who had just left Chanel. She knew that they were looking for girls to show the Fall collection, and she said that if I was interested, she would put in a call for me to Chanel’s assistant. She made the call and before I knew it, she set up an appointment for me that very afternoon. I was immediately hired on the spot at my appointment, and what I thought would be a summer job, ended up changing my life.
Jackie Rogers as Coco Chanel peeks in the background
AFN: How did you get involved in designing and become a designer yourself?
JR: It never occurred to me that I was telling different designers that I was fitting for what to do, until I worked for Chanel. One day we were about to do a show and none of the clothes were done, and I said, ‘this needs to be done, we are about to do a show!’ so I ran to all 6 ateliers and told them how to finish the clothes and they said, ‘who do you think you are?’ I said, ‘I don’t care who you think I am, but we have to show the world these clothes and they aren’t done!’ So I told them to put a button here, a clip there, a handkerchief here, and it was the most successful collection that Chanel had done. It never occurred to me that I was a designer.
AFN: What advice do you have for women in the workforce?
JR: I’m no one to tell anyone what to do, but if you want to do something, don’t wait, do it! Don’t procrastinate. Today is today. It isn’t going to be any different tomorrow if you don’t do something. So, I suggest you get out and follow whatever it is that you want to do. Follow your dream and it will come true.
AFN: What does it take for you to feel empowered and confident and how does it affect you professionally?
JR: I just go ahead and do what I’m doing and live my life and design. When I’m doing what I love I feel empowered. I think what’s most important for me is designing. When I’m not doing that, I’m not very happy. It’s a creative force I guess that I’ve always had and when I’m doing what I love and I can bring my designs to life for my customers, I feel confident, I feel empowered, and to see them feel the same way when they wear my designs brings everything full circle. It is an incredible process that never gets old.
Jackie Rogers designs
AFN: How have you achieved such success in career and what is it that you do to continue moving forward in your success?
JR: I think you must think about what you are doing now and that’s the most important thing, it’s what’s in front of you right this moment. Concentrate on that and move ahead with whatever it is that you are doing and want to achieve. And that I think is the most important thing…to not be preoccupied with the pros and cons.
AFN: How do you feel something like this initiative can empower women and help bring them to the forefront of their companies?
JR: This initiative is something I am passionate about because I feel all women need to feel confident, feminine, and encouraged to live boldly and make their dreams a reality. That is one of the reasons why I design my clothes the way I do.
This initiative is a great reminder of that, and it is a way for women to access ways to enhance their confidence and know that they have a support system too. There are so many gaps in the corporate apparel industry as well that are ignoring women and I think AFN is doing a great job at filling those gaps and asking these business’ the tough question of “how are you addressing this?” and giving them the tools and solution to fix this problem.
Follow Jackie Rogers:
Read more about Jackie Rogers being named the official designer for women executives here.
Join in on the conversation and share advice and tips on what makes you feel confident by tagging American Fashion Network @americanfashionnetwork on Facebook and Instagram and using the hashtag #ConfidentAF.
Stay tuned as we bring you another incredible woman that we will be highlighting next week!