If there’s one thing I’ve learned while working and meeting people in the fashion industry, it’s that the two are definitely not mutually exclusive. One of my favorite quotes about this comes from writer/director/style icon Sofia Coppola circa Marie Antoinette: “You’re considered superficial and silly if you’re interested in fashion, but I think you can be substantial and still be interested in frivolity.” More recently, quotes from Barack Obama and British Vogue EIC Alexandra Shulman have helped to get this point across.
At Barnard University’s commencement ceremony last week, the POTUS gave some sage advice about women advancing in the workplace, inspired by our stylish and substantive first lady, Michelle Obama:
Until there are women who tell her ignore our pop culture obsession over beauty and fashion and focus instead on studying and inventing and competing and leading, she’ll think those are the only things that girls are supposed to care about. Now, Michelle will say there’s nothing wrong with caring about that a little bit. You can be stylish and powerful too.
Isn’t he the best? Shulman hopes that she can help present more positive role models in the media who are both glamorous and smart:
Young girls look up to Cheryl Cole or Cat Deeley and that is a pretty narrow prescription of existence,” she said. “We want to show glamorous women in other industries, it doesn’t always have to be dour women doing cerebral activities. It is possible to use your brain and want to wear Jimmy Choos and have great eyelashes. In this country there is an attitude ,or a snobbery, that suggests that women can’t do both, which I would like to see change.
Click through for 10 of our favorite ladies who exemplify that women indeed can do both. Our list obviously isn’t comprehensive of ALL the people who are smart and stylish (for example: we did not include ourselves), but these are just some of the ones we idolize the most.