Each week we present an influential woman whose career and style has inspired the team at Silkarmour to aim higher and dress better.
This week’s Silkarmour woman is Jessica Alba, actress and more recently businesswoman to her globally recognised brand, The Honest Company.
Shop the Look: Ashlar Curve tailored suit jacket by luxury women workwear designer Rose & Willard | Ashlar Curve tailored suit trousers by luxury women workwear designer Rose & Willard | Luxury Italian Silk Cyan Goddess scarf by London designer Beatrice Jenkins | The Trailblazer Tablet Compendium in Navy Blue by Luxury designer She Lion | Stallion luxury Italian wool tailored coat by London designer Rose & Willard
Alba initially came to prominence as Max, a genetically engineered super-solider in the sci-fi series ‘Dark Angel’, directed by James Cameron, back in 2000. Commenting on her work ethic, Cameron mentioned in an interview with Vanity Fair, upon meeting Alba, “[if you told me] ‘This girl is going to build a billion-dollar company,’ I would’ve said, ‘I believe it.”’ Although her performance was nominated for a Golden Globe, it was Alba’s positioning as a bi-racial actress in a hit television show that put her on the map, making her an international icon for young women (and men) in the teen/young-adult market. This impact remains today with Suits star Meghan Markle crediting Alba as her motivation, hailing her as “proof that this acting dream could happen…for girls who weren’t the conventional blonde-hair-blue-eyed beauties.” Applauded by Cameron for her integrity and discipline on set, Alba’s work-ethic pushed her career into cinema, notably the neo-noir Sin City series and the notoriously popular dance film Honey.
Despite her popularity, Albas successful venture in to entrepreneurship is a twist no one saw coming. Following the birth of her first child in 2008 and the subsequent reappearance of her own skin-sensitivity issues, Alba was inspired to create baby and home products that were “non-toxic…effective and beautiful to look at”. The Honest Company launched in 2011 with 17 products, free from synthetic fragrances and petrochemicals and 3 chief officers. Initially selling their products online, their popularity led to their products being stocked in WholeFoods and Costco across the US, eventually expanding to a unique monthly subscription service, delivering every need of a new mother, straight to her door.
Interestingly, Alba noted to PORTER in November 2015, the harshest criticism she’s ever had was the idea that she was “just an actress – like I shouldn’t have the capacity to evolve into anything else.” Turns out, Alba has far more than the capacity to evolve; she had the drive and the determination, as profits topped $50million by 2013, this increasing to an outstanding $150million by November 2014 with 275 employees. But the proof isn’t just in the numbers; in their listing of ‘America’s Richest Self-Made Women, Forbes made Alba the face of said data-base, putting her on the listing’s magazine cover with her company’s value of $1billion for the public eye to see, with Alba turning a personal profit of $200milllion – ‘not bad for just an actress’.
Career Golden Nuggets
1. ‘Don’t apologise and don’t ask for permission’
2. ‘Success is making the most of your opportunities and always a moving a target.’
3. ‘Failure is inevitable - it’s what you do with it that counts.’