Online and social media producer and Co-Founder of YES! London
Charlotte Clarke is a writer and activist, currently working as an online and social media producer for the Financial Times. Starting out on the newspaper in 2008, as an editorial assistant, she now writes and edits content for the Business Education section, manages social media strategies on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and contributes to special reports and magazines. In 2011, she helped launch the Women at Business School page, having campaigned for more coverage of women’s issues in the newspaper early on in her career.
What do you enjoy most about working for the FT?
It is a challenging but exciting time to be working in the media industry at the moment due to the move from print to digital publications. The FT is doing its best to stay at the forefront of this move, embracing social media and other emerging technologies, so I am enjoying being a part of all that.
I also enjoy the work I do for the Women at Business School page.I was so pleased when the page was approved in 2011 as I believe there is a need for this kind of gender-specific coverage until equality is achieved worldwide. There is a campaign in the US called Miss Representation that exposes how mainstream media creates disparaging portrayals of women and girls – the magazines, for example, that focus on physical imperfections and showcase size zero models.
In the UK meanwhile, we have the No More Page 3 campaign highlighting the continued objectification and overt sexualisation of women every single morning through The Sun newspaper.We need more portrayals of women in positions of power and influence to help transform culture so that women can fulfill their potential equal to men, and I love being able to contribute to this through the FT.
The Dress for Success clients are so inspired when they find out they will be given their very own suit to keep, you literally see their self-confidence blossom!
You were one of the founders of YES! London, can you tell us a little bit about your involvement and the work that you do together?
I co-founded YES! London with my best friend Candice O’Leary in November 2010. We had both been volunteering as stylists for Dress for Success London – a charity that helps women on low incomes find employment – since 2009 and were keen to promote its profile by creating a network of supporters. It is such a fantastic charity, completing its mission in such a simple yet effective way. The clients are so inspired when they find out they will be given their very own suit to keep, plus shoes, accessories and interview training. You literally see their self-confidence blossom!
Candice and I now have a dedicated team of 10 wonderful women helping us plan and host fundraising events throughout the year and we have registered more than 70 members since we launched. Our events vary between business talks, cocktail evenings, gallery visits and swap shops but our ultimate aim each time is to create a fun, sociable atmosphere where women can network and share skills to enhance their own career success while also raising funds and awareness for Dress for Success London.
Charlotte is wearing the Bond Street dress in Midnight Blue styled with Le Marais Jacket and Upper Steet snakeskin stilettos and the Belgravia dress (color block dress right bottom) in Blood Orange and Taupe.
We’re really excited to be working with you and YES! London on an upcoming fashion show. What can people expect from this evening?
We are so pleased to be collaborating with The Fold for this event, especially as it’s our biggest one so far. Our sister YES! networks in the US have been producing fashion shows for the last few years and we were keen to create our own version. The Fold was an ideal partner for us due to its focus on high flying modern women, and the showroom looks fabulous.
People can expect a lot of fun, laughter, clothes and prosecco! We will be holding a drinks and canapés reception from 6.30-7.30pm, where all guests will have the chance to meet, network and visit our pop-up shop. The shop will have couture, designer and high street items for sale, at discount prices ranging between £5 and £40. Guests will then be invited to take a seat to watch the fashion show and listen to our success stories, including a speech from Pauline Murphy, training programme manager at Dress for Success London.
After the show, the shopping will continue until 9pm. All profits raised will be recorded through our Just Giving page and donated straight to Dress for Success London. We have 100 tickets in total to sell so we are looking forward to a large turnout of men and women keen to support the charity and meet other likeminded individuals.
What kind of styles can we expect to see from the Dress for Success catwalk?
There will be three scenes in total after guests see The Fold Spring/Summer 2013 collection. The scenes will focus on outfits for the modern woman, luxe holiday wear and glamorous showstoppers, and will be modelled by Dress for Success London clients and supporters.
Items in the show have been kindly donated to Dress for Success London as part of their annual drive for clothing (as with items in the pop-up shop), and will be available to buy through a silent auction on the night. Designer names include: Donna Karan, Jil Sander, Matthew Williamson, Oscar de la Renta and Stella McCartney.
For those interested, how can you get involved in YES! London?
Membership is open to all women living in London and is really easy to complete. You just need to fill in a short registration form and make a £10 pledge via our Just Giving page. Full details can be found on our website: www.yeslondon.org.uk or email [email protected] – we are a mixed bunch from a variety of industries, including fashion, law and IT, and we are always looking for new members. It is for such a great cause that creates immediate results so you definitely will enjoy and benefit from getting involved.
When you’re not organising large scale fashion events, or working for that matter, how do you spend time relaxing?
I practice yoga during the week and go mountain-biking with my husband at weekends in the countryside. The latter is slightly more of a workout than a relaxation exercise (cycling is hard!) but I really enjoy it – especially the chance to escape the City for a bit and then have a picnic. I also try to go to Zumba classes whenever I have the time, they are so much fun – you soon start to feel like you are guest starring in a music video!
Which is your favourite Fold Dress from the collection?
To purchase tickets for the upcoming Y.E.S! London Fashion Show, in support of Dress for Success London, you can purchase them via the Eventbrite page here.