The Heroine’s Journey of Stephanie Strauss

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

To know that my work contributes to fighting social inequality and to encourage sustainable solutions in fashion. Protecting nature and women’s empowerment are the foundation of this century. I want to believe that my work represents these values and that I am doing a small part for the world.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

Harmony in all aspects of my life. When I am balanced, I perform better. This to me means I need a good night sleep, I need healthy food, exercise and time to work and time for family. I also focus on having alone-time each week to reconnect with myself and regain energy.

What is my greatest fear?

Over-consumption. That the only focus is money with no regards to human, nature and animals.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

Self-critic. But I work on being nice to myself, which is why alone-time is so important to reconnect with my inner optimist.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?

All women entrepreneurs working for a sustainable fashion industry, fighting the patriarchal system, going against fast fashion, freeing women and children from slavery in the factories, encouraging a circular economy and equal rights for all.

What is my greatest extravagance?

Travelling. Being a Danish woman living between Rome and Paris, and working on an international level, I need to travel a lot. I love exploring new cities, but it is always bittersweet because of the large amount of pollution that airplanes cause. It is a personal paradox.

On what occasion would I lie?

The storyteller is a liar that always speak the truth. As Jean Cocteau so brilliantly puts it “Mirrors should think longer before they reflect.”

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

Calling clients that haven’t paid their bills.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

I believe that our greatest achievements are still to come. But I consider it a success, that we have our own company, Mandhari Agency, that we make a living, doing what we love, and that we have great clients and partners.

Where would I most like to live?

I have lived in several countries already but currently only in Europe. I believe the other continents have so much to teach. I have visited them all but hope to be able to explore them further by living there for a period. I like to refer to myself as a modern-nomad.

What is my most treasured possession?

The freedom to choose where I live, where I work and what I spent my money on. Women before us fought to make sure we have those rights and that we are free. I am lucky to live in this century where a Danish woman can create a company with a woman from Guadeloupe.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

Our office in the 18th arrondissement in Paris and my part-time office in the Villa Medici in Rome. The villa medici is a historic French artist residence where we have the chance to live for a year. It’s a privilege and a dream come true to live and work between to European capitals.

Who are my favorite writers?

Miguel Bonnefoy, who also happens to be my partner in life. Isabelle Allende, Astrid Lindgren, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Pierre Ducrozet and many others.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

Margrethe Vestager, a Danish politician working at the EU commission. I don’t always agree with her politics, but I admire her as a woman. Clare Press for her work for women’s rights and sustainability in Fashion. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Hispanic senator who is certainly not afraid to speak up and fight her battles.

What role plays art in my life and work?

Art and craftmanship are very important in my life and work. At Mandhari we support small designer brands that are committed to craft and the “slow fashion movement”. We believe that we should cherish our clothes and the women and men who made them. It is very satisfying to change a beloved piece or to repair it. Crafts are the opposite of fast fashion and should be recognised for its value.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

Adjoa Tudor, my friend and business partner. We are very different but complementary in our work. I am lucky to have a company with her by my side.

Whom would I like to work with in 2019?

Policy makers in the European Union on how to take legal action to reduce the environmental and social impact generated from textiles.

What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on?

We have launched a project with a famous Parisian fashion school to teach the professors about sustainable solutions in the fashion industry and how they can pass this important knowledge on to the future designers.

Where can you see me or my work in 2019?

You can follow us on social medias:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mandhariagency/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mandhariagency/

And you can read more about our work on our website http://www.mandhari-agency.fr

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

When you have a passion and you are lucky that it’s your work, then you will never need to retire from it, because it is the very reason you are alive and it because your personal mission in life.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Adjoa Tudor, Sophie Kurkdjian, Eva Bonnefoy

How can you contact me?

By email stephanie@mandhari-agency.fr or through the contact form on our website.

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