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Speaker Series: Asian American Women and Fashion
Wednesday, June 6, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)
Join us for our sixth ASPIRE Speaker Series on
Asian American Women and Fashion
Founder, Shelley Chhabra Bridal &
Instructor & Fundraising Chair, Chhandika (Chhandam Institute of Kathak Dance)
Fashion designer and founder of Avni Fashion
Valuation Analyst at Deloitte Financial Advisory Services &
6:15PM – 7:20PM: Panel Discussion
7:20PM – 7:40PM: Q & A
7:40PM – 8:00PM: Evaluation and Networking
The creation of VienneMilano is the story of a woman who followed her passion for fashion, travel, and fine hosiery. It starts with Vienne Cheung’s vision of bringing luxurious thigh highs Made In Italy to women in the USA. For years, Vienne traveled throughout Europe and Asia, always bringing back a lot of fashion accessories not directly available in the USA, such as fine Italian hosiery.
Frustrated by the inability to find a wide variety of luxury hosiery in the USA, Vienne decided to step up to the challenge: leave her comfortable but ultimately pointless corporate job, and put all her efforts into developing VienneMilano. One year of intense work followed, but one year later, VienneMilano’s first collection was born.
Shelley Chhabra founded Shelley Chhabra Bridal, a custom design bridal services company and boutique, located on Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, in 2005. She has appeared in many publications, blogs, and magazines, including the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, nirali.com, South Asian Bride Magazine, and featured on the Chronicle evening news magazine. Her boutique was voted Best of Boston 2010 by theKnot.com and awarded a People’s Choice award by India New England in 2011. Chhabra graduated from Tufts University in 1998 with a BSEE and worked at Nortel Networks, Envoy Networks, and Texas Instruments as a design engineer and applications engineer. Her final job in the high tech field was Senior Wireless Analyst at Yankee Group before she decided to start her own business in fashion.
Born and raised in India, Avni’s designer Avni Trivedi spent her formative years immersed in the rich history, vibrant fashion, and beautiful art of Indian culture. From a young age, the crafts of local artisans fascinated Trivedi, who fell in love with the handmade fabrics she scouted out at artisan fairs in the villages of Gujarat. As she learned commerce from her grandfather, who headed a textile research unit, and ingenuity from her mother, a successful entrepreneur in India’s fashion industry, the young Trivedi began designing clothes from local handmade fabrics as a hobby.
The designer continued pursuing that hobby as she studied business, relocated to the United States, and spent five years working for large corporations. In 2010, the Boston-based Trivedi decided to abandon the corporate world in order to bring forth her dream, the Avni fashion brand. With Avni, Trivedi blends her Eastern heritage with her Western urban aesthetic to create a contemporary cultural connection for women. Each collection is marked by the designer’s signature elegant, wearable silhouettes crafted from those unique, luscious fabrics that are all hand-made by artisans in the small villages of India.
Jean Wang is a valuation analyst at Deloitte Financial Advisory Services. Her experiences trying to build a professional wardrobe compelled her to start the fashion blog ExtraPetite.com, where she writes about personal style and shopping finds. Jean’s blog now receives over 400,000 visits each month and has been featured in InStyle magazine, on Glamour.com, and by brands such as Ann Taylor and Banana Republic. In her spare time she’s roaming the streets of Boston on a quest to find the city’s best Banh Mi.
The ASPIRE Speaker Series exposes Asian American women to diverse career professionals, promotes candid conversations about career and personal development, networking, and fosters mentoring relationships between Asian American women. Our target populations for the Speaker Series are Asian American women who are high school students, college students, graduate students, and working professionals.
ASPIRE is a non-profit organization serving Asian American girls and women in the Greater Boston area. Our mission is to engage, educate, and empower Asian American girls and women to become effective life-long leaders. ASPIRE is Greater Boston’s only Asian American women-specific program providing leadership and professional development opportunities to women, from high school students to seasoned professionals. For more info about ASPIRE, visit girlsaspire.org.
When & Where
Asian Sisters Participating in Reaching Excellence
ASPIRE (Asian Sisters Participating in Reaching Excellence) is a Boston-based non-profit organization dedicated to Asian American girls and women in the area of career and leadership development. With a strong membership base of 500+ members nationwide and 150+ professional volunteers, we develop programs that engage, educate and empower Asian American high school, college, and professional women to become effective, lifelong leaders.
The Asian American (AA) community often faces stereotypes of being a “model minority”– an ethnic group that has already achieved success and needs little support. As a result, AA girls often lack mentors and role models. AA girls that struggle to fulfill the “model minority” myth are at severe risk for mental illness, challenged by the clash between American individualism and the Asian tradition of putting family and community first. ASPIRE aims to empower AA women through customized leadership training and career development, hands-on civic engagement in their communities and schools, and individual mentoring. Our goal is to improve their coping skills, self-confidence, mental and career outlook.