Category Archives: Behind The Scenes

Behind the Scenes: Inspiration in the Garment District

garment district4

Just a few blocks south of the bustle and bright lights of Times Square, Manhattan’s famous Garment District pulses with the imagination, creativity and energy that embodies the city as a whole. We’re happy to call this hustling midtown ‘hood home, where inspiration arrives at every turn. Here are some of our team’s favorite go-to’s.

Flying Tiger

Based in Copenhagen, this gem of a brand has opened a few locations throughout the city. With its ever-rotating selection of colorful, quirky goods, from kitchen gadgets, to home, to office supplies, you’re guaranteed to find some treasures. The brightly lit, colorful store presentation only adds to the fun. Bonus: everything is wildly affordable and totally smile-inducing.


Location: 920 Broadway, New York, NY


Mood Fabrics

Well before its Project Runway fame, Mood Fabrics has been coveted as a Fashion District favorite for its incredible array of textiles. Trust us, it doesn’t disappoint in person! Here at Project Gravitas, we may not use fabrics from Mood but are more than happy to stroll the aisles for hours to take in the countless patterns, textures and colors.


225 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018



We head to the Museum of Modern Art when we need a break from the chaos of midtown. There’s nothing better than relaxing in the courtyard to collect your thoughts or rebooting your energy with a wander through an exhibit.


Location: 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019


M & J Trimming

Ready for floor-to-ceiling inspiration? Make your way to M & J Trimming for all things buttons, bobs, ribbons, and so much more! Just staring at the rainbow of colors so beautifully organized is a soothing way to spend a few minutes.


Location:1008 Avenue of the Americas (btw 37th & 38th St.)

A Personal Reflection: My First Day


[Photo by Lisa Sun]

On my first day interning with Project Gravitas, I hopped on a train with the team and traveled down to Washington, DC for the United State of Women Summit. The summit, which took place on June 14, 2016, focused on the challenges women face and how we can move forward. These challenges include physical, economic, and emotional abuse, as well as a lack of educational opportunities around the globe. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama each spoke about how we can empower women not only on a nation-wide level, but also a personal level.

The morning of the summit, we woke up early and went to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, where our team set up a display featuring our cape blazers, vests, and a few different styles of dresses in The Girls’ Lounge. Throughout the day, we alternated between listening to presenters, speaking with brilliant women, and styling women with our Josephine Cape Blazer – the ultimate super hero uniform.


[Photo by Sylvie Palmer]

Listening to powerful presenters, such as President Barack Obama, discuss their views on how we can close the gender gap was incredibly inspiring. The diverse range of speakers also included Bamby Salcedo (president and CEO of the Trans Latin@ Coalition), eleven-year old Mikaila Ulmer (founder of Me & the Bees Lemonade), and one of the most successful investors in the world, Warren Buffett.

During the summit, I learned about how President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have both taken legal action to ensure progress for gender equality. For example, the first piece of legislation that Obama signed as President of the United States was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, and he later signed the Affordable Care Act, which covers, among other things, the cost of birth control for women across the country. As a senator in 1994, Joe Biden created and helped pass the Violence Against Women Act. During the United State of Women Summit, President Barack Obama declared, “I may be a little grayer than I was eight years ago, but this is what a feminist looks like.” In response, all 5,000 attendees gave the President a standing ovation. Later, he also said, “Our country is not just about the Benjamins. It’s about the Tubmans too. We need all our young people to know that Clara Barton and Lucretia Mott and Sojourner Truth and Eleanor Roosevelt and Dorothy Height. Those aren’t just for women’s history month. They’re the authors of our history. Women who shaped our destiny.” This particular quotation resonated with me because hearing the President of the United States say that women’s history is equally as important as men’s history felt like an important step to overcoming sexism. Both men inspired the crowd of activists by discussing their opposition to discriminatory stereotypes that confine women, especially in the workplace.


[Photo by Sylvie Palmer]

Later in the day, Michelle Obama was joined by Oprah Winfrey, and the two discussed their personal experiences as women in positions of power. Their conversation touched on topics such as staying true to yourself while trying to help everyone around you. Mrs. Winfrey also asked Mrs. Obama to share her opinion on the idea that women either can’t or must “have it all.” To this, she responded, “You can get it all, but it’s hard to get it all at the same time. It’s just a matter of managing expectations.” The First Lady proceeded to describe how she “blocks out the haters” and their sexist and aggressive comments. Later, the two women discussed how to empower girls and make women feel more confident. Their authenticity and humor were equally uplifting and inspiring.

While attending The United State of Women Summit, I was awestruck being in the same room as so many of my personal heroes. I will always remember the powerful feeling that comes from sharing ideas and creating a community to fight for a common cause. 


[Photo by Sylvie Palmer]


-Sylvie Palmer, Project Gravitas Intern 

Gravitas On the Road: The White House United State of Women Summit


On June 14, the Project Gravitas team attended the first-ever White House United State of Women Summit in Washington, DC – and it was incredible. As a brand dedicated to empowering women, we felt particularly grateful to be able to take part in such a historic day. Additionally, every person on the stage projected some serious gravitas, which is always inspiring to see. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite moments from the day, ones that celebrate the progress we’ve made towards women’s equality, illuminate the challenges we still face, and inspire us to continue the fight every single day.

Our Team’s List of Must-Watch Speakers

1.  Barack Obama:  “I may be a little grayer than I was eight years ago, but this is what a feminist looks like.”

2. Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Michelle Obama:  “You make me proud to spell my name W-O-M-A-N.” - Oprah Winfrey to the First Lady, channeling the words of the late Maya Angelou

3.  Mikaila Ulmer: “Entrepreneurs hold the American dream, and the biggest dreamers are kids.” 

Our Team’s Favorite Quotable Quotes from The Summit

  • “You can get it all, but it’s hard to get it all at the same time. It’s just a matter of managing expectations.” - First Lady Michelle Obama
  • “Our country is not just about the Benjamins. It’s about the Tubmans too. We need all our young people to know that Clara Barton and Lucretia Mott and Sojourner Truth and Eleanor Roosevelt and Dorothy Height. Those aren’t just for women’s history month. They’re the authors of our history. Women who shaped our destiny.” – President Barack Obama
  • “It will not get better until we listen to women and girls and deem their experiences valid.” - Jaha Dukareh
  • “When women succeed, America succeeds.” - Representative Nancy Pelosi
  • “If we want equity, we need diversity.” - Marley Dias
  • “The United State of Women is just like the United States of America; it is fierce, it is diverse, it is constantly changing and it is addicted to caffeine.” - Amy Poehler
  • “The girls project and I and everyone we work with are working to chip away at the barriers and bottlenecks that are keeping more than 50 million girls out of secondary schools.” - Sophia Bush


-Sylvie Palmer, Project Gravitas Intern

How to “Land a Job you Love”: The story of a recent Koru grad

This month for our Project we are featuring Kristen Hamilton and Anh Nguyen of Koru, whose winning formula connects college grads to careers that work. Meet Tiarra Dickens, who discovered Koru during her senior year of college, attended the Seattle program, and raves about it.

Job success for recent grad

Tell us about the Koru process.

Koru is a selective, immersive training program that gives college students and recent graduates the skills, experience, and connections to land a great job after college.

What did you study in college?

I studied Sociology, with a minor in Education, at Vassar College, in Poughkeepsie, New York.

How did you learn about Koru?

I was walking around campus and noticed a flyer stating, “Land a Job you Love.”

When and where did you participate?

I did the January program in Seattle, in the beginning weeks of 2014.

What did you hope to gain through Koru?

I went into Koru expecting to land a job quickly – an unrealistic expectation! I had a lot of preconceived notions on how to network and thought, as long as you know the right people, you’re sure to get your foot in the door.

What was the highlight of the program?

The cohort that I was a part of was very diverse in majors, backgrounds, upbringings and career goals. It was crazy to meet a room full of people who, without knowing you, wanted to see you succeed. My group worked on business strategies for Smartsheet and REI. We compiled market research and conducted interviews to gather data for market reports. Using this data, we pitched a solution to the corporate teams.

What 3 tangible skills did Koru give you?

1. Stay resilient.

2. Make SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely – Goals.

3. It’s not always hard work that pays off, its good work.

How are you employed today?

I work in retail merchandising, as a manager for Abercrombie’s flagship store in New York. I also intern at Project Gravitas as a stylist and work in all aspects of the company’s lookbooks.

How did Koru’s program help you?  

Without Koru I wouldn’t be employed! Koru helped me revive the love I have for fashion. I didn’t know how to market my liberal arts degree in my favor. Koru taught me how to tailor my experiences to fit the needs of any job I apply for. My coach, Anh Nguyen, connected me with Lisa Sun, the founder of Project Gravitas. Anh believed in my work ethic and went out on a limb in recommending me for the internship.

Want more inspiration? Learn about the women behind KoruCheck out our favorite commencement speechesSee how Tiarra styles her Lyle Jacket for the office.

Lyle jacket

Visit to experience the Perfect Dress - Italian fabrics, made in NYC, with a slimming secret!


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