With the arrival of March, we’re proud to celebrate International Women’s Day all month long, and to extend our support, we sat down and spoke with eight creative women to highlight their work in practice.
The theme of this year’s IWD is “Break The Bias” — seeking a world free of stereotypes and discrimination where difference is valued and celebrated to create a world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
We were fortunate enough to talk with women from Toronto and Vancouver, discussing their careers, achievements, and upbringings while focusing on their artistry and individuality. They welcomed us into their homes, studios, and workspaces to get a feel about who they are, what they do, and why International Women’s Day is important to them.
Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do?
My name is Monica Fernandes — also known as “Knives” in the dance community — and I’m a krumper from Toronto. I’ve been dancing for 10 years now and currently focus on teaching the style.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day, to me, is a day to celebrate and appreciate the women in your life. It’s a day to acknowledge the amazing things women have achieved and how they keep inspiring us to be great.
In your experience, what skills have been essential to succeed in your field?
Discipline! I didn’t start out the best, but over the years I’ve continued to practice and make sure I was as great as my peers. Being in a male-dominated style, I always felt I had to work twice as hard to be considered a contender.
How can we encourage more women to pursue entrepreneurial roles/creative careers?
I always say to lead by example. Inspiring people through action is the easiest way to bring them into your world and make them want to work towards their goals.
Which women inspired you growing up and why?
Fortunately, I have a lot of dope women around me that keep me inspired. My sister and I are complete opposites but I draw so much inspiration from her strength and wit.
Which aspects of your career are you most proud of?
My career has taken me so many places I wouldn’t have imagined, and I feel so blessed for that. One of my proudest moments was being able to teach krump on the west coast (where krump was born) alongside my husband.
Do you have a favourite moment from Nike’s longstanding history of empowering women?
One of my favourite pairs of Air Force 1s came out of “The Future is Female” DIY Nike hosted at Nordstrom. The brand has been in my collection from the start and has always fit my true style.
What’s your favourite Nike shoe and why?
My favorite Nike shoe is definitely the Air Force 1 silhouette.
For more from Monica Fernandes, you can check her out at @knivesz__.