Incredible Women

Model And Writer Naomi Shimada Is Our Latest Guest On The Incredible Women Podcast: Champions Of Change

In season six of NET-A-PORTER’s Incredible Women podcast, we bring together a phenomenal lineup of women, all of whom are driving vital change to shape the future of the industries they work in, and beyond

Naomi Shimada

Episode 3: Naomi Shimada

Our third guest is the wonderfully irreverent Naomi Shimada, a dynamic force within the fashion industry who is shifting the dial by candidly speaking out against oppressive and unrealistic body standards and challenging the ways in which beauty is defined.

Having started out as a model, Shimada felt increasingly aware of the one-dimensional beauty ideals of her profession. These conversations around diversity and inclusivity, and Shimada’s relatable take on the world around her, found a passionate online audience, and she now hosts the Beauty Fix with Naomi Shimada podcast on BBC Sounds.

Shimada’s first book, Mixed Feelings – Exploring the Emotional Impact of our Digital Habits, co-authored with journalist Sarah Raphael, was published in 2019. In it, our relationship with digital devices is explored, with the focus firmly on how social media has created a new layer of perfectionist pressure on our lives and how we can better manage our online worlds. In 2021, Shimada took part in a TED discussion on anxiety and social media that has been viewed more than 270,000 times.

Listen in as she talks to NET-A-PORTER’s fashion director Kay Barron about embracing change despite fear, connecting over the ‘messiness’ that makes us human, and trying to stay soft in a hard world.

To listen to Champions of Change, subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and many more*

Read highlights from Naomi Shimada’s episode below…

“I’m trying to be as malleable and as open to change as possible… I think change is something we so often fear, but everything we want fits in that crux of being able to embrace [it].”

“No matter what we look like, we deserve to be seen and loved and appreciated as we are, for the truth of who we are.”

“I’m creating the world that I want to see and be a part of, tangibly and in a way that I know how.”

“This is the work that I will be doing for my lifetime: really being able to connect over the things that make us most human… and I think that takes vulnerability; that takes courage for all of us to be able to connect over the things that really make us who we are.”

“I don’t believe the technology is inherently evil; the technology is neutral. It’s how we use it, or how it’s been programmed, that creates the ‘mixed feelings’.”

Episode 2: Leila Yavari

From fashion director to strategic advisor and human-rights activist, our second podcast guest, Leila Yavari, demonstrates the power of a professional change. She was born in Tehran, Iran, and moved to California with her family when she was a child. As a student, Yavari dabbled in modeling, but it was a career in fashion that eventually made her a well-known figure among the international street-style set.

Yavari was never short of academic drive (she has a masters in political science and studied for a PhD at the University of California, Berkeley), and she sees her career at the upper echelons of fashion as a distinct ‘real-world’ advantage to her work now in the environmental and human-rights space, consulting with businesses and non-profits as a strategic advisor.

She currently serves as director of development at Saving Innocence, an LA-based non-profit organization that focuses on the recovery and restoration of child victims of sex-trafficking, connecting these children to communities and celebrating their achievements. She is also an outspoken advocate for the women of her native Iran and is developing programs that support them in their battle for dignity and democracy.

To listen to Champions of Change, subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and many more*

Read highlights from Leila Yavari’s episode below…

“I’m really just here as a representative of the hopes and aspirations of the women of Iran, who are sacrificing life and limb as we speak – for the right to bodily autonomy, freedom of expression and democracy. I think they’re the real champions of change.”

“I would prefer for women to have an opportunity to thrive in this world. And it’s not just west or east; it’s not just some amorphous, horrible group of men in the Middle East who are holding women back – it’s everywhere.”

“Ladies, do not protect your abusers. I told no one for many years, and I silently disappeared. And I think it’s a shame, because I think I have a voice that could have been very, very valuable in that space.”

“It gives Iranians inside of Iran tremendous courage to know that they have international support and that we’re standing behind them, and that they’re not sacrificing themselves in vain and they’re not dying in the dark. So, the more we share their stories, the more courage it gives them.”

Leila Yavari
Este Haim

Episode 1: Este Haim

Kicking off our sixth series of the Incredible Women podcast, Champions of Change, is Este Haim, singer, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist. She’s also one-third of the award-winning, record-breaking band Haim, which she formed in 2007 with her sisters, Alana and Danielle.

Music was an integral part of the Haim sisters’ upbringing, and they were taught to play instruments from an early age by their parents; in fact, it was Este’s father who encouraged her to learn bass guitar. From the early days of playing 50-capacity venues to being nominated for the Album of the Year at the 2021 Grammy Awards – the first all-female rock band to hold the distinction, for their album Women in Music, Pt III – Este’s commitment to championing female artists and diversifying the male-dominated industry has been a constant.

Her work has also expanded into other areas of music in recent years: in 2021, she composed the score for the Netflix series Maid, starring Margaret Qualley, and she recently served as music consultant for season two of The White Lotus.

Listen in as she talks to NET-A-PORTER content director Alice Casely-Hayford about taking creative control, moving the music industry forward, and the thrill she gets from inspiring other women to pick up an instrument.

To listen to Champions of Change, subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and many more*

Read highlights from Este Haim’s episode below…

“It’s so important to surround yourself with women who empower other women and support women and only want women to do well. And I think it’s a feather in our cap whenever there’s a win, right? It’s a feather in everyone’s cap.”

“What I love to hear is other women who have seen us play and are like, ‘OK, I’m picking up a guitar’; ‘OK, I’m picking up a bass’; ‘I’m gonna start taking drum lessons.’ That resonates the most with me.”

“I think Taylor [Swift] is super-inspiring – just being around her, I think it’s hard not to be taken and inspired by her and her work ethic… she’s just so prolific.”

“If something doesn’t feel right, but it’s an opportunity, and you’re like, oh, fuck… I’m giving up a lot here… I think it’s more important, especially in the music industry, to really be able to have as much creative control as you possibly can – creative control and control within your career. So, if someone wants to take a little bit of that away, don’t let them; stick to your guns.”

Champions of Change

Returning for its sixth season, NET-A-PORTER’s Incredible Women podcast continues to celebrate women who are leading the charge for change across the realms of fashion, film, music, art and the media – from inspiring activists to creative entrepreneurs, chart-topping musicians to award-winning writers. This season is entitled Champions of Change and features intimate conversations with the likes of singer, songwriter and one-third of the record-breaking band Haim, Este Haim; activist, advisor and former fashion director Leila Yavari; writer and model Naomi Shimada; journalist, author and founder of gal-dem, Liv Little; and Gen-Z technologist, inventor, environmentalist and bestselling author Kiara Nirghin.

Hosted by NET-A-PORTER’s content director, Alice Casely-Hayford, and fashion director Kay Barron, the intimate conversations give an eye-opening insight into the lives and work of these inspirational women.

Season six of NET-A-PORTER’s Incredible Women podcast, Champions of Change, includes interviews with Naomi Shimada (left), Este Haim (center) and Leila Yavari


Listen to previous series of our Incredible Women podcast: The Rule Breakers, Celebrating Togetherness, Changemakers, The New Guard and The Disruptors

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