Steph Adams - Harnessing Digital for Women's Empowerment
L'ÉPOQUE - Steph Adams is an award winning author known for her books Fashion & Style, Style in Paris, Luxury in Paris, Success Secrets and her most famous book, The Game Changers, which has been acclaimed worldwide.
07.19.2023 © L'ÉPOQUE USA
By Lilly Carter
Steph Adams on the Cover of L'ÉPOQUE USA - Photo by © Lello Ammirati.
A model and founder of a luxury cosmetics company, Steph Adams PTE LTD., she spent ten years in front of the camera before making a name for herself as artistic director of e-commerce giant Net-a-Porter and several magazines including British Vogue, Vogue Australia, Harpers Bazaar, Elle UK, Marie Claire, Vogue, GQ and Condé Nast Voyageur. She has also appeared on billboards in New York Times Square in July 2023.
Since her debut in the digital world in 2010 as an ambassador for numerous luxury brands, she has regularly been seen in the front row of Paris Fashion Week, as well as on the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival and the Venice Biennale Film Festival. She is a strong activist for women's health and empowerment and supports international charities.
© Steph Adams.
Steph Adams has published more than twelve books and interviewed over a hundred celebrities who have distinguished themselves through their artistic and social activities. Among them Hollywood producers and celebrities such as Clint Eastwood, Eva Green, Jo Malone, Scott Steindorff, Charlotte Tilbury, India Hicks, Cayetano Rivera Ordóñez, Aerin Lauder, Rachel Zoe, Bobbi Brown, Elle Macpherson, Melissa Odabash, Olivia Palermo , Tamara Ralph, Jess Mauboy, Sophia Webster, Natalie Bassinthwaighte, Natalie Imbruglia, Teresa Palmer. She has also interviewed aristocrats such as His Royal Highness Princess Tatiana of Greece, Meghan Markle and His Royal Highness Prince Nereides Antonio Giamundo de Bourbon of France.
Fashion & Style was one of the best-selling books in France in September 2020 and a bestseller in the United States. For the last years, Steph Adams has been featured in L'Époque Paris, L'Officiel Monaco, Moevir Paris Magazine, L'Officiel Austria, GMARI Italy, Bloom Roma, Vous Spain, L'Amour Paris, Malvie France and L'Officiel Cyprus.
L'ÉPOQUE USA dedicates its July issue to Steph Adams with an exclusive interview as follwos.
Steph Adams in Nereides de Bourbon haute couture gown - Photo by © Lello Ammirati.
Communication is undoubtedly an art. You are a master at creating both printed books and digital content. Where does your desire to communicate come from? Social media has become one of the most powerful sources of communication in the world today. It can open up so many doors for you and give you a voice that you may have never had before. I moved into the digital world in 2010 after working with Net-a-Porter and I began Instagram in 2012. To have your own voice on a platform where the world is watching is just incredible. All the books that I publish help to give other women a voice that they may not have had a platform to do so. I am a strong supporter of women’s empowerment and also I love to focus on charities that are important to me that are supporting women. 'The Game Changers' is a saga in several acts dedicated to successful women. What inspires you to write about other women and their stories? My co-author and I would often take morning walks together around Sydney harbour in Darling Point. We would discuss ideas that were career focused. We would often be saying to each other how difficult it was to decide on a career path and if only there was a bible of advice from women…. Long story short, The Game Changers was born. We had no idea that when we embarked on collecting women’s stories that there were so many women who had rock bottom moments, that was what gave us the confidence to keep going. You will always have moments when you doubt yourself or if you are going through something difficult. The key is to just keep pushing through.
Steph Adams for © Christian Dior.
What defines success for you? The freedom to travel and spend time with the people I love. It’s also very important to have your own time and space. I feel very lucky that I get to travel all over the world meeting new people that inspire me everyday and keep doing what I love. My work never feels like work, but when I am home I am dedicating that time to my family. You have interviewed various personalities from around the world. How do you choose the people you interview in your books? What inspires you to choose one person over another? This is always very difficult. I find a lot of people I am watching over Instagram, in fact many of the charities I have found that way. Usually some people I will be able to think of and then I will have to search for a long time. What influence does freedom of expression have on a woman's success? If we are able to express ourselves clearly then you know that it is coming from somewhere deep within. If you are passionate about something, it shows and can help to build on your success.
© Steph Adams.
In many countries, the voice of many women is still limited by a system that favors men in important positions, such as cultural, social, economic, religious, and political spheres. In the United States itself, women have not yet achieved equal opportunity. It is no coincidence that the only time a woman held the office of President of the United States happened purely by chance in 2021, when Kamala Harris replaced Biden for literally only 25 minutes, the time of the surgery. What do you say about this inequality between men and women? I am so proud of how far women have come today, Women’s share of leadership roles is steadily increasing. Although we still have a long way to go, more and more women are paving the way to success. How can books and digital communication convey positive messages and promote women's empowerment and gender equality? The visual aspect I believe can help to convey positive messages. This is why instagram has been one of the most powerful tools, because it’s the visual image you take in that you subconsciously remember or associate with something positive. Books have the ability to showcase positive messages through the people you bring to the table.
Steph Adams at the © Cannes Film Festival
You have written best-selling books on luxury and style, and others on fashion. What is style for you? Style is the way you express yourself. It’s not necessarily about the designer. The way a woman dresses should reflect the cities and countries she has been to and the people she has met. Some famous haute couture houses like Chanel and Christian Dior have entrusted their creative direction to talented women, on whom the commercial success of these true luxury empires depends. Is there a designer you particularly admire and if so, for what reason? Stephane Rolland is such an incredible and talented designer. All his designs are with drama and theatre (literally, they had a movie filming his show this season!). You can be watching his show with all these elegant dresses and then suddenly a woman appears in something very sheer with barely anything underneath. It’s the drama that keeps people fascinated in his every collection. Another favourite of mine was Maria Grazia Chiuri’s latest collection for Dior SS23 was completely breath-taking, long elegant and simplistic lines in cream and black with beautiful embroidery. While Virginie Viard kept inline with the Chanel aesthetic of short skirts in tweed with belts and embellished jackets. I have always loved Chanel. Other designers I love for their unique aesthetic are Giambattista Valli, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Elie Saab, Zuhair Murad and Valentino. I always do think about how stressful it must be for the designer of large fashion houses to be entrusted as creative director, but then when you see the models walk out and the level of talent by the way the the garment is constructed and falls, it’s just incredibly mind-blowing.
Steph Adams on billboards in New York Times Square in July 2023.
The world of luxury has recently updated its codes and also its language. There are still printed magazines that deal with luxury, but today it is the digital press that sets the trends. What are the new prospects for digital marketing in 2023 and how does the use of social networks influence the socio-cultural habits of Internet users? The fashion and digital world keep shifting. Digital press has much more impact than printed magazines. Often we are so busy we do not have time to read a magazine, but with everyone on-line, it’s a lot easier to get our information from digital magazines. Your Instagram profile has reached 3.2 million followers. What does it mean to you that so many people follow you? Social media has become a very powerful tool. When I was younger, I would have to wait for the printed magazine to come out, go and buy it and read what people were wearing because there was no social media. Now days, if we want inspiration, we can just click and it’s instant. Social media is a form of inspiration and escapism. We watch other people’s worlds so we can escape from our everyday life. The challenges of social media mean that you constantly have to be creating content or be doing something inspiring.
© Steph Adams.
How would you define your style and why? My style changes depending on my mood. But I love simplistic and elegant styles. What advice would you give to those who want to work in digital communication and especially in social networks? You should definitely start something if it’s the direction you want to be heading into. There is no greater time to start than now! Can you give us some details about your next book? 'Fashion Icons' reveals women’s stories of how they entered the fashion industry. Each woman revealing their challenges and career highlights, giving advice on fashion, style and the power of social media that has propelled them into the forefront of where they are today.