International Women's Day According to...

For International Women's Day this March 8, we asked some of our favourite designers, CEOs and photographers to share an image or thought that embodies what womanhood means to them. 

“Learning to know yourself.” – Kym Ellery, designer

“There is no one definition of womanhood. Every woman’s experience is unique and that is to be celebrated.” – Kate Sylvester, designer

Photo by Sylve Colless

Sylve Colless, photographer: "To me, womanhood means power in vulnerability."

“As our own warrior woman, Camilla Franks, demonstrated through her fight with breast cancer while looking after a new baby and pouring  creativity into her latest collections, women have the emotional intelligence and resilience to overcome monumental adversities.” – Jane McNally, CEO at Camilla

“The beauty of working together to bring love, kindness and solution to the world and those who need it.” – Jaynie Johnson, Blacklist Studio

Photo by Brydie Mack

Brydie Mack, photographer: "This image depicts womanhood in its most primitive form: we are the nurturers. Women have the most beautiful maternal essence – a gentle empathy for all living creatures, a biological need to nurture. In a disconnected world, this is so easily numbed, and to me, this image speaks of the need to invoke our primal instincts."

"According to me, womanhood doesn’t have a lot of meaning because I have never limited myself physically or mentally. Quite simply, womanhood is whatever I make it – no more, no less. Being a woman has never held me back or stopped me from living my best life. Instead, I try to balance work, family and friends while still believing the world is my oyster.” – Renae James, designer at Papinelle

“Womanhood is a force of energy that is created on connection. Connection to yourself and to other women empowers and encourages your ambition and humility in life.” – Rachel Gilbert, designer

Photo by Carlotta Moye

Carlotta Moye, photographer: “I’ve been photographing Paris for the past few years. In that time, I’ve seen her grow into a confident, beautiful, kind-hearted girl. She still has a sense of innocence about her as she navigates her way through the world. I love that she is kissing herself. She really does love herself, in the best possible way.”

“Womanhood is recognition of a new dawning of identity politics. The disruption right now is about ‘who I am’ more than ‘how I look’. Womanhood, coupled with feminism, is about fairness – the fundamental right to participate in choices that affect my future. It is the acceptance of the opposing dynamic tensions of strength and power, juxtaposed with vulnerability and femininity. Womanhood is knowing that I am enough while embracing my imperfection.” – Trelise Cooper, designer

“Womanhood, for us, is about uplifting and educating the next generation of women to support one another, whether it be socially, professionally or on a more personal level.” – Becky Cooper and Bridget Yorston, Bec & Bridge co-founders.

Photo by Akila Berjaoui

Akila Berjaoui, photographer: “The seaside crowd under hazy, filtered sunlight; tan lines blooming along the gentle curves of a woman’s body – I try to capture subtle sensuality through my work. This photo was taken last summer at Da Adolfo in Positano as we rinsed off the salt after our last swim of the day.”

“Womanhood is having the ability to shape my world in a way that is unique to me, but inclusive and caring of others. Womanhood is having other women lift you up and guide you to new possibilities.” – Jac Hunt, Jac+ Jack co-founder.

“It’s complicated. At any given moment you are required to be nurturing, generous and selfless; and the next, strong, single-minded and fearless. You are a bit of everything and this is why I admire all the women around me.” – Lee Mathews, designer.

Photo by Stefania Paparelli

Stefania Paparelli, photographer: “This image reminds me of a great day, shooting at Centennial Park in Sydney with a team of women who inspire me. I love the way Jamila is looking into the camera; looking at me. She’s so strong but fragile at the same time. I love the composition, the fragility of the moment, the intimacy.”

“Womanhood, to me, is knowing who you are. I think women are strong and have a huge responsibility to lead by example. We are naturally compassionate and have so much empathy that can make big changes to society.” – Anna Plunkett, Romance Was Born co-founder

“We are inspired by our muse; a woman of contrasts. She identifies with many roles in any day, and through it all she finds power in her femininity and fearlessness.” – Alexandra and Genevieve Smart, Ginger & Smart co-founders

“Women are embracing their strengths, triumphs and opportunities in a way we’ve never seen before. I believe womanhood is at its most powerful when a woman feels completely confident and at home with herself.” – Edwina Forest, Aje co-founder.

Want to read more about inspirational women? Meet Karolína Kurková, supermodel, entrepreneur and mother.