Driven by Grayes: Lessons on what happens when a room of powerful women come together

We teamed up with Grayes to create a capsule collection that some of the most remarkable women in Toronto helped design. Our Project Manager, Stacey Orth, talks about how we got it all done.

When our clients come to us for ideas, they’re looking for a new perspective. When Grayes founder Stephanie Ray reached out to us, she knew we could whip up a press release, social post or digital strategy in our sleep (figuratively, not literally, that would be an entirely different blog post), but that wasn’t what she needed. The audience Stephanie was trying to reach wasn’t spending all their time perusing Instagram or flipping through magazines. Steph was trying to reach high profile CEOs, accomplished and at times alarmingly busy business women who don’t always have time to consume content the way many of us do. To reach these women, she needed a fresh idea that took into account what they value, how they communicate and how she could help them be the best versions of themselves.

Stephanie was inspired to launch the Grayes clothing line after noticing a lack of fashionable, practical, and affordable business wear options for professional women. As a motivated woman with a sense of purpose, great instincts and a ton of drive, Steph’s story stuck out to us and sparked some initial inspiration. We wanted to highlight the versatility of her clothing line while putting the woman inside the garments at centre stage.

Professional women want to look and feel their best while they are kicking butt in their personal and professional life – they need clothes that work just as hard as they do! To bring this sentiment to life we wanted to work with influencers that really captured the essence of Grayes. We chose inspirational, successful and most of all, driven women from the Toronto business community to tell their stories while bringing the Grayes brand to life.

While many people think of influencers as lifestyle models “doing it for the ‘gram”, we wanted to work with a less traditional type of influencer. While the women we worked with may not have thousands of followers on Instagram, they are deeply connected within the Toronto business community and represent a diverse range of sectors. The Grayes Driven campaign was brought to life by Kirstine Stewart – President and CRO at TribalScale and TribalScale Venture Studios,  Laura McGee – Co-Founder of #GoSponsorHer and Founder of Summit Leaders, Michelle Khalili – Private Capital Veteran and Elena Mayer, Mining Maven – Client Relationships, Mining at PwC and Women Who Rock President and CEO.

To showcase the versatility of Grayes, we worked with each of the women to develop the Driven by Grayes capsule collection with limited edition pieces, representing Kirstine, Laura, Michelle and Elena. Each woman chose silhouettes, patterns and fabrics that fit with their personal style and could transition from the office to their life outside of work. From Kirstine’s crisp white blazer, to Elena’s natural resource inspired dress, the capsule collection captured each woman’s style.

The design process culminated in an amazing photo shoot. Each woman was photographed in her capsule piece, styled with both a day look (think briefcases, blazers and nude lipstick), and a night look (stilettos, statement jewellery and leather jackets) to showcase the versatility of the Grayes line. We also got the chance to chat with each woman about their respective industries, their personal and professional journeys and their style identity for our campaign video. Luckily for us, what was one of the busiest days of the campaign preparation was also a fun day of laughter, lessons, networking and dress up. A tribe of strong, Driven women (and a handful of equally awesome men!) came together to deliver the visual aspects of the campaign while living and practicing the core values of the Grayes brand; support, versatility, femininity and strength.

As much as we love shopping, playing dress up and throwing parties, we loved working on this campaign because of all the strong, successful women we got to meet. Getting to work and chat with such inspirational women each day at work was certainly a treat and we also learned many lessons from them. Among them, that success in any industry can wear many different hats (get it?) and is almost never reached linearly. And on top of that it never hurts to have a killer outfit and a sassy red lip when you’re runway walking into the boardroom.