WGSN’s International Women’s Day Playlist
By Carlene Thomas Bailey

At WGSN we wanted to take the time to celebrate women globally with empowering anthems and talk about the changes we’d like to see for women in 2016.

Mar 08, 2016

64 min

March 8th is an incredibly important day for women across the globe, it’s a chance to have the spotlight on them to celebrate how far women have come and the battles they still have to fight. At WGSN we are in the business of fashion and retail, an industry where women are well represented but issues around the lack of equal pay and boardroom access are prevalent.

So I asked the WGSN London team (men and women) to name an anthem, (one that signifies and celebrates women), to talk about why they love it and what they would like to see women achieve in 2016. Enjoy!


1. Shanu Walpita, Youth Editor

Song:  “Adore” by Savages

Why? When I think of empowered ladies making music these days (that aren’t Beyoncé) I think of these chicks. Not only do they rock HARD, they also exude a toughness and intelligence that I aspire to (but am actually secretly too shy to actually be). This song is so strong, and sonically it’s what I believe women are – tender, sharp and powerful.

This year I would like to see: I want women to have a voice, be it on a grand scale or at home.


2. Vanessa Belleau, Head of Consultancy EMEA.

 Song: ‘Video’ by India Arie

Why? The lyrics are all about accepting/loving yourself and ‘just do you’ by not relying on only external beauty but your inner beauty. >> from the chorus:  ‘But I learned to love myself unconditionally, because I am a queen’ […] I’m not the average girl from your video. My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes’

This year I would like to see: I just want all women to love themselves and really stop comparing themselves to others! Individuality is so much more interesting than conformism! ;))


3. Petah Marian, Senior Editor, Retail Intelligence

Song: Express yourself by Madonna

Why? Because it’s Madonna, the woman who is an icon of female empowerment.

This year I would like to see: My goal is for women to not feel afraid of speaking up in large and small ways – to speak out against injustice, but also to not be afraid of their voices in smaller spaces, to remember that their contributions are just as worthy as anyone elses.

4. Sara Maggioni, Director, Retail & Buying

Song: Can’t Hold Us Down- Christina Aguilera Feat Lil Kim

Why? The title itself says it all: “me and my girls have an opinion and you can’t hold us down!” Lil Kim’s fiery rapping adds a bit of edge and I like the dancehall elements in it. The whole song talks about women standing up for themselves, and encourages “all the girls all around the world” to voice their opinion and never take crap from anyone.

This year I would like to see: women have basic human rights. My best friend works for the UN, and still in so many different corners of the globe women are constantly getting sexually assaulted, beaten and publicly humiliated – the stories are literally blood-curdling and while this is a huge issue that can’t be solved quickly, it’s something that MUST change.


5. Allison Goodfellow-Ash, Kidswear Editor

Song: Oh My Mamma – Alela Diane

Why? When I’m chilling with my daughter we sing this together [ which now makes me well-up with tears because she’s beginning to ask for Justin Bieber instead, and that’s a reminder of how emotionally resilient us adults have to be! ]

This year I would like to see: Women get some more historical acknowledgment please, women have been around just as long as men. I love the website a mighty girl, a great resource to help empower my attempt at feminist parenting.


6. Lisa Douet , Consultant, Mindset 

Song: “Just a Girl” by No Doubt

Why? It’s quite ironic and it’s mocking the patriarchal vision that see women as eternal little, fragile girls that need to be protected and hand held. It’s mocking the stereotype of the “fragile” woman in a smart and funny way and I think it’s quite cool.

This year I would like to see: an end to all the pre-conceived ideas and stereotypical references that a lot of people and sometimes women themselves still have regarding femininity. I’d love to see more free-minded women getting rid of all the psychological barriers that we still have to really succeed.


7. Laurence PasquierEditor, Lifestyle & Interiors

Song: I’m so Excited by Le Tigre

Why? It’s such a brilliant classic. SHE wants HIM, and she’s going for it!! It’s about a woman’s right to express herself and feel free to say what she wants. And this version is so punchy (and even a little bit angry..?)

This year I would like to see: Equality! But not just around the pay issue, but other issues like not having to feel unsafe ever. It’s important that as women we are respected and never made to feel “inferior” ever again!


8. Jen Kettle, Lead Sub Editor

Song: Everything is Everything by Lauryn Hill

Why? This song isn’t so much about feminism as considering how the world works, promoting equality and self worth – I particularly like the lyric “More powerful than two Cleopatras” – it’s also an example of the scope of Hill’s songwriting, not limiting herself to discussing traditional topics such as relationships in her art and encouraging others to enter conversations about race and politics.

This year I would like to see: An end to the double standards women face when expressing their sexuality.


9. Helen Sac, Head of Mindset & Content Asia Pacific

Song MIA – Bad girls !!

Why? Because MIA is a such an inspiring singer-songwriter, not afraid to say how she feels about any and everything (also this song is just the best to dance to)

This year I would like to see: Girls feeling free to be whoever they want to be, no more stereotyped rules about what we can and can’t do or be.


10. Emily Cater Associate Editor, City by City Travel

Song: Fighter by Christina Aguilera

Why? It’s a power anthem

This year I would like to see: Women paid the same as men doing the same job, and I would LOVE to see an end to female celebrities depicted in a perspective which solely relates to what they’re wearing/what they look like/who they’re dating as opposed to their work. Men don’t face the same scrutiny on that level.

11. Dan Bisson, Editor of Footwear & Accessories

Song: Rihanna – * Better Have My Money

Why? I feel this track is fierce and has a strong female empowering attitude. It’s all about being independent but adding some fun elements to it.

What I’d love women to get this year: I would love women to have equal pay and the same opportunities that guys have.


12. Hannah Craggs, Editor of Colour

Clare Preston, Operations Director.

Song:  I’m Every Woman by Chaka Khan

WHY? Hannah: If bellowing the 70’s anthem “I’m every woman, it’s all in me,” at the top of your lungs doesn’t say girl power, I don’t know what does. Chaka’s tune is all about the idea that as a woman ‘having it all’ doesn’t mean you have to have it all, not all the time, but you know you can… if you want.  And that being in a relationship doesn’t make you any less independent. Sing it Sister…

This year I would like to see: Clare: I’d love all girls to grow into the women they want to be – without limits.


13. Laura Yiannakou, Associate Editor, womenswear

Song? Good Times by Jamie XX ft. Young Thug & Popcaan

Why? The song is all about good summer vibes in general and it particularly reminds me of the West Coast, cruising down the Big Sur in a convertible on one of the best and sunniest two week holidays of my life…

This year I would like to see: More women taking and enjoying a holiday, we all need some chill time to recoup, refresh and feel creative again.


14. Jane Monnington Boddy, Director Colour & Womenswear

Song? Caught Out There by Kelis

Why? Because it’s loud and angry and unapologetic.

This year I would like to see: It saddens me that we still have to keep debating and fighting for our worth, so it’s a bit idealistic but I really wish we didn’t have to keep having these same conversations about pay and equality, I wish it was just fact, no more discrimination, no more treating women as lesser.

15. Ryan Perry, Image Quality Controller

Song: Step by Step by Whitney Houston

Why: The lyrics say it all-  ‘Oh, but I won’t let my spirit fail me. Oh, I won’t let my spirit go. Until I get to my destination. I’m gonna take it slowly cuz I’m making it mine’

This year I would like to see: Women truly acknowledged equally through same the financial arrangements as their male counterparts in the workplace, the time is now.

WGSN's International Women's Day Playlist

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