Maiden Nation visits with Damsels in Design

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A design-oriented networking event, sample sale, new fashion app and free wine? Sign us up! The other week Maiden Nation decided to stop by one of the many events hosted by the effusive and unstoppable Damsels in Design founder, Jennifer Markas. Raised in L.A., Jenn moved east for school, graduating from Boston University and Parsons with degrees in finance and art history. Given her dichotomous background, it’s no wonder that Jenn understands the importance of a well-rounded portfolio of skills in todays shifting job market. Keeping this in mind, she founded Damsels in Design to be a professional networking organization for women in the design world; a community of people working or studying in architecture, fashion, digital media, design history, graphic design, museum administration and more. She’s committed to connecting women from different disciplines, driven by the belief that an understanding of the “big picture” contributes to a better end result for everyone involved. 

The wonderful people at Tusk, a shop specializing in high-quality leather accessories, hosted the night’s affair. Originally from Bombay, Hiten Manseta decided to transform his family’s 50-year-old factory into a contemporary design firm in New York in 1990; and thus Tusk was born. In their own words, Tusks’ products, “Like the ivory amulet of its namesake…represent the sublime blend of the bold and sensuous”, with impeccable quality and rich colors that evoke India. Being able to simultaneously shop a fabulous sample sale and meet equally fabulous people was undoubtedly a success – and this Maiden, at least, left with a new wallet in tow!

Many of DiD’s events serve purposes as manifold as the participating damsels themselves – the gathering tonight was, as usual, meant to be primarily a cocktail hour networking event. The focus, however, was on the presentation of Sotiria Krikelis’ new fashion app, “StyleScan.” Aimed at helping those of us overwhelmed by the ever-changing trends of today’s fashion world, it allows users to scan barcodes on particularly perplexing items (what to wear with those fire-engine-red pants? How to accessorize a cape?) and turn up designer-styled images of the product in question. Sotiria has currently partnered with Tusk, Michael Kors and Forever 21, and is working on expanding the app to include user submitted photos and barcode-free item recognition. 

From our point of view the night was a smashing success, and we’re sure we’ll find ourselves at more Damsel in Design events in the future (maybe the upcoming Holiday Soiree?). To learn more, or become a Damsel yourself, visit

By Kate Andersen