WOTH N09 all things design created by WOMEN!

N09 celebrates the wonderful difference women make in every discipline of design. Big names like Jeannette Altherr, Rossana Orlandi, Marva Griffin Wilshire, Nika Zupanc and Hansje van Halem. See how Bethan Laura Wood, Mieke Meijer work and live, and discover the ever cheerful and wild portfolio of Nathalie du Pasquier. The surreal cover art was created by Michela Castagnaro and her partner Sander Wassink, blending the best of Eindhoven and Milan. N09 is a frilly, frivolous, flippant, godly, gracious and giving monument to the feminine touch, bringing together designs, interiors, projects and exhibitions created by more than 75 top women from all over the world.

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Thank god for gay emancipation – the LGBTQ+ (the acronym keeps getting longer, but that’s just fine) community stands for diversity and tolerance. When I saw two elderly men getting married in the southern United States on TV last year I was deeply moved. Yes, we still have a long way to go, but the fight is being fought, united and with enormous energy. Which makes me wonder – what are we women actually doing for each other? Not nearly enough, I’m afraid. . . I grew up in the 1970s, feminism was a fact of life, but a rather unappealing one.

I’ve never really had to wonder whether I could or couldn’t do something because I’m a girl. Mostly because of my exceptional and liberated mother, who raised me on her own. Not that she stormed the barricades, that wasn’t her thing and she didn’t have the time anyway, busy as she was making a living. She lived a quiet life according to her own rules, regardless of what anybody else thought. I owe her bigtime. Sure, in the 1970s we too had books by Wayne Dyer and other self-help gurus on the shelf, but my mother knew who she was. She provided me with a robust moral compass. It might be thanks to my upbringing that I – and many with me – are so fond of unconventional, headstrong, independent, couldn’t-care-less and sometimes absolutely crazy women like Eileen Grey, Ayn Rand, Ray Eames, Amelia Earhart, Gae Aulenti and Charlotte Perriand. Women who have determined history.

Of course we have to keep honouring each and every headstrong fibre of their being. But maybe it’s time to sing a different tune, too. Time to do things together, time for warmth, for helping out. Time to celebrate the power of women. The solidarity of the 1970s on repeat. We’ve started by making a fun, frivolous, fresh and optimistic issue that puts women front and centre. Together.

— Editorial founding editor
Mary Hessing