Emma Mcil­roy


Inc. (USA) - - 100 FF - —Han­nah Wal­lace

Soon af­ter launch­ing her tomboy ap­parel com­pany, Mcil­roy got an in­tro­duc­tion to Zap­pos CEO Tony Hsieh. She flew to Ve­gas to meet Hsieh for lunch, and he asked, “If I had a magic wand, what could I do for you?” Mcil­roy, un­pre­pared, bab­bled some­thing about want­ing to work with his head of op­er­a­tions and cus­tomer ser­vice. “When I got home I was like, ‘Fuck! I did not do that ques­tion jus­tice,’ ” says Mcil­roy, who had pre­vi­ously worked at Nike with her co-founder, Ju­lia Pars­ley. She more than sal­vaged the con­ver­sa­tion—even­tu­ally get­ting Hsieh to in­vest twice in her Port­land, Ore­gon–based com­pany—but she’s also since built a brand im­bued with so­cial jus­tice. Mcil­roy, who is queer, vo­cally pro-choice, and proim­mi­gra­tion, an­i­mates her six-year-old com­pany’s prod­uct line with these tenets. “It’s so much more than just money,” she says of run­ning a mis­sion-based retailer that’s de­vel­oped a cult fol­low­ing among celebs in­clud­ing Mi­ley Cyrus and Evan Rachel Wood. “You have to live and breathe it in ev­ery facet of your busi­ness.”

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