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Trailblazers in DTLA

The editorial team has a special attachment to our new series, The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative, because so many of us feel that media portrayals of women have been too one dimensional. Today, women are doing incredible things in all fields – from science and technology to finance, law, business, athletics and more.  With the Trailblazers series, we hope to highlight and celebrate female role models, encourage more equal and just representation in the media, and help foster a more tight-knit community locally helping women find mentors, business partners, friends and more.

Below, you’ll find some incredible trailblazers from in and around DTLA that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Francesca Harding

I officially began a career in music about ten years ago as a DJ here in Los Angeles. Growing up, I had always been fascinated by the craft. If I attended an event with friends, for example, I was always that person standing too close to the DJ, watching them work, studying how they set the vibe in the room and how they controlled the energy of the crowd. Read more>>

Ava and Laura Lisbona

Ava and I have been besties since before we can remember life. We’ve always loved to listen to music together. Ava: We started DJing about ten years ago. To learn, we’d go in between waitressing shifts to our friends’ nightclub (Monarch) in San Francisco, during the day when it was closed, so we could practice mixing records in the basement. Read more>>

Luciana Varkulja

I am an architect and urban designer originally from Brazil, living and working in the US for the past 15 years. LA has been home since 2017. I am currently writing from my apartment in São Paulo, Brazil. I have been here since the end of March due to the pandemic. I was living in a 15 people house in Ktown – coliving is one of my teaching and personal research subjects but that turned into a health concern issue within a very short span of time. Read more>>

Danielle Adams

You can ask my hometown friends going as far back as 5th grade. While I was working at S’well, I started shooting with The Infatuation on the side, which led me to my role as Becca’s Senior Digital Media Manager + Photographer. It was inevitable I would end up working with food professionally. Read more>>

Amanda My Tran

I pursued my dance career at the University of California, Santa Barbara under the direction of Christopher Pilafian, Nancy Colahan, and Christina McCarthy, graduating in 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance and Choreography. I grew up training intensely in ballet, but my short, muscular physique didn’t quite fit the “ideal” ballerina stereotype. Read more>>

Thy Nguyen

I have loved fashion ever since I was little and always knew I wanted to work in the fashion industry. I started off dreaming of becoming a fashion designer. I had a sketchbook and tons of papers with designs drawn out on them. I even went around taking design requests from my classmates in sixth grade and sketching out clothes for them. Read more>>

Leah Faust and Leslie Levito

Faust and Levito came together first as neighbors, then as collaborators and now as business partners running our own agency. We met through our shared experience of wanting to improve company culture and seeing ways to effect it through unifying business strategy and creative vision. Read more>>

Breana Kennedy

I have loved fashion ever since I was a toddler ⎯ my mom jokes I started picking out my outfits before I could even dress myself. I grew up saying I wanted to be a Fashion Designer, I was always creative and loved the allure of the glamour that came along with the fashion industry. In high school, I won The Scholastic Art & Writing Award for making organic and inorganic items into clothing. Read more>>

Harley Huke

Life is hard, and clinging to your dreams when you’re the only one who believes in them I’d say is even harder, I’ve never had anyone believe in me, not my friends, my peers, my family, it’s always just been me. I was bullied ridiculed and harassed for having dreams that differed from the common. I grew up in Northern New Hampshire, and it’s the type of community where nearly all of my graduating class still lives in the same town as our high school. – I moved the day we graduated and never once regretted it. Read More>>

Andrea Regla

I became a licensed real estate agent in 2007 in midst of the infamous mortgage crisis. At the time,I was a young single mother of two boys, just trying to learn. I had my license, but had no previous experience whatsoever. I started as an assistant to an individual broker who mentored me through the many roles of real estate. Read more>>

Izzie Clark, Danny Lomeli, Cole Bailey and Julian Paz

ALL: TYCA began in late 2018–Izzie went to a show in the Castro District of San Francisco, the city where she’d moved to a few months prior. After a night of dancing and sweating, she walked outside for a smoke. Danny Lomeli, our chef of riffs and solos, happened to be there at the right moment. Read more>>

Harley Huke

Life is hard, and clinging to your dreams when you’re the only one who believes in them I’d say is even harder, I’ve never had anyone believe in me, not my friends, my peers, my family, it’s always just been me. I was bullied ridiculed and harassed for having dreams that differed from the common. I grew up in Northern New Hampshire. Read more>>

Monica Kang

Ever since I was young, I enjoyed visiting art museums and being in awe of different kinds of paintings, illustrations, etc. A random memory of the museum I have is a time when I went to LACMA with my mom around the age of five, and I became so mesmerized by a painting, I slowly reached up to touch the brush strokes and got in trouble by the security guard. Read more>>

Manori Sumanasinghe

I am the Creative Director and CEO or Neumascape Studio, Inc. I founded Neumascape Studio to pursue my passions in architecture + design, technology, and well-being. Our projects range from buildings to products, to experiences. But at all scales our projects are very much about well-being. Read more>>

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