By Christina Ying
“Millennials are about experiences, fulfillment, and sense of purpose,” said Donna Vo, Co-Founder of the Ladies First Collective. As Millennials continue to turn the tide in our dynamic culture sphere, Donna and Joanne Vo have been leading the charge in curating fun and female-focused events. They’ve created a culture that appeals to every Instagram cool girl in Los Angeles, attracting fashionistas drawn to contemporary streetwear, athletic luxury, and pretty girl punk.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, sisters Donna and Joanne Vo started their Los Angeles journey as fashion entrepreneurs and have incorporated what they’ve learned from their immigrant parents to build their business. “My parents came from Vietnam,” said Donna. “So seeing them come and build something from nothing gave us a foundation for us to follow our dream.”
Their inaugural event was a fashion pop-up event that featured DJ Bella Fiasco, DJ Sasha Marie, and DJ Noodles who’s currently on tour with Kehlani. The sisters have developed a talent for discerning significant talent as they’ve built events that merge female brands with social media influencers. Their collaboration with the ladies of LOVEMADE is panel speaker series geared toward helping women connect with some of the most influential in the celebrity fashion realm such as jewelry designer Melody Ehsani, Raisa Gerona of REVOLVE clothing, and Instagram famous makeup artist Jadene Munson.
“It’s empowering to see females tackle male-dominated industries,” said Donna. “To see how they navigate towards that, how they multi-task- with the Dimepiece girls and Hellz Bellz, they created that brand out of nowhere and out of nothing. They have an all women team and they are so supportive of women trying to get into the industry.”
Ladies First continues to expand on their collaborations to create experiences that are both social and digital. “Festivals are such a huge thing these days and coming together, and that also ties in with social media and us wanting to share all of these experiences with people,” said Joanne. “I feel for the most part we’re just searching for something more genuine and meaningful- something that we care about. Something to inspire us.”
Their inspiration has led them toward an advocacy health and social awareness, with events that include their benefit dance parties with #FLYGRLSLA which honors 90’s Hip-Hop and Fly Girl culture, and also their #FLEXFITCLUB which features different studios and workouts all over Los Angeles. Having worked with NIKE women, SoulCycle, and Playlist yoga, collaborations is such a huge component as they choose companies that align with Millennial interests. “I feel like our generation pushes people to think differently,” said Donna. “With advertisers and marketers, we want more honesty and transparency. We want to feel like we’re making a difference.”
When reflecting on the impact of their company, Donna put it like this, “I think it’s just awesome how strong we can be when we do come together. I do think that the future is female, because women now realize their power,” she said. “And I hope to bring more of that.”