Becoming Unstoppable by Elizabeth and Maria Rahajeng | What I Learn As A Fashion Business Student
I recently read a book by twin sisters Elizabeth (@elizrahajeng) and Maria Rahajeng (@mariarahajeng). They are fashion and lifestyle influencer as well as E! Asia hosts. They are both involved in the fashion industry as an attender of fashion shows and promoting outfits they wear as well as in a more active way with collaborating with local brands such as Rose All Day, and Love and Flair.
They co-authored their own book called Becoming Unstoppable. This book was made to show their readers how they got into their positions, their identities and their struggles behind their achievements as well.
I really enjoyed reading the book. The book is very encouraging and it’s grounded by their bravery to talk about topics such as bullying, depression, feminism in Indonesia, and about power women in their lives.
I did make a video of my general thoughts on the book but I think I want to dive deeper here and focus on what I learn from the book as a fashion business student.
I am always on the lookout for stories from people in the fashion industry- especially stories from people who have jobs that I think are interesting or that I want to do in the future. While I do not have the dream to become influencers or E! Asia hosts, I thought Rahajeng sisters’ presence in the Indonesian fashion industry is something I thought would be worth reading— and it was.
From the book, I could really relate to Eliz and Maria’s determination in school. They also knew early on that they want to be in the fashion industry. It was inspiring to see that even though they could not go into fashion design major in university, they were brave and determined to pursue their passion for fashion by other routes such as fashion media broadcasting and blogging.
There was a point in the book where Elizabeth talked about her experience being a fashion marketer for a few brands under giant Indonesian lifestyle retailer - MAP (Mitra Adi Perkasa) . She described briefly about her job! However, she noted how working for the big company meant she had certain boundaries that she had to work within, and she had to do the same job 9-5 every working day, after braving Jakarta traffic, over and over again, and she did not like it.
This made me really pause because one the one hand the roles that she mentioned sounded like what I want to do in the future, especially for brands under MAP that are international and well-known. On the other hand, she brought up something crucial that I might not understand yet, which is company culture and boundaries of working for a big brand.
My whole life I have only worked seen people around me work in family businesses and I also had experience with interning and interacting only with small companies. How do I know that I can fit into the tight roles of big company? How do I know I am a better fit for smaller companies? These are questions this book left me with to think about further.
Eliz knew she wanted more than what her previous job offered so she quit.
Later on, she won a competition that flew her to New York to cover New York Fashion Week. I was awed to see how she approached the competition with a good attitude and such an eye for opportunities. She was able to get in touch with E! Channel team and persistently worked for opportunities to be a part of E! Channel.
And, guess what! It paid off!
They were given an opportunity to interview Diane Von Furstenberg in Singapore Fashion Week 2015.
At this point in the book, I felt proud of them. It was also reaffirming to see that hard work gives way for luck and most of the time pays off.
As someone who is studying marketing, I also noticed how smart of business women Eliz and Maria really are. This book is such a meaningful extension of Rahajeng brand. They use their platform to inspire young people with this book. But at the same time, they also use the launch of this book as a business opportunity.
Along with the launch of the book. They rolled out a collaboration with Love and Flair
Maria and Elizabeth collaborated with the brands carried by Love and Flair to create “The Unstoppable Collection”. Other than dresses and clothes that look very Rahajeng, complete with pastel power suits, the collection also features “unstoppable” t-shirt and planner.
The collection is launched in Love and Flair exclusively, while there is a launch event involving a Q&A session about the book, styling session, as well as book signing and meet & greet.
To be honest, as someone who likes books and fashion, this was such a dream to me (I want to do that too in the future!)
It is really inspiring someone breaking into the fashion industry and staying relevant even when “influencers” come and go because true to their vision they spread positivity and always a vocal supporter for women’s rights and how they are smart when it comes to pursuing more opportunities.
Upon reviewing the book, I got replies from both Elizabeth and Maria. They shared my reviews to their instagram followers (some 178k of them) I was floored that they took time to respond to my message and my book review graciously.
I hope I can meet and chat with them in person or if I join a Q&A of theirs. It would be nice to ask them more about their career. Until then, whenever I need a pick me up, I can re-read “Becoming Unstoppable”