Whitney Owens

Maven Mogul Interview: Zainah Irizarry

Whitney Owens
Maven Mogul Interview: Zainah Irizarry

A Maven Mogul is a trailblazer with extraordinary style, confidence, individuality, and intellect. They are the next generation of dope influencers and fashion industry head honchos.

For my first feature, eestemed marketing maven, true #Girlboss, and one of my dearest friends, Zainah Irizarry, takes the spotlight! If there is one word to describe Zainah that word would be "fearless". I've always admired her daring approach toward accomplishing her goals. She's a true hustler with style and that is why she has been crowned the first Maven Mogul!

Let's start off with a few icebreaker questions, shall we?

Who's your favorite celebrity style icons?

Definitely Rihanna and Beyonce. They're always pushing the envelope and I love it.

Who’s your favorite You-tuber?

My favorite Youtuber right now is Jackie Aina. She so honest with everything that she does, plus she always looks bomb!

Spring, summer, fall, or winter?

Summer! I'm a Cancer!



I see why we are friends Zainah because I absolutely love Riri, Bey and Miss Jackie Jackie Jackie Jackie too lol! As for the seasons, I'm a Virgo, so I love the colorful leaves and cool breeze of the autumn months. Anyway, now that we are all warmed up let's get into the juicy stuff. 


So Zainah, tell me about yourself? I want to know it all!

I’m a 23-year-old, fashion and beauty enthusiast who works in PR. I graduated from the Fashion Institute in NY 2 years ago, but have been working in fashion and beauty world for about 6 years total now. I have really dabbled in just about every area, however, PR is my favorite!

2. Describe your style in 3 words?

It depends on the season. The cold makes me feel really dark and gloomy inside so I mostly wear black and grey during the winter and fall. However, during the spring and summer, you'll see me in bright yellows, pinks, and reds, you name it.

3. What inspires you?

Women. As cliche as it sounds, women are so strong and resilient. When I see other women who have gone through tough situations and come out stronger, it inspires me to push through and hustle harder.

4. Name a few of your favorite places to shop?

I love Zara, DSW, and Topshop.

5. What does your dream life entail? Are you currently living that life?

Being completely and utterly happy. Not yet. I'm grateful, but not content with life just yet.

6. At what age did you first fall in love with fashion? Describe that moment and how it felt?

Oh man, I will never forget being 5 and picking out my first outfit. It actually matched to the point where my mom let me wear it. We both were so excited.

7. In college, you were named a 2016 Next Generation Finalist for the National Retail Federation scholarship. That’s such an amazing accomplishment! Can you describe what that was like?

Having the opportunity to represent the most prestigious fashion school in the country was amazing. I was able to be surrounded by so many change-makers in the industry; it inspired me to do more.

8. I think female empowerment is so important, especially in today's climate. With that being said, I love the community you've created with Hustle Honey Co. What can we expect going forward with that because I would absolutely love to attend an event!?

I have some really exciting things coming up for Hustle Honey in NY, so stay tuned!

9. Do you have any hobbies or passions outside of fashion?

I'm a huge beauty junkie, so watching videos, testing new products, and reading up on industry news is something that I do often.

10. What are some items in your wardrobe that you absolutely cannot live without?

I have a pair of Elie Tahari booties that I wear everywhere. I'm thinking about buying a second pair just because.

11. Do you splurge on anything?

Once in awhile, I will buy a very expensive piece of clothing, but it has to be something that I can wear multiple ways or often.

12. Are your outfits usually well planned or do they come with less thought?

Definitely planned! I'm a planner. I plan every minute, second, hour, day, you name it.

13. What are some of your favorite emerging fashion trends?

I hate to say it, but I'm not a trendy person when it comes to fashion. I can't keep up fast enough and its too expensive to be purchasing clothes that will go out of style in the next month.

14. Okay, this next question is a bit of a curveball, however, I would love to hear your thoughts! As a young leader in the fashion industry, what do you think about the current state of retail, in regards to the retail apocalypse? Has it affected you in any way? Also, what do you think is the cause and cure?  

A professor at LIM asked me this same question and I was a little thrown off. I had previously thought that the retail industry was doing terrible due to companies such as Claire's, and Toys R Us filing for bankruptcy. However, he reassured me that the industry is not doing badly at all, it's just changing. People aren't really shopping at niche stores anymore. Amazon is killing everyone.

15. What’s the biggest tip you have for anyone trying to pursue a career similar to yours?

Remember that things are NOT going to go according to plan and that’s completely okay!

16. So, what's next for Zainah Irizarry? Is there anything else you would like to add?

I’m just really focusing on growing and learning. My focus for so long has been my career; I’m really looking forward to putting myself first.

Okay, and lastly, how can people stay in contact with you?

IG! @Zainahli