August 21, 2014 - Comments Off on Q&A: Google Glass’s Janine Gianfredi Shares Her Shopping Considerations, Favorite Outfits, and Thoughts on the Future of Wearable Tech
Janine Gianfredi on top of the world in windy San Francisco, wearing our Elena Dress
Meet Janine Gianfredi from Google Glass
Janine Gianfredi travels around the world spreading the wearable tech love that is Google Glass. As Head of Brand Marketing & Partnerships for the tech giant, Janine needs to make an impression wherever she goes. Most recently, she found herself in London for a Glass expansion campaign and a fashion event. Shortly before that, she attended an advertising festival on the beaches of Cannes. Toss those destinations in with the couple of times she's been to Italy this year for work meetings and you've probably got a pretty scenic visual playing out in your head. When it comes to fashion, Janine plays close attention to what she buys, where it was made, and how comfortable she feels, and is always empowered through her personal style.
Janine might be a familiar face to you— we previously profiled how we reclaimed her wedding dress and turned it into an evening gown. While she's currently based in San Francisco and works in Mountain View, California on the Google Campus, Janine is an ex-New Yorker who still manages to wear a bit of black here and there. We caught up with Janine between trips to ask a few questions about her daily itinerary and what she looks for in a work wardrobe. Read on to see what she has to say.
A Day in Her Shoes
Waking Up: I probably travel two weeks out of every month. On those trips, it's common to leave on Monday morning and return home on Friday. I'm packing up for the week to go to New York, or lately we've been going to Europe quite a bit. No complaints there! (It's been a really great roster of places.) Those weeks are very different because I'm usually staying in a hotel and I'm not far from where I'm working for the week.
When I'm here in San Francisco, I get up at about 5:30 in the morning, which is a good two-and-a-half hours earlier than when I lived in New York. I hop in the shower, but definitely don't wash my hair every day because it dries it out. I get dressed and head down to hop on my shuttle around 6:30am, which takes me from SF to Mountain View in just under an hour.
Morning Rituals: I get to campus around 7:30am, and the first thing I do is visit the barista for a latte—less for the caffeine and more so for the ritual. I sit and read emails or articles while I eat breakfast, and I get to my desk around 9am. From 9am until 4:40pm I have a pretty hectic day—a ton of meetings. I have a stand-up desk now—I don't sit anymore, which also makes me not really wear heels as much.
Don't Skip Meals: I do not miss meals ever. I am very, very good about eating three meals a day with snacks. I eat lunch every day around noon and I try very hard not to eat at my desk. I try to grab somebody and get away even just for a few minutes. My meals are very veggie-heavy. I usually avoid meat for breakfast and lunch and save it for dinner if I am eating it.
Work/Life Balance: I usually get on a shuttle around 5:30pm or so to arrive back in SF by 6:30/7. My husband George picks me up a lot of the time from the shuttle because I'm usually too tired to walk home! Since we moved here, we actually cook quite a bit for dinner. When we were in NYC, we barely ever did, but now we're really good about it. We have more space to cook, so it's easier. I also try very hard not to work when I'm home. I put in a long day and then I'm done with it. A lot of times at night we'll watch a show or read a book. I try to be in bed by 11pm to get up again at 5:30.
Weekends: I could work out here during the workday, but I choose not to. Part of it has to do with getting sweaty. I take way too long to shower and do all of that stuff. It just doesn't fit well into my day, so I tend to save it for the weekend. It may not be the best, but it's what I do. Friday nights I try to get to a yoga class, and we'll often meet up with friends for dinner. Saturdays we jump in the car with the dogs and go to Crissy Field. We try to be outside and just chill out. I do a pretty good job of not doing work on Saturdays or Sundays. I'm actually in the habit of not looking at emails until Monday morning now.
What She Looks For: I'm definitely style-minded. My parents really, really loved clothes. And they loved shopping. I shopped with my dad all of the time when I was a kid. Never my mom. My mom told me that when they were first married, my dad always came home with clothes for her. He'd just say, "Oh, I got you a new dress." That was very much my dad.
I love clothes. I think they help you express who you are. And more than that, I think they really improve your self confidence. In college, the more difficult the exam I had, the better dressed I would be for it. It made me more alert, sharper. I performed better. I do the same thing now. If I come in dressed up, one of the girls on my team will ask, "What's going on today? Are you stressed out? What meeting you do have?!"
I also love to meet designers who make clothes. In New York, I would always try to go to trunk shows where you could meet the designers. I have been trying very hard lately to look at where my clothes were made, buy more things that are made in the US, and try to buy less, as well. Less and better.
Janine's wedding dress and the evening gown we later created using its fabric
A Typical Outfit: Always a dress or a skirt. I like pants—there's nothing wrong with them and I wear them quite a bit—but I rarely will show up to something where I feel like I need to make an impression not in a dress or a skirt. For whatever reason, I just feel a lot more confident. Ever since I was a little girl, I've always loved dresses.
Stylistically, I'm feminine, but not girly. Definitely not a romantic dresser. I love bold colors. I still wear a lot of black, even though I'm in California. I'm probably the only person wearing black.
Shopping Considerations: Fit is by far the most important thing to me. I always take my regular size, and a size up and down, into the fitting room. I try everything on to make sure I get the perfect fit. That's the No. 1 thing I think about. I'm also really careful not to buy things that make me seem younger. This kind of comes from my mom, but I ask myself questions like, "Is that too short? Is it too much of a V-neck?"
Another factor is wrinkling. Part of it is because I sit on a bus all morning, which is the first part of my day. And I don't really know how to use an iron. When trying to buy less you want stuff to work for everything. I've been putting more thought into that now. Would I also wear this when George and I go out to dinner?
New York vs. Bay Area Style: I think the biggest difference is that if a woman in New York—regardless of the industry you work in—comes in dressed up and polished, nobody questions your motives. Nobody says, what do you have going on today? Are you interviewing? Do you have a big meeting? Are you going out tonight? That's just how women often dress. Whereas here, if I come in and I'm dressed up, the next question is always, "What's happening tonight?" It's this expectation that you would only dress up if you had something going on.
I actually really struggled when we first moved here. I thought my style didn't work. I tried to dress more casual and didn't like it. I shouldn't say casual, because I do dress casual on occasion. I tried to dress more low-key, more tech. I just didn't like it and wasn't comfortable. I went back to the way that I am. Again, I'm wearing a lot more jeans, but I think more about the blouse or jacket that I put with the jeans.
Restaurants: Park Tavern in San Francisco. I think I like it here because it does remind me a little of New York. Park Tavern is one of those places you can go on a Friday night and just feel like you're really out. Which is something I miss a little of being in SF. I love the day culture, but I want to get a night out. Everyone is all fancy and drinking cocktails. That's what I really like. I also love Fish in Sausalito on the weekend. The food and ambience are great, and we can bring the dogs.
Bags: I am not a bag person—my best friend teases me about this. It's at the point where I feel like all of my girlfriends have statement bags. For whatever reason, I've never been an "It bag" kind of girl. I just got a Tumi shoulder bag, more so because it's the most practical bag I can think of for traveling and it's coated canvas so you can beat the crap out of it. One of my favorite bags George got for me. It's from the MoMA store. It's a keyboard—a black keyboard that was turned into a little handbag.
Shoes: I have a pair of Kate Spade silver pumps that I absolutely love. I started wearing them and mixing them with everything now. Those are my shoes. Even if I'm getting on stage, those are the ones I'll wear. I think those are my favorite. I've been into slip-on sneakers this year.
The Future of Wearable Tech
If you look at a lot of the wearable tech that's come out, it's tech first and the wearable part comes second. This is something we've been working on. When fashion designers get into the room and have a conversation with tech people, that's when it gets interesting and it will turn into something people want to wear. We just did a collaboration with Diane von Furstenberg and she designed frames and sunshades for Glass, and that completely changed the look of them.
DVF for Google Glass Frames
We're still in this early stage of creating product, but when you have people who really know what they're doing in both arenas of design + tech, it's so much more fun. The magic starts to happen and everyone learns from each other. If I could get a watch that looked like a beautiful fashion watch, but did cool things, I'd be really excited. But I'm not so excited about wearing a miniature iPod on my wrist. That doesn't excite me in the same way.
Collaborating is probably the only way, in my opinion, that these products are going to become successful with women. I think there are a lot of men who will wear wearable tech when it comes out for the novelty, but women think really hard about what they wear first and the functionality piece is gravy on that. There's nothing happening there yet. We're just scraping the surface. I think it's going to become really fun.
Thank you to George Guerrero for the photos of Janine!
Published by: Nicole Lenzen in People Who Inspire