Meet the Founders: Corinne Phillips
Disrupting the Music
As an aspiring musician, Corinne began her career as a music industry administrator working for major labels, Warner Music and Atlantic Records, as well as the music management firm Vector Management, eventually supporting public relations executive Ken Sunshine. With access to top level executives and artists she learned the industry inside and out. “It was an exciting time in music and a such wild ride,” states Corinne. “I started my career right before the advent of digital music, and then was part of the seismic shift that changed everything, changed music forever.” She adds, “the industry was not ready for this type of change at all. It was difficult, but I learned so much being part of such a disruption, driven by new technologies.”
After working for more than ten years in the music industry, Corinne felt it was time for a change in her own career. Building on her time in music, she wanted to make more use of her natural ability to problem solve, and to engage more in technology, an area she had developed a love and interest in. “It was a natural next step for me,” she exclaims. “It turns out the same area of the brain that makes someone wonderful at music, makes them good at being a software engineer!” Corinne immersed herself in the world of technology embarking on a long and arduous course of self study, ultimately leading to key positions at companies like JP Morgan Chase and Boston Consulting Group.
A Life in Transition
Ten years into her software engineering career, Corinne began to feel the need for change again; this time not just in her career, but also in her personal life. “I went through a very personal shift in my identity around this time, which also happened to be part of a very transformational period in my life,” she confides. “The process was very challenging, disrupting my life in unforeseen ways, but I eventually settled into a more masculine identity that felt true to me.” This journey opened her eyes to people around her also struggling with their own identity expression. She realized she could be of service to people by simply providing her supporting voice and visibility. She left her job at BCG and created “Style Sessions” with a close friend. The event provided a chance for Corinne to educate people about the importance of fit and tailoring, in addition to styling. “At ‘Style Sessions’ I worked with with mostly masculine presenting cis women who were looking for menswear that fit their bodies correctly,” says Corinne. She adds, “there was such a need for an event like ‘Style Sessions’ for women who felt completely uncomfortable walking into a men’s department and getting fitted for a men’s suit. I knew that struggle personally, and this was a chance to help others find their way.”
“Style Sessions” led to the creation of the podcast Transition of Style, with her closer friend Alana. The podcast is described as an ongoing discussion about the places where personal style and identity meet. Through personal stories and guest interviews, the two friends explore the often complicated intersection of gender and fashion. “There are so many wonderful and encouraging stories of people that have grown into an identity that feels authentic to them through the lens of personal style,” states Corinne. “I want to tell those personal stories, in hopes of helping others find their own personal, authentic expressions in the world.” Read more about Transition of Style podcast here.
In an effort to continue to build her new career, Corinne began to reach out to her network of queer friends and colleagues. “The more I learn about the needs of women who want to dress more masculine, the more I realized there was a lack of options out there. My goal became to develop my own line of clothing, primarily suits, that offered female bodied individuals better fit and a good price.” Corinne began meeting people in the community who shared her quest to connect queer customers with brands that fit their needs, including Joshua Williams and Antonia Predovan, who were just beginning to flesh out their ideas for a queer, gender-free marketplace. “I was excited to be part of these early conversations. And becoming a part of of the QueerCut team was a natural progression in my career as an advocate for those struggling with authentic identity.” Corinne became a co-founder of QueerCut, taking on the responsibilities of Chief Technology Officer. “Creating a centralized place where those folks can find clothing that supports identity while supporting queer designers and queer specific brands, is the best of all worlds. It’s an opportunity for me to combine all of my life experiences and passion into one project!“
— Adrian Blog, Chief Blogging Officer
See Corinne's own Queer Style Story.