Vanity Fair‘s recent Founders Fair partnered with female entrepreneurs from all walks of life, inviting them and their fellow heroines to share inspiring stories of the rewards and challenges of running a business. Vanity Fair and the Barneys New York Foundation, along with co-hosts supermodel Ashley Graham and Barneys CEO Daniella Vitale, marked the occasion of the inaugural Founders Fair by highlighting and celebrating these risk-taking ladies who have raised the bar and paved the way for other working women with their business endeavors.

Ivan Bart, Justin Ervin, Ashley Graham
Guests included Ivan Bart, Justin Ervin, and stunning hostess Ashley Graham.

Both looking beautiful in white, Vitale and Graham jointly hosted the empowering dinner and brought a uniquely uplifting perspective to the atmosphere. Graham spoke candidly, saying that, “Women haven’t been getting celebrated for very long, and it needs to become the norm.” The body activist went on to speak of a “revolution” that has been taking place for women within the last year, and how surrounding herself with strong women is vital not only for herself, but also for the ladies who look to her for guidance.

Justin Ervin, Ashley Graham
Justin Ervin and Ashley Graham

The baton of her message couldn’t have been passed more fluidly from Graham to Vitale, who recognized and thanked Vanity Fair for leading the charge on celebrating women. “It’s a pivotal year for young women expecting to be business owners and leaders, and it’s important for the Barneys New York Foundation to have a voice and place in these woman-focused initiatives. Vanity Fair has away been on the forefront of these issues, and hosting this is an important step in moving forward.”

Daniella Vitale, Ashley Graham
Daniella Vitale and Ashley Graham
Ashley Graham
Ashley Graham demonstartes her expertise in spotting the camera and striking a pose.

Before ending the night with drinks and an intimate seated dinner, the founder of Pink Ceilings and creator of the first female-focused equivalent of Viagra, Cindy Whitehead, put it best: “You can’t be what you can’t see, and this is why partnering with Barneys and Vanity Fair to tell women’s stories is pivotal.”

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