Industry Veterans Team to Launch Women's Collective to Disrupt Nightlife, Events
“In a town with so much shared experience, most of which has been defined by men, we felt the need to create something truly unique and disruptive,” says Ana Calderon, who co-founded a new L.A.-based collective with four other industry veterans.
There's a new woman in town. That would be woman. (as in woman, period), an L.A.-based collective launched by entertainment and music industry veterans Ana Calderon, promoter Pamela Francesca, marketing pro Kate Mazzuca, music producer and DJ Daisy O'Dell and celebrity DJ Michelle Pesce.
Their mission? To transform, or at least enhance, nightlife and events, businesses they feel are dominated by men. In doing so, the group will offer full-service experiential curation, production, musical supervision, talent and guest outreach and more — all presented with “a distinctively female lens,” according to the group.
The quintet has set its sights on opening a nightlife and events venue in early 2018 with the mission of creating a space “that’s inclusive to everyone regardless of gender- or sexual-identity,” the group notes. Also planned: destination pop-ups at exclusive venues and industry gatherings including NYFW, Paris Fashion Week, SXSW, Coachella, Art Basel and the Sundance, Cannes and Toronto film festivals; and collaborations with women’s workshops, brand collaborations, and philanthropic initiatives.
“In a town with so much shared experience, most of which has been defined by men, we felt the need to create something truly unique and disruptive,” says nightlife vet Calderon. Pesce adds: “Especially now, in our current social and political landscape, our hope is for woman. to be a part of a new narrative and the next horizon as we turn our collective conversations into action."
O’Dell says the idea for the collective came when several of the members realized they were the only women in various meetings. “Nightlife is historically one of the more misogynic industries, and sexism is embedded in the culture,” she continues. “Women are regularly treated as a commodity — they are marginalized. Even at the top of our respective felids we felt marginalized. We decided to take action. As the launch of our first venue approaches we are emboldened in our mission to help all women do as we have done and champion each other in the pursuit of our dreams.”
Francesca says that their hope is to create spaces and projects that inspire anyone who chooses "to hold space with us." She added: “It was important to all of us that this vision embody our dreams and aspirations as women and, more importantly, for women."
Additional details: woman. will focus on the environmental sustainability across all design, décor, service and hospitality elements; ongoing philanthropic initiatives with a percentage of all profits donated in support of woman-run businesses; on-site alcohol/drug testing, ride-share vetting; and showcasing emerging and established female artists, entrepreneurs, makers and performers.
As for Mazzuca, she says their goal is to create "meaningful and memorable collaborations" within the industries they've separately helped to shape by delivering exclusive and sought-after events and activations, but by "forging and championing a new voice to empower women." She continues, "With our collective professional and personal experiences, along with our intimate understanding of the changing dynamics within each of our realms, we can quite literally support and embrace every aspect of engagement for our friends, clients and guests."
Calderon works as a deejay, curator, music supervisor and talent booker. She started her career in the music industry overseeing L.A.-based recording label Dim Mak alongside Steve Aoki. Her deejay résumé includes working with artists like Radiohead, Paul McCartney, Daft Punk, LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire and Phoenix, and brands like Google, Apple, Amazon, Spotify and Beats by Dre. She currently hosts two popular L.A. parties: the ultra-hip Tuesdays at Tenants and international-music dance party Nomerica.
Francesca previously headed promotions for Bolthouse Productions and Drai’s Vegas Group. She currently oversees her own promotional company, Celiz Productions, and curates events internationally and locally including at such events as Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Paris, New York and London Fashion Weeks, and the Sundance Film Festival.
Mazzuca is an Emmy Award-winning producer and creative director. She served as managing director of marketing at Variety and currently runs her own creative marketing and production agency, Bespoke Bohéme. She has worked alongside brands including HBO, Target, Mercedes-Benz, EA, Samsung, Lifetime and Smashbox.
O’Dell is known as a music producer, curator and deejay who has performed alongside Lou Reed, Prince, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac and Florence and the Machine. Once cited by The New York Times as one of the “coolest people in Manhattan,” O’Dell has toured with Gwen Stefani and spins tunes for HBO, The Walt Disney Co., Netflix, Elle, DVF, Chloe and Christian Louboutin.
Pesce started her career in personal publicity at Wolf-Kasteler before seguing to the music business. During her DJ tenure, she has built an impressive rolodex and is a familiar face spinning tunes at parties surrounding major events such as the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, the Grammy Awards, the Emmy Awards and film festivals like Sundance, Cannes and Toronto. She currently runs her own musical artist relations firm, Nona Entertainment. Pesce’s clients include InStyle, MTV, Fox Searchlight, Paramount, Cadillac, Viacom, Hulu, Tom Ford and DVF.
More information about the collective can be found here.
A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.