For our Summer Changemakers series, we’re featuring amazing women who are doing innovative and fascinating things. Naturally, these women are traveling a lot for their skyrocketing careers — we found out how a wardrobe full of versatile pieces supports them as they make giant strides. If you love this series, check out our Spring Changemakers series where we visited stylish offices in NYC. Around here, we truly believe that when you look your best, you feel your best, and are thus equipped to soar in your life and career.
Danielle Arps is… the founder of Dani Arps LLC, which is quickly becoming known on the NYC tech scene as the interior designer of choice. She has a uniquely eclectic, yet slightly industrial take on design and has displayed her expertise in the design of high profile start up spaces like Sailthru, Codecademy, Venmo, Contently, Fueled, Newscred and Gilt. As well as recently collaborating with General Assembly on their upcoming worldwide build out.
This past spring she had the honor of being chosen to lecture at the renowned UDEM University in Monterrey, Mexico, discussing the concept of “Beyond”; speaking on the limitless nature of an interior design degree.
She received her Master of Science in Interior Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, one of the nations most prestigious design schools.
What role does travel play in your job and life? Travel, especially this year, has become a huge part of my job and life! This year I’ve already been to Senegal, Mexico, Turks & Caicos and Europe as well as multiple trips to DC and Boston on the east coast. My clients and friends have me bouncing all over the world and I think it’s so important to experience different people and surroundings when you can. I feel like I’ve absorbed and learned so much information from both a design and cultural standpoint.
What does “Changemaker” mean to you? I feel like a changemaker is someone who actively identifies and solves problems in a positive way. As an interior designer, especially to tech startup companies, problem solving is what I do everyday.
For example, a big problem that I recognized, as a designer to companies who often desire an open office plan, was a lack of informal quiet areas – so I applied a design I created in grad school and developed the ‘Dani Lounge’, it’s essentially an acoustical conference room on wheels!
Another problem I noticed with my residential clients was a difficulty in meshing aesthetics once couples moved in together, so I collaborated with New York Artist Billy Ruiz, to launch Femme and Fellow. It’s a line of limited edition prints, which offers curated sets of masculine and feminine works.
Why did you choose this outfit? Tell us about how you take this look from work to play, and why it’s great for traveling. I chose this jumpsuit for a few reasons: it’s cool, it’s super flattering and it’s ridiculously versatile! I love working in a city and having a career that allows me to express my creativity and having a staple piece like this jumpsuit is key.
For work when I’m running around the city like a crazy person, I can easily wear this with wedges, still look professional, but secretly be comfortable.
For after work cocktails, I simply throw on some pumps, a light blazer over my shoulders and of course lipstick (though who am I kidding, I happily wear lipstick all day everyday!) and I’m good to go in 10 minutes.
What have you seen in your recent travels that has inspired you? When I traveled to London for a client, having not been to that part of Europe before, I decided to extend the trip to include Paris as well. London is a great city for architecture and art. The intention, intricacies and attention to proportion and detail are overall inspiring and aspirational.
Paris, I fell madly in love with – not only the architecture, which was equally impressive as London, but the fashion – Parisian street style is never over the top, but oh so chic. I feel like it’s fair to say I felt like a Parisian in my Ann Taylor jumpsuit.