The modern woman is bold, tenacious, accomplished, confident. She needs clothing to match, which is exactly what women's work-wear brand Dai, founded by Joanna Dai, has achieved. Functional-thinking and a devotion to style helped conceive the brand in 2017.

Spending eight years in the finance industry in outfit-related discomfort, she foresaw a future in which women no longer had to tolerate uncomfortable, restrictive office-wear. Joanna sought to pave the way for practical, effortless, versatile clothing that doesn't skimp on style life-proof staples which harness innovations in fabric for luxe, smooth-to-the-touch items.

The women who wear Dai mean business, and so does its founder. See how Joanna navigates her day-to-day happenings, from a morning run to motivating work jams. 

"I’ve become a lot more conscious of wellness and work/life balance this year because I realised it’s in my nature to overwork and over-extend myself in the business. So now I work out five times a week between running to work in the morning, Barry’s Bootcamp and yoga. My running route takes me over Waterloo Bridge to Southbank and back over Tower Bridge."

"Even after 6.5 years in London, I’m still in awe when I run past such beautiful views in this history-rich yet modern city. I’m not a morning person by nature, but I find getting up early so much more productive. I’ve made it a habit to consciously stop working or have evenings off and get to bed by 10pm or 11pm."

"Every day we are inspired by our Dai women, the ambitious, bold and intelligent modern-day female. At the core of our brand, and the constant design language from collection to collection, is designing for what she needs and what she wants so she’s most empowered to perform her best." 

"For us, this means sourcing smart, technical fabrics that do the work for her, so she is comfy and free to move in four-way stretch, breathable, and wrinkle-free fabrics. We’re also saving her from ironing or paying a big dry cleaning bill as 95% of our designs are machine washable." 

"Our designs reflect timeless silhouettes and classic tailoring with a minimal yet modern aesthetic. We love clean lines and subtle geometric references. This collection, our colour palette plays on autumnal, gemstone colours like plum, forest and crimson to accent her core wardrobe essentials in navy, black, ivory and charcoal." 

"My most pleasurable moment in the creative process is that moment of surprise and accomplishment in the fitting of a new style when the sample fits perfectly and it just works. We just know she’s going to love it." 

"I love two things in our studio: the space and the people. We’ve expanded our studio space really quickly this year, and I love that we have three studio spaces on the top floor in the same wing of our building with big windows and bright natural light." 

"I’m also so grateful and inspired to come in every day and work with our team of such intelligent, creative and driven people. We have sparring sessions over design, content and strategy where new brilliant ideas arise or we find new creative ways to use technology to share our brand with the world."  

"If I’m DJing in the studio, I’ll play Spotify playlists reflecting my mood, whether it’s Queen, 90s or motivating power jams. I just came back from a yoga retreat, so I’m also playing meditating or Tibetan sound bowl tracks on my headphones to focus or relax." 

"In this picture [above], we’re looking at our next collection development which will focus on light and graceful fabrics with a colour palette centered on neutrals and interspersed with soft pink, sky blue and baby yellow. It’s shot in our showroom that’s open for personalised Dai client appointments, or depending on the day you might have the design team in there creatively planning the next collection.

"I do what I do, because I want to empower women. After spending eight years dressing for work in investment banking and finding the clothes incredibly uncomfortable, restrictive and uninspiring, I believe comfort is confidence, and if we can design modern tailoring to feel like yoga but wear like a power suit, then I believe we can empower women to look, feel and perform their best. So they are dressed for success to make their impact and change the world."

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