Eva is from Spain and grew up in Miami, Florida, she has distinguished herself through her work as one of the most prominent business leaders in the fashion industry. As Founder and CEO of Adira Consulting, she advises brands looking to consolidate their business in established and emerging markets.
Can you share with us some of the key moments that shaped your journey and led you to establish Adira Consulting?
Throughout my journey, I embraced leadership early on, learning on the job as I did not shape my professional profile at the University. At just 29, I became the youngest Vogue Editor-in-Chief for Mexico and Latin America, facing the challenge of leading and negotiating with diverse personalities and cultures while respecting experienced teams. This taught me the vital lesson of valuing and listening to those who have been doing things their way successfully for years. When named CEO of Condé Nast, I applied for it, and the rewards have always been immeasurable. After 20 years in publishing, I decided to reinvent myself, leading me to establish my own company. Now, I help others with their business and leadership challenges to ensure maximum performance and optimal efficiency. By guiding leaders to develop critical business skills, attitudes and behaviors for success and developing organizational capabilities through alignment of people, structure, behaviors, and processes, I continue my own journey of sharing my career insights and experience. In the end, it is about respect, listening with an open mind, and building teams, and then moving forward with a determined step.
As a leader and mentor, what is the most memorable piece of advice you have received in your career, and how has it shaped your approach to leadership?
Keeping calm, cool, and collected as a mentor has positively shaped my approach to leadership in several ways. It always reminds me and those participating in my coaching programs of the importance of resilience in challenging situations. Your ability to stay composed allows you to handle conflicts and demanding situations with a level head, which can create a more supportive and safer environment. It also enables us to make thoughtful and rational decisions, rather than reacting impulsively. Overall, by maintaining a calm, cool, and collected approach to leadership, you can inspire and guide others with a positive influence, empowering them to develop their skills and reach their full potential.
We have heard about your podcast, Eva Talks, where you interview influential personalities from various fields. What do you enjoy most about hosting these conversations, and could you share a memorable moment from one of your interviews?
The most enjoyable aspect for me is the opportunity to connect with brilliant minds and learn from their insights and experiences. It is fascinating to dive deep into their expertise and share their knowledge with the audience. Eva Talks has given me the unique opportunity to foster meaningful conversations that can inspire and educate others. I would express my gratitude for the overwhelming support when I started podcasting. Their willingness to open and discuss their inner thoughts about leadership and life-changing experiences was not only an honor but also a testament to their generosity and commitment to benefiting others.
As a board member of various organizations, such as Sachamama, Latin American Fashion Summit, and Cleverfunds. What drives you to contribute to these different initiatives?
They all align with my values and beliefs. LAFS is a global platform for Latin American fashion and designers that provides networking opportunities and access for the design and fashion community creatives, buyers, and executives. Sachamama has a beautiful mission of building support for a clean economy and sustainable lifestyles. Cleverfunds is an ecosystem of private solutions in Latin America to accelerate the mobilization of resources towards sustainable development. Fashion education and talent development are also at the core of what I do. Not only in my coaching and consulting programs, also as Executive Vice President of Istituto Marangoni Miami. I firmly believe that investing in fashion education and supporting emerging talent can help nurture a thriving creative community in the region. My involvement with these organizations focused on fashion, community, networking, opportunity, education, and sustainability, and the incredible work they do has enriched my life and allowed me to give back to the community and positively influenced both your life and the lives of others.
Having experience in Latin America and the US, how do you see the future of the fashion industry evolving in these regions, and what opportunities do you believe lie ahead?
The region has enormous potential. The fashion market has changed from when I started my career 25 years ago and the fashion world is looking towards Latin America. The region has fabrics, materials, and natural and sustainable resources that can give it a competitive edge. Countries such as Peru and Brazil provide organic cotton for ethical brands while also producing a significant socioeconomic impact in local communities by working with local artisans. The fashion ecosystem must work in close collaboration with the support of public and private sectors. Collaboration is the key, and sustainability is a path for growth! The biggest challenge for a sustainable fashion company is to accept that the business model must direct its steps towards a circular business model. Sustainability is not a simple objective to meet, it must be the DNA of the company. All the actors in the process, including the end customer, must change their habits to interpret their role in the most sustainable and efficient way possible. There is an important level of craftsmanship and design that Latin America’s diverse culture has to offer. To do so, we must create the right path and opportunities for them and begin with fair labor wages and practices, and profit-sharing models that allow artisans to benefit from the success of the products they are creating. By prioritizing fair wages and treating artisans as valued partners, we can then contribute to the well-being of local communities and help build a more sustainable and equitable fashion industry in Latin America.
The fashion industry has historically faced criticism for its lack of diversity in various areas. As a leader, how do you ensure that diversity and inclusion are prioritized within your company and the brands you advise?
By fostering an environment based on a set of values to live and act through a culture of inclusivity and diversity where everyone feels valued, heard, and respected.
What changes do you hope to see in the fashion industry and leadership landscape regarding gender diversity and inclusion in the next decade?
Closing the gender pay gap and ensuring equal opportunities for career advancement and promotions. Integrating gender diversity and inclusion education into their curricula, promoting an understanding of the importance of diverse perspectives. It is crucial for the fashion industry to embrace and champion gender diversity and inclusion to foster a vibrant and sustainable future. Lastly, practicing empathy towards each other is essential for fostering understanding, compassion, and stronger relationships. By putting ourselves in others’ shoes and seeking to understand their perspectives, we can build bridges of connection. Empathy is something that I speak of consistently to the people I mentor. It helps create a supportive and inclusive environment where people feel heard, valued, and respected, leading to improved communication and cooperation in various aspects of life.
Who is Eva?
Full Name: Eva Hughes
Occupation: Business and Leadership Expert.
Where do you live? Coconut Grove.
Do you have kids? No.
Favorite Food: French fries and meat, seafood, angulas, and tacos.
Hobbies: Watching documentaries.
Favorite place in the world: My home.
How would you describe yourself in one word? Reliable.
Favorite movie or TV Show: Big Bang Theory.
Favorite Book: Make your bed.
If you could turn into an animal, what would it be? Dog.
Favorite music band or gender: Soundtrack.
Your grounding activity is… Meditation.
What are 2 things that cannot be missing from your backpack? Phone and reading glasses.
Do you like sports? Are you a fan of a sports team? I like all sports!
What contribution do you feel you make to a better world? Empathy and kindness are compatible with business success!
One piece of advice that you were given and would give: Always keep calm, cool, and collected!