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Spotlight on: Alice Delahunt, from Burberry and Ralph Lauren to Web3 entrepreneur and disrupter



Spotlight on: Alice Delahunt, from Burberry and Ralph Lauren to Web3 entrepreneur and disrupter

A line in Alice’s career is…

“This space is forming and evolving every single month. Every month feels like years in every other career that I’ve had,” she says. Going from the world of luxury fashion to launching and guiding an early-stage tech company is a pretty big change, and the founder journey has presented its own set of new unique challenges. “A mentor once said to me, the only constant you’ll have in your life is change. And I think that is incredibly true. I think the biggest difference for me is I feel incredibly responsible for the employees who’ve come to work at Syky and for our investors… and you have to get used to the difference between running a major multimillion-dollar marketing campaign versus being scrappy where everyone wears multiple hats.

“I will say that a through line in my career is that I’ve always been doing something new that involves getting people to buy into it and having to be scrappy in order to get it done to provide the hypothesis to show that it can be successful,” she muses.

On that note, Alice stops in her tracks and makes a point to share some encouragement for anyone who may be contemplating pursuing the entrepreneurial route. “Has my day-to-day changed? Absolutely. But I love what I’m doing more than I’ve ever loved anything in terms of my career before… perhaps if I had been born in Ireland, in another era, I would have always been an entrepreneur. What I would say to others considering the entrepreneurial journey, is that if they have considered all of the impacts it will have on their lives, then absolutely go for it. The sky’s the limit.”

A ‘moment’ for mentorship

During our interview, the topic of mentorship comes up time and time again and the importance Alice places on learning from exceptional leaders is clear. She speaks fondly of the many leaders and mentors she encountered during her time at the fashion houses. The leaders at Burberry had created an environment of enthusiasm for digitalisation which allowed her to find her sweet spot in “really understanding social media and how it could democratise access to traditional luxury brands”.

“So many remarkable leaders worked at Christopher Bailey’s Burberry, [people whom] I got to learn from, such as Sarah Manley and Angela Ahrendts who was really integral too, she really had the vision to bring digital into the fashion industry. Even being in a culture that she cultivated was so phenomenal.”

Alice later credits the greats at Ralph Lauren for the important role they played in her journey too. “Getting to learn directly from Ralph, one of the most incredible entrepreneurs that has existed in America, if not the world, who has built worlds that reflect his interests and desires and created one of the most iconic brands that exists was incredible, as well as from Patrice Louvet, who was a phenomenal CEO”. Reflecting fondly on both of these “incredible journeys” she acknowledges how it inevitably primed her to take the plunge and found Syky “after years of having the privilege to learn from one of the best entrepreneurs in the world, incredible executives, and CEOs”. Now, as a founder, she acknowledges how lucky she is to receive mentorship and guidance from her board and the team at ‘Seven Seven Six’.

I ask Alice what would be her top piece of advice to any reader. “No dream is too small. I say that to everyone. Be proud of who you are – the more authentically you live and show up, the more happiness and the more people you will attract and I mean that in ways of relationships, friendships, work, collaborators, partnerships. There’s nothing more powerful than being your truest version of yourself.”

Career highlights

When I ask her about the highlight of her career so far, a couple of moments spring to mind. They are not linked to the major global campaigns she has spearheaded, launching Syky or raising Series A. The first is ringing the bell in the New York Stock Exchange with the Ralph Lauren team. “I was on the podium, which was such an incredible experience. Not once but twice, which was such an honour, for Ralph’s 50th anniversary and for Pride with the Ralph Lauren LGBTQI community.”

“Then the other ‘pinch me’ moment was introducing the [emerging designers that makeup] Syky Collective at London Fashion Week (pictured above, with KWK by Kay Kwok designs) with the British Fashion Council. Seeing these new designers from all over the world coming together in London and getting their work shown was truly phenomenal.”

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