When people hear that Loredana Padurean is a professor, their reaction is, "Really? You don't look like a professor!" They may be right, she’s much more than your average prof. With a resume that features 19 different jobs, including a stint as the “Fashion Police” on TV show in her native Romania, she is now an Associate Dean at the all new Asia School of Business, established in Kuala Lumpur in January 2015 in collaboration with MIT Sloan and the Central Bank of Malaysia.
Loredana is passionalIy focused on Education and Entrepreneurship. Her most recent research, “Jungle, Mountain, Ocean - a Startup Journey”, focuses on understanding the evolution of start-ups to scale-ups to sail-ups. Between her research and her role at ASB, she speaks about education and startups all over the world. Her professional life intersects with her personal interests in fashion and travel. “I just love dressing up,” she says.
“I think it started when I was a young girl growing up in communism where everyone was expected to wear black and navy. My grandmother was a seamstress and used to make me a lot of colorful clothes. In college I used to work part time for a local TV network doing a “Fashion Police” like show where I’d walk on the streets of Cluj-Napoca, Romania with a cameraman, arrest people for bad taste and give them a makeover! I also had a fashion talent agency and later on a fashion-tech startup in Boston.”
A bold and unconventional thinker, Professor Loredana draws her inspiration from pioneers - people who are first at doing something, and are generous with their time, energy and spirit.
She originally discovered Ministry of Supply through her MIT connections and fashion know-how. Unfortunately, she had to wait for our first women’s products! Since they came out, she has been a Ministry of Supply enthusiast, valuing our products for travel and professional appearances. Plus, working in Kuala Lumpur, she demands clothes that look professional and help beat the heat and humidity.
When she’s not on the clock, Loredana tells us, “I am very passionate about cooking. It relaxes me so much. Oh, and let’s not forget Netflix. I am so obsessed with Netflix - I spend so much time watching shows that if I didn't I probably would have been a President of a country by now!”
We picked Professor Loredana’s brain for insight into her success.
How would you describe yourself in 10 words or less?
Unapologetically unconventional, empathetic, intense, intimidating, funny.
How did you hear about Ministry of Supply?
I was doing research on entrepreneurship and startups with Prof. Charles Fine from MIT Sloan and we have heard of this cool company inspired by Q coming out of MIT. I was hooked.
What benefit of clothing do you value the most?
First thing is the feel of fabric; if I don’t like the touch of fabric I won’t buy it. That’s why I am so crazy about the MOS Juno shirt, the fabric is so soft. Second is color; like I said I love solid strong colors, especially for when I am on stage giving a talk. When I travel, stretch, comfort and layers is very important.
How do you take your coffee?
I drink jasmine pearl tea with fresh ginger, lemon and honey which I make every morning.
How do you balance everything?
I need “me” time! I am very introverted so I need alone time to recover and recharge. My “me time” is part of my productivity formula and while it looks like I am wasting time (after all, even Netflix is asking me “are you still watching?” #StopJudging) I think of it as charging my batteries. It is so important to learn what keeps you going and then be protective of it even at the cost of public perception. We live in a world where we glorify professional stress, extensive work hours, extreme dedication, but that to me is dangerous. People who don’t take care of themselves can’t take care of others! So I love when I see successful leaders going to the gym in the middle of the day or enjoying a long nice lunch (one of the things I miss the most about living in Europe), because that gives me confidence that they understand what keeps them going and invest in their well-being so they can keep investing in their work.
What TV shows or movies have you watched recently?
Netflix is my fix! I unexpectedly loved “RuPaul’s Drag Race” both because is very entertaining but also because it gives a very interesting insight in the struggles of the gay community. “Ray Donovan” was a great, intense and exciting show to watch and so was the “Lost in Space”. I am a crazy “Star Trek” fan so anything trekkie I’m on, even though Discovery is a huge disappointment!
What’s one thing you wish you had more time for?
To spend more time at my country house in Transylvania walking our St. Bernard dogs in the woods. I recently bought 25 acres in one of the most beautiful places you could think of, and we are renovating the country house and building a pond.
What’s one place you would love to visit?
New Zealand and Iceland both in the summer. I crave tranquility because of how intense and crazy my life is and both these countries speak to me because of that.
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
Daniel Craig as James Bond!