Angela Haddad left her day job to turn her passion for VR, fashion illustrations, and watercolor paintings into a company. Virtual reality is a technology that’s changing a number of different industries. As an artistic medium, VR has enabled Angela to create immersive experiences for Al-Jazeera, Marie Claire, Lionsgate, LiveNation, and more.
Virtual reality is such a new industry. How did you get into it?
The first time I tried on an Oculus SDK 2 headset, I felt that I was instantly immersed in another world. Walking through the virtual forest was so visceral and real that I had to take off my heels to keep balance. That first exposure made me fixated about the medium and I wanted to get more involved. I decided to learn as much as I could about the entire virtual reality production process, from shooting to stitching and editing.
For a while, I learned in isolation. It was when I started meeting people and making friends in the VR industry, that I realized what I had been teaching myself was becoming a very real skillset. Finding a community validated that VR was something I could actually pursue full time.
One Third Blue isn’t your first venture. What are some valuable business lessons that you’ve learned from your past experiences?
A major business lesson I’ve learned is to have a contingency plan. I, along with a few other web developers, started a web design company. It was a design and digital marketing firm for small lifestyle brands. Marinello Schools of Beauty was our largest client. They had around 60 campuses across the United States.
The Federal government shut Marinello down around February 2016. Marinello was a mid-sized company with thousands of employees, and its shutdown was a huge shock for all of us. It contributed a large percentage to our revenue which I learned was a huge mistake. Working with Marinello was a very rewarding experience and the sort of business that didn’t seem so volatile. Since it seemed to be doing well, I didn’t think of having a diversified vision for the future or what could go wrong. And all of the sudden it got shut down overnight.
What made you decide to create One Third Blue? And where did the name come from?
I was toiling with what my plan should be in the months leading up to the Marinello complication. I was contemplating about leaving web design and transitioning into VR. I also created fashion illustrations on the side. The Marinello issue made me reflect, and I gave myself a few weeks to just do whatever without caring about money, my career, or the future. Those happened to be the most productive three weeks of my life. This is when I realized that I could blend my fashion art with the VR experience and created One Third Blue.
I was getting positive feedback from the 360 videos I created. People enjoyed and were entertained by them. This got me thinking about the fashion industry. I started cold contacting and emailing people. After a few months, I ended up doing a video for Marie Claire. Getting a large client was a positive sign for me to devote more time to doing this type of work.
Which fashion designers or companies inspire you?
I love Sandro, Helmut Lang, and IRO. I love anything that represents classical, minimal, French aesthetic. A great label to me will enable you to look put together and beautiful in less than 15 minutes.
Which female founder inspire you?
I love Leandra Medine, founder of Man Repeller. Her blog is probably the smartest fashion blog out there at the moment. She often tackles the topic of what is perceived as smart and dressing well. Her style is sharp, smart and humorous.
What are your fashion must haves?
High-waisted denim, a polished black blazer, a classic white button-up, and a pair of black strappy heels
What is happiness to you?
Happiness and success are both about being satisfied with the balances in your life —work and play, friendships and relationships, activity and lack of activity, etc.
Tell me about your go to outfits for work, night out.
For work, I like something along the lines of high-waisted black jeans, any top or sweater, and a pair of mules. For a night out, I can imagine wearing a black denim skirt, thigh-high boots, and a t-shirt.
What do you love/hate about fashion?
I love the feeling of a polished, comfortable outfit. What I don’t like about fashion is people taking it too seriously 🙂