McCann Theyroes: Nina Kossoff, McCannQ & DapperQ
For our final post honoring extraordinary McCanners for Women’s History Month, we updated the name of this column from “Sheroes” to “Theyroes” to profile strategist Nina Kossoff, who identifies as non-binary and prefers the pronoun ‘they,’ (but, per Nina, ‘she’ is cool too). Nina helps guide the strategic direction of McCannQ, our in-agency collective of LGBTQ+ employees and allies, and advocates for greater inclusivity for the queer community in the workplace.
“Bring your whole self to work” – we’ve all heard the phrase before. But what does it mean exactly?
For Nina, it’s means living their life philosophy through their work at McCannQ and dapperQ, a volunteer-run queer fashion outlet that Nina has been involved with for the past few years. In the six months that Nina has been at McCann, they have found a community of acceptance and inclusiveness, making it a safe place for queer fashion and connecting Nina’s passions both in- and outside of the workplace.
DapperQ is a queer style and empowerment website that began by showcasing menswear on non-traditional bodies and is now focused more directly on engendering fashion. The site features original content, fosters community involvement and, in 2014, launched the first queer fashion event during New York Fashion Week at the Brooklyn Museum. The result was a body-inclusive runway showcasing different genders, races, body types, and abilities on stage.
For Nina, there is no separating life outside of work from their day job, where they are heavily involved in McCann’s diversity-focused initiatives, including McCannQ.
“I get to help McCannQ but, also, just by being good at my job, I get to give back to my community.” Nina takes strategy skill from McCann and applies it to their work at DapperQ. Recently, Nina has become more involved in the annual fashion show, providing design work and strategic direction.
At McCann, Nina is also working to bridge the gap between McCannQ as a cultural and business initiative. Their goal is to not only make the agency more aware and inclusive, but also to provide LGBTQ-community insights to make our work more meaningful to our clients, our world and ourselves.
“I believe in equality and representation for my community,” Nina explained, “and that’s something I’ve brought to work with the building out of McCannQ and the emphasis I’m putting on diversity in client work."
There’s a difference between active and passive inclusion. “It’s about the power of advertising and our capacity to communication with millions of people,” they said. “If we can incorporate a progressive message into a campaign that aligns with a client’s brand values, that can lead to societal and cultural change.”
We are proud to conclude our Women’s History Month with our profile of Nina. Through this LGBTQ-focused work, they are able to live the fullest expression of their self in and out of work while trying to make that a reality for the rest of the queer community.