Queen Of The Valley: A Tech Superstar Shows Off Her Flirty Spring Wares

We've highlighted fashionable folks in Silicon Valley before, though none of them have shown up in six-inch Kirkwoods — until now, that is. Enter Ruzwana Bashir, the 29-year-old CEO and founder of Peek, who is injecting some serious brio into start-up style, one dress at a time.
Whether the number is flirtatious, fluorescent, body-con, or high-street (those are her British roots peeping through), the lass — who's been featured on Forbes' covetable '30 Under 30' list and in The New York Times — loves ‘em all. And, she rarely slips into anything less...except for the occasional floor grazer, of course. But, just because this girl-about-town traipses down Maiden Lane in the season’s finest doesn’t mean she can’t duke it out with VC’s finest, as well: Her year-old, S.F.-based luxury-travel site is like an epicurean travel-agent-slash-bestie on speed, tailoring dream itineraries from Hawaii to New York and divulging insider tips from local luminaries.
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Click ahead to see how this head-turner pulls together four winsome looks for spring. Cheers to living proof that you really can have it all — beauty, brains, and ball gowns!
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What was the inspiration behind Peek? 
"I was organizing a birthday trip to Istanbul for me and my friends, and spent hours researching the best things to do. I was calling all these far-flung companies to book the cool experiences I'd discovered. The whole process ended up being lengthy and frustrating — and, I kept wishing there was a one-stop shop to book amazing activities online. It didn't exist, so I figured it was time to build it!"

Ever the ambassador of British fashion, Ruzwana wears a Jonathan Saunders dress, Nicholas Kirkwood pumps, Givenchy clutch, Versace belt, and Hermès bangles.
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Do you believe in shopping therapy?
"I believe in shopping celebrations, rather than shopping therapy! I have a tradition of rewarding myself after big milestones, so when we raised $1.4 million in funding for Peek, I treated myself to this stunning python Givenchy clutch. The tradition started when I got my first paycheck for a job in investment banking at Goldman Sachs; I bought myself some amazing Pucci wedges to wear in the South of France that summer."

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British versus American style: Have you embraced the differences? 
"I’ve lived in London, New York, and San Francisco — all of which have very different styles. In London, you can get away with being edgier and everyone takes pride in mixing high-end brands with high-street staples, like Topshop. Stylish New Yorkers seem to be a little more brand and trend focused, though I love the fact that there’s always an excuse to wear a party dress! And, in S.F., people keep things pretty casual, so just wearing heels can leave you feeling overdressed — I blame the hills!

Ultimately, I'm still a Brit at heart, as evidenced a couple of years ago when I attended the Vanity Fair Oscar dinner. My fancy gown didn't get shipped to L.A. in time for the affair, and it was too late to find anything else, so, I donned a $40 H&M maxi dress and still ended up having a blast."
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What's the winning agent behind Peek?
"Users love it because it's beautifully curated and easy to use, with seamless online booking for all the fun things you want to do in a new place. They also like our Perfect Day tips from tastemakers like Tory Burch, Wolfgang Puck, and Jack Dorsey (also one of our chief investors). I definitely felt a huge sense of pride when The New York Times called Peek, 'A site you want to visit again and again'."

Sitting pretty in a Moschino top, Topshop skirt, Christian Louboutin wedges, vintage handbag, and Mawi ring.
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How would you describe your style?
"I love bright colors and prints, combined with classic shapes."
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Where are some of your favorite places to shop in S.F.?
"My favorites are Maiden Lane and Fillmore Street. Maiden Lane is definitely the most charming street in S.F., with big name designers like Chanel and Prada, alongside a Diptyque store and Cafe Mocca, which makes for the perfect pitstop in the sunshine. On Fillmore Street, you can head to the Alice + Olivia store, the International Orange spa, and boutiques like Elizabeth Charles (where there's a great collection of international designers, from Isabel Marant to Nicholas Kirkwood)." 
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What's your favorite fashion splurge?
"This periwinkle Chloé gown! I know the cost-per-wear will always be silly, but dresses like this are so beautifully made and delightful to wear, that you — occasionally — have to throw caution to the wind."

Do you have a style mantra?
"It's better to be overdressed than underdressed. And, don't follow the crowd."

Footloose and fancy free in a Chloé gown, Topshop jacket, Marc by Marc Jacobs rings, and Threadflip headdress.
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Who are your favorite designers at the moment?
"Peter Pilotto and Christopher Kane are my obsessions right now. They're both creating really unique, feminine pieces in beautiful colors and fabrics."

Which pieces in your wardrobe get the most play?
"An Yves Saint Laurent turquoise-and-gold cocktail ring, a green silk Chloé dress, and a grey Vivienne Westwood coat."
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What's your philosophy when it comes to accessorizing? 
"Less is more, and bold is best! I would much rather wear one unique, beautiful accessory than layer five that aren't nearly as inspiring."

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You're a chief exec with an aversion to pants! Does this ever get challenging in the boardroom? 
"Not at all! The days of being forced to wear boxy trouser suits in order to look professional should be well and truly over. When I'm in a more formal setting, I rely on a uniform of silk blouses (my favorites are by Valentino), pencil skirts (Paul Smith has the best fit), silk knee-length dresses, and very high heels. One of the best things about being an entrepreneur is that you call the shots on appropriate workwear. So, I can be more playful and creative with my wardrobe, wearing brands like Preen, Moschino, or Maison Martin Margiela."

Keeping it casual in a Preen cardigan, Atrium pants, Christian Dior heels, vintage clutch and necklace, Swatch watch, and Mango rings.
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If your style was a destination, which would it be? 
"Istanbul. It's full of turquoises and corals, prints, and colorful gems."

Speaking of travel, you're always on-the-go! Any carry-on beauty musts?
"Eve Lom cleanser, Jurlique moisturizer, and Moroccanoil for my hair."
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Tell us one thing people may be surprised to learn about you.
"I lose a lot of things, like my favorite Comme des Garçons cardigan, my credit cards, keys, and notebooks!"
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What are your top food spots in the city?
"Zuni Café — the roasted chicken is absolutely worth the wait, Kokkari — I once went there three nights in a row, Heirloom Café, Foreign Cinema, and Flour + Water. If you’re willing to go a little further afield, Chez Panisse in Berkeley — the cafe, not the restaurant — and Sushi Ran in Sausalito are both fantastic. And, if you're up for splashing out, French Laundry is incredible. One of the dessert courses includes doughnuts dusted in brown sugar. It's the best thing I've ever eaten."
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