How Refinery29's Piera Gelardi and Christene Barberich Built Their Creative Partnership to Last

After 20 years as collaborators, the duo doesn't plan on slowing down

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When Refinery29 turned 10, its founders had an idea for an epic birthday celebration: partner with artists, brands and nonprofits to bring the publication to life in 29Rooms. About 10,000 people came to that first event, but more astounding was its social reach: one out of every six Instagram users saw it. Four years later, 29Rooms is a juggernaut that has expanded to five cities, set trends in experiential marketing and cemented Refinery29 as a progressive media brand, in both content and business strategy. 

Co-founders and longtime creative partners Piera Gelardi and Christene Barberich are major forces behind the event’s success, and they’re among Adweek’s Creative 100—the most inspiring and innovative people in marketing and media in 2019.



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