Monthly Archives: October 2014

Might crash ya internet

New projects, new industries, I tried to tell everyone, cuffing season for what – it’s hustle season. So after attending #HashbrownsAndHashtags the panel of women entrepreneurs from all different industries discussing how they utilize digital and social, it only seemed right to continue to see how other successful lifestyle brands are leveraging digital in different ways.

Digital DUMBO, who puts together live events and experiences to connect brands and businesses, held the first panel in their DGTL_CLTR (digital culture) series. Racks on Racks on Racks: Streetwear Goes Digital featured a panel discussion with Scott Sasso of 10Deep, Mikhail Bortnik of Mischka, Erik Marino of Rocksmith and moderated by Been Trill’s Heron Preston.

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For those of you that aren’t as familiar with the culture, answers to Preston’s first question will offer a little clarity. Sasso defined Streetwear as “outsiders fashion” while Bortnik elaborated comparing it to indie rock, in that similarly, you just kind of know it when you see it.

Everyone indicated that using social media indeed offers an avenue to keep a pulse on the culture but does not solely inspire new product. Bortnik says he finds the most inspo offline seeing people in the streets in NY and Toyko while Sasso says being in the scene and at parties influenced a lot of releases in the past.

Conversely, between big brands like H&M, Topman and Zara and social media offering immediate exposure to a larger audience, Bortnik brought up the adjustment from a 4 season cycle to a 12 month cycle. Everyone agreed it brings new challenges but at the same time Preston and the Been Trill boys seem to continue to find different avenues leveraging the immediacy of the cycle and social media through #Been Trill#x U allowing consumers to apply their graphics (and others) to t-shirts.

Marino brought up a very interesting point that really swayed him from traditional print to maintaining digital – the ability to watch views on YouTube. Print ad buys offer an arbitrary number and you really can’t track a conversion. As someone that LIVES on Google Analytics (I see you all checking my blog), I can see how it’s no question these brands would create their own content, connecting music/artists, and put it out to build their brand.

All of them strongly urged staying true to yourself and your brand, as did the women of #HasbrownsAndHashtags, as well as the panel at the Agenda Emerge event I wrote about last winter. Now, I’m sure you all think I’m going to take shots at the fellas but there was a lot of similarities among both the all women panel and the all men. The biggest difference I found between them was a lot more presence of ego in last night’s Racks on Racks discussion but honestly it wasn’t even the group as a whole. Further, as someone hugely interested in most of Kanye’s projects I often equate ego as a form of passion for what you do, it isn’t always a bad thing.

So, ego and the fact that I’ve confirmed that there are literal business conversations being held regarding the impressions or activity within a hashtag like #sus or #thot only further solidifies digital is king and if you are running a brand, not only do you need to get on board but you need to find your own lane and kill the game.

xo Rae

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50 shades of Bordeaux

It’s not black and it’s not neutral. Progress is a process.

So, I was heading to #HashbrownsAndHashtags and the weather Saturday was actually disgusting. Mom’s visiting and I’m going to an event where being a female and Instagram are commonalities among all in attendance. The look was important, like it or not. However, the rain killed my vibe and essentially what I had planned to wear.

I wore this and now you have a rare outfit of the day post, simply because this a very random collection of clothes pulled together for a monochromatic look that isn’t black, white or my latest favorite, gray. IMG_2757And what I wore:

J. Crew leather hat $54 from $110
H&M pants $10 (but really, not a typo)
Vintage Sweater free.99 (thanks mom)
Banana Republic trench from the archives, no clue what I paid for it
Dolce Vita perforated suede sneakers $50 from $80
Abas leather clutch $50 from $130

Let’s not forget the MAC lipstick in the appropriate shade, Diva. All wine everayyyything.

xo Rae

 

 

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#HashbrownsAndHashtags

I recently got connected with Samantha Chin of the Myriad Group over Twitter. Interestingly enough, this isn’t a rarity for me. Anywho, she hit me about the event she was going to be co-hosting, #HashbrownsAndHashtags. Initiated by Sam, Scarlett Stack, Lee Tighlman, and Alexandra Machover and hosted at the latest restaurant from Matt Levine, Chalk Point Kitchen a group of digitally/socially savvy, super swaggy women assembled for an unreal brunch spread and for an even better panel.

Ok, first the food, to. die. for. I really incessantly recommend Chalk Point Kitchen as they never cease to outdo themselves but it was all phenom. See pics below (peep the menu and sponsors too, very real). IMG_2729 IMG_2734 IMG_2735

Now on to the goods, the girls, of course. The panel included Marlo Scott of Sweet Revenge, Cyndi Ramirez of Taste the Style, Stefanie Skinner of People’s Revolution and Socially Acclaimed and Bevy Smith of Bravo’s Fashion Queens and Dinner with Bevy.

Marlo discussed a string of what she called “bad bosses” which inevitably were individuals (probably men) too caught up in being ‘the boss’ to really utilize the mind of someone capable of seeing the bigger picture and running her own business. Bevy was non-stop one liners of advice so real and relevant, I think I could have filled a month’s work of blog content on her portion alone. I opted to live-tweet but you get it. She dropped knowledge like “find your unique value proposition”, “you got a college degree for a reason”, “you only eat what you kill”, “go through the fucking fear” – so much knowledge. Soft spoken Stefanie flourished in front of us when she broke down how she is THE strategy girl.  And I feel that. I may not be soft spoken but there is absolutely, always a method to my madness, business and personal. Cyndi Ramierez spoke on her progression from bringing together two seemingly unnatural topics thus creating her personal brand and focusing on what she was best at. Now, this week, she is releasing her own facial moisturizer, DAILE (make sure to check it out ASAP). HH4 HH5 HH6

pics by Raffi Asdourian 

Although each of the women have different backgrounds and are essentially in different industries (kudos to the selection hosts), there were plenty of similar themes around entrepreneurship. Each seemed very aware of the proverbial ‘big picture’ and how it applied to them and their strengths. If I can do them any justice, here are some important points I left with and can offer to you.

Be capable and unafraid of doing everything. If you don’t know something, learn it.

Find your lane, make sure it’s unique and murder it.

Going corporate won’t kill you if you utilize it and by utilize I mean learn from EVERY SINGLE minute you spend there and apply it accordingly. Don’t countdown the minutes until 5 pm, calculate the minutes you need to invest outside of work on your own thing until your own thing can be the only thing.

As I sat and soaked up every bit of knowledge (and ricotta toast), it really felt like listening to myself but their stories are so far beyond where I am at now. It was not only reassuring but terribly exciting, like finally being somewhere and having the feeling of, ‘yes, I fit here’. Further, (grab the tissues) this was so huge for me, one year into being self-employed, to attend and to bring my mom along.

If I may, on behalf of all in attendance, to the panel and the hosts – thank you so much girls.

xo Rae

 

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Normcore Come Up

For those of you don’t frequent downtown Manhattan check this Gawker article for a more in depth definition of normcore.

Ok now you follow? Perhaps the two biggest normcore influences I refer to are Obama (dressed down obvi) and my dad, as I sit here in his old button up denim, my running sneakers and black jeans.

As I mentioned, I found myself far more interested in the daily street style galleries during NYFW than a lot of what was on the run way. While I was flipping through NY Mag’s I came across The Cut’s number 1 ranked fashion girl. It was Rachael Wang, NY-based stylist, in GAP. Wild. I screen shot the below image and had to go check it out (Pinterest for what).

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Upon stepping foot into Gap for the first time since like what, middle school, I found the dress immediately.  Once I tried it on I realized it was indeed the perfect length, white, shirt dress with a tiny bit of swag via that hemline. However reasonable it is,  I didn’t NEED it for $80. I knew I’d get use out of it but I left it to think about it.

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After finding myself noticing Gap a lot more than normal, I ended up strolling by the Herald Square location one too many times until one day, there was a store wide sale. And you know what happens next. I bought it for a SUPER reasonable $45. Take that fashion week. Normcore needs for this Brooklyn girl brought to you by Gap and their #dressnormal campaign. Who knew? Dear Gap – YOU RIGHT. 

xo Rae

images by Celine of Cup Of Rahman