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.
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.