In a world that’s increasingly influencer-focused, making a lasting mark requires a strategic approach as much as it does a trendsetting wardrobe. Caroline Vazzana, Dylana Suarez, Marina Ingvarsson, and Christie Coiffi are four such creators who’ve cracked the code. Hence the reason the quartet has become the face of Via Spiga’s latest campaign, and its members serving as keynote speakers on the “Portraits of Fall” fashion panel at Bloomingdale’s in New York last night.
The women brought their own expertise to the room, whether from styling, writing or blogging, and shared key tips for others aspiring to break into the influencer market. Suarez, for example, half of the “Suarez sisters” along with sibling and fellow fashion notable Natalie Suarez, explained how blogging about her passions jumpstarted her career.
“I think my very first post was about Alexa Chung,” she recalled. “I got my first real job because of the blog.”
As the four social media aficionados recapped their beginnings, moderator Erica Russo (Bloomingdale’s fashion director) also touched on how they’ve stayed afloat among the cluttered landscape.
Read below for some of their fondest memories and best tips that they shared at the soiree.
On Getting Started
“I didn’t mean to start a blog I kind of just made a Tumblr page and used it as my own personal photo diary and people started seeing me and asking for fashion advice.”
“I met a lot of influencers at events and thought, ‘this sounds like an interesting career path and I think I want to become my own boss’… [Eventually], I decided to leave my full-time job and publish this book.”
“Honestly, I do it all by myself. I don’t have a team currently because I’m still in school but it’s something I’d like to develop. When I moved to NY I came for school… I never thought it’d be a possibility.”
“It takes a lot of hard work. [You have to ask] Am I going to be okay without a steady salary at first? Am I okay to be self-motivated? I made it a point to meet up with all my contacts, like publicists, and educated them about what I was doing. It was so helpful for me because that helped me land new jobs and open so many doors. It was a scary leap but if it’s something you’re thinking about I think you should go for it ’cause it’s the best decision I ever made. There’s gonna be a lot of long nights, running around the city and you’re gonna think ‘why did I get into this?’ But it’s so worth it.”
On Work-Life Balance
“A lot has changed but so much is the same. I’m so much more conscious of time and how to make the most of [me and my family’s] time together. Trying to find that balance is a daily struggle. But always being aware [of events outside of work] and looking at my schedule — my weekends are very much [sacred time] now.”
“Find the people you admire and don’t be afraid to reach them. Through Instagram, DM them and say you’d like to intern [or work with them].”
On Growing a Following
“It’s so important to engage with everyone. Answer DMs, answer comments and go to your loyal followers and like and comment their pages. If they are saying they want to see this or like this, I think it’s so important to keep it real.”
On Keeping Style Content Interesting
“I always try to think out the box and am always looking around to places I’ve traveled. I’m attracted to color and I’m always trying to think of themes. I’m not so consistent but I’m always trying to do something different.”
“At the end of the day you dress for yourself. I love to wear suits because it’s easy to wear. Just put your suit on and get your bag and glasses, that’s it. You will be on point from breakfast to evening. I’m kind of more sophisticated but practical. Wear what you like and what fits to your body.”
Via Spiga’s fall ’18 collection includes styles such as pumps, booties and satin-strapped heels. The brand has also partnered with Soles4Souls on an Instagram-based contest. For every person who posts a portrait of someone that inspires them on the social media platform up until Oct. 20th (tagging @viaspiga and using the #viaspigaportraits hashtag), Via Spiga will donate a pair of shoes to the non-profit.
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