I fell in love with everything about Ari Goldberg last season at IFB Con. His fashion-forward, busy-savvy persona was magnetic. I could have listened to the “Business & Blogging” panel all day long. Like I joked about in my post from IFB Con in September, I probably took more notes during that panel than my entire 8th semester of college.
When I heard StyleCaster (Goldberg is the founder and CEO of StyleCaster) was putting on a conference, I knew I had to go. The State of Style Summit line-up was STACKED. Each and every panel was unbelievably inspiring. I don’t think my brain’s wheels have stopped turning since. State of Style truly made me want to go out and achieve bigger and better things.
I got to the 92Y Tribeca around 9:30 a.m. with a venti Skinny Vanilla Latte in hand and left at 7 p.m. two cocktails in. It sounds like a long day, but it literally flew by.
Alexandra Wilkis Wilson (Co-Founder of Gilt Groupe) and Catherine Moellering (Tobe Report) kicked off the day with the panel “From Social Commerce to Soho: Where Does Digital Drive Traffic?” It was incredibly interesting to learn about m-commerce and consumer profiling via Facebook, Pinterest, and other online platforms. Wilson said “kudos to men… they convert more and return less.”
“Trickle Up vs. Trickle Down in The Digital Age” featured Aliza Licht (@DKNY PR Girl, SVP of Global Communication at Donna Karan International), Steve Davis (President of Rue La La), Oliver Laubscher (Global Direction of WPP), and Sheryl Connelly (Manager of Global Trends & Futuring at Ford). This conversation focused on engagement. Whether it be trends “trickling down” from Kate Middleton (i.e. long-sleeved wedding dresses) or trends “trickling up” from street-style, trends emerge when people join together. The panel highlighted curation and collaboration at all levels, not just up or down.
Some of my favorite stand-out quotes were from @DKNY:
“What would YOU want to read? Would you want to read what you’re sending out?”
“You don’t need to intimidate to rule.”
“The Anatomy of Fashion” was kind of insane. This was the Egg McMuffin of panel lineups. Simon Collins (Dean of Parsons), Mazdack Rassi (Creative Director at MILK Studios), Tom Florio (Former IMG exec, SVP and Publishing Direction at Vogue, Teen Vogue, Conde Nast Traveler & Bon Appetit), and Anthony Prozzi (Senior Interior Designer at Ford Motor Company). Holy Sh*t. I can’t believe I was in the same room with all of these people at one time.
“I don’t think Alexander McQueen gave a f*ck about what the people thought about his work.” -Collins
“Fashion is an emotional business. Guys watch sports and think they are jocks. Women are immersed in fashion and think they’re fashionable.” -Florio
“If the 1600 students at Parsons wanted to make lots of money they’d be bankers.” -Collins
Ara Kratz (VP of Creative and Celebrity Partnership at Beachmint) won me over during the “Style-Driven Storytelling” panel. She is SO COOL.
One of the best parts of the day was “From Concept to Commerce: Designer Spotlight on Rebecca Minkoff.” This panel was quite the family affair. Ari and David Goldberg with Uri and Rebecca Minkoff. This discussion delivered such a great message — persistence. Don’t give up on what you want! The Minkoffs preach inclusion .. their “girl” has a $2,000 aesthetic, but wants a bag in the $200 price range. We don’t even need to talk about the fact that this brother and sister duo seem like the nicest pair of people in the world.
“Go in with the heart, but have the logic worked out on the business side.” -Uri
“If you’re going through hell, just keep going.” -Rebecca
Sounds strange, but Rabbi Dovi Scheiner (Founder of SoHo Synagogue) was the next speaker. Yes, a rabbi. Only in NYC! His blessings and stories were wonderful and quite entertaining.
The next panel was wildly fascinating. “Wearing Your Social Good: Where Style & Social Activism Meet” honestly made me want to be a better person and find more time to give back. Neil Blumenthal (Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Warby Parker), Sean Carasso (CEO and Founder of Falling Whistles), Lauren Bush Lauren (CEO and Founder of FEED), and Adam Braun (Executive Director of Pencil of Promise) are some of the most passionate and driven people I’ve ever encountered. The talk focused on social responsibility, both in life and in fashion.
“Fear of failure prevents us from pursuing ideas – fail early, fail cheap, fail often.”
“Find out what you’re passionate about and see where you can make a real difference.” -Blumenthal
“Overcome your fear of failure. Let it become part of your learning process.” -Carasso
“There’s a lot of work to do. There’s a lot of problems to solve. Let’s solve them together.” -Carasso
“I don’t look at anyone as competition. I look at them as motivation.” -Braun
“The State of the Stitch” ended the day with a conversation between Stacy London (Host of TLC’s What Not To Wear) and Anthony Prozzi (Senior Interior Designer at Ford). The two talked a lot about style innovation. Stacy said, “To have great design AND a great price, that’s real innovation.”
Some of Stacy London’s one-liners:
“I have a shirt that says ‘I get paid to be a bitch, what’s your excuse?'”
“I judge everybody. I am uber-judgy.”
“Fashion is an industry, but style is universal. Style is not only universal, it’s personal.”
“Style is a metaphor in how you want to be perceived in the world.”
(See even more photos from the day on Instagram!)