Few people are as well versed in the ins and outs of social media as CEO/founding partner of StyleCaster Media Group, Ari Goldberg. Now the New York-based entrepreneur is giving industry leaders and up-and-comers the opportunity to come together and learn from each other with the first ever State of Style Summit, which is being held on February 7 at the 92Y Tribeca (tickets available here). Event speakers include Aslaug Magnusdottir, Co-Founder and CEO of Moda Operandi, Aliza Licht, SVP Global Communications of Donna Karan International, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Co-Founder and CMO of Gilt Groupe, Lauren Bush, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of FEED, Stacy London, Co-Host of TLC's What Not To Wear, Steve Davis, President of Rue La La, and Tom Florio, Vogue and IMG veteran.
We spoke with Goldberg about how this event came about, the hardest speakers to get to agree to participate, who should attend, and more.
The Fashion Spot: How did the idea for State of Style come about? How did the partnership with the 92Y come about?
Ari Goldberg: I had met Sol Adler, President of 92Y, at an NYC EDC Fashion 20/20 event. We spoke about ways we can be working together. Looking at the success they had with the Mashable Social Good Summit, we realized there was an opportunity to do the same with the style space.
tFS: Was the timing at the start of NYFW intentional?
AG: Absolutely; there is no more of an opportune time to talk about the State of Style than just before the entire world’s eyes are focused on the biggest week in fashion, right here in the fashion capital of the world.
tFS: You've got such an impressive list of speakers. Can you highlight some of the ones you're most looking forward to?
AG: It’s impossible to choose; I’m just humbled and excited by the caliber of the people involved. The core purpose of this event is to get industry leaders and thought leaders together to discuss how we can move the space forward with the power of digital and social media.
tFS: Who was the most challenging person to get to agree to speak?
AG: All of these people were tough to get, and that’s why you would want them at an event. They all have very busy schedules with limited availability, but they’re all coming out to speak, and I think that shows the power of what we’re creating.
tFS: Do you see this as being a yearly event?
tFS: Who do you see most benefiting from attending the summit?
AG: Our vision is that everyone is going to benefit tremendously and equally. That’s the whole point: the up-and-comers get the benefit of hearing from industry leaders and the industry leaders get the benefit of hearing what’s been emerging from the street. Even people across the globe can watch, for free, via webcast at stylecaster.com/state-of-style.
tFS: As someone clearly entrenched in social and online media, what do you think about brick-and-mortar shopping?
AG: The offline brick and mortar shopping experience is always going to exist because style is so tactile. The style industry isn’t binary; so it’s more a question of the convergence of offline and online, and how it benefits the consumer, retailer and designer. That’s what we’re focused on answering.
tFS: With so many NYFW shows streaming live online, what do you see as the future of Fashion Week? Are live shows going to be obsolete sooner than we think?
AG: Fashion Week itself is going to become obsolete if we don’t find ways to get consumers more actively involved.
tFS: What's one thing you know now that you wish you had known when you started Stylecaster?
AG: It’s hard to stay thin.
tFS: Tips for young post-college grads looking to break into the fashion industry?
AG: Stick out. Regardless of the industry, employers see thousands of resumes. Everyone looks good on paper, but you have to do something that makes them remember you.
tFS: Given that the fashion industry is so much about networking and social media seems to blur some previously defined lines — do you have any dos/don'ts tips?
AG: Nordstrom has one core value: use your best judgment. Now more than ever our reputations have become our personal brands and our social media presence is a true reflection of that.
tFS: What's one luxury item you're dying to splurge on?
tFS: What's your day-to-day wardrobe like?
AG: I would describe my style as the epic culmination and convergence of Topshop, Uniqlo, J.Crew, and Surface to Air.
tFS: What are your winter 2012 fashion must-haves?
AG: I always defer to the StyleCaster editors for these answers.
tFS: As a man about town, what are some of your favorite spots to go out, dine, shop…?
AG: Electric Room, Odin, Surface to Air, APC.