Making your mark in the ever more crowded blogosphere can be a daunting task – whether you’re an individual or a multi-million dollar brand. What sets the “popular” ones apart from the “overlooked”? We spoke to Dina Fierro, the fashion director at Attention USA and the founder of eye4style, to find out. As a social media pro and digital strategist for major fashion corporations by day and the beauty and fashion writer behind a well respected blog by night, Fierro is in a unique position to talk blogging, public relations, social media, current trends, and more…and so she did!
The Fashion Spot: Can you give us some career background? What came first, PR or blogging?
Dina Fierro: In the early stages of my career, I bounced around a bit between styling, print editorial (primarily market work), and fashion public relations. Social media came a bit later, after I'd started eye4style and become really vested in the fashion blogosphere. The transition from PR to social was relatively seamless as the most important skills that I had cultivated in editorial and PR – writing, editing, relationship-building – were applicable to social as well.
tFS: What do you think it is about your blog that has made it so popular?
DF: "So popular," huh? You're generous! I think it's longevity to a certain degree – eye4style began over five years ago, so it's definitely among the veteran fashion blogs out there (yikes, I'm dating myself!) I often hear from those who know me that reading eye4style is like having a conversation with me, which I think is a great compliment. Having a unique voice is what distinguishes one blog from another, so I really work to ensure that I stay true to what I love, and only feature things that I'd actually invest dollars, cash, money, etc. in.
tFS: Do you find that there's ever a conflict between your "day job" and your personal blogging?
DF: Rarely to never, which I know is probably surprising. If anything, my day job and my blog are complementary – my experience and point of view as a blogger influences recommendations that I make to clients, while my work in social makes me a better blogger and a better marketer of both myself and the site.
tFS: What's the best part about working in social media? Most difficult part?
DF: It sounds cheesy, but I feel blessed to work in such a dynamic, fun, and glamorous space. That said, those outside of the industry don't necessarily realize all of the hard work that goes into building a brand – it's not all free shoes and expensed dinners at Beauty & Essex, peeps! One of the greatest challenges of leading the fashion practice at Attention is education – not only within the agency, for the team, but also for clients – after all, as the folks at Syms say, "an educated consumer is our best customer" – the same applies to social media.
tFS: What should people know who are looking to break into the world of fashion PR?
DF: There will be many decidedly unglamorous moments and a lot of hard work in your future. Be willing to pay your dues, and understand that regardless of the task at hand, there's always the opportunity to learn from those around you, be they interns or CEOs.
tFS: Can you explain the importance of social media from a PR perspective when working with your clients?
DF: Social media and public relations should ideally be synergistic, nothing builds awareness like public relations, while social media can deliver more measurable ROI, most notably, traffic to a brand's site and conversion.
tFS: Have you ever worked with a client whose product you didn't believe in? If so, how did you overcome that to ensure that they still got press?
DF: It happens; that's one of the challenges of working at an agency, as opposed to in house. It's most important to remember that even if a product, line, collection, or designer doesn't have relevance to you PERSONALLY, that doesn't negate its value to other consumers.
tFS: What's your all-time fave beauty product?
DF: Wow, that's a tough question! It's a toss up between MAC Russian Red Lipstick (my motto…if it's good enough for Dita, it's good enough for me!) and MAC By Candlelight Mineralize Skinfinish, the greatest highlighter known to womankind. If forced to live without either, I might opt to call it a day.
tFS: What's your favorite new beauty product?
DF: I was already obsessed with Dr. Dennis Gross' Extra Strength Alpha-Beta Peel and his latest launch, the Daily Glow Pads, take it to the next level – they're anti-aging, exfoliating, AND they deliver a gorgeous, totally natural-looking faux tan. Amaze. They'll be a summer savior for a sun-phobic gal like myself.
tFS: What fashion trends are you loving for the S/S season?
DF: After so many seasons with the skinny jean, I'm loving the return to wide leg – so flattering! The best in my book are J Brand's Kiki, which boast a super chic high waist.
tFS: Any trends you're wishing would die already?
DF: Clearly, the legging. They're not pants, ladies. Give it up. You're not fooling anyone.
tFS: What's the last luxury item you bought? One that you're lusting for?
DF: I live and die by what I call my Fashion Bucket List – a running, oft-updated list of the what I need to snag to complete my wardrobe/me as a person. My most recent acquisition off my FBL was Mackage's Ming leather jacket – I'm loving the strong shoulder and high collar. Next on my list is a biggie though – a red Collier de Chien cuff from Hermes. Oh yes.
tFS: What does your day-to-day wardrobe look like?
DF: Simple! I love a strong basic (is there anything better than a cardigan? A blazer? I think not), paired with spectacular shoes and accessories. My accessory OBSESSIONS include Balenciaga and Alexander Wang (bags), Loeffler Randall, Chloe, Ruthie Davis, Charlotte Olympia, and Alejandro Ingelmo (shoes), and Subversive by Justin Giunta, Pamela Love, Genevieve Jones, Alexis Bittar, and Made Her Think (jewelry). LOVE.
tFS: What are some of your favorite places to shop?
DF: Let's keep it real, I live to shop – online and off. Online, my go-tos are definitely Shopbop, Forward by Revolve Clothing, and Net-a-Porter. Offline, I'm blessed to live in the greatest shopping city in the world. My most frequent haunts are Aloha Rag, Barney's New York, Jeffrey, Kirna Zabete, and Miu Miu.