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yuli

Smashing Darling Interview: Yuli Ziv Co-founder and President of MY It Things

[This post originally appeared on the Smashing Darling blog, written by Trish Glinter. Reposted with permission]

I decided to another interview today given that it is fashion week. Today’s interview is with Yuli Ziv the co-founder for My It Things. My It things and Gift Girl are responsible for putting together Inside The Tents, a collective of fashion bloggers bringing updates from their perspective what is coming for spring 2009. Inside The Tents also has a live twitter stream so users can get real time micro blog updates as they are happening. Yuli is also the organizer for the Meet Up group Fashion 2.0. She organizes this group to bring together and talk about technology and fashion. I am in awe of her and what she has accomplished. Please check out the sites and if you are so inclined, join the Fashion 2.0 group so you too can become part of the discussion.

Trish: How did you get into fashion?
Yuli: Having a background in graphic design and digital art, I was always attracted to fashion as just another form of art. Moving to New York City in 2003 opened my eyes to a whole new world of fabulous career women rocking the latest runway looks in the streets. Completely fascinated, I absorbed every detail – from the way they carry a designer bag to the fabulous array of coats for every temperature change outside, to the fact that dressing up for a night on a town isn’t limited to the dark hours only.  I had to share my fascination with the rest of the world, and an online fashion business seemed to be an ideal way to combine my secret passion with my online skills.

Trish: When did you get the idea for and launch, My It Things?
Yuli: MyItThings.com started in 2005 from my idea of simply having a fashion blog, but rather than being a “lonely blogger,” I was more excited about allowing other people to contribute and upload their own content. After a long brainstorming session with my techie friend (who is my biz partner today) the concept evolved into an online fashion magazine, created entirely by people online. The first version was launched in March 2007, and today hundreds of respected fashion, beauty and entertainment bloggers contribute content and interact on the site on a daily basis. Recently we’ve expanded our audience to include aspiring fashion designers, who can showcase their work, contribute articles about fashion and interact with their future consumers in a social environment.

Trish: What is the biggest challenge about launching a website?
Yuli: For me it was deciding when the website was ready to be seen and used by the public. In the end, I think it’s important to start by having at least a minimal online presence and keep improving the user experience every day. The features and innovations you can have online are endless, but it still takes quite some time for people to become aware of your brand. Start creating the buzz as early as you can, even with a limited website.

Trish: You also are the organizer for Fashion 2.0, Meet Up group, what are your hopes and goals for the group?
Yuli: When the Fashion 2.0 group started, the goal was to find like-minded people who have three things in common: internet, fashion and NYC. Now, as the group continues to grow, I realize the real goal is bigger than just a social get-together – we are finally initiating the much-needed conversation between the new online world and the traditional fashion world. I feel the fashion industry today is facing similar challenges the music industry faced few years ago. The new generation of designers, consumers and trendsetters is about to transform this highly hierarchal world and I’m thrilled to be part of a group which leads this change.

Trish: How do you see the internet changing the face of fashion now and in the near future?
Yuli: There are three major changes I see happening in the fashion world:

More fashion designers realize that everything they need to launch their own fashion collection is available online. Things like creating your website, attaching an e-commerce platform to it, running your own ad campaigns, creating a consumer fan base and even socially interacting with them – can be done online at almost no cost and while requiring very few and basic skills.

Consumers are getting more educated about fashion and trends. Blogs and independent fashion publications are flourishing online, providing personal insight into everything from budget shopping to reporting on international fashion influences seen in the streets of London, Tokyo or Paris.

Also, the accessibility of online shopping presents more inventory and choices to an expanding consumer base. Even designer garments, never before available outside big cities, can be reached in a click of a mouse shortly after runway shows, thanks to online retailers such as Net-A-Porter.

Trish: What does your average day entail?
Yuli: After waking up, I do a morning recap on the night’s content submissions on MyItThings.com, check Twitter, Email and Google Analytics, write a couple of blog posts, walk with my Border Collie in Washington Square Park and take a daily picture of my outfit.  The day at the office starts at noon (privileges of being your own boss) by catching up with my business partner on everything that’s going on. After that it could be pretty much anything from designing the next site feature, talking to potential investors or strategic partners, coming up with new promotions and contests, planning our runway show event, creating presentations for potential sponsors, brainstorming on PR strategies to shooting my own webisodes of  “Fashion for Thought”.  In the evening I sometimes head out to one of the fabulous fashion events or openings, and later continue working from home with TV in the background; Force myself to sleep at 2am; Love every moment of it!

Trish: What is the one item in your wardrobe you can’t live without?
Yuli: Summer dresses!  I search for the perfect one every summer, in the process ending up with more than I could possibly wear, considering the short NYC summer.

Trish: How would you describe your personal style? And who or what influences that style?
Yuli: A lot of my shopping is completely emotional; when I see something I love it usually involves a slight sensation in my stomach. That’s how I know this item fits my personal style. I’m usually attracted to clean, modern shapes, subtle color hues, sophisticated details and embellishments. Fashion week is a huge source of inspiration every season. That’s when I usually decide on my own key pieces or looks that I can see myself wearing.

Trish: What is your fashion obsession of the moment?
Yuli: New York Fashion Week planning! Can’t wait to share with everyone online our behind the scenes coverage from the Bryant Park tents!

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Meet Crosby Noricks

Hi. I'm Crosby, the founder of PR Couture and a fashion brand strategist. I care about supporting and celebrating fashion publicists as well as helping rad companies connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways. Recently, iMedia included me in their annual list of 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators, along with people from Starbucks, Twitter and Volkswagon, which I think is pretty neat. Like Elle Woods, I am a Gemini-vegetarian (that's about where the similarities end). Let's connect: Check out my full bio, Brand Elixer sessions or shoot me an electronic communiqué.