Art College Conversations: Social Media and the Fashion industry

To connect students with Nashville career opportunities, Nossi College of Art mentors and guides creatives towards Student Groups and Clubs. These organizations allow students a chance to take ownership of their campus experience and of their future life after graduation.

Jump Ahead In The Story:
Meet the Panelists | Quotable Highlights

Nossi Fashion Creatives is a student group dedicated to Nashville’s growing Fashion Industry (yes, there is more to Nashville than cowboy attire!). Nossi Fashion Creatives attend events, collaborate on projects, host media days, plan location shoots, and invite influential creatives to be guest speakers for all students. Things look a bit more virtual now in 2020:

Nossi fashion creatives

Student leaders McCayla McClard and Ashna Momin met this summer because they wanted to hear directly from fashion companies to get feedback about social media and the digital world. They had important questions to ask:

  • How do you get noticed on social media?
  • How do you get a job in fashion?
  • What do you want to see from creatives?
  • Networking sounds scary – what does it actually mean?

After initial research, two Nashville companies stood out – Mundane Magazine and Twice Social. They both capitalize on this unique industry in completely different ways. We invited their creative teams to a Virtual Panel Discussion to impart wisdom and answer our questions and curiosities. All Fashion Creative members and Nossi students were invited to attend.

Two Creative companies

MUNDANE MAGAZINE

A nod to all things edgy, unique, and eccentric, this content studio is a combination clothing line and a digital (and printed) publication. With the goal of turning Mundane into a creative outlet for the underrepresented, giving artists a platform to be noticed, Mundane has found a unique niche in Nashville.

TWICE SOCIAL

A digital marketing agency with a focus on social media, Twice Social launched five years ago in Nashville, and has been growing ever since. They help build brands for two unique industries – fashion and healthcare – proving that all industries need great creative thinkers.

Four Creative Professionals

Nashville fashion professionals

From left to right:
Sarah Rogowskey, Lead Staff Writer | Social Media Manager for Mundane
Luca Di Fabio, Founder | CEO of Mundane
Emily Sandberg Gold, Founder | CEO Twice Social
Thomas Lakeman, Creative Director for Twice Social

SARAH started as a model and ended up in a Mundane fashion show. She was looking for a place where she could express herself without always worrying about what others think. To find a place she really shines. When Mundane’s fashion show was over, she heard they were looking for a Social Media Director – and that’s how a lot of cool jobs are found in Nashville, word-of-mouth.

Her advice to those just getting started? “Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to succeed immediately, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be something you are not.”

LUCA, born in Italy, moved to Nashville to place it on the fashion map along with New York and Los Angeles. He highlights amazing creatives that live here. He transitioned here with an idea (not a job!) and through immense hard work, he was able to combine his passions of fashion, music, and art into the Mundane lifestyle brand.

Luca knew his initial idea was solid. Now it was about building and finding a team that could help him reach his vision. His favorite part about owning Mundane? “A great thing about Nashville is that you are going to run into the same people a lot, especially in your field. If you meet somebody one time, you have to remember them. You will see them again, and you never know who they will introduce you to.”

EMILY also started in the fashion industry as a model for Versace, Fendi, Gap, and Banana Republic (check out her Q&A + Vogue Cover). She took all her experiences from walking the runway, being part of editorial shoots, and working with designers and began to write blogs, post to social media, and work on product development.

When she moved to Nashville five years ago, she knew she wanted to start her own thing, so she started with what she knew best – fashion and the digital world. “Nashville is going through a rebrand with the underground scene, the uprising of fashion, neighborhoods are rising, and we are the trendsetters. We get requests from New York to give them a Nashville spin.”

THOMAS considers himself a super nerd and he is not afraid to shout it from the rooftop. “I realized at a certain point I was never going to be cool, I might as well be who I am.” After college, he went on Jeopardy to pay his loans from drama school and worked for Universal (he actually wrote fan mail as the Chucky Doll ūüė≥). He has been in a creative director-type role for the past 20 years.

His advice resonates with creative students because he reiterates that you cannot hide what makes you special. “Your first instinct may be to hide it because you get embarrassed about something that is personal, and you don’t want to be rejected. Turns out, the thing that is special about you is ultimately the thing that people are going to notice. Don’t be so focused on being cool. Coolness is overrated and I think geekiness is underrated.”

Quotable highlights

NETWORKING

“I got really nervous when people told me I had to network when I moved to Nashville because I had never networked before.”

“With networking, people are not looking for a pair of hands to do something well, they are looking for someone to help solve their problem. I emailed Emily “10 Crazy Things About Me” and how I could help her, and she called me back in like 10 minutes.”

Thomas Lakeman

“When I went to agencies, they told me I had to change my look, so I just joined a Facebook page and starting doing portfolio shoots with photographers. Now I am working with some of the photographers that I consider to be the best in the city. So you don’t have to go the traditional route in order to be successful. You go further and further the more you put yourself out there.”

Sarah Rogowskey

“I’m constantly impressed with who the next person will introduce me to. And a lot of the times the next person I’m being introduced to is the person I wanted to meet anyways!”

Libby Funke Luff, Marketing and Student Activities Director, Nossi College of Art

“There is a really strong underground scene in Nashville, and it’s getting strong. A lot of it is based in East Nashville but there are little underground pockets everywhere, and being in a company like this attracts that scene.”

Sarah Rogowskey

“Nashville is somehow a super friendly city where people will pretty much give you a hand. They really will. If you ask, you just have to reach out, and don’t forget to follow-up.”

Sarah Rogowskey
“You deserve to belong in any room you care to walk into.”

SOCIAL MEDIA

“A lot of social media is high-quality photos, but captions are super important. Giving people context is super important. They want to know what is going on.”

Sarah Rogowskey

“Be interested in the people who are engaging with you because we tend to think of social media as a broadcast medium, but it is not. It’s a listening medium. It’s a radio.”

Thomas Lakeman

“Quality followers are what you really want. You want people who are going to advocate for you and people who are going to tell you about other channels. It is the thing that sets apart the really good channels from the really weak ones – quality engagement.”

Thomas Lakeman

NASHVILLE

“I don’t think of Nashville as a small town anymore. It has a lot of influence and is going through a lot of change right now.”

Emily Sandberg Gold

“It is very beneficial to be in a smaller town that is rising rather than being in a huge town that’s always been the town that doesn’t sleep.”

Luca Di Fabio

“I’m just going to say that Nashville has magic. Nashville is a magical city. There is not place like it in the world. It’s a bunch of neighborhoods that bumped into each other and decided to become a city like the Brady bunch, ya know?”

Thomas Lakeman
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