Back in September, when I was in New York for the NYFW, I had a friend introduce me to a fashion shopping website call Live The Look, “You will like the site, and you would love to talk to Francesca!” he said; I asked, “Who is Francesca? ” He replied, “She is the founder of Live The Look, and she is Twitter’s former fashion marketing executive!”
I always admire women who are talented and business-minded, and in general, I love women with beauty inside and out. So when I got back home, I had a look in the website and also searched for more information about Francesca.
I am very impressed by how they design their shopping website, unlike other curated shopping websites, they are more like an online “personal shopper”, recommending products for you to shop from based around what’s existing in your closet so you don’t duplicate clothes, but add to complement your outfits.
I am also very happy that Francesca took some time and answered the little interview for my blog. Most of you probably know that I rarely do interview in my blog — this might be the first time, and after reading the answers by Francesca, and you might thank me for putting all the effort and writing, because she really inspired me, and I hope she inspires you, too!
I was an integral member of the Twitter marketing team and the first advertiser facing representative for the launch of Promoted Products. I also executed key programs across the fashion vertical and worked with top brands/designers, media and organizations including CFDA, Marc Jacobs, Vogue and Gilt. Through my years at Twitter I became an expert at managing relationships with global brands and entertainment entities including Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Sony Pictures, Starbucks, Disney/ESPN, Nike, The Grammys, BBC, Al Jazeera, IPL, ICC, UEFA, FIFA, and the International Olympic Committee. I naturally started working with a few large fashion entities on Twitter out of my own interest and instinct. I knew that fashion was one of the top followed areas on the platform and understood that the community would drive phenomenal content as well as potential revenue on the commerce side. As I educated and activated key brands, media, influencers and designers, I found myself drawn into helping people get more technically creative with integrating Twitter into their traditional efforts. The best example I can think of is when I worked with the social team at Burberry to create the first “Tweetwalk.” They wanted to take create a digital edge that appealed to their followers at their traditional runway show. We came up with the idea that they could Tweet out a photo of the model from backstage just prior to her hitting the catwalk. Twitter followers would get first access to the looks and the photo content was only proprietary for a few moments, creating a sense of urgency to tune in. Needless to say, it was a huge success.
2. Fashion sounds a bit far away from Twitter, what inspired you to found Live The Look?
I wanted to create Live the Look because I felt that women deserved more from an e-commerce experience. Every day we all get up, head to our closet and wonder what outfit to put together on our bodies. We may feel adventurous or safe or cold or sassy or spontaneous, but we all have to still get dressed. There was no option out there that actually tried to help women make that choice and took into account that we already have clothes – most likely quite a lot of them – sitting around.
There are a ton of pages and sites out there meant to inspire us through photos and media into copying what they wear, but I find them to be overall very aspirational instead of realistic in price or in wearability. I wanted to take what I did at Twitter with democratizing fashion experiences or content and try to democratize fashion commerce by making it reflective of real women and real choices.
3. LTL is like an online “stylist”, giving busy women some ideas for what to wear everyday. Who is the real “Stylist” behind the web?
The real “Stylist” is me with a little help from an algorithm and backend tools. I truly enjoy creating and styling but we are definitely looking to open it up to allow all of our customers a way to create their own styles and looks in the future.
4. You’re on the International Olympic Committee, you are an entrepreneur, and you are a social media expert: which role you like the most and how do these different roles affect your life?
I enjoy all three but there is a time and place for each and all of the experiences contribute to my focus now on Live the Look. We are heavily involved in driving the business using social media so my expertise really plays into our strategies. The experience with the IOC keeps me able to think globally and building a business that can grow internationally.
5. Do you believe in the maxim, “dress for success?”
I do! I believe about dressing for your mood and dressing for what you want but staying true to comfort, style and individuality. Don’t wear an ill fitting skirt or shirt just because it’s style is “appropriate” for the office. Wear flats with dresses and add personality with accessories and shoes. Polish can come from a nice pair of jeans with the right top and a blazer, depending on your office. Dressing for success is no longer about the suit and heels.
6. What’s your advice for all the younger women who try hard to navigate their early career?
I would say that the way your present yourself early in your career is of utmost importance because you are building contacts and experience. However, presentation isn’t just about the right clothes, it’s about punctuality, staying professional in your conversations (no gossip), and your overall willingness to do extra work to help your team. It’s always rough starting out because you don’t typically get the glamour job and you are doing things well below your level of skills. But, it’s putting in that time that creates a woman who can manage with compassion and lead a great team in the future.
As for the clothes, getting a few key office basics (comfortable slacks in a few colors, blouses, a black blazer, polished flats and and low heels) will help you mix and match with pieces that show your style and personality. Never be afraid to go a size up to make sure it fits – there is nothing worse than a too tight dress or blouse that you have to wear all day and tug at!
—- Thank you for reading! —-