Fashionisto of the Month: Fashion Consultant & Entreprenuer, Colin T. McDonald

Photo Credit: Carrie Geiger

Our Fashionisto of the Month is a Stylist, Host, Writer, and Entrepreneur that goes by the name of Colin T. McDonald. From Upstate New York, he moved to NYC 5 years ago and began working towards his goal of creating an agency to help brands and designers gain exposure in a hard industry to be noticed in.

What does fashion mean to you? It’s a way for people to express themselves – an art form. I have a powerful fashion mantra that I use all of the time: image + confidence = style. Anyone can take an image or style and if they have the confidence to pull it off, they can inspire others and be a trendsetter.

What made you start your company & blog? Working in fashion 7 years (PR, styling, commentary, fashion editing, blogging, YouTube (Style TV), hosting Jennifer Hudson, Billy Baldwin) I wanted to create an agency to help brands and designers gain exposure in a hard industry to be noticed in. All those clients under the agency  use different mediums to get exposure and influence press which helps gets them out there even more.

Where do you get your inspiration? Magazines, art galleries, streets of NY (street style), internet (bloggers/social media).

Do you consider yourself an artist? Somewhat. I’m always looking to create things and help brands advance and grow.

What is your greatest accomplishment?  I’ve also interviewed Jennifer Hudson and Billy Baldwin – it’s very cool to have people share their personal stories with me. Most recently, I’d say starting my agency/blog a little over a year ago and being mentioned on Fox News, as well as my YouTube channel, Style TV. I give people the opportunity to have an all access look at the things they may not have the chance to see.

What are some of your goals? Short term: to grow my agency, gain more clients and brands, a bigger following for my blog/Style TV.  Long term: to take Style TV to national level (LA, NY, DC correspondents are already working). In a few years, I’d love to cover international fashion events as well as grow the blog, and have more features up – ultimately to be the premier fashion consulting agency in NY.

What are some of your biggest challenges? Being able to juggle everything. I have so many different hats to wear: styling, pitching a shoot to a client, coming up with blog posts, coordinating with Style TV, etc. Right now I’m a one man show, so maybe in the future I can hire someone to help me out with everything.

Who are your top three favorite designers? Tom Ford – I love him as a designer and trend setter. Christopher Bailey for Burberry – the distinguished, fresh, young look he brought to the collection is why it has been so successful. Most recently, Marisa Minicucci – the Grand Dame of Montreal fashion – who just expanded to the U.S. market and is getting lots of press features for her luxury, high-end jackets (MM: Minicucci x Marcanio).

What are some of your favorite fashion websites, magazines, or books? Harper’s Bazaar, In Style, GQ, ImageGranted.com (worked with him as DC style correspondent), The Glamourai, GrungyGentlemen.com, and Business of Fashion.

Three words that describe your style: chameleon (rocker, conservative) enjoy mixing styles, classic with edgy, classy with modern. likes to put own touch on traditional styles (cuffing pants, studded loafers, rolled up sleeves).

Any future projects or pieces we should look out for? I’m covering an event tonight for Style TV and interviewing Chanel Iman. I’m also covering an event handing out style awards for visual style center. On the blog, I plan on incorporating more look pieces and possibly partnering with upcoming designers.

Advice for other bloggers or fashion business owners? Fashion is one of the toughest industries to break into – it is a very small, select circle and trying to tap into it is hard. With knowledge, passion, dedication, and following thru. You will see progress. Just understand that things don’t happen overnight, and that having the passion and hard work to see things through/get out there is what will take you far. The industry is changing (online, magazines, blog, etc) so knowing how to incorporate these different channels into your business is a must.

 Colin’s Haute List

green tea

gym (hour a day)

macbook (life takes it everywhere, can work from anywhere)

music (stress, can unwind and break away with pandora)

new york (inspiraton/meeting people luxury of the city)

boconi wallet (black alligator custom initial wallet)

calvin klein underwear

pierre hardy silver metallic high-tops

lanvin bermuda shorts

ray-ban aviators with green metallic finish

Get in touch with Colin:

Website: www.colintmcdonaldagency.com

Blog: www.stylesource.me

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Colintmcdonaldagency

Twitter: www.twitter.com/colintmcdonald

If you would like to be considered for a Fashionista of the Month,   please email info@hautevisual.com with the subject “Fashionista of the Month.”

Retailers Experiment to Leverage The Social Network Facebook

In 2011, major retailers in the US flocked to Facebook to build digital storefronts in hopes of capturing sales where so many socialized. But by the end of the following year, most high-profile players had closed their Fcommerce shops.

While some US retailers and brands forge ahead, the e-tailing group’s “15th Annual Mystery Shopping Study” found that what appeared to be a mass exodus did indeed happen. The number of retailers in the US with Facebook-enabled checkout dropped 63% between Q4 2011 to Q4 2012, to 6%.

Still, even as fewer “buy now” and “add to cart” buttons sprinkle Facebook’s newsfeeds and apps, US retailers know the importance of being on the site. According to a new eMarketer report, “Facebook Commerce: Evolving, Not Extinct,” the question is whether or not retailers can crack the commerce half of social engagement.

According to the e-tailing group, 98% of US ecommerce merchants surveyed had a Facebook page in Q4 2012, and nearly the same number of respondents (97%) linked to Facebook from their site. It is also notable that sharing in general is on the rise—a tactic growing in popularity as social discovery becomes a bigger part of the shopping process.

And even if Fcommerce did not work out for plenty of retailers, they are still positive about the role Facebook plays in social commerce. A survey by RichRelevance demonstrated that Facebook retailers in the US consider Facebook with high regard: The site took up a significant share of user social commerce sessions compared with other social network sites in 2012.

RichRelevance also found that buyers coming from Facebook converted at more than twice the rate of Pinterest and Twitter and had the highest revenues per session. Pinterest, however, had the highest average order value.

Moreover, whether or not internet users go on Facebook with the intent to shop, it was the social network most likely to influence purchases among US internet users surveyed by Technorati in December 2012. Facebook nearly tied with blogs, at around 31%, and trailed only the more sales-focused brand and retail sites. The same study found that 21% of respondents followed brands on Facebook to make purchases.

Another way to leverage Facebook is to facilitate interactions among Facebook friends on an ecommerce site or app. And the key to encouraging this behavior is allowing Facebook Login, a tactic that’s not brand new yet only used by a small number of retailers.

Other approaches include tried-and-true deals, retargeted ads served via Facebook Exchange (FBX) and using the new Facebook Offers.

There are no set rules for how US merchants can leverage social commerce, and what’s possible is constantly evolving.

Source:

EMarketer.com