Smart, passionate, and super tech-savvy, Yuli Ziv is well respected by both industry experts and her peers for good reason. As Founder & CEO of Style Coalition, and Founder of Fashion 2.0, Ziv is a true pioneer for the fashion and beauty industries within the digital space.
In 2008, Ziv founded Style Coalition, the first-of-its-kind exclusive network of influencers representing an elite group of beauty and fashion online publishers in partnership with Hearst Digital Media Group. Recognized as an authority in the space, Style Coalition provides its members with revenue generating opportunities, allowing them to turn their blogs into profitable businesses, while simultaneously offering clients (who include Fortune 100 companies) innovative multi-channel social media campaigns allowing for deep engagement with the network’s collective audience of over three million monthly readers.
Fashion 2.0 is a monthly networking events series in NYC, bringing together entrepreneurs, executives, bloggers and online publishers who are passionate about fashion and technology. Running for more than 3 years, the group has 2,000+ active members who gather monthly to network and hear from the industry leaders on how they utilize modern technologies in the fashion space. Ziv has also written Blogging Your Way to the Front Row, a book filled with practical advice
We sat down with Ziv to discuss this evening's 3rd annual Style Coalition Fashion 2.0 Awards and to discover more about what makes her tick, as well as what she might be doing if she left the digital arena altogether...
StyledOn: This year marks the 3rd annual Style Coalition Fashion 2.0 Awards - congratulations! How did the awards first come about and how did you determine the categories?
Yuli Ziv: Thank you! It was a natural evolution for the Fashion 2.0 brand, launched almost 4 years ago with networking events and discussion panels here in NYC. We've been watching fashion brands starting to take risks and innovate in the online medium and no one was recognizing them. There are the CFDA Awards for design achievements, Mashable Awards for social media, but nothing online fashion industry specific, which is a huge space. The categories are platform driven, which I can see changing in the future. Every year we see another new platform taking everyone by storm, so I can't even imagine what kind of verb we will be using next year while updating our mobile phones!
SO: This year feature first-time host Robert Verdi (who we personally love), the inaugural Keynote Address by Norma Kamali, as well as the first Visionary Award to be presented to Gilt Groupe founders - clearly the Fashion 2.0 Awards are growing! Can you talk about these new components, why they are important, and how you believe they will enhance the awards?
YZ: For a long time the online fashion community was separated from the traditional industry network, or at least we felt like outsiders. These days the two are finally merging, and we were excited and honored to be able to attract such prominent industry veterans like Robert and Norma. Gilt Groupe was on the forefront of online fashion for years now, also supporting Fashion 2.0 - I remember Alexis speaking at one of our very first discussion panels back in 2009!
Above: The DKNY team, who were big winners at the 2011 Fashion 2.0 Awards
SO: Other than Style Coalition, which groups or organizations do you feel are leading the way in the digital space today?
YZ: I admire the work IFB are doing in helping bloggers to navigate the space and perfect their craft, but I'm most excited about the innovative fashion startup community thriving here in NYC. It's not about one particular company or a person, it's about the collaborative spirit of ‘disrupting the order’ and change that all these young and talented developers are trying to bring to the NYC fashion industry. I used to get excited just meeting another fashion techie, now I hear about a new fashion startup launching every week!
SO: Which sites and blogs do you consider must reads?
YZ: It's not about content destinations these days, it's about relevant content that finds you via your social channels. I may visit 50 different sites on a given day, all linked from my friends. It's really fascinating that you don't need to bookmark sites once you've built your close network of people with similar interests.
SO: Can you name 3 'it' things of yours right now?
YZ: 1) The gown I'll be wearing to the awards ceremony - by far the most glamorous thing I've ever worn, 2) Spotify - besides magically solving the office background music issue it actually makes me explore new music via friends and find gems, 3) Kundalini Yoga - has been my secret of staying balanced and focused for years, which in addition continues to surprise me with things I learn about myself in every class.
SO: If you weren't running Style Coalition and My It Things, what do you think you'd be doing now?
YZ: This will probably surprise you, but I always wanted (and still want) to be a practicing astrologer. I studied in astrology school since I was 16, calculating charts and planets aspects. However being raised in an immigrant family I had to think at some point about studying something more down to earth, that could earn me bread and butter, so I pursued a Bachelors in Design of Visual Communications. Deep inside I'm sure I'll get back to astrology one day, in a serious manner. It's the only thing that excites me more than digital innovation.
Many thanks to Yuli for the interview and all she has done for bloggers and as a pioneer of the digital space!
And you can watch the Fashion 2.0 Awards via the livestream today, February 7, 2012 at 8pm below...