Chatting with Brandon Edler: Finish Line Digital Content Strategist

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 12.57.47 AM“Just like any other job, certain things have a tendency to exhaust you, but I am very fortunate to be doing what I love every day and to be surrounded by an incredible team.”

Brandon Edler is the Digital Content Strategist behind Finish Line, one of the most respected sneaker spots around the world. In the last year or so, we have seen Finish Line go through a massive overhaul with branding and social media, which Edler is mostly responsible for. Between being mentored by Joe La Puma for two and a half years while Edler was at Complex, to working alongside some of the best in the industry, Edler was set to be one of the most influential people in the game. Take notes.

 

Alex: Thanks for chatting with us! So you do a lot of crazy awesome stuff in the industry. How did you get to where you are today?

Brandon: I got my start in this industry thanks to Joe La Puma (Director of Content at Complex Magazine) believing in me and mentoring me to work harder than anyone else. Between his motivation, Russ Bengtson’s wisdom, and Nick Engvall teaching me daily how to perfect my craft—it was the greatest “education” I could have ever received. Those guys are arguably three of the most respected people I know in any industry.

Alex: Those sound like some incredible people to have worked with. What exactly do you do at Finish Line? 

I’m currently the Digital Content Strategist at Finish Line thanks to some help from Don Drew. A lot of my day is focused on developing content to hype the right releases and products for the company. It can be something we do internally with our own content and social team, a co-op with a brand like Adidas or Nike, and also partnering with the right influencers and publications.

Alex: How does your past experience at Complex, which is one of the most influential magazines out right now, influence what you do at Finish Line? 

Brandon: Now Nick Engvall and I are together over at Finish Line trying to bring that Complex content mentality to a retailer. It takes some patience and persistence but everyone at Finish Line seems to be genuinely excited with the direction and execution our content team has been able to achieve.

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Alex: You’re a busy guy. How do you balance work and personal life?

Brandon: One of my aunts always says “all things in moderation.” Balancing things isn’t my strongest feature but as I get older I try to realize that there are so many important things and it’s imperative to make time for all of them—for the people and things you care deeply for. A lot of it is just having a plan and sticking to it. How can I be better? I could start with just the basics.

Alex: Between being the Digital Content Strategist at Finish Line, to slaying it on the daily in your killer Alphets…what does a typical day look like for you?

Brandon: I get up and watch new product pushes online to make sure we are supporting them correctly on social [media] so our customers have the best shot at getting them. I get very protective about our company being the first source for our product information.

After that I usually head into work and grab a large Ice Caramel Coffee to get me energy for the day. The rest of my day is a mix of meetings, collaborating on projects, and researching for future trends and content ideas. Sometimes I’ll just be at my desk on Complex or Hypebeast and people will walk by, like:

“um, what are you doing, fam?”

“I’m working.”

Just like any other job, certain things have a tendency to exhaust you, but I am very fortunate to be doing what I love every day and to be surrounded by an incredible team.

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Alex: Trying to keep up with technology is nearly impossible, but somehow you manage to stay ahead. How do you feel that the digital industry is changing as social media evolves?

Brandon: Everything happens so fast, it pushes you to be a little more off the cuff with content. Our communities want to see things on their level and have organic conversations around it. It allows you to reach a lot of people so quickly. Our digital content is typically the first impression for our online customers, so we have a great challenge and opportunity of influencing someone to believing in the story and appeal behind a product.

Alex: How do you manage to keep up with it? I feel like it would be exhausting.

Brandon: I stay glued to it all and try my hardest to never get too old. Once I can no longer organically relate to and produce content that resonates with the millennials, it is time for me to re-think my career path. This basically sums up my future:

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Alex: A lot of people look up to you in the industry, between making moves at Finish Line, to writing for Complex. Who do you admire?

My family and my friends—nothing else really matters.
Alex: That…is a really awesome answer. If we looked through your closet, what would we find?

Brandon: John Elliot + Co for clothes and anything adidas Boost for sneakers. John’s hoodies, tees, and denim are the perfect blend of quality, comfort, and fit—seriously about all I wear now. adidas Boost line is the most comfortable series available right now and the designs and lines are clean but still noticeable enough to get props from people that geek over the rarest sneakers.

Alex: You have interviewed incredibly well respected people like Adidas Global Director James Carnes, just to name one. What’s your favorite thing that anyone has said thus far?

Brandon: It wasn’t so much what he said, but it was how passionate Theophilus London was when we spoke. That immediately made me a huge fan of anything he did. I’ve never interviewed Joe La Puma per se but he also has a way of drawing you in to his every word, just a lot of real life knowledge.

Alex: Any parting words?

 Brandon: Cash Money Records and No Limit Records influenced my whole life.

 

 

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Lush Lashes

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They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, so why not make sure you take care of your lashes too? False lashes seem daunting, but with the right tips and tricks, are shockingly easy and will have you looking doe eyed in five minutes flat. A few lashes placed on the outer corner of your lids will give impression of wide eyes.

Making lashes look natural is key, so go small strips or stick to individual falsies. When using strips, I recommend this helpful tutorial from Beautylish.

Need a little more guidance? Here are our four steps to getting the perfect fringe:

Curl: Curl your lashes before applying your fake lashes or mascara.

Apply Mascara: Choose a lengthening formula so your natural lashes blend in with your falsies. Apply one to two coats, and keep it thin. This prevents clumping and will help your false lashes blend in. For added perfection, use a small brow comb to go through your lases before applying falsies.

Line: Smudge a charcoal black liner thinly along lids. This way, in case there is a gap between your fake lashes and your natural lash line, the smudges liner will hide it.

 

SSC picksChanel Professional Liner Duo. MAC Individual Lashes. MAC Half Lashes. Diorshow Mascara.

CFDA Fashion Incubator Presentation

What: CFDA + W Hotels Host CFDA Fashion Incubator Presentation

Where: Chicago, IL

Who: Isa Tapia, Kaelen, Kara, and Nomia.

Photos: Kohl Murdock for SSC.com.

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Flavour

 

Even in a huge city like Chicago, I somehow still manage to stick to to the same handful of restaurants that i know to be tried and true. Sifting through the big bad interweb can be overwhelming, and there are only so many competing “Top Ten” lists I can manage.

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Flavour is a new restaurant discovery app that allows you to search what neighborhood, cuisine or featured dish you want to try. Recommendations are distilled from respected critics, prominent bloggers, and industry experts. With this, Flavour adds its own mix of intelligently sourced restaurants based on the most visited and most popular establishments. The app provides an innovative, beautifully crafted solution that enables exploration of over 1,600 selected restaurants sorted by neighborhood, cuisine or notable feature.

This past week, I had the pleasure of testing our Flavour for myself. The app is very easy to use, and I wound up searching for a date spot for my boyfriend and I to try. We settled on The Pump Room, and were very pleased with the experience. When I first opened up the Flavour app, I was asked what neighborhood and cuisine I was searching for. With that info, the app gave me 50 options to choose from, including menus and contact information.

I have always been a lover of fashion, food, and tech. When they combine, I can’t help but get excited. The app just launched on November 11th, and I highly recommend you check it out for yourself. If you do decide to download it, leave me a review in the comments! I would love to hear your thoughts.

You can download Flavour for yourself, here.

 

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Blogs I Love

blogs I love

1. What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today?  I stumbled upon this blog fairly recently when my boyfriend developed an egg allergy, and with the loss of eggs in his diet, came the loss of eggs for breakfast. With a morning staple gone, I turned to Marta Greber’s blog, which has archived hundreds of great breakfast recipes that are as delicious as they are beautiful to look at.

2. At Home In Love. Focused on interior design and DIY, this blog always has a fresh perspective on decorating. Although flipping through magazines like Interior Design can be beautiful, it is not always realistic or budget friendly. Gorgeous color palettes, easy home updates, and the occasional dessert recipe will keep you coming back for more.

3. Cupcakes and Cashmere. If you read fashion blogs, you already know about Cupcakes and Cashmere by Emily Schuman. This site combines my love of fashion with my love of food, and there is always something new to adore.

4. A Fabulous Fete. For those that like to entertain, A Fabulous Fete is for you. Lauren Saylor offers tips for entertaining, dining, and anything that involves planning a great party. When throwing together your next girls night, I highly recommend finding your inspiration here.

5. Lauren Conrad. I never followed Laguna Beach or The Hills closely, but truly admire the empire Lauren Conrad has built. Her blog is full of hair tutorials, healthy meals, and everything in between.

6. Four Pins. While you might be shocked to see Four Pins listed on here, this is one of the few sites I read daily. There is never a dull article {see here} and you will always try not to laugh your ass off in class while simultaneously feeling like crap that you don’t own every alphet they feature.

Dannijo: The Perfect Holiday Clutch

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 12.58.39 PMShop The Rex.

CFDA’s Fashion Incubator

The CFDA {Council of Fashion Designers of America} is a not-for-profit trade association whose membership consists of more than 400 of America’s foremost womenswear, menswear, jewelry and accessory designers.

The CFDA {FASHION INCUBATOR} is a business development program designed to support the next generation of fashion designers in New York City. The mission is to help grow and sustain the businesses of the 10 participating brands over the course of the two year program.

The CFDA {FASHION INCUBATOR} provides a creative professional with an environment to foster promising fashion talent, and help selected designers grow and sustain their businesses. By offering low-cost design studio space, business mentoring, educational seminars, and networking opportunities the program provides a way for participants to reach their full potential and become an integral part of the New York Fashion community.
Four of the ten designers in residence visited Chicago this past week to present their collections at the W Hotel. SSC was lucky enough to chat with each designer, as well as Steven Kolb: CEO of the CFDA. To kick off our first post of the five that are coming your way with the designers, I chose my favorite piece from each collection. Stay updated in the next few weeks with more to come!
Check out all the designers here.
CFDA fashion incubator

Fashion Girls Getting Ready In The Morning vs. Everyone Else

By: SSC PR Girl Sarah Aiken

For everyone (I assume) getting ready is quite the feat. I know that there are days that I am NOT about leaving my house. And I’m going to be honest with you real quick—I don’t. But, when I have to leave my house there are some thoughts that go through my head that I’m prepared to share with you today. When reading this I have two rules: I hope you are judging me as much as I am judging me. If you say to yourself “this is me, I can’t, I can’t, oh my God…” Give us a little share on Facebook or Twitter…(I love my ‘likes’ as much as the next girl.)

 

Getting Ready for School:

My thoughts in the morning:

What am I going to wear today.

I want to look chic but not like I am trying too hard. I’ll wear my black pants.

Oh this black shirt goes REALLY well with these pants…wait I need a coat.

Oh I have the perfect black coat to finish off this outfit.

Ugh I should add some color. I’ll throw on my gold giraffe necklace.

Cute and quirky. I am SO cute and quirky.

look at myself ** Damn, I look great.

So chic. I could walk out of the house right now and straight onto a street style blog.

Oh my God, I am late. I can’t run in these shoes. Ugh, guess I am going to be late.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Everyone Else:

My college sweatshirt is dirty…oh well, it’s just class. I should leave…need to be on time.

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Getting prepared for the winter

Wake up in the morning and check the weather…It’s going to be 60 degrees today. *Perfect weather for a fall jacket!*

Next day…it’s going to be 30 degrees today. *Perfect weather for a fall jacket!*

But it did drop a few degrees so I will add a scarf.

Walk outside. OH MY GOD IT IS SO COLD.

 

I’m sure Anna Wintour gets cold too and she always looks good. Actually no she loves fur, she never gets cold.

Okay, justify this. OH I am POSITIVE that Taylor Swift gets cold and she always looks cute coming and going from the gym.

Ugh I need to go to the gym. Thanks Taylor Swift.

 

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Everyone else: 60 degrees=Fall Jacket. 30 degrees=Winter Coat. -45 degrees=Hibernate to Miami for the winter.

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Getting ready for an event

Me: On the phone with my best friend “Okay, I am going to send you outfit choices and I need you to tell me what to wear.” Sends *18* options.

“Okay, Sarah I like the 7th one.”

“Really? I look fat”….go to my roommate JESSSSSSS do I look fat?

“No.”

Look in every mirror in the house.

Okay.

Go back to my room, finish my hair. Back to my roommates room…

“JESSS can you take pictures of me, I need to know what I look like at every angle and what the outfit looks like on camera.”

Okay, great picture. I am going to send that to my mom now to show her I am not getting obese at school.

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Everyone else:

I feel great in this outfit. Okay lets go.

Keeping Up With Popstar Erika Jayne

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Not many artists can say that they have had seven, #1 hits on the Billboard charts, while surpassing the likes of Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga. Dance song sensation Ekira Jayne landed on the charts in 2007 with “Rollercoaster,” and has been taking over the music scene ever since. The Los Angeles native will be in Chicago this week to perform at Roscoe Night Club on November 7th. She let us in on where she likes to shop, eat, and play in the big city, as well as what it’s like to write her songs and the thrill she gets from performing.

 

Alex: Thanks for chatting with us today! How would you describe your personal style?

Erika: I always wear body conscious clothes and I’m always thinking of curvy, curvy and sexy, sexy and woman, woman, woman. That’s just what I’m drawn to and what I’ve been known to wear.

Alex: If you could only wear one brand or designer for the rest of your life, who would it be?

Erika: Definitely Alexander McQueen.

Alex: You’re in Chicago this week for your show on Friday. What are your favorite places to shop, eat, and play in Chicago?

Erika: Let me tell ya! We stay at the Waldorf, which is like, the best hotel in the world! Right out front that door, is amazing shopping. Hermes, Barney’s…there’s the Adidas store. Everything is within walking distance, it’s fabulous. I love Chicago, I’ve never had a bad trip to Chicago. My whole team can’t wait to be in Chicago. We’re already talking about it, where we’re going to eat…where we’re going to shop. It’s just awesome…awesome people, awesome food. It’s an awesome city.

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Alex: Where do you find your inspiration when creating a new song?

Erika: My album that’s coming out, the things that were happening to me at the time were a great influence on this album. Experiences, people, things that I’ve seen, places I’ve been. I take everything and put it into what I write about. If I get stuck, I walk away and take a break and then look at it.

Alex: Who are some of your favorite artists that you look up to?

Erika: I am a Madonna fan, I’m a Prince fan, I’m a Michael Jackson fan! Beyonce! All of the people that put on shows. I love the showman.

Alex: I read that you went to a performing arts high school?

Erika: Performing arts high schools was an amazing experience, and I wish that all young performers could go to a place where they could hone their skills and really figure out what they like, and do something they enjoy. That experience is incredible.

Alex: You collaborated with Flo Rida on “Get It Tonight.” What was it like working with him?

Erika: He was a cool guy. He’s a very big star, and was kind to me. I think “Get it Tonight” turned out great.

Alex: What’s the best experience you’ve had thus far in your career?

Erika: I don’t know if I’ve had one single moment sticks out, but I know some of the best experiences are when you’re on stage looking out at the audience and they’re singing the song. Or you get messages afterwards like ‘hey, you really brought a smile to my face, I loved the show.’ That’s really what it’s all about. It’s taking people on a journey. We all live in a reality where things possibly aren’t the best. But if you can go to a show and escape for an hour, hour and a half. That’s what it’s all about.

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Alex: Do you have any upcoming projects you can give us some details on?

Erika: I just released the song “You Make Me Want to Dance” in Asia. I’m going to tour Asia starting December 5th, so check my website! It’s such a great part of the world. The music fans there are so hungry for dance music and they love to have a good time. I’m super excited for that.

Alex: A lot of my readers are college age and trying to break into fashion, music, or some form of the arts. What would be your greatest piece of advice for them?

Erika: Two things: study your craft, and get a great mentor. Great mentors make careers, and they shape who you are as a young artist or a young professional. Be incredibly good at your technique, craft, whatever it may be. Make sure you know your craft, have your technique down, be flawless, and get a great mentor. Those two things are what I think are the most important. You have to know what you’re doing. You need a mentor to show you how things are done properly. Let me tell ya, nobody got to where they are without someone helping them in some way.

Erika Jayne will be in Chicago on November 6th to perform at Roscoe Night Club, make sure you get tickets!

The Cutest Lace Underthings

 

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COS, lace bra & knickers.

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