In the final part of our three-part “Media Beat” interview with Jonah Peretti, the internet entrepreneur talks about launching The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed.
“I wasn’t sure if it would be a big success,” Peretti admits, remembering the days leading up to the launch of The Huffington Post. “A friend of mine asked me if he should invest, and I was like ‘I’m not sure’… I didn’t really want to risk my friend’s money.”
He also offers advice for those wanting to launch their own startup, explaining that entrepreneurs shouldn’t worry about what tech blogs are covering.
BuzzFeed is all about the social web, and taking advantage of the viral nature of news. In part two of our “Media Beat” interview with Jonah Peretti, the BuzzFeed co-founder talks about how his company looks at “viral” content.
“If you get a million views by buying the homepage of YouTube, and you paid a million dollars for a million views, that is very different than if you are a kid who made some funny video in your basement and shared it with a few friends, and that spread through word of mouth to millions of people,” Peretti says.
Follow the conversations @juneambrose has with her “style socials” (or Twitter followers to you and me), and one thing becomes clear: people either want to dress like her or be her. So, in the final installment of our Media Beat interview, we got the celebrity stylist and star of VH1′s Styled by June to tell us the biggest mistake aspiring stylists make on the job.
“[A lack of] Osmosis. You know, sometimes, just sitting back and just sucking it all in, you learn so much,” Ambrose said. “When you’re new on the scene, I’ll definitely ask you trick questions just to kinda see where you are. Humility is your best aspect when you’re entering a new area, and I learned that. I would just sit around and just listen.”
But what about fashion courses — are they worth it? And how does a newbie afford the clothes necessary for editorial shoots? Watch the full video to find out.
On VH1′s Styled By June, premiering March 19, celebrity stylist June Ambrose shows how she and her team at Mode Squad, Inc. take stars like Jaleel White, Mischa Barton and Aubrey O’Day from ho-hum to haute. But considering Ambrose has been working her magic for over 20 years, what took her so long to jump into TV?
“It was about finding the right voice,” Ambrose explained in our Media Beat interview. “It is a formatted show, and I think that’s what’s going to surprise everyone. It’s not just this random reality of my life. You’re in my ‘Juniverse,’ yes, but in that ‘Juniverse,’ I take you through the process. I have this very strategic process that I take with each client every week. I break it down into three steps, and in that three steps you’re going to get to see the beginning, a middle and the end of emancipating, or redefining, them through a new look.”
We also got the fashionista to dish about her new eyewear line with Selima Optique and what fans can expect from her upcoming women’s collection.
Whether showing that turbans can be chic or bringing her cutting-edge style to contestants on The X Factor, June Ambrose often has the fashion world falling at her feet. And she single-handedly upgraded hip-hop’s street corner image with her innovative approach to music videos. (See this and this.)
In our Media Beat interview, Ambrose explained how she tapped into her West Indian roots for one of her most iconic looks: those shiny suits donned by Diddy and Mase in Notorious B.I.G‘s posthumous “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems” clip.
“I showed [Diddy] the red metallic and he said, ‘I am not wearing that.’ I had to make one red leather outfit and one metallic leather outfit and… I won!” the star of VH1′s Styled by June said.
“You have to go into this business very fearless, and you have to have integrity for what you do… I said to him, ‘You have to just trust me. I know that sounds wild, but I put my career on this moment. I’m telling you it will make a huge difference.’ Once he saw the first take and he looked at playback, he looked at me and said ‘okay.’ And that was the beginning of not only a great working relationship, but a great friendship.”
We sat down with celebrity stylist June Ambrose for Media Beat recently to talk about her work as a celebrity stylist, how other fashionistas can break into the biz, and what to expect from her upcoming VH1 show, Styled By June.
The full interview airs Monday, March 5, but here’s a bonus clip where Ambrose tells how she came up with her trademark turban.
“People would tweet and say, ‘Oh, black women can’t pull off a turban. They end up looking like mammy dolls.’ Oh really?” Ambrose said. “I’ll show you how it’s done.”
Mikki Taylor spent over 30 years at Essence, first in the mag’s fashion and sewing department in the early 80s and most recently as its cover and style director, and she says the key to longevity in publishing is a combination of good ideas, enthusiasm, and a pro-active attitude.
“First, you have to know the territory. You also have to know your gift,” she explained in our Media Beat interview. “Is there room for your gift at the magazine at which you currently work? And, if so, how will you play that forward? And how well are you selling yourself everyday not only in the things that you say but in your actions, in the ideas that you come to the table with. Are you asking yourself ‘what great things am I going to do today?’”
Watch the full video to find out how Taylor found the courage to leave Essence and start her own consultancy, Mikki Taylor Enterprises.
When Mikki Taylor first started working for Essence in the early 80s, there weren’t nearly as many images of black women in the media as there are today. In our Media Beat interview, the fashion and beauty maven credited longtime EIC Susan Taylor for instilling staffers with the mag’s mission early on.
“I just remember her saying to me, ‘We come to this magazine to contribute,’ and it was something that she instilled in me that day that I walk with to this day,” Taylor recalled. “In fact, when I got the job, I was ready to go on a mission. It became more than a job from the moment I walked in the doors and began serving black women.”
Watch the full video to find out which Essence covers Taylor found most difficult to direct and what she has to say to the magazine’s critics.
Brad Goreski wasn’t always the beacon of style he is today. In our Media Beat interview, the star of It’s a Brad, Brad World revealed that he had to overcome a lack of access (he’s originally from a tiny town in Canada) and the doubts of others to climb to the top. One college career counselor, in particular, was quite taken aback by a young Goreski’s outsize ambition.
“She’s like, ‘Okay, so what do you wanna do?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m gonna get an internship at Vogue in New York.’ And she was like, ‘Excuse me?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m gonna get an internship at Vogue. Is that possible for me to get credit and go to New York?’ And she was like, ‘If you get the internship…’ And I was like, ‘Okay!’” Goreski told us. “And I came back later with all my paperwork, and she was like, ‘Are you really going to New York?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah! I’m going to work at Vogue!’”
Now, with a hit show on Bravo and Born to Be Brad: My Life in Style So Far due in bookstores in March, the taste maker credits those early work experiences for his success.
“Internships are so instrumental but, not only do you need to get them, you need to work at them,” he said.
Unlike the somewhat messy way his departure was portrayed on Bravo’s The Rachel Zoe Project, Goreski says that he actually gave his former boss and good friend two months notice.
“It’s strange that it turned into this whole thing, because for me it’s a very logical thing to assist somebody and then after a certain amount of time choose to leave and go off and do your own thing. And I think that’s really a natural progression,” the star of It’s a Brad, Brad World said. “I really felt like I had done my time, and I had reached a point personally — it was not anything that Rachel was doing — I had reached a point for me where I was like, ‘I’m 33 years old. I love my job, but there’s this voice inside of me that’s telling me it’s time to go.’”
So, has Zoe ever had an assistant leave on good terms?
“Um, that I don’t… I actually, uh, have not heard of a relationship being kept,” said Goreski. “I find it confusing. I really do.”