Living and Breathing Fashion: Julia DiNardo of “Fashion Pulse Daily”
Having already attended 22 Fashion Weeks, Julia DiNardo of Fashion Pulse Daily is a fashion veteran, to say the least. Priding herself on “honest writing and strong visuals,” Julia uses her blog as a hub for showcasing her personal style and industry trends. A Pittsburgh native and long-time NYC resident, DiNardo’s distinct opinions and fashionable insights are derived from her experiences as a designer, professor, writer, and editor.
Her blog has had great success thus far: Fashion Pulse Daily has led to several partnerships and campaigns with brands like Bing, Chanel, Gap, Lancôme, Lucky Brand, Microsoft, Nivea, P&G Beauty, Pepsi, Sorel, and Sunglass Hut.
Closing out our 2014 “Discover NY Fashion Week” series, DiNardo explains how the rapid change in technology has influenced bloggers to become fashion chameleons.
How did you end up in the fashion blogging world? What excites you most about it?
I have a background in a few different things. I started off as a designer then went into PR and marketing and ended up on editorial side through various jobs and internships. My actual degree is in fashion marketing and Italian, so I’ve had quite a varied past as far as experience goes.
I think it provides a nice culmination of expertise to a certain extent by getting to do that for my blog. I had been writing posts for different publications freelance until about 2006 and eventually launched my blog in 2008 once I felt more comfortable with the platform. It was a really great place for me to build my personal brand and show my unique perspective. It was fully controlled by me, that’s an appealing aspect of having a blog.
How do you create your content? Is there a specific process or things you keep in mind?
In the side bar of the blog, I have a mini calendar where I have the different content that I post each day. Tuesday for example I talk about beauty and Friday I post “Fashion Pulse Flash,” which is about cool things I’ve experienced, products I’ve tested, or neat things that are coming up. I make it an amalgam of one post.
My content comes from various sources. I’ll see something or read about something that’ll inspire me. I’ve been working with brands for so long now that I’ll get pitches or I just randomly get a product and if it’s something I’m into, I’ll add it into the calendar for the following week or the week after.
You use Outbrain to help with your content distribution as well, correct?
Yes! I use it if I have important content and I want to see if I can push it out a little further.
What do you think blogging has done for the industry as a whole?
I think in essence blogging caught on because it had a stamp of authenticity about it. And I think to a certain extent the expectation and assumption is still there for readers that it’s genuine. Just like the cycle of anything that grows or is becoming a process, you see it becoming more like a bigger engine that sprouted from where it started.
Besides being authentic, there is definitely still a component of aspiration and fantasy to it. At one point it used to be that younger boys or girls once wanted to be fashion designers, then they wanted to be stylists… with the rise of personal style blogging, now they want to be bloggers. It’s interesting to see the generation of people having these dreams and how it’s moved through the fashion industry. There’s definitely a cache to it.
How have you created a following on your blog and social?
I feel like you should definitely look at SEO and social media tips and tricks, but it goes back to the idea of authenticity and trust, beautiful images, great writing, and timeliness. Those things help more than anything when it comes to getting your blog out there. Working consistently across your platform and being savvy about not just depositing the same content across it all, but putting a twist on the content and customizing it across each platform is important to help it grow.
Where do you go to get the latest fashion news?
I look at a lot of different sources from WWD to the WSJ personal style section. I find them to be great sources. I look at magazines like Vogue, Glamour, and Bazaar. As far as blogs go, I look at a lot of my friends’ blogs like Wear Wag Repeat (editor’s note: fashion + puppies!), Eye4Style, Style It Online, and The Budget Babe.
What were the 2013 vs. 2014 fashion trends?
That’s hard! I’ve seen an overall softening and more casual approach to dressing by way of largely the silhouette. The silhouettes are getting less body conscious and more puffed out and voluminous. That has trickled down to the footwear and accessories worn. A little bit boho and a little bit 80's. It’s an interesting mix.
I think that with any trend, though, people should keep in mind that it’s not a canvas for every single person. You need to accommodate your body type.
Do you think tech has advanced the fashion experience in any way?
I think tech has made it so much easier to get content out there quickly. When I use Instagram, for example, I’ll also use the Pic Stitch and PhotoRepost apps, which helps me promote a great post someone else had. that’s definitely helpful.
The biggest challenge is keeping your phone charged and, believe it or not, that’s a constant problem! During fashion week, I carry two backup batteries for my phone, so there’s still that literal grounding of technology stopping because you literally can’t use it if the batteries are dead.
I think the adage “evolve or die” is relevant for a reason. I think it’s a matter of exposing yourself to a lot of new things and being an early adapter, which is a large draw for readers.
How have you had to adapt to this tech-focused change?
Consumer behavior and reader interest has evolved through technology. My content has evolved as well. It’s challenged me and pushed me outside of my comfort zone. New ways of delivering content that is timely, fresh, unique, but still maintaining my voice. For example, this coming fashion week, I’m going to push my content out more through social media instead of just having it on the blog specifically.
Do you have a specific tune that inspires you when you write content for your blog? How about when you’re browsing other blogs?
Yeah, definitely! My music taste is a bit all over the place. I’ve been listening to a lot of Arcade Fire, Morrissey, and hip hop from the 90's. Really big on The Roots. I love listening to music softly in the background to set the ambience but nothing overpowering. Usually Vampire Weekend gets me going in the morning.
What have you #discovered lately?
I read an article on Medium.com and got really into it! I subscribed to the newsletter and everyday I get a list of things they’ve pooled and it’s partly anything that I would never think to click on or read, but I think the writing on there can be so good and it pulls me in regardless. I guess I’m #discovering the great writing on Medium!