h1Most digital magazines don't really understand that the SEO industry is moving as fast, if not faster than fashion.
Daniel Haim, Bloginity
Bloginity may well be the biggest thing in fashion you haven't heard of – yet. Founded in 2008, by Daniel Haim, the site is an edgy, lush, insider's guide to couture and culture presented in a rich, beautiful style that will remind you of the best large-format print fashion magazines. Looking for an interview with the lead desinger at Dior? Want the skinny on the top 10 new models of the year? Curious about the inside line on the best breakout culture and arts finds of the season? That's just a small taste of the in-the-know access you'll feel like you're part of when you visit the site.
Still in his twenties, Daniel is the wizard behind the curtain for Bloginity, also acting as the sometimes-CEO, editor-in-chief, head designer and coder – and directing a team of editors and contributors. We caught up with him to talk about what it takes to keep up in the fast world of fashion, why he's so bullish about Google+ - and what breakout artists he's excited about for the fall.
What does Bloginity do that you felt other fashion and culture sites weren't delivering? There are fashion sites and there are fashion sites. Most of the fashion sites out there that cover general content would usually summarize an excerpt and display a full gallery that's coming from a designer or a fashion week event. Bloginity's fashion editor Alexander Patino is familiar with the history of the brands we feature, as well as the fabric and understands the real fashion industry - which gives me a real insight to what happened between each collection. Each review we publish is in-depth, and full of information about the designers' progress - and a real bespoke opinion from an expert's eye.
Another thing that sets us apart is the interface, getting the highest possible quality image for every article. I update the site's code and design sometimes on daily basis, always tweaking shapes, colors, experimenting with typography, always aiming for innovation. It's the closest thing to a bona fide look of a high-end fashion print magazine online.
You started Bloginity in 2008. What was your breakout post or series of posts that put you and your site on the map? I like to think we are still breaking out because from every viral "happening" that occurs on our site we learn something new. Sometime around 2010 we attended the VMA Awards and gave it real inside coverage, like going out to the parties and writing about the people we've met, and the experiences we've shared with celebrities. We wrote a lot of opinionated content that ended up bringing over 500,000 users to the site within days. There was also one event we covered - Kim Kardashian's W Magazine cover article - and it aired just a few months later. We saw the spike grow to over 100,000 uniques a day, and lasted for months. We're now really focused on original content from the experts of the industry and that has truly put us on the map.
Adrian Wilson, a good friend of mine and a talented photographer had spent quite some time with me in New York City going from event to event and putting me together with some of the industry's elite. That helped us cultivate great relationships that spread the word around town to the right people that need to know about us.
What other fashion and culture sites or writers do you enjoy? Who else is doing it right? There's no way to avoid WWD, Style.com, Vogue Italy. Cathy Horyn is a stalwart and she prides journalism over being a mere fashion fanatic. She found the most recent Chanel Haute Couture collection dull and she put it out there for everyone to read it from her perspective - all the adulation for Karl Lagerfeld be damned. We're journalists, first and foremost, and some people just get lost in the glitz.
Bloginity celebrates recently discovered artists. What are some of your current favorites? A lot of artists inspire us, for me personally it's photography. I've been truly admiring Aram Bedrossian who has been producing quality work time after time. I'm a big fan of models, Jacquelyn Jablonski, Lindsey Wixson, Antonia Wesseloh, Grace Bol, Dempsey Stewart and one of my all time favorites Josefien Rodermans.
You're also an SEO expert. Share some wisdom - in a nutshell, what are the biggest mistakes most digital media sites make? I am, I am! thank you for noticing. Most digital magazines don't really understand that the SEO industry is moving as fast, if not faster than fashion - which is a fast moving industry considering all the seasons. Something that they might have read a month ago might be completely irrelevant. Code, clean code. Consistent code. Faster websites. Good hierarchy and usability and last but not least, and perhaps the most important: organization.
You've written about Google+ and how media creators should be using it. Why are you bullish on Google+ for sharing/amplifying fashion and culture content? Hehe, you noticed my Facebook rant. Well, the Google+ team are good friends of ours now and they show us a lot of love. We are currently in the process of being added to the fashion circle and they've been very, very supportive and helpful. But that's really not the reason why I'm so keen to work with Google+. Google is a leader - they have the capability of changing the social media industry overnight. There's a boat (really a yacht), and it there will clearly be a big yacht party and if other publishers do not pick up on it they will miss out.
Google+ has some really relevant tools that could help gain real influence. Like Google Hangouts. Have you seen it? It's amazing the stuff that you can do with it. Like, hosting a live show between a group, discussing fashion, or hosting an interview and having other people watch it as it's broadcasting live to a YouTube channel and these users can actually write comments live, and we can read them and correspond. Google+ is about sharing content and is not filtering like Facebook, which on average lets your posts reach around 5% - 10% and makes publishers pay to reach more audience.
Google+ is the new search engine. That's live search.
What's something your readers would be surprised to learn about you? I write poems.
What are the fashion/ culture items you're most excited about for the year ahead? Hedi Slimane for YSL.
[Top photo: Herve Coutin for Bloginity, Daniel Haim and Sasha by Victoria Janashvili]