Fashionista: Why did you decide to make the move?
Danica Lo: A couple of months ago, John Newlin, the editor-in-chief of Zimbio Inc., called me with this amazing opportunity to head up StyleBistro—an ultra-successful, already-popular (7th biggest fashion site in the country!), profitable, well-funded site. And, as if helming an independent digital fashion property with massive reach wasn’t already enough of a tempting proposition, the job came with the super-exciting bonus of opening the New York City office (Zimbio is based in Silicon Valley, California), growing the edit team, and expanding the site to include sparkly new features.
After flying out to San Fran and meeting with the entire Zimbio and StyleBistro team, I knew that I had to take this job. In my professional life, the most important thing to me is doing interesting work. It was a really hard decision for me to leave my last job, but the more I thought about it and the more I talked it through with my closest friends, the more crystallized this idea became—that what I want to do every day is walk into my office, work with brilliant people, have big ideas, and make those ideas happen. That, and I also want to tell great stories—stories so good that readers will walk away and want to tell them to someone else. I think, with the power of Zimbio behind it, StyleBistro is the place where we can make this happen.
What will your role entail?
First things first, I’ll be opening the New York office and staffing up. Then, with a new team in place, I’ll be creating as well as editing daily content, developing longer-lead projects, and working on larger-concept multimedia ideas along with tech-driven fun and games. What I love about Zimbio is that the possibilities seem limitless—if editorial can dream it, our engineers can build it! (Seriously, they’re really smart.)
How would you describe Style Bistro and what kind of changes are you looking to make there?
Right now, StyleBistro is almost entirely comprised of celebrity-driven content—red carpet gowns, get-the-look inspiration, and trend roundups. Don’t worry, the celebs aren’t going anywhere—we love celebs! However, I am planning on upping the fashion ante by infusing the pop-heavy site with zeitgeisty fashion-insider content, beautiful original photography, compelling stories and profiles, and an inspiring (and actionable!) dose of real-girl personal style.
How will your (vast!) experience in editorial factor in?
I started my career with a seven-year stint at the New York Post, moved into pure digital at Racked.com, and spent the last eight months ensconced in Glamour‘s girl-world magazine-land. In every one of these vastly different environments, there were things that worked and things that didn’t work in terms of editorial processes. I’m looking to run the StyleBistro offices as a hybrid newsroom-blog-longlead workspace, extracting best practices from my previous experiences to make sure we’re being the most ideas-driven, most creative, and most productive.
Are you looking to expand the site? Bring on new staff?
Yes! I’m currently hiring associate editors and a beauty editor.
The fashion internet space is so crowded – how will you make Style Bistro stand out?
I love fashion on the internet. I know that sounds like a funny thing to say, but just think about how amazing it is that people all over the world who love fashion can indulge their obsession hours at a time, 24-7, for free, no matter who they are or where they live! I almost believe that there can never been enough beautiful, informative, servicey, smart style content online. And I also know, coming from my own editorial background, how important it is to speak to the masses. I want StyleBistro to be a destination for fashion lovers as well as people who are looking for visual inspiration and beautiful pictures. I also want to tell stories about fashion that everyone—from die-hard dedicated followers of fashion to the lady in accounting to an investment banker to a top magazine editor—will want to read.
Count us among those readers ;)