Kate Troedsson is currently in Madrid, Spain working as a model under Option Model and Media. In this interview Kate explains how the use of social media has helped her succeed in both her modeling career and designer aspirations.
Q: What social media tools do you use?
A: The social media tools that I manage are, of course, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Instagram. I tried the new Google+ but I absolutely hated it, and plus I don’t think I can manage more than that!
Q: How do these tools help you function in the fashion world? Also what specific tools do you use for designer/model promotion?
A: These social media tools are so imperative to the fashion world; in any design world really, but in the fashion world so imperative. Twitter is so important. I tell some people I absolutely swear by Twitter and they laugh, but it’s true because you feel like such an insider when you follow major fashion houses. They often post backstage photos of the garments and models before the fashion shows even begin; photos from photoshoots, tweets about what collections are coming to major department stores, what collections are going on sale; designers such as Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Badgley Mischka tweet about their sales. I think my favorite to follow is my favorite designer DVF because she is always posting inspirational quotes. Some great people to follow on Twitter include OscarPRGirl, Bergdorfs, rzrachelzoe, mrjoezee, ninagarcia, CalvinKlein, ELLEmagazine, harperzbazaarus, and definitely womensweardaily.
I think I was glued to my Twitter during NY fashion week because the constant stream of press was incredible. I felt like I was actually attending, not to mention how for the first time ever, I was able to watch the shows LIVE on youtube. I was ecstatic (and also wishing I could be walking in them.)
Tumblr is essentially the same. The bigger benefit to it is that it allows fashion bloggers to compile sources of inspiration into one area; pictures, movies, music, quotes, links etc. Inspiration is what drives and fuels the entire fashion industry and often times bloggers are the start of new ideas.
Q: How do you mainly communicate with your agents?
A: Everything! But mainly e-mail and phone calls. But every booker and agent is different. I love and appreciate Kit, Nina, and Dennis at Option so much because whenever there is an e-mail sent about a casting or shoot, it is so incredible with every single detail clearly written: Client, bill to, date of booking, report time, location, report to, what to expect, how to arrive, things to bring, rate, usage, vouchers, payment. And then my booker/agent here in Madrid will send me an e-mail that just says who the client is, where it is, what time and how to get there. That can be frustrating at times, but you go with it. However, because Option is my “mother agency” I still have to communicate with them while I am overseas, and that is exceptionally difficult. Applications like Skype, Google Voice, Facebook Video chat, and iChat help, but last night I went to a cafe, ordered a coffee, and sat in the bathroom with the door shut with earphones to make a phone call to Option off my computer!! I needed a strong enough signal!
Q: Has social media helped you form connections you feel you wouldn’t have made without it?
A: Absolutely!!! I would not be a model or nearly as successful of a design student without Facebook. It helped me so much when I first entered the industry. By keeping care and in contact with the connections you make on facebook you are able to stay knowledgeable and up to date with what they are working on. The majority of my facebook friends are other models, fashion designers, photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, filmmakers, graphic designers, boutique owners, publication writers, stylists, and so on and so forth. (This, however, does not mean I accept every single friend request; I do need to at least know of the person. I hate getting friend requests with “2 mutual friends” and they look like a creep!)
Keeping good contacts and connections on Facebook also keeps you in the public eye; if you constantly update your profile with your current work then it keeps you relevant. There is a strategy in marketing called the five to seven times rule. Basically a message must be received five to seven times before it makes an impact and the viewer is first aware of the brand and its existence. Another five to seven times to keep the viewer interested; and another five to seven to cause the viewer to desire to know more. I think of Facebook and my connections as the viewer and I the brand because by constantly putting my name and work out there, people remain interested and your name and work sticks!
Q: What do you feel are the strengths and weaknesses of social media in the fashion world?
A: I think the strengths of the social media in the fashion world are copious. I read an article during the Spring/Summer season about how pretty soon (the 1% who are able to afford designer label clothing) and publication stylists were going to be able to, the minute they see a look walk down the runway, order it directly off their iPad. Insane. It makes me wonder where the future lies for live runway shows. In the future will they all become pre filmed and taped and then just broadcast on social media sites? All this social media allows for larger reach and frequency. It also allows the audience to influence the fashion, such with bloggers.
I think the weaknesses lie in higher, faster turnarounds; what we call fast-fashion. I honestly get frustrated with how quick and superfluously fashion rises and fades. The social media fuels that, making one item popular, and the next week its not.
Q: Do you have any suggestions on how to make communication from designers/models – to – clients/the public more successful?
A: That’s such a good question! And to be honest, if anything my one suggestion would be to use it less frequently. There is a time and a place for social media, for your texting, your emails, phone calls, blog posts, tweets, status updates etc. I am reading Tim Gunn’s biography/etiquette book at the moment and he was advising the same thing, saying how he was disturbed to find out that iPhone may release an app that allows you to see the sidewalk through a camera on your phone while you are texting/walking. I am not sure of the validity on this, but even the thought scares me! Are we so attached and addicted to our devices and social media that we can’t, for one moment, put it away to see the light of day as we walk down the street? Don’t get me wrong, I love my facebook and twitter, and anyone can tell you I am an avid texter, but I am a FIRM believer in enjoying the moments we’re given. So at a shoot, fashion show, store opening, etc., be wise about the use of it, because after all, you ARE there to work, observe, absorb the information, network, and learn information.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: Yes! Follow me on Twitter @KateTroedsson, and on Tumblr!
But also, during our poor economy, finding work is SO hard. And it’s not just America, it’s over here in Europe too. So be WISE about managing your social media sites. Use them as tools to market and brand yourself; to help you find work. Be aware that professionals see what you post.