A loyal DKNY employee for over fifteen years and counting, Aliza Licht has spearheaded a completely new era for the company. Thanks to her incredibly popular Twitter presence and public persona, she has defined the brand’s digital voice and made sure that DKNY continues to be a force to be reckoned with. See Aliza as part of our 10 Most Stylish Social Media Gurus feature, and read below to hear more about this new media expert.
StyleCaster: What led you to a career in social media?
Aliza Licht: In 2009, I had no idea what “being” in social media would entail and I am amazed at how much it has changed since then. It’s a full time job that I do on top of my regular full time job as SVP of Global Communications for Donna Karan. Let’s just say it’s a passion I didn’t know I had and I’m grateful to have stumbled upon it
SC: What did you study, and/or was your education related to your current career?
AL: I set out to be a plastic surgeon and graduated college with a BS in Neurobiology and Physiology. I ditched medicine when I realized I would have to spend a life in scrubs. #Priorities
SC: Given social media is a relatively new job space, as a kid, what did you envision yourself doing as an adult?
AL: At three years old I was designing clothes for Barbie. I had my own sewing machine and I sewed tissues into dresses. I never said that I wanted to be a designer, but clearly fashion runs deep in my blood. My grandmother made all of my mother’s clothes growing up.
SC: Please list three apps you use for your job.
AL: Camera+, Getty Images, IMDB
SC: Where do you see social media headed in 3-5 years?
AL: I think there will be fall out. There’s just too many platforms right now and inevitably some will get boring, some will sell out and others will be swallowed up. The fittest will survive.
SC: How many social accounts do you maintain for your job (twitter, pinterest, instagram, etc)? Which are your favorites and why?
AL: I spearhead Twitter, dknyprgirl.com on Tumblr, WhoSay and Pinterest. I contribute to Instagram on a whim. Twitter is my first love and introduced me to the world of social. In 2010, some Twitter friends suggested that I start a Tumblr, hence my blog’s tagline “When 140 Characters Aren’t Enough.” The platforms work so well together and I love seeing how they support one another.
SC: Is there someone in social media that you look up to or see as doing an exemplary job?
AL: @Bergdorfs is amazing because they literally are on every social platform imaginable. The irony is that there’s only one Bergdorf Goodman in the world, yet it’s everywhere.
SC: Describe what sets social media gurus, like yourselves, apart from those of us who simply mess around on Twitter, Facebook etc., i.e. how does social media strategy factor into your brand?
AL: I am living a brand through these platforms. If I gush about a dress, it’s probably hanging in my closet. Since my job is PR, there’s a lot to talk about. Most people don’t go to the CFDA awards, charter a G4 and celebrate a birthday within two days, but my job sometimes involves these insane scenarios. I just hope people are laughing with me, not at me!
SC: What’s the biggest blunder you’ve made posting on a social network?
AL: I was live tweeting the Golden Globes one year and I suggested that a certain celebrity might want to wear a smile with her dress. Let’s just say CelebX has A LOT of fans and they were not happy with me- not even a little bit. The backlash was pretty remarkable and scary, but that instance taught me the power of social media. I am a very free spirited tweeter, but the PR person in me keeps my bite in check.
SC: Any advice to newbies trying to break into this space?
AL: Social media has shown us that anyone can be a brand. So think of yourself as a brand. That filter will serve you well.
SC: How many smart phones do you carry on a daily basis, and how often do you drop them?
AL: I carry an iPhone and a BlackBerry Bold 9900. They are always in my hands and let’s just say they are lucky that they are black.
SC: BlackBerry or iPhone?