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Fashiontribes is run by Lesley Scott, a longtime fashion and lifestyle writer who gives a juicy pop culture slant to the world of high style and innovative design. Her latest book, "THE FUTURE OF YOU" (2014), explores the deep trends & hot technologies shaping life today & tomorrow. As a 5.0 Fashion Futurist, she gazes at the future of fashion through the lens of the four big fashion tribes: Apocalytical, Supremium, Folkspun & Futurenetic. You can catch her offbeat tribal take on life on the Fashiontribes Daily Podcast, which delves into the intersection of biology & fashion, the Singularity & transhumanism, cyborgs, bionics, the rise of handmade stuff, futuristic bling & just enough zombies to keep things interesting.
Lesley founded Fashiontribes in 2004, following a stint as a NYC-based trendspotter & editor - where her duties included writing a monthly column on the hottest new trends in fashion, beauty, streetfashion, lifestyle, and pop culture for publications including Marie Claire in Asia, Jessica, 25 Ans, GQ Taiwan, and Elle Girl Korea. She was one of the very first bloggers accredited to cover New York Fashion Week as a credentialled member of the media, helping usher in podcasting and live-blogging at the shows, along with shooting YouTube style video interviews backstage.
Fast-forward a decade & 11,000 posts, some Blogger Brand Ambassadorships (Marc Jacobs Bang; StriVectin; Hanes; Aerosoles), Twitter Parties (Sam's Club) & books, including a, er, *cheeky* history of naughty nothings called "Lingerie: A Modern Guide" (Chartwell Books). She also penned "How to Work with Bloggers" for lifestyle brands wanting to navigate the Blogosphere with panache. She has consulted with top New York public relations firms and she has appeared in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Women’s Wear Daily & USA Today.
To connect with Lesley on LinkedIn, CLICK HERE.
HOW FASHIONTRIBES CAME TO BE
While working as trendspotter in NYC, one of my duties was to shoot emerging trends in streetfashion. Each month, prior to submitting photos to my editor, I found myself increasingly intrigued by the way people's ensembles identified their particular social group. These uniforms told me tales of...
...a night out at CBGB vs. a benefit at the Met;
...a fashion'y brunch in Soho vs. the porkchop & eggs hangover special at Superfine in DUMBO;
...a spot of spendy shopping at Bergdorf vs. an eco-friendly closet purge at Beacon's Closet.
The girls in the shredded denim sporting extensive ink and highlighter-hued hair might physically live in the same city as Chanel-clad socialites with the season’s $2500 "it" bag on their arms and social calendars packed with luncheons and charity events – but they...
....socialized completely differently (21 Club vs. Arlene's Grocery; Nobu vs. Galapagos);
...spent money differently (Greenpoint vs. the Upper East Side);
... even imbibed differently (Pabst Blue Ribbon vs. a dry martini).
It was as if they inhabited different planets.
Over the months, the photos organized themselves into six general tribes:
(1) eco-types with good taste which I dubbed AFRO LOVE;
(2) DOWNTOWN DOLL (Brooklyn Hipsters);
(3) FANCY FLIRT (fad-obsessed party girls);
(4) GLOBAL CHIC (socialite jetsetters);
(5) ROCK PUNK (music loving Gwen Stefani'ites);
(6) TECHNOID SUBCULTURE (flamboyant club kidz).
As I was pondering how diverse the groups were, it struck me that the newsstands weren't. They featured the same glossy mags with the same aesthetic aimed mostly at Global Chic and the Fancy Flirts. Downtown Dolls, sometimes, but never consistently. And the other tribes, particularly Technoid Subculture? Please. Which kind of surprised me given they all loved fashion and between the runways of London, New York, Milan & Paris, there were catwalk looks aplenty for all the tribes - not just one or two. But what didn't surprise me? Watching the tribes abandon the one-size-fits-no-one approach of traditional publishing. Leaving a tidal wave of red ink in their wake, these readers fled to niche publications that understood their tribal aspirations and happily catered to their "exotic" tastes. (image)
This hunger for tribe-tailored content led me to start six separate online monthly e-zines, all living under the single e-roof of Fashiontribes.com. The landing page featured large thumbnails of the latest magazine covers, one for each of the six tribes. When you clicked on a thumbnail, the cover appeared full size and when you moused over a headline, it moved or reacted (at the time, this was novel & fun). I remember one beach-getaway story where adorable little footprints in the sand materialized suddenly next to the headline, walked around it & then strolled off, gradually disappearing.
(1) read a tribe magazine from cover to cover, perusing each of the 10 or so categories - which included Fashion, Beauty, Theater, Food, Pets, Travel, Books, Horoscopes & general lifestyle fabulousness; or...
(2) pick a category, say Travel, and then jump from magazine to magazine, reading just the travel feature for that month.
While critically-acclaimed, the magazines proved too costly for the resources I had available and folded. But that's the nature of taking a risk. Besides, I think Michelangelo was correct when he observed that "the greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is so low and we reach it." So while my ezines didn't succeed, at least I feel I didn't set my sights too low. (That's my story and I'm stickin' wid it!)
However, I still had the blog.
Originally launched as a bulletin board featuring what was new & noteworthy in the magazines, it had long since acquired a life & personality of its own.
2014 REBRANDING OF FASHIONTRIBES.com
As the 10 year anniversary of Fashiontribes approached, I did what most of us do when facing a significant milestone: look back and assess. I had just finished "The Future of You" (2014) and found my focus had shifted back to the tribes. This time, however, I wasn't interested in just divvying up the state of fashion by tribes but using the tribes themselves as an interesting lens for looking at the future and all the amazing developments in wearable technology, biochemistry, nanotechnology, bionics, robots, big data and artificial intelligence. There are four big tribes I'm tracking: Apocalytical tribe (quite pessimistic about the future), the Supremiums (merrily shopping their way through the apocalypse), the Folkspun tribe (into making stuff by hand and making sweeping social statements) and the Futurenetic tribe with its inspiring vision of a future that embraces and incorporates biology, robotics, bionics and technology.
AND WHEN I'M OFF THE CLOCK...
...I love to travel. Pretty much since our first family trip abroad when, as a small girl, I fell in love with Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens. My father later became a professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic, which was a time filled with amazing voyages. When we visited Srinagar and stayed on a houseboat, I couldn't stop marveling at the snow-capped mountain scenery, especially during a crazy-bumpy jeep trip into the majestic Himalayas to visit Leh. More recently, I taught in Romania, Latvia & Kazakhstan and spent a good deal of time on the road, visiting the iconic statues of Easter Island, checking out the penguins in Patagonia, bungee-jumping in Costa Rica, hiking the Inca Trail in Peru, tooling around Tasmania in an old beater, caving in New Zealand, camel-trekking in Morocco, safari'ing in Tanzania, hiking in Nepal & embarking an out-of-control buddha-acquisition spree in Burma. And next on my must-visit list is definitely Bhutan.
At the moment, though, I'm less footloose thanks to a high-maintenance malamute/wolf princess called Cassandra who demands much attention & time. Whatever is left tends to be spent cooking (my roast chicken is scrumptious), getting my workout on, puttering in the garden and reading books about historical nonfiction, especially the dishy doings of European royals starting with Eleanor of Aquitaine on through the end of the reign of Elizabeth I.