Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat shares her best tips
Danielle Bernstein, the fashonista behind the popular Instagram account WeWoreWhat, is not your typical “influencer.” As a college student at FIT, Danielle started a New York street style blog, after realizing her friends from home were always wearing sweatpants and Ugg boots to their classes. Since then, Danielle has turned her blog into a fashion empire, with her own clothing line, successful swimsuit and denim collaborations, and a new business platform for influencers called MOE.
After she spoke at Horizon Media last week, Danielle and I sat down to talk about how she made overalls cool again, the biggest trends for fall, and how much money an influencer can actually make per post.
Katie Couric: Many people know you as a social media influencer, but you’re also a successful businesswoman. Has this direct contact with your fans, followers and consumers impacted the products you put out?
Danielle Bernstein: Definitely! They help shape every product. I ask my followers questions, and I involve them in every step of the design process — whether it’s asking if they want a skinny jean or a loose fit jean, or if they want a bathing suit to be available in blue or black. I try to include them in as much of the decision-making process as possible with WeWoreWhat Swim, WeWoreWhat Overalls, and the denim collaboration I’ve done. I use their feedback to make a better product, and to get better results and better sales.
Somehow, you knew that overalls were going to be cool again before the rest of us had any idea… So, what’s the next big thing?
The tagline of my blog back in 2013 was, “Overalls are my second skin.” That was just because I was wearing them a lot! The pairs I was wearing were mostly vintage pieces that you couldn’t really find anywhere else — and the reason I created a line of overalls was because I saw a space in the market. I wanted to create something in a very specific category, so that it had a purpose. Creating all-in-one pieces that felt modern and trendy yet affordable became my goal. And it’s been awesome to see how it’s grown.
You are obviously very tapped into the latest trends… what should we expect to see this season?
Keep an eye out for chunky boots, oversized sweaters and blazers, anything with a puffy sleeve — I’m obsessed with that trend and I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon — and more color. The runways this season had a lot more color than usual, especially for fall. I think that because there’s so much unhappiness in the world right now, so the fashion industry is looking to color to create some happiness and light. If I had to pick one color to tell you to look out for, I’d say marigold!
What is the one piece of clothing every woman should invest in?
A leather jacket.
What’s your favorite affordable store, and how do you sort through all of it to find the good stuff?
I love Zara, ASOS, and Topshop. I only shop online, so it makes it a lot easier to sort through everything. I usually look at new arrivals first, so I’m always up to date on what’s trending. But I’m on Net-a-Porter and ASOS every day. So, from high to low end, I’m always looking at websites to see new arrivals to know what’s out there.
What advice do you have for people who might want to become an influencer?
Consistency is key. Have a content calendar and stay on top of your posting. Even when I was working from home, I got up and got dressed every morning, and tried to make my job as “nine to five” as possible to feel like it had structure. Find a niche, like what I did with the overalls.
Also, be a fearless networker! That’s one of the things I owe a lot of my success to. I was always sure to introduce myself to the right people at the right time. I would make sure that they knew my name, and that I got their names, but also got their contact info, or found a way to stay in touch and find reasons to follow up. I found a lot of my mentors through fearless networking, and made some of my best connections through that as well.
You’ve been famously candid about how much you get paid as an influencer for social media posts. Why did you decide to share this?
In my ten years of doing this, I have always tried to be really authentic and honest with my followers — whether that meant disclosing whether something was a paid partnership or not, or telling them if I truly liked a product or not. I’ve always tried to be transparent. Everyone is so curious about this industry, since it’s so new, and not many people were talking about how much you could make.
Somebody asked me in an interview, “How much money can you make on a post?” I answered, “Anywhere between $10,000 and $15,000.” That was the first time the amount of money an influencer could make for a sponsored post was published anywhere publicly, and people went crazy. It got picked up by every news outlet you can imagine, and it drove me to get over a million followers for the first time. That started this spiral of me talking about the business side of this industry, and I branded myself as the business voice of influencers.
What would you say is the biggest misconception people have about what you do?
A lot of people seem to think that influencers don’t work hard, or don’t have busy days, because nobody sees what goes on behind the scenes unless we share it. So much work goes into the creation of our content, our campaigns, and our partnerships. It’s really endless hours of work, of photos, of setting up and of planning. Influencers are always super busy making the content you see on Instagram come to life.
Talk to me about your newest venture, MOE.
With the creation of MOE, we set out to solve a problem in the influencer industry. I’ve been doing this for 10 years, and the industry used to be so undefined. It’s more defined now, but there still aren’t the tools necessary for the day to day needs of an influencer’s specific workflow. So we set out to create the first project management tool to help influencers centralize and manage their collaboration, brand partnerships, invoicing and payments. Moe is actually the name of my former assistant of six years — turned Chief Brand Officer. I wanted to put her job into a platform to help other influencers in their businesses.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
This originally appeared on Medium.com