How this Arkansas girl got the boujie-est NYC social media job ever
It’s become common knowledge that behind every luxury brand is an innovative, beautiful, exciting Instagram presence. Honestly, one cannot exist without the other in 2018.
But, behind every trendy company’s Instagram is a team of hardworking, industry professionals who know exactly what people want to see and how to deliver that in the most engaging way possible.
Candace Marie Stewart was born and raised in Arkansas and moved to New York to pursue her career in fashion and business. She’s worked for the likes of Vogue, People, Lucky, and Essence, and now works as the social media manager and editor for Barney’s New York.
If you didn’t already know, Barney’s is one of the leading luxury department stores in the world. She also has her own website, Marie Mag, where she documents her personal style, writes about her life, and shares her inspiration with her readers.
I know, I know. Let that sink in for a second. She’s truly a Jane of all trades, and is nothing short of a trailblazer in the industry.
Because the nature of a social media editing job is so fast-paced and dynamic, we asked her what her job is like, what she’s learned, and, of course, which Barney’s merch to cop this season.
Have you always been interested in fashion? What about social media?
I have always had a love for the fashion industry, but didn’t always know what that would look like. In comparison to other parts of the industry, social media is very new, especially for the luxury space. Social media plays a pivotal role in the business and for me personally, so this is the best of both worlds. As a finance and MBA graduate, I have an appreciation for the analytics and financial side. And, I have a personal love for the fashion side.
What have been some of your favorite projects thus far?
The most exciting project I would say to date is ‘thedrop@barneys.’ This was a two-day event that Barney’s New York did in partnership with Highsnobiety. It launched with designer appearances, capsule collections, social activations and more. It was exciting because no one had done anything like this before and to be apart of a project built from the ground up was surreal.
With appearances by designers Virgil Abloh of Off-White, Mike Amiri of Amiri, Heron Preston, Faith Connexion, Marcelo Burlon, Greg Lauren, Francesco Ragazzi of Palm Angels, and Jerry Lorenzo of Fear of God, the store filled rather quickly and attracted an energized crowd. For social activations there were DJ booths scattered throughout the store, a Fila-branded café, a life size tent-space, a curated T-shirt bar, designer/influencer panels that discussed street-wear and so much more.
How do you go about scouting influencers and people for potential projects?
Simply by doing my research and enlisting the help of our full Barney’s New York social team. I would never be able to do it alone!
I value other opinions, viewpoints and perspectives. Also, there are some wonderful platforms that provide help with this as well, but sometimes good old fashioned research and hard work leads you to finding some out-of-the box and fascinating individuals that can tell a creative story.
Was this past fashion week crazy for you? What was a highlight?
It is always crazy, but definitely worth it. My highlight moment was watching Comme des Garçons highlight black models on the runway in a significant way, which was applauded by the industry as a whole.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part is that it’s constantly changing. I’m always looking for the next big thing and how I can continue to grow. For me, once I feel like I’m no longer growing, I get antsy. With this opportunity at Barney’s, I can continue to change and evolve.
What’s something you’ve learned about the industry from doing your job? What’s something you’ve learned about yourself?
I’ve learned that [the industry] is forever changing, and if you don’t keep progressing, you will be left behind.
By working in this industry, I’ve also learned that I’m stronger than I realized. I’ve grown a lot and challenges have helped shape me into a stronger person both personally and professionally.
What are the coolest things we should get from Barneys for the Spring?
The coolest things I would say to run, don’t walk, to get would be our exclusive capsule collection with Versace. I’ve been a huge fan of the brand for as long as I can remember and this launch was beyond exciting for me.