Issue No. 16            
— February 2016


Digital trend publication
blending a mix of culture,
insights and data.

A trend product by





In January’s Resolution Issue, there was an article titled “Empathy vs. Analytics: The Marketer’s Dilemma.” The article discussed the benefits of focusing more on connecting with your consumer on an emotional level, rather than beating yourself up over what he/she is buying and how many seconds is spent on your site. This article was the perfect segway into what we’re talking about in The Audience Issue (so if you haven’t read it, you might want to backtrack a bit).


One of the biggest factors that contribute to the success of any brand or business is knowing your audience. Who is buying into your brand? Are you talking to her in a way she will understand? Are you keeping up with his life changes? Does she even use the social network that you pay big money to have look good?


This issue discusses how the successful brands are connecting with their audiences and what new platforms and influences are making it easier.


Delanie Billman

Managing Editor




Editor's Letter




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Dig into the issue by clicking on the links below!



1. Building a cult-like following

Finding and growing an audience isn't easy, we know, but web brand Clashist managed to find its loyal audience overnight. In this piece, Heather Lipner discusses how she let her personal values be her guide to her brand following.

— Heather Lipner



2. A New audience experience

As audiences move from big screen to mobile, marketers are still playing catch up. Read how influencers and accessibility are changing the way consumers consume.

— Nick Cicero



3. Everything we do, we do for emo night

In order to build and foster and audience, you first have to be the audience. Emo Night founder T.J. Petracca turned his passion for #tbt songs into one of LA's most talked about parties.


— T.J. Petracca



At just 17, Luca has set a standard for mens fashion influencers. Read about this artist and the unique way he's using digital mediums to connect with his audience.





For a brand, knowing your audience is key to success in sales and marketing. In this issue, we talked to four brands who know their audience so well that they can personify them.


4. Let's Go (Crowd) Surfing

In this engagement driven culture, it's easy to think of your audience as a series of statistics. It might be time to reconsider who it is you're speaking to. Here's a hint: they aren't just numbers.




✱ No Login Required

On the eve of 2016, the Internet lost one of it’s beloved cult brands - Clashist. The made-in-LA company fostered an audience that fed into its brand values as much as the founding mother, Heather Lipner. We sat down with Heather to look back on Clashist - it’s out-ofthe-box brand values and the family that the digital ball game of fashion influence and shopping. Created by two women who worked for one of fashion’s most famed photographers, Semaine offers a unique take on content that we haven’t seen before.
— Editor's Side Note

building a cult-like following.

-heather lipner

In December of 2013, I founded Clashist, a cult apparel brand that allowed individuals to express their bold & humorous perspective on culture. With it’s progressive prints, nostalgic motifs, and tongue-in-cheek nature, the brand immediately found success and reigned in the world of cult-fashion Instas. Unfortunately, Clashist came to an end in October of 2015 for reasons that were beyond my control. Looking back, I couldn’t have asked for a more loyal and engaged audience that I was able to foster in just under two years. You can’t build a great audience unless you have a great product. You can’t build a great product without solid values, unwavering vision expressed in a uniquely creative manner.


My Brand, My Values
The brand values matched my personal values – honoring diversity, being open-minded and standing up for equal rights. I didn’t care how bold we had to be to express the latter. In fact, I didn’t care if that ostracized us from being in big retailers like Nordstrom or Forever 21 or Topshop as long as we felt we were creating something unique in the marketplace.


A Boundless Vision

The vision for Clashist was to create products that young people could deeply identify with insofar as they needed to buy, wear & share. I think the hardest part - the part in which people can’t necessarily copy is how to do the latter in new, creative & refreshing ways. Nonetheless, I knew I could to do it, grow the audience, and then traditional outlets would see the growth, come around and request to sell – which they did.


Content That Keeps Giving

While apparel is generally not considered content, looking back (and I didn’t realize this when I was making it) I believe Clashist was more content than fashion. Each print had a story to tell, whether it was fun, ironic, empowering or ridiculous, there was a deeper comment than its face value and an even deeper comment when customers wore it. The content bubbled up on social media, and not just as in people taking selfies – instead we saw creative photos giving birth to thousands of pieces of our storyline. 



A Model For You

Most fashion brands follow a traditional path of believing skinny, sexy, pretty, and socially acceptable is beautiful and desirable. 

It’s a narrow viewpoint that misses the mark, as progressive youth understand the world in a much broader manner. A beauty equation has little to do with the materials but that it simply can prove its point. A formula that works is intrinsically symmetric and satisfying – how most of the world identifies beauty.


Clashist’s models were our audience – bold, funny & interesting people that locked into our brand values. A lot of models or influencers just take pictures of themselves in fancy clothes, looking pretty. We didn’t mind that as long as they had a funny caption to go with it. For our Instagram, we mostly reposted our audience’s photos with the rule that it just needed to be a high quality, fun & interesting. We grew a truly authentic Instagram audience to around 75K followers in 20 months.

 “...Nonetheless, I knew I could to do it, grow the audience, and then traditional outlets would see the growth, come around and request to sell – which they did.”

Get Engaged

Man, I miss writing captions. I wish our growth was all because of my funny captions, but it was mostly because of our audience sharing our products. But I’d like to think that the captions were a major way that we kept our followers engaged. Just like the product, I tried to make each caption have a face value, a deeper meaning and overall be fun or funny. To tell you the truth, I didn’t really engage too much on the comments other than to answer customer questions. But that is probably because I feel weird when someone says I like your shirt. What are you supposed to say – thank you? How many thank yous should we be giving out? My feeling was - just enjoy – no need to tell us – we knew when you shared it. :)

An Audience To Call My Own

I’d also like to think that the audience was just like me or at least the aspirational me – bold, funny, and interesting. I think it’s kind of like going to high school - you meet people with the same values and interests as you and they become your friends right away. And you stay tight as long as your interests and values continue to be the same.



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Netflix's Top Contender

OINTB, Narcos, Making A Murderer? The online streaming service reveals its most popular contender.

Read more ➭


Why it's time to start selling on social media

As social commerce emerges, more and more sales are happening.
Read more ➭


5 Keys to turning your side hustle into a successful business

Read more ➭





why leaders need to be on social media

An interview with brand-building expert Justin Foster. 

Read more ➭


"Attending" or nah?

Let's be real - Mark Z needs to give us more options when it comes to Facebook event RSVPs.

Read more


Blume puts an end to catfishing

The newest dating app has figured out how to prove who you're talking to.

Read more ➭





the best new charging phone cases

According to the crew at Wired.

Read more ➭


A hoodie with a pillow in it?

Get ready to catch us sleeping at our desks.
Read more ➭


Apple has been dethroned

Google just took over as the world's most valuable company.

Read more ➭





el chapo speaks

The infamous drug lord gives his first-ever interview to Rolling Stone.

Read more ➭


the boldest risks at the movies

One word: audacious.
Read more ➭


obama loses his chill over kids

We just think you deserve a feel-good moment.

Read more ➭





A fashion show live streamed through grindr?

No, that's not a typo.

Read more ➭


is applE destroying design?

Imagine that.
Read more ➭


High design

Ex-Googler's new venture: turing week into a hip lifestyle brand.

Read more ➭


"an artist paints, draws, designs, writes sings, cooks, plays, but does not turn that work into art. the audience does."

— kazu kibuishi

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Chelsea Matthews


Managing Editor
Delanie Billman


Contributing Editor
Micah Heykoop


Creative Direction
Nolan Goff


Art Direction + Design
Jesse Ligo


Nicole Best




Carlos Quinteros Jr.


Heather Lipner

Heather is an entrepreneur, Internet entertainer, designer, artist, and writer who loves the web. She's created Clashist, Uncovet, and Me So Holy, and a collab with This Is Ground. Full bio here and work can be found here

Last song played: Astro Computer Era

Book to read: Slicing Pie by Mike Moyer

Night in or night out: In

Alcoholic beverage of choice: Moscow Mule

Spirit animal: Nathan Fielder

Nasty Habit: Uber

Childhood comfort: Going to the pool

Nick Cicero

Nick is the CEO and Founder of Delmondo, a software platform that works wth media companies, MCNs, and the influential creators they represent. He has helped brands like Universal Music Group, PlayStation and Oprah build technology to activate millions of loyal fans online. 

Best throwback song: Blackstreet - No Diggity or T-Pain - I'm Sprung

Most inspiring city: NYC for sure. Every day you can wake up and change your life if your want

Childhood comfort: Stuffed Leonardo (from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Favorite movie: The Godfather


T.J. Petracca

TJ owns a digital and creative strategy in Echo Park, CA called the Ride or Cry Collective. He also throws parties across the country where he plays Emo music off of Spotify and people go H.A.M.


Book to read: My Twitter feed

Alcoholic beverage of choice: PBR
Childhood comfort: Pizza

Quote to live by: "Well behaved women rarely make history."

Spirit animal: Fetty Wop's Eye

Nasty Habit: Overusing the airhorn while DJing

Luca Fersko

Luca is an artist, born in Italy, now residing in New York, who has a focus in fashion. Luca, traditially a model, is best known for his compelling men's fashion videos that have garnered the attention of viewers across the globe. Luca continues to grow his name and brand and looks to artistic pieces that explain how important it is to express yourself. 


Favorite movie: The Revenant, it's so beautiful

Most inspiring city: NYC
Go-To Recipe: I make a bomb tiramisu

Best throwback song: The theme song to Full House