Grayson Miller — styledemocracy.com “There is no answer to how did you to get to where you are, it’s hard work and never giving up.” After meeting up at Soho House on a snowy Friday, Grayson Miller, the Vice President of Toronto’s Style Democracy, shared his views on fashion and his career as a digital marketer.
Andrea: How did you end up in Style Democracy?
Grayson: I started out in retail, but I wouldn’t say I’m in the fashion industry but that I work very close with the fashion industry. The distinction is that the fashion industry is directly people who are creating clothes and brands, whereas I’m more of on the marketing side. I was working at a store on Queen Street West called Get Outside and I was finishing up a postgraduate degree at Humber College after Western University. I went to Humber College for the Marketing Management program. There weren’t a lot of websites talking about fashion, shopping, and retail so I decided to develop a website called torontoshopbuzz.com.
One day while I was working at Get Outside, a lot of people came over looking for a Puma promotion that was mentioned on Style Democracy. I wanted to figure out what that company was because we had a lot of the same ideas in-regards to marketing. So I found the guy who owns the company and I knocked on his office door telling him that we need to work together. I started out as an intern and then we turned Style Democracy into a larger scale digital presence.
A: What do you do on a daily basis at Style Democracy?
G: On a daily basis, my title is Vice President of Digital and I’ve held every position at Style Democracy. What I do now is oversee a team of content creators, sales team, designers, and market within the company. We’ve built the company up to about nine people and I essentially oversee the work of others and come up with strategies that we can pass down to the team. Day to day can be working on a specific marketing campaign with our sales people or content creators to developing an overall content strategy for Style Democracy and some of the other platforms.
A: Is Style Democracy predominantly online?
G: Yes, it’s predominantly online and is essentially two companies, the inventory side and the digital side. We work online to help content creators and brands market themselves.
A: Is your audience more global or are you focusing on a Canadian audience?
G: It’s definitely easier to concentrate in Toronto because this is where we are and where all the editors live. We’re mostly Toronto focused although we do try to have a bit of a national imprint.
A: What do you think the Canadian industry is like for creators?
G: I think the industry has changed a lot over the years, although there aren’t a lot of outlets there are quite a few sizeable media companies. I think the spotlight on Toronto has definitely become greater and I’ve personally gotten to collaborate with Toronto creators. We’ve never been stronger in a city as far as content goes. There’s a great access to technology and we’removing into the direction of New York where we have the ‘make shit happen’ mentality. The outlets haven’t been better but they’ve gotten better and Toronto’s the best it’s ever been for creators.
A: Name the most significant moment in your career.
G: Style Democracy is definitely a different framework but the greatest thing for me has just been building something and knowing three years ago no one knew who I was or what Style Democracy was. Now, people come up to me and tell me about something they’ve read and what they enjoy. Building something that people actually come to is rewarding.
A: What is your favourite current trend?
G: I would say right now it’s hard to say because men’s fashion is changing a little bit. I call 2016 male fashion the ‘disciples of Ye’, inspired by Kanye West. I think that now with social media no trends last long and currently fashion is turning towards an eclectic, baggier style. In the next couple months there will be someone that comes out with a look that everyone will follow.
A: What is your personal style?
G: My style is at this point an appreciation of every style phase that I’ve gone through throughout the years. Right now I’ll wear a Supreme toque with some nice boots and it’s a mashup of all the styles I’ve had over the years.
A: How would you describe Style Democracy in three words? And yourself?