A Marist Fashion Podcast featuring meaningful conversations with innovators who live each day with our society, community, and planet in mind.
Lindsey Benoit O'Connell, Meaningful Media
Our 7th guest of Down to Earth is very special to Ashley as they have worked together since her first-ever internship as well as her last, Lindsey Benoit O’Connell, Deputy Editor of Entertainment and Partnerships at Ariana Huffington’s Thrive Global. Lindsey is certainly a career-woman of many hats and has worked for numerous top publications. In today’s episode, she talks about multiple meaningful projects throughout her career, including Good Housekeeping’s Raise the Green Bar Sustainability Summit. And later, we find out who her favorite celebrity interview was.
Lindsey Benoit O'Connell is the Deputy Editor, Entertainment, and Partnerships for Thrive Global. She is responsible for booking talent and creating editorial partnerships across the company's platforms including the website, social platforms, app, video, podcasts, and branded content. Formerly, Benoit O’Connell was the Special Projects + Entertainment Director for Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, and Redbook magazines. She was also responsible for developing new editorial partnership opportunities, television integrations, brand strategy, and editorial events. Benoit O’Connell also worked in the entertainment division at Hearst and is responsible for booking all celebrity covers, features, and interviews for the magazines. A highlight of her time at Hearst was creating and launching the first-ever GH Lab store with Good Housekeeping and Amazon in the Mall of America.
Prior to her role at Good Housekeeping, Benoit O’Connell was the Special Projects and Communications Director at Women’s Health. There she was responsible for booking talent for the magazine and video platforms as well as creating and executing strategic communications plans across television, print digital and social platforms. She was also an authority in identifying successful editorial partnerships and developing creative collaborations with leading national media outlets, government agencies, celebrities, and tastemakers. Her efforts on behalf of Women’s Health resulted in a dramatic increase in media coverage and editorial partnerships over three years.
In 2014, Benoit was named a “Rising Star” by Folio: Mag, and in 2015 PR News recognized her among the Top Women in Entertainment Media. Previously, Benoit worked at SELF Magazine as the Associate Director of PR, the Condé Nast Media Group on events such as Fashion Rocks, Movies Rock, and for Random House, Inc. She is a graduate of Manhattan College in New York and currently lives in Astoria, NY with her husband Brian and son Hunter Fitz.
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Behind the Mic, Featuring the Co-Producers of Down to Earth
Down To Earth’s sixth episode introduces the ladies who make it all happen, co-producers Ashley Camuso and Erica Capobianco! This dynamic duo met in the Fashion Show Production class and have been forever friends since! Enjoy today’s fun episode where the two interview each other today and give you a complete behind the scenes guide to podcast production...the good, the bad, the ugly!
Kara Ladd, Defining Wellness
Our 5th guest of Down to Earth is Kara Ladd, CEO of Conscious Conglomerate Boundless. Ashley and Kara bond through their experience working in print and digital magazines. In addition, to her expansive career in journalism, Kara shares how she became passionate about sustainable and mindful living. Later, Kara also introduces her new 1:1 Career Coaching Course.
Kara Ladd is the CEO of the conscious conglomerate, Boundless, that includes Boundless Creatives, her boutique purpose-driven marketing consultancy and Boundless by Kara (@boundlessbykara), her mindful lifestyle personal brand.
Ladd began her career working in the fashion closets of Cosmopolitan and Italian Vogue. She eventually landed at a boutique sustainable fashion consultancy where she spearheaded creative and strategic marketing for high-profile clients such as Amazon, LVMH, Mulberry, The Real Real, CFDA in addition to building out the digital infrastructure and growth strategy internally.
Later, Ladd pivoted back into editorial, working as Hearst Digital Media’s E-Commerce and Partnerships Editor, where she created optimized digital content for all 28 Hearst sites. Her features achieved up to 35 million page views worldwide.
On a personal note, Ladd is a one-in-a-million synovial sarcoma cancer survivor. Her traumatic, yet enlightening health journey was the conduit that built what Boundless is today.
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Melissa Joy Manning, Accessorize with Awareness
In today’s Down To Earth episode, Melissa Joy Manning sits down to talk about her ethically sourced jewelry line, two years after she spoke at Marist Fashion’s Annual Brunch event. Learn more about how her brand defines all aspects of sustainability, from motion sensor lights in her studio and stores to minimal packaging. Ashley also hears what Melissa said that left Diane Von Furstenberg, herself, speechless.
Melissa Joy Manning is a socially responsible fine jewelry brand featuring unique, modern designs influenced by her passion for travel, art, and culture. As the co-chair of the CFDA Sustainability Committee, and as an advisory board member of Nest, Melissa continues not only to push the perceptions of precious, but also those of manufacturing processes in the fashion and jewelry worlds. Every piece is meticulously handcrafted by a talented team of jewelers in their Green Certified Berkeley, CA studio. Melissa’s work can be found in very select accounts worldwide and at her namesake boutiques in Berkeley, CA and Brooklyn, NY.
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Michelle Savino, Renting Revolution
Down To Earth welcomes Marist Fashion Alumni, Michelle Savino (2018). Ashley and Michelle worked together to produce the 32nd Annual Silver Needle Runway, where Michelle was one of the Production Directors. In today’s conversation, Michelle will share her insight on developing trends within the sustainability movement- apparel rentals. And later, we’ll hear which Real Housewives franchise is most like Michelle’s life!
Michelle Savino graduated from Marist College in 2018 with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and Public Relations. During her time at Marist, she was the Production Director of the 2018 Silver Needle Runway Show. She has since become a Junior Producer at Rent the Runway where she produces all e-commerce and editorial photoshoots. Any content you see from RTR, whether it be on their social media channels or e-commerce site, she’s likely had a hand in!
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Tara St. James, Seasonless Fashion
Down To Earth’s second guest, Tara St. James, is no stranger to the sustainable fashion movement and is a woman of many hats! Today, Ashley and Tara sit down to talk about her seasonless fashion line, sustainable consultancy and teaching at the Fashion Institution of Technology in New York City. Later, we’ll hear about Tara's very unique, first job and ultimate life hack!!
Tara St James launched Study NY in 2009 after designing high street fashion for over 15 years in Canada and the US. Study produces in NYC’s garment district using ethical fabrics and production methods. Shortly after starting Study NY, Tara focused on educating the next generation of designers on the importance of sustainability in design. She has extensive lecturing and teaching experience in NYC including currently teaching a class on sustainable textiles at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Study NY has been awarded the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation prize as well as runner up in the CFDA / Lexus Sustainable Fashion Challenge. Most recently Tara worked as Production Coordinator and Research Fellow in the Sustainable Strategies Lab for Pratt’s Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator. She has built a sustainable textile library and sourcing service and will be launching the new Re:Source Library consultancy in July 2019.
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