Westfield and Who What Wear teamed to provide enough Instagrammable moments to make the start of the Boss Notes summit Saturday in Topanga, Calif., a success by social media standards.
Select influencers and media were invited to a pre-event gathering in the Fleurish Flower Bar at the new outdoor center Village at Westfield Topanga before going across the street to the Westfield Topanga mall to attend two panels, including one featuring a talk with Nicole Richie.
Intense Instagram and Snapchat posting by the those placed in the front rows of the day’s panels surrounded the event, a motivational rally of sorts focusing on taking control of one’s career.
“It’s the convergence of the physical and digital space,” said Anthony Sion, Westfield vice president of marketing and brand management. “So the idea is the physical space is a place where we host programming and events, but we have a number of bloggers and influencers, from a digital standpoint, that we want to be talking about because, really, those digital influencers are the people that are talking to our customers. The idea is how we bring that together and break the gap between the digital and physical space. We are that conduit between both.”
It’s a strategy that’s also been taken up by rival mall owner Simon Property Group Inc., which teamed with Refinery29 in 2014 for a series of fall pop-up shopping events. The two partnered once again last year for the Style Festival events that fused local boutique shopping with concerts at select Simon malls.
The event at Westfield Topanga began the Boss Notes series, which includes stops at Westfield properties in San Jose and New Jersey.
Bloggers Katherine Schwarzenegger and Gabi Gregg along with Who What Wear founders Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr attended Saturday’s event.
Power and Kerr recently launched their Web sites in Australia and the U.K. and in January unveiled their Who What Wear collection for Target as part of a multiyear deal that will see new product introduced monthly across 800 Targets and online. The two helped put together the programming for Boss Notes, which Power said was partially inspired by their book, “The Career Code,” that’s due out in May.
“I want to hear from other women and hear about their career path because back in the day, even with my mom and her career, there was a single trajectory and that’s all you did,” Kerr told WWD. “Whereas now, there are a million different paths to get to a million different types of jobs and a million different careers. The more you know, the easier it is to identify what it is that is right for you.”
Guests invited to speak discussed everything from how they built their brands online to balancing their jobs in the creative field with their personal lives.
“It’s kind of like the new mentorship because not everybody has the ability to have a true mentor,” Power said of what Boss Notes aims to be. “I think even if you know someone who may be a mentor, they’re often very busy so we really think of these summits and online content hubs around career as the new way to get mentorship if you are an up-and-coming professional.”
For Richie, who was part of a fireside chat moderated by Power, she talked about her House of Harlow brand, personal style and balancing work with her family life, hinting at upcoming television projects that include a mix of on- and off-camera roles.
“I kind of let go of the idea that I have to do everything really well [and] that I can just live my life and do 100 percent of everything. It’s just not realistic,” Richie said during her talk. “So I do what I can. I focus on my own goals and everybody’s life is built differently and made up of different things. I am a mother of two so my family comes first and foremost and then, after that, it’s just really all about prioritizing.”
When Power asked if there was a mantra she lived by, Richie offered to make one up on the spot: “Ride or die,” which she promptly followed with “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”