“Prove Them Wrong”—Danielle Bernstein on Haters, Pay Transparency, and Building a Digital Empire

Photo courtesy of Media By Anna.

For over 10 years, we (along with her 2.1 million Instagram followers) have turned to digital creator and fashion mogul Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat for style inspiration. Fast-forward to present day and we found ourselves in Miami with Danielle—celebrating Brickell City Centre’s latest initiative, StyledBy. Also discoverable as #StyledByBCC, this style platform seeks to create curated programming in partnership with trend-forward brands to provide the fashion community with opportunities for collaboration and networking. Some of our favorite participants range from Intermix to Illesteva. So, who better to assist in festivities than Danielle?

During our Miami hangs with the fashion icon herself, we dove past prodding Danielle for style tips and opened the floor to her business advice. During the live taping of our podcast, WorkParty, we chose to highlight Danielle’s humble beginnings, what it really takes to build a digital empire, transparency (especially around money), common misconceptions, and dealing with the haters. We promise you’ll feel inspired and empowered to create and cultivate the career of your dreams after this one.

On salary and personal transparency as a blogger:

“I was a young New Yorker trying to make it like everyone else and I was honest about everything I was doing. Business-wise and life-wise with my followers. I would take them through breakups and business decisions, you name it.”

“So when Harper’s Bazaar approached me to do this article, she was like, can you publicly talk about how much money you get paid for a post and I was like, sure, Why not… It was a pretty big deal and I didn’t realize at the time, but people were very hush hush about it. Like no, that needs to change.”

“I think saving your money foremost, then investing is so important for female founders.”

On being a leader:

“I’ve always had this really entrepreneurial spirit about me and I think I learned a lot from my dad who’s the boss of his company on how to be a boss and how to delegate and be a leader.”

On becoming a business owner:

“I asked a shit ton of questions. I have always had, my entire life, these women that were mentors to me, even men that were mentors to me and I always asked a ton of questions. I think like I never pretended I knew everything. I googled a lot and just asked the right people for favors, for help, for advice and was guided that way.”

On being true to yourself:

“My followers are such a specific demographic of consumers. So you follow me because you want to buy what im wearing and I've always maintained that. You know I never went too sexy or too lifestyle. I always maintained that this a place you want to go and get outfit inspiration and i think my followers appreciate that.”

On the misconceptions of influencers:

“That we don't work. I just don;t think people see the behind the scenes enough to know that it’s really a career.”

Self-care tactics:

“I don’t do it enough, but I started meditating.”

On haters:

“Show the people that have doubted you most that they had no reason to doubt you. Prove them wrong.”

On leveraging your success:

“I’ve been investing and advising with brands. I’ve been given this amazing platform where I can really get behind a brand to help them become more successful and take them to the next level so I’ve been signing a bunch of advisory deals.”

On favorite apps:

“I use vsco, facetune and snapseed.”

On defining personal style:

“I think I’m really versatile with my style. I love discovering new brands via Instagram.”

On networking:

“Be a fearless networker, number one. Introduce yourself to someone, get yourself in the room with somebody, give a firm handshake, get their email and email them after.”

On white space:

“I think you need to find a niche. As cliche as that sounds, you really need to find a white space in this industry, because it is so oversaturated now. And you need to fill a space for a follower that they don't already see. So don't edit like everyone else, don't use all the presets that everyone does. Have your own unique sense of style and aesthetic.”

On growing your own brand:

“It’s hard to grow quickly, but it’s not impossible. I’ve seen it done.”

“Stay true to yourself.”

“Consistency is key.”

On what’s to come:

“I’m working on a tech project right now that will be launching in September—probably my most exciting venture yet.”

“Weworewhat shop will be a place where all my brands live. So there will be overalls and swim and potential other projects that im working on that I can’t discuss yet.”

On the fashion icon she’d have coffee with:

“Karl Lagerfeld. I never got to meet him, but that would have been awesome.”

On the three words Her work wife would use to describe her:

“I think Moe would describe me as driven, passionate, and determined.”

On her guilty Instagram follow:

“All the bachelors.”

On the women she admires:

“My mom and my grandma. Easy.”

On the one brand she would wear forever:

“I would not choose. Maybe vintage as a category.”

On the best piece of business advice:

“I once overheard DVF say that the most important relationship is the one with yourself. That has become my life motto.”

Want to find out more about StyledBy and receive updates? Email styledby@brickellcitycentre.com.