“My job is never just one thing, which is good for me because I’m super OCD and bore of things quickly,” said Karen Robinovitz, the co-founder of Digital Brand Architects.
As one of the first influencer agencies on the scene, DBA’s talent roster includes some of fashion’s biggest names in the space, including Aimee Song, Camila Coelho and Nicolette Mason. Robinovitz, a former journalist and brand consultant, started the company with her friend Raina Penchansky in 2010.
Although DBA is operationally similar to a traditional talent management agency, they’re laser-focused on building brands with a social media footprint. That digital focus keeps Robinovitz on her toes: “[The online world] evolves by the millisecond, so I have to be on top of every bit of news – whether it relates to platform changes, the FTC, content trends, or marketing and advertising programming.”
Keeping up with the various talent she works with, their respective brands, and all of the outside brands they’re hoping to work doesn’t come easy, either.
“There is more imagery and video out there than ever, so it’s harder and harder to stand out,” said Robinovitz of the challenges her and her clients currently face. “At the end of the day, a clear point of view is what shines through. Without that, nothing else matters.”
Luckily, Robinovitz feels at home with the frenetic pace and uncertainty that comes with the job. “I tend to thrive under the stress that comes with back-to-back meetings, phone-calls, and a never-ending to do list,” she said. Arianna Huffington, she is not.
We asked Robinovitz to detail one of her recent busy days for us, which involved everything from meditation to a sushi dinner with L’Oreal.
7:00 a.m.: My alarm goes off. I’m a chronic snooze-hitter and usually go about four rounds before I actually get up. Each time, I promise myself it will be the last.
7:30 a.m.: I scroll through my emails quickly and skim The New York Times, Business of Fashion and WWD for the headlines. I also check Instagram, making sure I didn’t miss anything over the last 8 hours, before rolling out of bed.
8:00 a.m.: Yoga is in my apartment with Ivy Kaminer, who has the most hands-on practice. Her adjustments are part Thai massage and pretty intense. It’s the best way to wake up.
9:15 a.m.: The call is with the former owner of Totokaelo, Jill Wenger. She is launching a new brand and looking for influencers to partner with. Her message is very body positive and the vibe is super Commes. We talk strategy and budget, the overarching product mix, as well as brand awareness versus sales, and which influencers offer each. This is all done while putting on my makeup: a mix of Clé de Peau, Chantecaille and Nars.
10:00 a.m.: I stand in my closet for at least 15 minutes before deciding what to wear. This is often the reason I’m late, I must confess. Today I go with a red Rosie Assoulin swashbuckler cotton top, skinny white pants and yellow heels.
10:30 a.m.: I do a 10-minute meditation to prep me for my day. “Thiru Neela Kantam” is a Sanskrit chant I repeat in my head to clear out karma — I have such an inner hippie in me.
Robinovitz represents top fashion influencers like Aimee Song
10:45 a.m.: While Uber-ing to the office, I take a call with my partner, Raina, to catch up on the road. Two days ago, our talents Gabi Gregg and Nicolette Mason launched Premme — a line of plus-size, trend-driven clothing — and their site crashed. I’m dying to hear about the sales, but we have to wait until next week for the details.
I quickly eat a peanut butter chocolate Lara Bar on the way. I know it’s not the best meal but I have no time!
11:10 a.m.: When I get to the office, I spend 20 minutes catching up with everyone before my meeting with Pari Ehsan, a client who has a campaign in the works with a shoe brand. She and I share a love of art and I just returned from vacation in Venice, where I went to the Biennale, so we pour over my photos at the end. My artist crush at the moment is Erwin Wurm.
12:30 p.m.: I have a lunch meeting at Fred’s with my friend Erin, who is now at Volvo and with whom I have worked on influencer programs for the last eight years. We just came off a great campaign with Aimee Song and Instagram, where she beta tested their “paid sponsorship” feature. We are talking fall launches and talent partners over chopped salads and burrata.
1:30 p.m.: I have to get back to the office, but I stop by the John Giorno show at the Red Bull gallery first. It’s a brilliant installation spread out across a dozen spaces in New York City and I have now officially seen them all. I couldn’t stay long, though — I’m on deadline for an Advertising Week conference I’m pulling together focused on influencers creating products and driving sales.
3:00 p.m.: I take a call with Hilary Williams, our senior director of talent management, who’s in our L.A. office. We’re going over some new talent on our radar and a hair deal for one of her clients. She also just got married so I have to hear about the wedding, of course.
3:30 p.m.: I grab a vanilla almond milk from Pressed Juicery to drink as I review our year-to-date revenue reports. It’s like dessert!
4:15 p.m.: Time for a meeting with Hearst at the office. I haven’t met their head of influencer partnerships before and she is so lovely — just great energy and passion for the space.
5:00 p.m.: We have an internal meeting about the DBA Instagram Story strategy and decide we want to include Proust-style questionnaires with our talent going forward. I love a good Proust dialogue.
5:30 p.m.: I catch up on my email. Nothing makes me more insane than not getting back to people quickly — it’s like a disease.
7:30 p.m.: Dinner is at Sushi Seki with the L’Oréal team and Aimee Song, who is in town. We sit at one of the floor tables in the back, which I love. Their tuna sashimi over tofu, salmon over sautéed tomato, and red snapper with sea salt are the best things that ever happened to my taste buds.
9:00 p.m.: This is late for me, believe it or not. I walk home (in six-inch platforms) to get some air and time to decompress.
9:30 p.m.: I take a hot bath with fresh rose petals, rosemary sprigs essential oil and Epsom salt. It’s a remedy I was given by Mama Medicine, who is this amazing healer in Soho.
10:45 p.m.: I read “In a Dark, Dark Wood” by Ruth Ware in bed, it’s for the DBA book club we started, but I can’t keep my eyes open for that long.