Industry vet Aliza Licht’s successful book, Leave Your Mark, gave a generation of wannabe fashion professionals solid advice on how to succeed. Now she’s turning to accomplished pros such as John Demsey and Nicole Lapin to get their stories on how they’ve made their mark in the biz with her new podcast (conveniently titled) Leave Your Mark, which is available to download now. We’ve listened to the first few episodes and love what we heard so we reached out to the former DKNY PR GIRL to find out what’s ahead this season.
The podcast world is very hot right now and very crowded. What differentiates this podcast?
I was itching for a creative project, and the thought of writing a second book didn’t excite me. I wanted something more immediate, where I would also feel more connected to the Leave Your Mark audience. I owe The Daily a huge thank you because it was at the Coterie influencer panel that I moderated for you that I reconnected with Grace Atwood. She asked me to do her podcast, and then asked me why I didn’t have one. I went home that night thinking, “Why don’t I?” and that was it!
Who are some of the guests you have on this season?
I chose my season one lineup based on three criteria: First, each guest had to have real advice to share. Second, they had to be dynamic personalities, and third, they had to be a personal friend. I was very conscious of the type of conversations I wanted to have because my goal is that each episode sounds like you are having coffee with two good friends, and they were spilling all the tea. I think you can feel when people have a connection and I wanted that in every episode. I spoke to everyone from Jill Kargman to Lyn Paolo, Danielle Bernstein (airing this Sunday) to Marjorie Gubelmann.
You kicked off with Bevy Smith. Why did you want to feature her in your first episode?
Bevy was one of the first people I thought of when I decided to do the podcast because she mentors so many people on and offline. Her confidence and the way that she navigates her long career is inspirational. Plus, she’s a media personality, so I knew that her episode and advice would be epic. Bevy was actually the last episode I recorded due to her heavy TV schedule, but when I heard it, I knew it had to be first.
You have John Demsey on a future episode. How did you end up booking him, and what will we learn in the conversation?
I’ve known John since I was an assistant in the accessories closet at Marie Claire in 1996! Our friend Jolene nicknamed him Mac Daddy back in the day, and that’s how we referred to him. He has built an outstanding career and so many brands, and I wanted to share his story because he truly started with no connections and created the world he now lives in.
You have a successful career behind you in fashion PR. Hosting a podcast is closer to being on the other side of the fence as a journalist. Was this something you always wanted to do? What did your career in PR teach you about doing interviews?
In truth, I have always fantasized about being a talk show host. That’s not the career I went after, but hosting a podcast is a second runner up. I fluctuate from a PR mentality to a journalistic one because I’m either crafting the perfect soundbite or asking for it.
What advice do you have for anybody out there looking to start a podcast?
I am incredibly hasty in everything I do. I decided to do a podcast, announced that I was doing it, and then was quite literally Googling, ‘how to do a podcast.’ You need the time to record, but you also need the budget to produce each episode. I naively thought that I could teach myself to edit the audio just like I taught myself to record it, but I don’t have the time it takes to do so. My friend Harper Spero put together this fantastic podcast 101 guide and graciously gave me her producer, Eilise Bonebright. I taught myself the backend technical skills to upload and prepare each file for the RSS feed. It is not easy, and it’s incredibly technical and time-consuming. There was a point where I thought to myself, “I can’t do this,” but then I remembered that famous quote by Nelson Mandela, that “it only seems impossible until it’s done.” I am now very podcast tech savvy!
Who are some dream future guests you’d like to have on the show?
Shonda Rhimes, because her book Year of Yes had a significant impact on me personally.
When will you start working on the next season? How often do you think these will come out?
Season one’s episodes will come out every week for the next 13 weeks. As for season two, is now a good time to say I am looking for sponsors?
You can check out the podcast here!