Meet the influencers captivating us this season, and the behind-the-scenes talents orchestrating their success from all angles.
At top agency Socialyte, founder Beca (Alexander) helms the NYC HQ, while Becca (Bahrke) leads the LA office. Ahead, the Bec(c)as break down some key contrasts between business and pleasure on the two coasts.
How did Becca, and a West Coast office, enter the picture?
Becca: I started my career on the brand side at Shopbop and DL1961, and fell in love with booking talent for photoshoots, so I moved to The Wall Group/IMG representing hair stylists, clothing stylists, and makeup artists. I wanted a career where I could work on projects like red carpet season and brand partnership deals all the time, so I researched the influencer world, and found Socialyte.
Beca: When Becca came in to interview, I remember thinking, I can’t hire another Rebecca, it’s going to be way too confusing. But she had such positive energy, and so much drive, I could tell she was motivated to succeed and I wasn’t going to let our names stand in her way. I’ve always known we were going to need a West Coast presence. When I first started the agency, I managed three bloggers, one was in NYC, one in San Fran, and one in LA. The West Coast dominated even back then. A few years ago, we finally took the leap. Becca was our second hire and was relocating from NYC; she now has a team of 14 in our L.A. office.
How did you each land on your respective name spellings?
Beca: When I first moved to NYC for school, I decided I needed a fully new identity to go with my new self that I was planning on discovering. My Hebrew name is Rebecca, and my middle name is Alexander, my father’s first name. I won’t reveal my ‘real’ name back then, as it’s long gone, but I started using Rebecca Alexander and it just stuck; I legally changed it about two years later. The digital age was just beginning and I needed an email address, a domain, and a Facebook account in order to solidify my identity. Unfortunately, Rebecca Alexander was quite common and was taken across the webs. I tried all possible nicknames and spellings, Becca, Becky, Becka, Becki. I still introduce myself as Rebecca, especially in professional situations; otherwise I have to say ‘Beca with one c’ and that’s just weird.
Becca: I’ve gone by Becca my whole life. I didn’t even know my legal name was Rebecca until sometime in grade school. We definitely get a lot of people who mix us up or misspell our names when talking to us, and take that heavily into consideration when interviewing prospective employees or talent.
How does the fashion influencer scene differ between NYC and L.A.?
Becca: NYC events to have a much better influencer turn out, because people there are more likely to do something on a weeknight; I feel like we’re homebodies in L.A. Simply how big L.A. is, is an issue because if a brand is hosting an event in Venice, an influencer is likely to consider going only if an Uber code is provided, they’re working for the brand, or they’re dying to make a connection. If you have the wrong location for your event in L.A., it can really ruin all the work you put towards it. There are also vast differences in the types of talent in L.A. vs. NYC. I’m not sure if [it’s] because L.A. has always been the land of dreamers and talent with non-traditional career paths, but a lot of fashion bloggers in L.A. are multifaceted talent, or started as models or actors.
Any L.A. influencer trends that haven’t yet arrived in NYC?
Becca: In L.A. there’s pressure to have the nicest car, the biggest house with the most amazing amenities, definitely aspects talent in L.A. will feature heavily on their pages. You don’t see this in NYC in the same way. Think Kylie Jenner in front of her 10 Bentley’s: that’s what a lot of talent in L.A. aims for.
Beca: You know how everyone in NY has had a nose job? I’ve had two, so I’m not judging. In L.A., everyone has had everything else. The talent here are more physically ‘edited’ as this is the mecca of cosmetic enhancements.
How often are you in the same place?
Beca: I make Becca come to New York as often as possible. When I’m in L.A., I make her go with me to my fave jewelry spot, XIV Karats. We always joke about getting tattoos, but that’s only after getting tats together at Coachella a few years ago. There’s been a few hikes on Runyon and of course the necessary but overpriced delivery of Sugarfish for lunch at the office.
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