â€œI knew I had arrived when my Aunt Betty told me she was eating lunch at Bergdorf and overheard someone talking about DailyCandy.â€?
-- Dany Levy
DailyCandy is dedicated to helping you live the sweet life. The editors scour the corners of the U.S. and London to deliver the very best in style, food, fashion, and fun for free via e-mail, video, mobile, and the Web. Want the latest and greatest? Sign up for the e-mail. Need help navigating your city? Visit DailyCandy.com, the one-stop reference for what to do, shop, see, eat, and experience in your city and beyond. Looking to score a deal? Swirl by DailyCandy features apparel and accessories at up to 70 percent off from the up-and-comers and established brands we love. Our latest addition, DailyCandy Deals, supplies readers with exclusive savings at our favorite local businesses. Itâ€™s your life, curated by DailyCandy.
Gives us a little history on your background and how it led to you where you are today.
When did you know you had made it, that you had something with momentum?
I graduated from Brown, where I studied creative writing. I decided I wanted to go into print journalism, so I spent 1994 to 1999 in the print industry. In fact, I learned everything I needed to do DailyCandy working as the assistant to the managing editor of New York magazine. The managing editor makes the trains run on time and is the liaison between advertising and editorial, scheduling, writers’ contracts, etc. Then I started writing and editing. In 1999, I worked on the prototype of Lucky. I hadn’t spent much time on the Internet, and I was kind of late to the game. But I looked at this and I was amazed that there was no lead time. You could see that the peaches at the Union Square market are amazing and post it pronto. Wow. So, I quit Lucky in December of 1999 and sat down to work on DailyCandy in January 2000 and launched on March 6, 2000. It was just me, working from my kitchen table in the West Village.
There really wasn’t a precise moment, but there’s a funny story this reminds me of. My whole family thought I was crazy for leaving Condé Nast and doing this whole Internet thing. But my Aunt Betty, a real Park Avenue lady, said to me one day that she was having lunch at Bergdorf Goodman and the women at the table next to her were talking. And they were talking about DailyCandy. It was like, “I have arrived.”
I talked to some venture capitalists in the process and everyone said that it had been done before. I told them they didn’t get it. I was fascinated by the rest of the world’s fascination with the burgeoning trends of New York City, and the Internet was providing this democratic way for anyone in the globe to have access to that.
Were you ever scared? Oh, yes. But I’m also surprised how I wasn’t scared sometimes. It was almost as if I was possessed by this idea. What’s a key lesson you learned along the way? It’s all about hiring the right people. I made a point of hiring around my weaknesses. Think of these four characteristics of entrepreneurs: hearts, smarts, guts, luck. Which one were you? It was my heart. What was your highest moment? Your lowest?
How were you describing DailyCandy then? One simple thing in your e-mail in-box that told you one thing you needed to do that day. Not too different from today, and that’s something I’m really proud of. It was meant to save people time and keep them plugged in. Not everyone can afford to eat at Mario Batali’s new place, or some other hot, new restaurant, but this kind of knowledge is cultural currency. It’s watercooler conversation. It struck me, having worked in print journalism, that the cost of acquiring a subscriber was pretty damn high compared to the Internet space. I would sometimes get three of the same e-mails — maybe a virus warning, or something fun and cool — from three different people who had no relation to one another. E-mail had a built-in marketing tool, which is that forwarding button. And that’s valuable. We have grown DailyCandy almost entirely through word of mouth. Did you know how you were going to make money with it? I thought it was going to be like a magazine. I was going to write editorial and sell ads. But the first year, I wanted to focus on just creating compelling content. I thought that if I created compelling content, subscriptions will follow, and ads will come. I didn’t worry about selling ads the first year. What was your inspiration? It was something I knew I’d love to have. I liked doing the digging, cutting out pages of magazines and tacking them to my bulletin board. And I knew progressively more people didn’t have time to do that. It seemed like a great filter for people, to know what was going on in their city.
My lowest moment was when I almost went under in late December 2000. I was about to start buying lottery tickets at that point. We were really stretching things, paying invoices on a 60-day schedule. I missed weddings and I missed dinners, but I also realized who my friends were. My highest moment, and I just have to laugh at this, was about two months ago. There was a question on (Jeopardy!) and the answer was DailyCandy. Would you describe yourself as more visionary or execution oriented? Visionary, and I hire execution people. Looking back at childhood, would they have said, “Dany, she’s going to become an entrepreneur”? No. Maybe a writer, as I was always making up stories. I was really the accidental entrepreneur. You can’t just say, “I want to be an entrepreneur.” You have to be taken with an idea. What was a key turning point in DailyCandy’s history and how did you deal with it? Selling a majority stake to Pilot Group (Bob Pittman’s venture group). Working with someone — Pittman — who knew more than I did in certain ways, and who I knew more than in certain ways, made it a perfect fit. Bob had tremendous respect for our vision and helped us take it further than I could ever have imagined. Comcast saw the potential of what we as a team — the DailyCandy staff especially (I cannot give them enough props) — had built. And that’s ultimately the best thing you can hope for from your partners, at any stage of the game. by Anthony Tjan DailyCandy’s Accidental Entrepreneur: An Interview with Dany Levy 8:00 AM Wednesday October 14, 2009 http://blogs.hbr.org/tjan/2009/10/dailycandys-accidental-entrepr.html
Thanks to you for truly helping my little biz...(VH1 is using bonbons in a taping, Surface mag is using bonbons for a shoot this week, Saks is reviewing the feather pieces. —Deborah, Bonbon Oiseau Designs
n . A relationship based solely on pro ximately, such as with your neighbo r.
We received many e-mails in regards to our dresses from people all around country. Many people wanted to know where to buy the dress/price. People also asked about us making wedding dresses. —Laura Mulleave, Rodarte
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Now, children, before we begin, let’s say it together: Stealing music off the Internet is wrong. But — sigh — we can’t help it. The sexy-as-hell iPod we’re seeing everywhere is, well, sexy as hell. No wonder we can’t stop whining, “I want my MP3!”
Looking for the Perfect Beat Where to
Chin up, digital revolutionaries, there is life after Napster. These sites are fighting the power to keep online music trading alive. Coldplay? Nina Simone? Pat Benatar? Check, check, check. Go let your inner DJ out for a spin. Musiccity.com (Morpheus) User-friendly? Yes. Super-organized. The ultimate in easy-to-use. What can I find? Everything from Angie Stone to Fugazi. Word on the street: It’s the best program out there. Tasty treat: You can set preferences to filter all non-audio files. iMesh.com User-friendly? For new but savvy users. What can I find? All things popular. Looking for the new Shakira or Ja Rule joint? Head this way. Tasty treat: Familiar with Napster? Imesh will be a breeze.
The Napster debate triggers a roundup of free music downloads for new-fangled music players called iPods.
AudioGalaxy.com User-friendly? Looks more complicated than it is. What can I find? Lots of love for indie rockers. Good for those early Built to Spill hits and non-album Pennywise tracks. Tasty treat: The program is itty-bitty.
I am a kid !
Blame It on Rio Brazilian Flip-Flops
Every country has its calling cards.
In Italy, it’s pasta and Prada. In France, baguettes and berets. Colombia? Coffee and c — well, you know. In Brazil, they do so many things so well (wink, wink) it’s hard to choose just one or two. Everything just seems cooler, sexier, more Gisele down there. They even do opentoe shoes better. Brazilian company Havaianas makes the cutest rubber sandals. We first spotted the $20 shoes on some model-type chiquitas and found out that the trend emerged after Brazil won the World Cup. They come in Carnaval-esque colors like gold, pink, cyan, green, white, or red and have pine green, white, yellow, or royal blue stripes on the sides of the soles. To complete the look, a tiny Brazilian flag graces one of the straps. So get a pair before the weather changes, or else all you’ll be doing is dreaming of Brazilian beaches.
with Easy Bake Oven recipes
We Wish We Could Take Back
Oh, Blow Me (a blow-dry salon) 2/16/05
Chock Full O Sluts (a confectionery) 1/19/05
Sophie’s Choice (a clothing boutique) 7/30/09
BungGlow 8 (a lightening gel for your, um, use your imagination) 2/5/08
Top Ten Reasons to Wear a Toe Ring (justification for the accessory) 7/18/00
Butt Face A+D Diaper Cream for the Face Severe winter weather has transformed your once-dewy complexion into a chapped nightmare. Dry, flaky, textured like sandpaper. How to break it to you gently? Your face looks like ass. Don’t fight it. Just treat it like one. Nothing soothes water-starved faces like A+D Diaper Rash Cream. (Yes, really. Sometimes salvation comes in the most unlikely forms.) Cortisone may fight flakiness. All those prettily packaged hopes-in-a-jar may smell great. But there’s a tiny miracle in A&D’s magical blend of zinc oxide and aloe. And it costs a mere six bucks. One smear and your skin will be as soft and flawless as — sorry, but we couldn’t resist — a baby’s bottom.
DailyCandy Deals makes its debut. Thank you so much for the e-mail blast about my face looking like ass, because let’s be frank, it did. I sprung into action yesterday and got the damn diaper rash cream. Quite honestly, probably the best $6 I have spent in a long time! (1/6/2005, in response to the discovery that diaper rash cream works as facial moisturizer) Thank you for sending the disaster relief e-mail. It is one of your best and beyond helpful for those of us who feel utterly helpless. I will keep passing this along. (1/3/2005)
I am British, living in New York, and subscribe to your British DailyCandy for a taste of home. Thank you for the dignified response to the London attacks. (7/8/2005)
adj. T he loudness you adopt in response to a bad cellphone connection, in the misguided hope that talking louder will improve the connection.
Shoes, a Love Story Loeffler Randall Fashion cliche No. 243: Women are obsessed with great shoes. Fashion cliche No. 244: Men are obsessed with women in great shoes.
Still. Every cliche has an element of truth, and the ultimate iteration of the man-woman-shoe love triangle may be Loeffler Randall, a gorgeous new shoe collection created by husband-and-wife team Brian Murphy and Jessie Randall. They’re impossibly beautiful. Undeniably cool. And incredibly stylish. (The people as well as the shoes.) But don’t hold that against them. They’re also incredibly qualified: Randall spent years designing for Banana Republic and Katayone Adeli; Murphy is an award-winning art director. They shot the first catalog in their Brooklyn apartment. They even got their dog Romeo to model. The shoes, which we first saw in prototype last fall and have been dying to write about since, are feminine and polished but in no way prissy. (Which means they can go from twinset to hoodie.) And they may look vintage, but there’s nothing old-fashioned about them. Liv and Harriet are snakeskin-embossed pumps. Birgit and Ulla are darling ballet flats. And Elka is the most badass boot of the season. As for Brian and Jessie, well, at this point, we’ve run out of adjectives.
Going bananas The Banana Bunker
l a D
Is that a banana in your pocket, or are you just extra pleased to see your DailyCandy e-mail this morning? Now, now. Your pants are no place for fruit. Neither is your backpack, your briefcase, or your purse. Get yourself a Banana Bunker, the best fruit prophylactic your money can buy.
It was designed by artist/inventor/architect (and, if we can believe his hype, “tremendously creative individual”) Paul Stremple, who used to do spaces for Gucci, Ralph Lauren, and other style powerhouses, but is now focused on keeping your banana free of unwanted nicks and bruises. Just slide the protective sleeve over your banana, and it’s cool to accompany you to work, on a hike, or anywhere else you might be wanting a little pick-me-up. Your banana will emerge fresh, firm, and oh so delicious. Which you certainly can’t say about something that’s spent the day in your pants.
DailyCandy acquires British accent with launch of London, our first international edition
Great Moments in Fact-Checking
DailyCandy Fact Checker: Will the circus ball feature depressed clowns and a retarded fire-eater, r-e-t-a-r-d-e-d? Interviewee: oh, no...retired...
DailyCandy Fact Checker: oh, retired r-e-t-i-r-e-d. not mentally, retarded. Ok we’ll definitely change that. Thanks!
Skimplify v. To reduce the amount of cloth used to cover the body.
Dressed for Success Rodarte Dresses
Fully Developed 3.1 Phillip Lim
Catwalk of shame Morning After Bag by Rebecca Minkoff
2000–2002 Ruben Toledo
2003–2008 Sujean Rim
2009â€“2010 Miss Capricho
Vote, Baby, Vote Election Day 2008
GEORGE WASHINGTON and ABRAHAM LINCOLN stand against a white background: GW: Hi. I’m a Mac. AL: And I’m a PC. GW: Heh, heh. Not really. We’re just making a point about choice. It is Election Day, after all. AL: You make decisions all the time, from your brand of jeans to your home computer. So shouldn’t you choose your leaders — the people who represent your values? That’s what voting is for, and it’s a blast! GW: Plus, these days, it’s so easy. AL: Back in my time, we had to walk four score and seven miles in the snow just to get to the nearest polling place. GW: (rolling his eyes) I guess that makes one of us who cannot tell a lie. AL: Point is, if everyone votes today, it could change the outcome of the next election. History might have been different if more had stepped up to the polls. Heck, Michael Dukakis might’ve been elected! GW: Let’s not get carried away. AL: So take it from your forefathers: Get to your polling center today. Because voting is even cooler than iPhones. GW: Whatever those are.
The DailyCandy reader is affluent, erudite, a keen observer of culture and a ready buyer of books. We always see an immediate sales response when they feature our books on the site. The most recent example of this: Allison Pearson's I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT. On the day they shared news of this book with their member community, it rose immediately to number three at Amazon.Com. In addition, media gatekeepers who mine the site for topics began calling us about the novel, and we were able to parlay their interest into public relations opportunities.—Paul Bogaards, Knopf
I wanted to tell you that, as a result of your listing us, we received requests to do pieces on this show from the London Times, Black & White Magazine (Australia), the Sundance Channel, and tons of emails and calls from people who plan to come and visit the exhibition. I thought you would also like to know that CNN News Night with Aaron Brown aired a 4-minute piece on this exhibition this past Wednesday night … Apparently Daily Candy is more powerful than CNN.—Ariel Meyerowitz. Ariel Meyerowitz Galler
The launch of our second book: Words That Don’t Exist But Should
Women everywhere have conversations about
Sweetest Things 2007-2009 If we threw a year’s worth of ideas at you and asked you to pick your favorites, you’d undoubtedly experience sensory overload. So to make it easy, we’ve broken it down into categories (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) that correspond to the senses.
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Where a lesser entrepreneur would have long ago cashed in with DailyCandy bath gel, a DailyCandy yoga mat, hell, DailyCandy candy, Levy has stayed almost fanatically true to That Thing She Does.– New York Mag
The launch of our Fashion Week blog, the DailyCandy Dossier.
On a given day, your in-box may steer you toward a tote made of discar ded sails, coo over a spa, or gush about a hotel in Udaipur. But the story is always you.– New York Mag
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What was your first big media mention?
LaQuan Smith Clothing Barely Legal Online - February 05, 2010
July 2010, Madison Magazine
When you turned 21 … Well, you don’t remember turning 21. (Shots of Aristocrat will do that.) When LaQuan Smith turned 21, he was dressing Lady Gaga and Rihanna and creating a stunning, ocean-inspired collection for New York Fashion Week. No big. The Queens-based women’s wear wunderkind in today’s video is the ultimate follow-your-dreams success story: He taught himself to sew on his grandma’s machine, made his own designs, showed up uninvited to fashion parties, introduced himself to the right people, and voila.
August: The launch of DailyCandy’s Fashion Week preview (we play fly on the wall as nine indie designers sketch, dress, and kvetch their way to the runway
Maybe you’ve seen him around town. He’s the one in sequins and six-inch heels. He’s so hot Kanye once stopped him to approve, “I like your style.” We’d have to agree.
The first was in November 2001 on DailyCandy.com— I still have a printout of it. Ray and Bob both have it framed! We had no idea that we were going to be their pick of the day, and they called us the “editors of what’s cool.” A lot of the department stores will carry the entire line by a designer—but we were very selective in our picks, and that was acknowledged by DailyCandy, and we felt really good about that. They wrote, “shopbop has all the big names and they picked out the best styles from these brands.” Because our website was posted on a shared server, our host site brought the website down because we were getting too much traffic—it became a big problem that day—but it opened shopbop to a huge new customer base. So that was a big mention. – Martha Michelson, co-founder of shopbop.com November 2009, New York Mag
DailyCandy unveils its First app
“There have been moments that give you a giddy pride: Beyonce wearing it, DailyCandy’s post crashing our site. We’ve been really lucky, there’s never been a down moment.” -- Danielle Snyder, Dannijo Jewelry co-founder
Announcing DailyCandy's Start Small, Go Big Contest Winners
NDY ACA A C D Y L
It’s not easy to choose one bright idea over another, but DailyCandy readers have done it. Every day for the past twenty, you’ve voted to select three final winners from the thousands of creative entrepreneurs who entered our Start Small, Go Big Contest. R
Each of the savvy, scrappy businesses below (all of which — yay! — just so happen to be run by women under 30) will receive $10,000 and a trip to NYC to attend DailyCandy Academy, where icons of Fashion, Food and Film will help them get to the next level.
We can’t wait to meet these bright lights in the big city, and to say we knew them when.
Since losing their day jobs last year, Boston-based duo Leigh Foster and Rachel Marshall have been working eighteen-hour days to create their pillowy, farmers market-driven pastas. The contest prize couldn’t have come at a better time: When we called to tell them they’d won, their ravioli machine had just broken. After a few bites of Nella’s ultra-fresh pastas (roasted beet linguine; fresh corn, caramelized onion, and thyme ravioli), we knew they’d be coming soon to a table near you.
Houston, Texas, native Vi Hoang has been sketching since high school and made the leap two years ago to move to Manhattan, study at FIT, and start her own line. The 28-year-old’s streamlined, feminine cocktail dresses gained a small-but-loyal following once she launched her website. A one-woman show, from the pattern making to sewing by hand, she’s been scrambling to fill orders ever since.
When reading through 27-year-olds Colleen Reilly and Stephania Stanley’s application, our editors were thoroughly charmed. Self-proclaimed “expert idea generators and friend gatherers,” the pals have been holding Thursday-night dinners and crafting parties with girlfriends since their college days in Indiana. Their goal: to make getting together and connecting easy for women everywhere. With recipes and party ideas for everything from cozy winter evenings to postbreakup cheer-up sessions, their website and book proposal brim with approachable ideas and personality.
a e s fu e r ’t n a c l ir w S t a The buyers good deal. Since the launch, they’ve had their fair share of indulgent purchases and impulsive buys.
Ray Ban aviators Leigh & Luca scarf
Earnest Sewn skinny jeans
Mara Hoffman maxi dress Equipment Theodore blouse
Rebecca Minkoff MAB
“We’re in good company with the other designers featured on Swirl. I respect everyone they carry. The Swirl team picks clean product and that’s our girl.” –Whitney Pozgay, Designer
Dear Creatures sailor romper
“Swirl has tremendous respect for each brand’s designer’s input during the selection and styling process; their willingness to collaborate enables our line to be more cohesive in its presentation. Also, Swirl’s online atmosphere is much more intimate and personal than other sites, which we feel bridges the gap between shopping in a friendly physical environment, and the distant feel of the online world.” –Nadia Lee, Designer for Adia Kibur
Dolce Vita boots
“Swirl is different than what else is being offered in the sample sale world right now. Key to the equation for us — they’ve maintained the DailyCandy aesthetic throughout so it feels much more editorially driven than some other sites.” –Abigale Levinson, AKA New York
American Apparel tee
Loeffler Randall jumpsuit
Lia Molly sweater jackets
“Swirl has a truly original take on styling our product. Not only is it the most modern, they offer an entirely different fun and interesting look by mixing pieces and accessories you wouldn’t normally see on other sites of its kind. One of the key benefits of working with Swirl? Their huge customer base via DailyCandy, of course!” –Amber Wiedholz, Rogan & Loomstate
Society for Rational Dress SRFD tee Shae cardigan sweaters
“We chose Swirl because it is an ideal fit for our brand. Not to mention, Susann (Luca) and I have been DailyCandy subscribers for over five years and were honored to be one of the first brands to be featured on Swirl.” –Gillian Leigh, Leigh & Luca
So what will the DailyCandy world look like ten whole years from now? There will be new editorial positions, like associate replicant editor of intergalactic SEO and sub-level II director of telepathic social media and preternatural product development. DailyCandy will be headquartered in a social cyborgmaintained network where individual pods divide employees via creative force fields, suspended touch-screen admin systems, and fluorescent lighting. DailyCandy launches a 24-hour satellite channel of food, fashion, and fun. We host virtual happy hours, where employees go home to drink and share the experience via automated, taste bud-integrated social networking. DC-3D We introduce a few new editions: Portland, Austin, St. Louis. And our first intergalactic launch: Mars. Siesta lunches (favored by our European counterparts) finally make their way to DC headquarters. DailyCandy arrives as a free, daily hologram delivered to your in-box. Conference calls are replaced by hologram videos. Counfoundingly, we still canâ€™t hear anyone.
Another publicist puts it more bluntly: “Look. You don’t want to get on the wrong side of the DailyCandy girls,” she says, after being assured that she won’t be named. “They’re perfectly nice. But they like to get their way.”
- L.A. Times, August 2008