Daniilidis Gresy‘s career begins as a hobby while still studying in high school, before enrolling in university. The world of fashion has always been her passion and it has remained unchanged over time, even if she had to modeled it to give it a new and intuitive shape. Daniilidis Gresy is a true digital native who began her journey in 2009 by sharing pictures of her looks to find her way on the web. At that time, however, the dynamics were completely different; social networks, as we know them today, did not exist yet. We contacted her to ask her to her story and to focus on the concept of influencer, which must never be a manipulator.
What was it like being one of the first influencers to launch into the world of the web?
Daniilidis Gresy: «In 2009 the dynamics were totally different. Many of the social networks that we use today did not exist and Facebook was seen simply as a platform to stay in touch with friends. The platforms through which I could express myself were limited, nevertheless the digital world has always fascinated me. I created my first blog telling my way of thinking and living fashion. In 2009 these realities were very few, entering the world of fashion through digital was an innovative concept and also little exploited.
Shortly after turning 18, I found myself on Television talking about the newborn phenomenon of blogs and bloggers and how these could be a new channel for communicating to a younger target audience. This hobby, which then became a real job, immediately allowed me to interface with many companies. One of the first to get involved was an Italian high jewelery company that wanted to enter the world of digital storytelling. It was an absolute novelty, and my job consists in following companies in the digitization of their communication.
I started by telling myself and telling my experiences with the companies for which I worked and this activity has turned into a real consultancy. My blog has become a container in which to insert and tell my adventures. However, with the passage of time the digital world has changed further, and my approach has become more and more relevant and my blog has become a digital and creative consulting boutique company».
Is it difficult to stay up to date? Are you scared of having younger competitors?
Daniilidis Gresy: «I read a lot and spend a lot of time online, what scares me the most is to see that the average age of the digital audience is getting lower and lower. I approached this world at 17, I had a different kind of awareness than a 12/13 year old teenager who risks sharing anything, without worrying about the consequences. The social aspects of all of this scares me more than the professional ones.
Furthermore, not all platforms are suitable for every type of content or company, it depends on the target audience and message. Once you have learned how to use the new platforms, which tend to be quite intuitive, you can take advantage of the strengths of each based on the requests of companies. I help them in the digitization process but each message must be studied according to the channel through which they want to communicate it. Tik Tok, for example, has an extremely young audience, it’s not a platform that I recommend to all companies.
I’m not just talking about the audience, but also about how it conveys the message. I work with companies that operate mainly in the luxury industry, and new platforms are not always suitable for them. One of the latest, Clubhouse, for example, has an older target audience and is interesting for conveying important debates or concerts with leaders in the sector.
New challenges don’t scare me. They are stimulating.
What about Social education at school?
Daniilidis Gresy: «Yes. Teaching young people to distinguish the types of content to which they are exposed to and how to communicate themselves from early adolescence has become crucial, it is a really complicated period. I have never published anything about my private life. The world of fashion has always fascinated me, I dedicated myself to it and talked about it. Now this type of communication is penalized, the writing of long articles has become obsolete and we no longer focus on certain topics as we did before. The message to be communicated must be immediate, the user’s attention lasts a few seconds. This sense of speed is often underestimated by teenagers who believe that people will quickly forget about the things they publish.
This may be true, but it must always be remembered that once published a content can potentially stay online forever. Anyone can use our content, it is risky. Digital education is essential, especially for young people, they need to be taught the responsibility and risks to which each individual is exposed every day».
Would you like to teach it?
Daniilidis Gresy: «I’ve never thought about it but it would be very interesting, adolescence is a tremendously difficult moment in life and family education is not enough. However this is an issue that also embraces the world of adults, they too need to deepen the issues related to social networks. Problems increase with the awareness of the power these channels can have. One of the most common problems is that of Cyberbullying which can have very serious consequences. The input to become more responsible must come from different sources, the school, the family and also the platforms that should place limits on users».
We found ourselves in a particular situation… what was the role of social media?
Daniilidis Gresy: «We have all returned to the essence of our life. And social networks, conceived to connect distant people, have returned to perform their primary function: enabling people to stay in touch with each other. They play an important role in the spread of messages, even those coming from public figures who are not involved in politics but who wanted to express both political and social concepts. We often forget that, you don’t need to have a million followers to influence other people, the truth is that each one of us can be an influencer if he/she has something valuable to say to his/her community or friends.
The problem is that the word influencer has taken on a negative meaning, as it has been abused and associated too often with the wrong people. Last year almost everyone tried to send a message of hope and closeness. But we should always remember that Influencing is not manipulating. 2020 was marked by a return to simpler values that we used to forget, such as kindness and fraternity. This was fundamental to feel close and communicate, to positively influence the people around us virtually.
Each person has escaped a little from his/her definition or from the label that someone had imposed on him/her. Singers, movie stars and professionals of all kinds have been fighting for social issues through social media, promoting political messages and strengthening campaigns. In the distance strength was born.
Anyone can make a difference. Just share a strong message. Anyone who has a voice today has the chance to spread it thanks to a virtual profile».
How can a brand change its communication?
Daniilidis Gresy: «It depends on the bran and on its level of digitization, each company is a world unto itself. My company deals with 360° corporate digitalization: creative, communicative and visual strategy. Images and messages are studied in detail or tailor-made. We identify the company positioning and study the needs of the company in order to explode its potential through web and social media services. Creating the corporate identity and communicating the values and strengths of each company is the most beautiful challenge of any project».
Which is the most common communication error?
Daniilidis Gresy: «Not effectively communicating its competitive advantage. For example, I worked with a company with a very important heritage, it had conceived a product which was copied all over the world. However, the company had not managed to point out the primacy and originality of the idea. We have conveyed the communication in order to stress this aspect. Companies are not always able to recognize some details which, if properly communicated, can become the key to their success».
Do you travel a lot for work?
Daniilidis Gresy: «In January and February I stayed in the United States for two months. I should have stayed a couple of weeks just for please, but I stayed two months for work instead. I was about to launch my latest project and being there’d been very helpful. The USA always gives me very interesting stimuli and ideas».
The difference between these two types of travel is very subtle…
Daniilidis Gresy: «Obviously they are always interconnected. Sometimes I travel just for work, and I have to follow a very strict schedule. These travels are more intense, while following a schedule and attending appointments you must also capture and publish online the beauty of each moment, conveying each content with an effective message. However, even when I travel out of pleasure I find myself wanting to share what I experience. This is something that we are all used to doing, but for me it’s part of my job. Working with social media means involving the community and, therefore, I find myself being online all the time.
This was an aspect that I didn’t pay much attention to, until the day I left for Costa Rica without telling anyone. Nobody knew where I was and I didn’t feel that sense of duty and responsibility towards my community. For the first time I was away from the phone, without feeling the need to show the wonderful places I was visiting. I was on vacation for the first time».
What do you take with you when you travel?
Daniilidis Gresy: «One of my talents is to be able to travel with a trolley and a bag, without any luggage. A trolley, a bag and a shoulder bag or clutch bag where I keep important documents. Obviously, my laptop, bottled water, disinfectant (which I’ve always used) cannot be missing. Finally, there is the agenda, I need to write the notes down to remember things better, and a mini beauty. Ah let’s not forget the camera and a scarf that I always carry with me.»
Have you ever bought something strange?
Daniilidis Gresy: «More than buying, I let myself be influenced by what I see and experience. An awareness that influences me in everyday life. However, there is an item I bought that I always carry around like a Linus cover. A necklace with a small Buddha charm that I bought in a Tibetan shop (in London, laughs). The moment I bought it I received great news and from that moment it acquired a positive energy that I always want to carry with me».
The journey that has marked you the most
Daniilidis Gresy: «One of my favorites is certainly the one to Asia which took place seven years ago. I went there because I had became really passionate about Asian culture after studying Chinese at university for a couple of years. It was very intense but it was one of the most beautiful trips I made, I carry it in my heart».
Last question, what do you think about the second hand luxury issue?
Daniilidis Gresy: «I think it is the result of many aspects that really important at the moment. Covid then gave a visual opening on many issues that used to be considered less important, or perhaps our life was too fast to notice them. The environmental problem is at the top of the list.
We must realize that expressing a message, and talk about a problem, is no longer enough. Fashion’s terrible effects on the environment are now public, and they are frightening. What we have left is to act, and quickly, to slow down the damage we are doing to the planet.
In my own small way, I founded Clé du Caveau, a platform where you can sell and buy pre-loved, second-hand luxury goods. It is essential to reveal the data of an industry that pollutes the air we breathe every day. The biggest mistake that each of us tends to make is believing that there is always someone else who will take care of it, in our small way we can all produce a positive impact. And this is the time to do it».