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Erin Weinger – Style Editor, THR.com

The hubbub of Oscar season is now over. With the red carpet rolled up and shoved into storage somewhere, the frenzy of Hollywood fashion coverage has simmered down. But few eyes in SoCal have turned away from the fashion industry. In fact, a new pair of eyes has joined The Hollywood Reporter‘s site THR.com, eager to spot the newest trends in an industry of constant reinvention. Whether covering the finest fashion DOs or the most horrific fashion DON’Ts, Erin Weinger is ready to dish as THR.com’s new style editor.

Weinger is delighted to be writing again. Joining in February, this new position is a departure from her last as a digital content director for Kelly Wearstler. And she welcomes the change.

“In my last position, I headed up social media strategy for designer Kelly Wearstler, and while it was an amazing learning experience where I was able to accomplish so much growth, I wasn’t writing,” she said.

“I’m so excited to be writing again,” she continued. “And having conversations with interesting subjects, … planning coverage, … brainstorming feature ideas, … helping the business team with marketing tie-ins, … developing content share partnerships, … growing our traffic. I’m even excited for the little convenience store that sells organic juice in my office lobby. There isn’t much in that building I’m not excited for.”

While she’s looking forward to writing again, she admits that the heightened visibility may take some getting used to.

“In my last role, I was essentially an anonymous force delivering someone else’s message through social media. And now, my name is attached to every single thing I do. And for a crazy perfectionist Virgo like myself, that can be a bit nerve-racking.”

Entering her new role with gusto, Weinger is certainly thrilled to tackle her myriad of new responsibilities. She is equally thrilled about the opportunity to work for a publication she respects.

“The company is incredibly innovative and working toward making major strides with mobile and on the Web,” she said. “I feel very lucky that I get to be part of that.”

Weinger found her first full-time journalism job at the Los Angeles Times in 2007 – an age before terms like “mobile” and “Web” assumed complete domination over industry discourse. She credits this position as one of the most influential in her career, stating that journalism jobs “don’t come more boot-campy than that.”

Weinger notes that when she started at Los Angeles Times, “Twitter didn’t exist.” But now, she looks to the social networking hive as an integral professional tool. Twitter, along with Instagram and other various social platforms are now vital for keeping tabs on the fashion world.

“I use HootSuite to keep up on my Twitter streams, subscribe to e-mail newsletters of sites I reliably get news from, read aggregation blogs and am kind of obsessed with using Instagram for emerging trend spotting,” she said. “Especially in the world of fashion and style, so many creative people are so amazing at documenting the things that comprise their daily lives — whether it be some amazing new nail art they just got at a not-yet-open salon, backstage at a concert where an emerging stylist designed custom costumes or a visit to a restaurant that even critics haven’t yet heard of.”

While perusing the infinitum of social media for news and ideas, she bears in mind certain criteria for potential stories. She tends to prefer stories that strike a balance between novelty, idiosyncrasy and broader relevance.

“I love stories that make me dig and allow me to truly find out undiscovered information,” she said. “So anything under the radar is what I tend to gravitate towards. It also has to be timely and have a news hook, and feel like something that isn’t only interesting to me, but something readers can benefit from as well.”

So, if you’re looking for a unique perspective of the fashion industry – or ways upgrade your personal style from tragic to positively fab – follow Weinger’s work at THR.com.


Pitching Tips

Email is the best way to reach Weinger. If submitting a pitch, make sure to clearly state the “Who, What, When, Wear and Why.” She appreciates publicists who have tried and would actually use the product they’re pitching.

She prefers working with PR folks who can answer standard questions about a product without having to confer with their client.

Regarding any pet peeves, she says. “I always ignore generic STORY IDEA: TOOTHPASTE TRENDS type pitches. It’s my job to come up with my own story ideas, and quite frankly the source of a lot of my fun. Also, my publication doesn’t write about toothpaste.”

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