Curated style draws from old school roots to create new media culture hub
Jeff Carvalho has been at the forefront of new media since the Internet’s golden age of staking out the digital frontier. Drawing on a DIY ethos rooted in indie zine culture, Carvalho has combined deft tech skills with a spot-on curatorial sensibility that has placed him above the curve in trend forecasting. He distinguished himself as an early adopter in new media marketing with his first venture, Transcasts. As an on-line aggregator for electronic music created in the pre-broadband era, Transcasts would serve as a portent of things to come.
Carvalho’s flair for imbuing the present with the future has resulted in numerous articles on culture and lifestyle, including a contribution to the book, “101 Innovation Breakthroughs,” by Monitor Innovation. Transcending marketing into experiential discovery, Carvalho continues to shape the way of style as partner of Titelmedia UG; a fashion-forward network of culture magazines.
What were some of your influences growing up and what experiences led up to partnering with Titelmedia UG?
I grew up in the pre-Internet world. My influences all came from what I could discover through print magazines especially zines and the self-publishing DIY community during the late 80’s and early 90’s. Magazines like Maximumrocknroll, The Face, Boing Boing and the zine bible, Factsheet Five, were my gateways into the world outside of Hartford, CT.
Print was my world and one of the rare avenues for discovery. When I landed in Boston for university, the Internet—more specifically, the World Wide Web—had just been developed. I can still remember the first time I saw the Mosaic web browser used by someone in a computer lab. Zines and a legacy web browser passed on to me on a floppy disk were my gateways into new media. From personal music sites to my podcast back in 2005—these experiences and the vision of David Fischer, founder of Titel, got me to where I am today.
Titelmedia is made up of several lifestyle magazines. What do they have in common and what do they each specialize in?
They are all product- and service-centric sites that collect and curate things that are reflective of the point of view of our editors. While the content may not be the same on all sites, we come together in having a certain taste for products, services, and goods.
Highsnobiety is a fashion and lifestyle site catering to readers that are looking for the very latest news in lifestyle culture. That user is both a teenager coming up and quickly discovering his own unique point of view as well as older readers who want to stay informed on the latest trends and goods.
Highsnobette is the sister site of Highsnobiety and caters to the women’s side of the culture.
Selectism is for a more modern man—a gentleman who persues quality over quantity and prefers a premium experience. His tastes range from fashion, furniture, and the arts while looking for the occasional recipe and new sound to listen to.
Rad Collector is focused on the world of action sports.
As the co-editor of Selectism, what key elements do you look for when curating content?
A unique take; a sense of detail with a forward leaning. Everything we share on the site are items and services that our writers are interested in.
In a market that is constantly changing, how do you stay on top of
the latest trends and how does Selectism distinguish itself from other lifestyle sites?
We read more than most. Each writer spends a good deal of time rolling
through news streams including social streams on Facebook and Twitter. While we receive an abundance of email with new products and services, we still heavily rely on our personal channels of reference.
We set ourselves apart by being open and wide in our coverage. Rather than sticking to the trends of the moment, we continue to find the “new” or at the very least re-discovering what needed to be noticed and shared with our users.
What inspires Selectism’s content both on-line and off?
Forward thinking and creative individuals with a unique take on the modern world. Those willing to work hard in order to see change.
Last year, Selectism curated for the third edition of the tradeshow PROJECT 10 in Las Vegas. The curated brands represented the “tailored performance” trend. How would you describe this trend and its popularity? What are some other emerging trends that you’ve begun to notice?
Much of the movement into tailored performance rose from the heritage or work wear movement which looked to the past for inspiration on classic fabrics and cuts. Today, we see a clear move into more modern textiles and our curated brands at PROJECT 10 were right on target with this.
The space still has an enormous amount of space to grow. Technical garments in fashion are only just starting to become part of the current scene. We can only hope that we continue to move forward rather than looking back at the past for inspiration in fashion, music and life. While we respect the past, it is time for us to discover our future and progress.
Jeep Altitude is about edge, strength and innovation. Which of these do you personally identify in your life with and why?
Edge. I love pushing the boundaries of what can be accomplished with technology, print, and music. Especially in music. I am drawn to the sounds that demand your full attention.