Giving the Next Generation Knowledge to Lead With | Dani Concepcion
Dani Concepcion has lived in the world of “cool” vs. “uncool” for a while now. With a passion for all things fashion-related and a dire need for hands-on experience, she cut her education at FIT two years short in order to hit the ground running. Dani went from being a Men’s Buyer for Karmaloop at the beginning of the streetwear wave, to tackling the “beast” that is mall retail while working in Special Projects for PACSUN, to applying her creative skills in digital marketing and advertising at Intertrend Creative Agency.
“In no way, shape or form am I saying that you don’t have to go to school,” Dani warns us. “But for me, it just wasn’t how I was going to be able to learn.” Dani attributes her success to her intense drive and obsession with real-world application from a young age. Dani has since remained committed to being a part of game-changing companies looking to ignite the spark of not only the Millennial generation but future generations to come.
One of these companies is MAEKAN, a digital media platform that goes beyond click bait to bring meaningful news to both readers and listeners. “MAEKAN is where you go if you really need to know more than what the world is giving you,” says Dani. “For most of the general population, you have your Huffington Post, your Buzzfeed, your HYPEBEAST; but at the end of the day, what knowledge did you really gain? You only gained what Tom, Dick, and Harry have because that’s what everyone is reading.”
“There’s this new revolution of young people who don’t just want to follow anymore, they want to lead. And unless you give them something to leave with, it’s just falling on deaf ears."
Dani, alongside co-founders Eugene Kan and Alex Maeland, hopes to reach -- and create -- an audience that wants to dig deeper. “The mantra is stories for the curious. It’s invoking that curiosity that you probably didn’t even think you had until it was placed on your lap,” Dani explains. "I believe that MAEKAN educates you deeper than what the bare minimum is.”
Although working in art, music, and fashion may seem like fun and games, being a gatekeeper of valued information within these industries requires self-assurance. “You have to have confidence because you’re at the forefront. Whatever you say, whatever you think is going to be cool... you have to stand strong with it because everyone’s trusting you,” says Dani. Although she admits that finding confidence within herself isn’t always so simple. “I want to remain confident at all times, but to put up this front that it’s easy juggling a baby, work, and self-esteem? It’s super hard.” But a strong partner who picks up whatever Dani can’t, and the ability to explore her career paths with respect and achievement help Dani to find that confidence.
Whether through fashion or digital media, the most important thing for Dani is to give people something engaging and interesting to think about. ”The way I see it, who wants to listen to their parents or just follow what their parents have learned? It’s all about educating yourself more,” says Dani, who acknowledges the rebellious spirit and knack for seeing through BS that today’s young consumers possess.
“There’s this new revolution of young people who don’t just want to follow anymore, they want to lead. And unless you give them something to leave with, it’s just falling on deaf ears.”
Photos by: Christina Choi