Phil Corin: Welcome back to Transition of Style. I’m your host, Phil, aka Corrine, now going by Phil Corin. And I wanted to start off by thanking everyone for tuning in today. As you probably know, we haven’t done the podcast for a while. We haven’t been on air since December, 2020. That pandemic did a lot. It did a lot.
Phil Corin: And so today I’m back because though, we’ve been sort of dormant and the podcast has been not really putting out episodes since then. The good news is that we’re coming back. We’re coming back. We’re bringing the podcast back. I am here today to talk about that. I wanna start off by saying, though, that the podcast has always been a passion project of mine.
Phil Corin: I love the topic. I love talking to the queer community. I love centering queer stories and talking about personal style and gender identity. I did not stop doing the podcast because I fell out of love with that topic. I stopped doing it just because life interceded and things happen, as you know.
Phil Corin: So today what I want to talk about is, we are bringing the podcast back and I’m super excited. There’s gonna be a new host, there’s gonna be a new format, there’s gonna be a lot of wonderful, exciting things that I wanna talk about. And before I go any further, I wanna introduce you to our new host.
Phil Corin: So the host of the podcast is no longer gonna be me, it’s now gonna be Rocio Sanchez. Rocio is a multilingual brand strategist and multicultural digital marketing expert who helps queer entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color take up space in their industries, from fashion and beyond. Rocio and I entered each other’s orbits through like a mutual friend, I think.
Phil Corin: I think that friend knew that we had lots to talk about and even though we were sort of playing in the same space, we were playing in that space in different ways. And when Rocio came to me and mentioned that they wanted to take over the podcast.
Phil Corin: I could not think of a better host to pass the mantle to than Rocio. So without further ado, let me introduce you to Rocio Sanchez. Rocio, what’s going on?
Rocio Sanchez: Thanks so much for that awesome introduction. It’s honestly great to see how far we’ve come since when we first spoke, I think was at the end of 2021. And it took a long time coming for me to kind of come into my own about who I am, what am I doing with my business. As you mentioned, [I’m a] queer digital marketer helping other queer folks and other entrepreneurs of color do their thing in business.
Rocio Sanchez: Fashion was always kind of in my orbit. I grew up in New York City. I grew up assigned woman by the world. And I kind of just had fun with that for a long time. And that was always what was expected of me as well as a Latina growing up. And eventually just fashion was just always there.
Rocio Sanchez: My first work experiences were in fashion. My first internship was in a fashion showroom at age 16 before I even graduated high school. I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology. Fashion was always kind of there in my life and I always sought out to keep it there in my life. But, you know, downside to that is that, well, it’s not really a downside, it’s just, it’s the truth of the fashion industry is that it’s like notoriously hard to break into for anybody.
Rocio Sanchez: As I grew up and as I started to come into my own, find my own personal style, it just became increasingly clear to me how many stories there were about, you know, a one person doing the thing, one trans person on the cover, this one person over here. And it just seems more like kind of anecdotal here and there, here and there.
Rocio Sanchez: And there are stories that really honor the fact that like queer folks have been around and, really, influencing the fashion industry for a while. A great example that I always bring up is Pose on FX, right? So that’s a show about the eighties and nineties ballroom culture in New York City. Talking about trans folks of color, black trans folks, and how they really like, they did their own thing and they made their own lives and they influenced, you know, the fashion industry and beyond.
Rocio Sanchez: These stories are the kinds of stories that I really, really get drawn to. The, the stories that honor the fact that queer folks have been influencing the fashion industry for a while. And not only that, they are doing it now. They are doing it now. So you might think, you know, somebody who has like a gender free, you know, sustainable brand is just doing their gender free sustainable thing. But, I always think in 10 years from now and 20 years from now, who are we going to be speaking about?
Rocio Sanchez: Who are the people who are really paving the way that we’re gonna be studying, that we’re gonna be talking about? So for me it’s very, it’s also just like historical. It’s about how far our, community has come. So my background just growing up in New York kind of brought me to this moment.
Phil Corin: I think that’s incredible. You know, I would love for you to, if you can, talk a little bit about what’s gonna be different on the podcast. What’s the theme? How is the theme changed and what do you think is gonna be different doing that. What are people going to expect to hear when they listen to the podcast?
Rocio Sanchez: So we have great people coming on for this season. Just a couple of examples, like we have people who are CEOs and designers of brands that are both up and coming and established, and they’re out there and people are talking about them. We also have TikTok influencers, we have Instagram influencers, people who are all over social media. We have people who like represent others like leaders of companies that represent models, LGBT models. And we have just anybody who’s like in the industry, in the fashion industry in one way or another, doing their thing and opening doors for others. folks and, and LGBT folks of color.
Rocio Sanchez: And that to me is just the crux of what I wanna, again, seek out. And on top of that, the themes that we’ll be going over is like, how did they come about the idea, the big idea of, problem solution. What’s the problem that they saw? And it usually was something personal, right?
Rocio Sanchez: I wanted this, they didn’t have it, so I’m doing it and other people want it. And that it like relates to the LGBT experience, the gender identity experience, that kind of fluid experience, that can happen for many people. And then that leads into the more business aspect of it, right?
Rocio Sanchez: Which is, okay, there was a problem and a solution and how are you going about doing it? What are your operations like, your logistics, your manufacturing. Or, of course. And then my favorite topic, because I do it and I know a lot about it, which is marketing. How do you market your thing?
Rocio Sanchez: How are you communicating to your audience? Why is your audience relating to it? These episodes are going to be short, so we can’t talk about anything and everything. But, we talk about like what is really at the forefront of the guest’s mind in that moment and highlighting, what are their current business challenges? What are their personal challenges as it relates to what they wanna do with their business?
Rocio Sanchez: And finally, one thing that brings it all together is that I wanna bring a case study at the end of every episode where I’ve talked to the, person that represents that company or that kind of personality, that personal brand.
Rocio Sanchez: And I break it down and I say, Hey, here are three actionable steps that people can take. How is this person showing up on Instagram and what can you learn about it? How is this person using SEO, search engine optimization, to their advantage? How is this person building community on Facebook, for example?
Rocio Sanchez: And it’s just nuggets of knowledge that anybody could take because the people who I’m interviewing are the people that I want to listen, right? So other entrepreneurs, other people who are doing their thing and wondering, wait, is there a space for me? And the truth is that yes there is, in the fashion industry, we’re making it.
Rocio Sanchez: The people who are in this podcast, we are the people who are making that space. And there are many other people who are not on this podcast that have already done the work, who are doing the work, who will do the work. We’re just putting a spotlight on it. And finally, the LGBT folks are not going to be a footnote in the history of fashion.
Rocio Sanchez: We are here and we’ve been here, not at the footnote, we’ve been in the title, the subtitle. You know, we’ve been there, at the forefront for a long time.
Phil Corin: Yeah, I think it’s amazing. I wanna know, it sounds like you have brought more of a, obviously a business focus to the podcast. And let me see if I can pick your brain about why that is, because obviously there are more and more queer businesses being formed all the time. And when I was doing the podcast originally, it really was, you know, it’s like, it’s kind of what you said, like, I mean, I, we’ve mentioned this many time on the, on, on many of the episodes.
Phil Corin: It’s like this idea of like, if you don’t see it, you have to build it yourself, right? In order for, to see it in the world. But we were talking to people and individuals who were really trying to understand their identity using clothing a lot of times. And sometimes exploring that identity and trying to like really own it with clothing.
Phil Corin: But now what you’re doing is you’re talking a lot more to like business owners and entrepreneurs. Tell me why that focus has shift in terms of like, why you feel like that is what’s needed now for queer businesses. If you can speak to that.
Rocio Sanchez: I think it does come back to just my experiences growing up; the beginning of my career. I think that everything is related, right? There was a moment when I did come to you and I said, hey, I wanna take over this podcast and I wanna do something different.
Rocio Sanchez: There was a part of me that said, well, you know, Phil’s version was just kind of more on a personal level. But something that I noticed across the board with all the people that you talked about is that a lot of them, not all of them, but a lot of them were in the industry. Like a lot of them were designers, models.
Rocio Sanchez: But it wasn’t like a main focus that business thing. And I was like, well that, that’s already a trend, and we could bring that to the fore. It’s not like it’s, oh, we’re taking something out of left field. Like everybody that we’re talking to, has a career or wants to do something. So that’s why I feel like, it’s not as, out of left field. I just kind of saw a trend that maybe wasn’t in the forefront in the original iteration and I said, oh, let’s bring this back. And then of course, for me it just makes sense because that’s like my every day.
Rocio Sanchez: I’m a digital marketer, I have a digital marketing agency. I really love working with queer entrepreneurs and queer entrepreneurs in fashion. And to be completely honest, at this moment, I don’t have many queer entrepreneurs in fashion in my clientele. Why?
Rocio Sanchez: Because they’re, they’re there. It’s not that there’s few and far between, they’re there. It’s just that they’re so scattered. And I wanted to really dedicate more of what I do professionally to this topic. Something that I also wanted to mention was that I wrote a master’s thesis on queer fashion.
Rocio Sanchez: It opened my world to Chicago, San Francisco, Brighton, Berlin and a lot of other LGBT capitals. And that was an academic take. There’s the academic experience. There’s my lived experience. There’s, you know, the experience of business. So the question is, this could have been, an academic podcast. But no, I was very intentional in choosing, I wanted the business focus because that to me is what I’m surrounded by all the time in my business. And I feel like that is where I feel like I could – because I’m already putting so much energy into business and entrepreneurship and sharing those resources. I wanna share more resources there. I kind of wanna like, get farther with what I’m already doing.
Rocio Sanchez: And then who knows? maybe next time I’ll do like, you know, PhD in it. I don’t know. You know, we have no idea. But that’s why it’s such a focus now.
Rocio Sanchez: Yea,
Phil Corin: Sky’s the limit. I totally understand that. You know, you are from New York, right? You were born in these parts, but that’s not where you are now. And so what I find exciting is the thought that you might be reaching out to queer entrepreneurs that are everywhere, like with an international element.
Phil Corin: Can you speak to that a little bit? I think [it’s] very exciting.
Rocio Sanchez: Yeah, yeah, of course. Yeah. You mentioned that I’m multilingual, I’m multicultural, and that’s something that I’m like really proud of. I grew up in a Dominican household to Dominican parents, and I myself have Dominican citizenship. I grew up between Dominican Republic and New York City.
Rocio Sanchez: I was born in New York City, but again, just already growing up bicultural, that was really formative for me. And then when I was 19, I came out and then I started to have like a long distance relationship with somebody in France. I ditched Japanese and I started to learn French.
Rocio Sanchez: And then eight years later I’m like mostly fluent in French and I graduated FIT and that’s when I decided I’m gonna go to Paris. I’m gonna be with my partner at that time. And it just kind of changed the trajectory of everything because I did my master’s and then COVID happened and then I had this moment of, what am I doing?
Rocio Sanchez: Because, my student visa was gonna expire and I had to figure out how am I gonna stay? And again, circumstance would have it: I met my current girlfriend and I had this moment of, I want to stay. So I have to figure this out, and I don’t wanna go back to school. I’m done with academia.
Rocio Sanchez: So I decided to build my own business and really focus on queer folks and people of color, entrepreneurs of color. Part of what I’ve been building with my business is the fact that yes, I am multicultural. I speak different languages, not just English, Spanish and French, but I’m learning others as well.
Rocio Sanchez: And I just love how people from all over the world just think differently. And right now, to update everyone on where I am right now, I am in Amsterdam. From New York by way of Paris to Amsterdam. And Amsterdam, of course, is another queer friendly city, another LGBT capital of the world.
Rocio Sanchez: And there are nuances there, of course, you know, so a lot of the people that I’ve already spoken to are on the US side, but absolutely there are people in the Netherlands who are doing amazing stuff. There are people in Paris that are doing amazing stuff. And yes, I do want to kind of open up the borders, right?
Rocio Sanchez: But just step by step, let’s see how far we go, because I gotta, get my footing down here, you know? So, but I’m excited about it.
Phil Corin: No, it’s, it’s a really, I, find it a very exciting angle to the podcast and just knowing that you can open it up from, not even from just an audience perspective, but from a guest perspective. That you’re gonna be able to like, just have more, more of the pie in terms of like a global audience for this podcast.
Phil Corin: I think that makes me super excited. And I think that I couldn’t have asked, again, for someone better to come and wanna take it over because you just, you, you just, where you come from and then where you’ve been and what you’re doing, takes it to another level. So it’s like, I wanna say that the mantle is officially passed to you now. You’re gonna do, wonderful things for it.
Phil Corin: I’m super excited. You and I have spoken many times long before we were thinking about doing this, and one of the things I’ve always noticed about you is that you’re so, when you go for something, you throw a lot of passion behind it. And that’s what made me feel like I could hand my baby over to you and be like, oh, baby’s gonna be in good hands.
Rocio Sanchez: Well, I can say that already the people who have signed up and who are talking to me on these podcasts, they’re also equally enthusiastic. They see it, and that’s what I love about doing this work is that, there’s a hurdle that you jump over when you work with other queer folks, other people of color, like they just, you just get it. All the questions that you normally have to answer that, you know, you could find an FAQ for on Google.
Rocio Sanchez: You just jump right over it and you can get to the real stuff. I really love that. So I really appreciate you handing over the mantel. I’m really excited for
Phil Corin: Yeah, me too. Me too. So, you know, just to wrap up. Tell me what you think, what is your greatest hope for this project? For Transition of Style, you know, hosted by Rocio Sanchez? What is the hope for you? What do you want it to see this be?
Rocio Sanchez: I would love for this to just be another catalyst for people to connect with each other, right? So, guests on the pod can connect with each other. People who want to do what the people on the pod are doing. Essentially create that community of just, hey, people are out here doing it.
Rocio Sanchez: And it’s not just, oh, representation, we see the people, but actually, what are the resources that those people have? And can we also, benefit from those same resources? Cause I’m all about resources, resources, resources. So for me, I hope that this is a resourceful space. I hope that this is a space of creativity.
Rocio Sanchez: As much as we are talking about business and all that stuff, it’s something that, that really fosters creativity, in just partnerships and all of those things. And who knows what else is gonna come from this.
Rocio Sanchez: So feel free to connect with me. Feel free to connect with other people on the show. and let’s build another community out of this.
Phil Corin: Wonderful. Wonderful. All right. Would you like to sign us off? I mean, cause this is now your baby.
Rocio Sanchez: Yeah. Well thank you everybody so much for listening. This is the first episode of Transition of Style 2.0, though it’s still going by the
Phil Corin: 2.0.
Rocio Sanchez: Same title. Same title. And we’ll be back in a week or two with our first actual episode.
Phil Corin: Yes, please tune in everyone.
Rocio Sanchez: See ya.
Rocio Sanchez: Hey there, it’s Rocio again, solo this time. I wanted to personally thank you for listening to this episode of Transition of Style. I’m honestly very honored to have been given the reigns to lead the charge from here, especially because in two weeks time we’re gonna be speaking to Teresa Morcho, founder of the Stud Model Project.
Rocio Sanchez: It’s what it sounds like: it’s a modeling and development agency for studs, and we love studs, don’t we? So join us in two weeks time to listen to this fantastic interview. I’ll see you there.
Rocio Sanchez (any pronoun) is a multicultural digital marketer and a multilingual brand strategist who dedicates their skills to helping LGBT+ and POC-led businesses. They completed a master’s thesis on queer fashion representation from Parsons Paris in 2020 (MA Fashion Studies), and have a bachelor’s degree (2017) in Advertising, Marketing, and Communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Since 2020, they have managed Marketing by Rocio, a digital marketing agency for LGBT- and POC-led businesses.
Rocio Sanchez, host and producer
Caitlin Whyte, audio engineer
Sophie Jacqueline, video editor