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An Interview with Melissa Llarena


Jun 9, 2020

Meet Neil Mossberg, CEO of Frank151. Frank151 is an independent publisher that speaks to a global audience of culturally acute creators, agitators, and connoisseurs. Today, Neil joins me to discuss his work at Frank151 and what he thinks it takes to be successful within a corporate system. He shares his no-nonsense attitude and shows us the importance of speaking your mind. Are there instances where you might be self-editing and limiting your authentic voice from being heard? When it comes to decision-making, everyone has a shortcut. Neil shares some of the shortcuts he has made and how self-reflection has helped him make those decisions in some instances. Finally, Neil encourages us to consider this question, "What is worth reviving?" It might be time to reconsider some of the things that have been holding you back or keeping you stuck.

 

Frank151 is a pocket-sized book magazine that started in the 90s in ATL then and now is still filled with unvarnished "dope stuff" from various cultures, including that of skateboarding to hip hop. Neil personally has an affinity for all things Brooklyn, loves bacon, and camouflage Neil has been accused of having affairs with two celebrities and once drove eight hours for a burger, to this day Neil will only acknowledge the burger. Neil's background is varied; he has been in charge of business development for his family's company, World Marketing, since 2000. Neil initially started his career in the fashion world in 1992 as a leading analyst of global trends and merchandising strategies for the retail and fashion industry. 

Early in his career, Neil worked for and left Urban Outfitters to become the creative director of the national retailer County Seat. There he successfully managed all brand acquisition, product planning, and marketing for County Seat'sSeat's 600 stores nationwide, generating sales above $500 million. As a consultant and brand specialist, Neil worked to launch the hugely successful Alloy catalog has consulted for companies such as the Limited corp., RJ Reynolds, and several of NY's larger nightlife corps. His clients include Steve Harvey, Alexander Rossi, Defend Brooklyn, Exclone ( an AI company ), and most recently became CEO of Frank151. This combination of Neil's achievements led DNR, the leading authority for comprehensive coverage and trends in the worlds of men's fashion and retail, to name Neil as a "fashion young gun." Impact magazine also recognized Neil as one of this century's' "power players" in the fashion and marketing world. Neil continues to partner and consult with media and celebrity-rooted entities who seek to monetize their exposure and reach. Self-described as "corporate street," he enjoys his fresh perspective on fashion, celebrities, and immense respect for essential workers.

Tune in to hear Neil's thoughts pertaining to:

  • Goldberg, the wrestler, is brilliant… he was sincere, and understood the dynamics of the market and shared common values. (4:16)
  • His admiration for the world order as well as essential workers and how it's sometimes flipped upside down. (5:10)
  • Understanding social dynamics, the jobs of essential workers, and his appreciation for all industries, as well as his upbringing in an immigrant family. (6:25)
  • The notion that you can lose in thirty minutes what you spent thirty years to build. (7:47)
  • Neil's start at Frank151, why he decided to make a move and his "corporate street," attitude. (9:43)
  • Neil's approach to meetings and personal philosophy about being a straight shooter. (14:00)
  • What it is like working for Frank151 and what's so fun about it. (15:34)
  • Why Neil thinks it is better to be the kingmaker than the king. (16:55)
  • Neil explains why there is a disconnect between corporate and culture. (17:45)
  • There are risks and benefits of not walking the corporate walk. (19:16)
  • Being nimble and having an efficient system is an advantage during these tumultuous times. (21:57)
  • Frank151 in print and how Neil imagines continuing production in the current economic and pandemic environment. (23:52)
  • What decision-making shortcuts Neil and Frank151 have made, and having the courage to ask, "Am I emotionally invested in it?" And being able to walk away from a project if you need to do so. (27:29)
  • The role of AI in fashion. (33:26)
  • How Neil gets through a crappy day. He also reflects on failures and the scars he holds from his failures. (36:52)

Listen to hear Neil's answer to this crucial question: How do you think about hiring the right talent to address business challenges necessary to resolve?

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