Myspace employees blow off steam in a rec room tricked out with Ping-Pong tables and basketball hoops.Sorry Zuck, Myspace exec Neda Azafar wouldn't be caught dead in a hoodie.
The woman: Neda Azafar, 32
The job: Senior director of communications at Myspace, which is debuting next month with a new co-owner (Justin Timberlake), URL (new.myspace.com), and music focus.
The uniform: Streamlined yet playful separates from Ted Baker, Diane von Furstenberg, and Marc Jacobs
Company stats: Founded: 2003 Headquarters: Beverly Hills Users: 40 million Employees: 150
ELLE: When most people think of Myspace, they think of a website they ditched for Facebook in 2006. How can you convince them that the new version is something worth using?
Neda Azafar: We've built a completely new site from the ground up. Myspace started as a social network, pure and simple. Our new vision is homing in on music, because that community still has a need-they've got to reach an audience. There's audio streaming, a social aspect-musicians can connect to fans, and fans to other fans-and music discovery: spotlighting and profiling new talent. It's up to me to take the artists' and engineers' vision and explain the technology in a way that makes people want to use it. I've been speaking with musicians, reporters, and Myspace users about how fantastic it is, but the proof is in the pudding. Once people see the site and they see what the site's about, they'll be all over it.
ELLE: Does the start-up culture (and the wardrobe that comes with it) that ruled when Myspace first launched still exist?
NA: Myspace is a creative company-the creative team looks like a group of mad geniuses. They live in a uniform of black jeans and hoodies. I'm in communications, so I'm always on the go-if I dressed supercasual, it wouldn't work. I really have to exude that I'm on top of it. In my personal life, I love flats and bohemian pieces, but at work my clothes are more tailored and structured-it makes you look more organized. And since I'm only 5 feet tall, I'm always in heels.
ELLE: Heels? Structure? At a tech company?
NA: I can't always look like I'm some corporate suit who can't feel my soul, so I'll do bright colors or patterns or jewelry that shows people my personality. We're a real start-up, and it's all hands on deck, no excuses. If that means you don't sleep for a week, you don't sleep for a week. But we don't want people to turn into lab rats, so we try to create a vibe that's organic and unconventional: We have brainstorm sessions and beanbags, DJs, and chalkboards where people can write whatever they want. I used to think I was creative before I started working here, but even our engineers are musicians!
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Neda's Fashion Tips:
"Last year I couldn't get enough stripes, but this year I'm attracted to blouses with abstract prints."
"When I wear pants, I always tuck in my shirt to help keep my look tailored instead of loosey-goosey."
"My wardrobe has to be versatile-I'll wear a blazer when I'm meeting with my COO but slip it off when it's time to hang with artists."
"I work mostly with men, but I make room for femininity in my wardrobe with fitted pieces. I just own it."
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