Trendsetters, Complex Magazine, Joe La Puma

Jennifer Cooper, E!

Listen up, fellas: Complex has everything you're looking for in a publication. Music, sports, trends and, yes, even sneakers paint the pages of this on-beat mag. And at the helm of the magazine's compelling content, we've got director of content strategy Joe La Puma.

Starting his stint with the magazine as a college intern, La Puma's been with Complex magazine long enough to know exactly what his 20-something male audience craves. So what's a day in La Puma's life like? Read on to find out!

Trendsetters, Complex Magazine, Joe La Puma

Jennifer Cooper, E!

What was your very first job?
Sneaker salesman at the Finish Line in South Shore Mall.

How did you get started in your career?
I wrote for my college newspaper (The Daily Campus) at the University of Connecticut my senior year, and then I started working at hypebeast.com and interning at Complex magazine in 2005-2006. After a year and a half of interning and juggling three jobs, I got hired full-time at Complex.

Who are some of your career heroes? 
The late Brione Schneider, who was my manager at the Finish Line for years and will always be my career hero. He was someone who mentored me as a teenager and gave me my hustle and competitive spirit. He had a keen eye for detail and it's helped me in and out of my professional life. My confidence in decision-making comes from him. My best friend Billy Knapp, who was special ops in the Marines for nine years, is another one. As far as my journalism career, Bradley Carbone, Noah Callahan-Bever, Donnie Kwak, Brendan Frederick and Jack Erwin were all instrumental in getting me to where I am now. They're always there for me, whether it's helping me with an edit of an article or talking me off the ledge when things get crazy at work. 

What's a typical workday like for you? 
A lot of my day now is meetings and developing strategy for the content Complex is producing. It's evolved a lot from writing, and I'm glad that we have such a talented team of editors not only in-house but around the country making things that people want to read. My job is to make sure that we are maximizing the audience that is seeing our content, and that we're covering the right subjects both on a day-to-day basis and longer term.

Trendsetters, Complex Magazine, Joe La Puma

Jennifer Cooper, E!

Describe your office décor. What was your inspiration? Did you decorate it yourself?
It's pretty basic. There are a lot of sneakers and some of my favorite cover stories I've done (Justin Bieber, Kid Cudi, Katy Perry, etc.). Recently for my birthday my boss got me a wheat-pasting of this XXL magazine cover from 2003 with a young 50 Cent, Eminem and Dr. Dre; that is my favorite magazine cover ever produced.

List five things that are on your desk right now: 
1. Custom stationary from Terrapin Stationers.
2. Worn-out camo Word Notebooks that have my daily to-do lists from the past year.
3. Cheap candles from Duane Reade. 
4. A card my mom sent me that reads: "Anyone can be cool, but awesome takes practice." 
5. Pharrell William's "Places and Spaces I've Been" book.

What do you typically wear to work? 
Jeans, sneakers and vintage rock tees in the summer, or white and black basic T-shirts. In the winter it's always a hoodie and a black leather jacket.

What are your favorite stores to shop for work clothes? 
Barney's, Saint Laurent, KITH, Supreme and Bape.

What's the best piece of career advice you've ever received?
Loyalty reigns supreme. And to always pay it forward.

Trendsetters, Complex Magazine, Joe La Puma

Jennifer Cooper, E!

Finish the sentence…
Today for lunch I had…
grilled chicken and rice from the Time-Life Building's cafeteria.
The first website I log onto every day is…
the newly redesigned Complex.com.
My go-to grooming product is…
anything L'Occitane.
My must-have work gadget is…
my iPhone with two Mophie extra batteries on deck.
My usual Starbucks order is… I only do Dunkin Donuts, every day at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Iced coffee all year round with Splenda and a lot of skim milk.
If I need a quick break during work, I usually…
I rarely leave the office during the day. On the rare occasions I do, I walk three blocks to the Diamond District and chop it up with my Uncle Dom, who is a jeweler.
If I wasn't doing this job, I would be…
I weirdly always wanted to own a deli in the town I grew up in, and create awesome new sandwiches on a weekly basis. 
The best part of my job is…
besides covering things I've been interested in my whole life and getting paid for it, the best part of the job is that Complex is like a family. Some of my colleagues have turned into my best friends, and from the top down we always have each other's backs.

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