In Conversation with Mary Kate Pagano From Master & Dynamic

It's no easy feat to launch a luxury product and build a brand on social in today's world of dilution and democratization — yet that is precisely what Master & Dynamic has achieved. Can you blame us for needing to get the lowdown from its social media marketing manager, Mary Kate Pagano?

Check out our chat below to learn how the brand keeps such a tight handle on its image by crafting an impeccable visual journey on Instagram.


Man’s (or woman’s) best friend #MH40 #Headphones

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With a tagline like "Sound is Creativity," we can't help but conjure images of beautiful artful things when thinking of the Master & Dynamic world. And its online marketing lives up to it, making for a true explosion of the senses. Known for its inspired, sophisticated design, seamless quality listening, and high profile users, the brand is as premium as cool gets. Through social media optimization, it's been able to bolster its positioning as purveyor of the most high end audio products on the market. And really, really rad people also happen to be strong brand advocates.

The still relatively new headphones brand has been making waves in the industry since launching a few years ago, helped notably by marketing through social media. In fact, one quick overview of Master & Dynamic's imagery reveals a universe where curation meets a refined imagination inspired by music and aesthetics. Highly visual digital channels like Instagram have enabled the company's social media marketing expert, Mary Kate Pagano, to tell its story via masterful photography and the voice of carefully selected ambassadors.

She curates the feed with thoughtful imagery that is representative of the brand story, taking its audience on the "Sound is Creativity" journey. There's no mistaking whose account you've stumbled on when glancing at it: the exquisite headphones are prominently displayed, and the tale is made complete with related, elegant images. Mary Kate is undoubtedly a true social media guru.

Because we're so taken by her work at Master & Dynamic, we caught up with her to ask a few questions about the brand's strategy and her own path into the industry. Check out our chat below!

Saturday morning (Photo #CuratedFrom @alyssainthecity)

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Name and occupation:

Mary Kate Pagano. I handle social media, influencer marketing, and editorial for the luxury audio brand Master & Dynamic.

1. What was your college major, and why did you choose it?

I was a French major, with a minor in English and Communications. I chose French because I wanted to study abroad there, English because I love books and stories, and Communications because I figured I'd need a practical side to round it all out.

There was no way to have predicted my career path at the time because social media was barely a thing back then. But it worked out, in a roundabout way: I got my first job out of school because they needed someone who was bilingual in English and French, and then got my next job within the same company in the marketing department because of my degree in marketing.

In that job, managing my brand's fledgling Facebook account (Instagram did not yet exist!) was only part of my responsibilities, but the storyteller in me took that small part of my job and really ran with it. Soon I was promoted to social media full-time, and I've been doing it ever since.

2. Favorite part of the job?

In terms of working in social media in general, my favorite part is the storytelling. Social media is one of the best ways (if not THE best way) to tell your brand's story, both visually and through the words you choose. In terms of working specifically at Master & Dynamic, my favorite thing is getting so much exposure to interesting people. Our brand tends to attract creatives of all kinds. Whether it's partnering with a really cool influencer, interviewing and writing about a musician or visual artist for our branded blog, The 10,000, or working with my talented group of colleagues, I get to have really fascinating conversations with people on a daily basis.

Wear white after Labor Day (Photo #CuratedFrom @guillaumeviau)

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3. Favorite social media platform and why?

Instagram! For a while Snapchat was competing for my time, but then Instagram Stories came along, which was a total game-changer. Instagram is now the best of both worlds: the polished, pretty grid is still there, but now there's also a space for the gritty, fleeting, realistic side of social. It was genius to combine them that way.

4. What makes a great Instagram post for Master & Dynamic?

Beautiful photos of our headphones or speaker always go over well, because our products are so unique and photogenic. We take our own, and are also fortunate enough to get some fantastic UGC on a regular basis—I think it has to do with what I said before about our brand attracting so many great creatives, including incredible photographers.

We like to intermix those with images of things that inspire us, like urban architecture or pieces of art. In terms of captions, I use quotes about our products (people say really nice things about them!), BTS info on how they get made, song lyrics, a call to action to click through to our blog to explore something more—I'm really lucky to work on a brand where good content isn't all that difficult to come by.

5. What is your personal Instagram guilty pleasure?

@everyoutfitonsatc. The nostalgia for one of my favorite shows is one thing, but it's the captions that make this account. The writers are clever and hilarious.

Saturday AM reading #NYFW (Photo #CuratedFrom @eff.ulloa)

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6. Who are your role models in the industry and why?

Personally, Jamie Beck at @annstreetstudio is my absolute favorite. She is a true creative in every sense of the word. I love that she left her life in New York and moved to this tiny French town to fulfill herself creatively. Her content just continues to get better with time. Then in terms of brands, some of the ones I think are doing it really well right now are @hermes, @patagonia, and @mrporterlive.

Hermes because they're just killing it with short-form video content. Patagonia because they've done an amazing job of creating a whole lifestyle around their products. And Mr Porter because they just project this incredibly classy and aspirational masculine lifestyle, which is endless inspiration for me as I think about M&D's content.

7. What’s on your travel bucket list?

Oh, everywhere! I love traveling. I prefer under-the-radar places without a lot of people in them. Unsurprisingly, one of my favorite places to go is France. I've been around the country a fair amount, but one area I haven't been to yet is Corsica. I've heard it's beautiful and the beaches are never crowded. I'll get there someday soon, I hope.

8. Three things you can’t live without?

Books (I have one on me at all times), podcasts (mainly ones that discuss books and TV shows—I do love story!), and my phone, of course. My whole life, personal and professional, is on there. Oh, and coffee. Sorry, that makes four things.

9. Biggest vice? (be honest)

Dark chocolate. Put some in front of me and I will eat all of it. This actually happened today at work; our cofounder brought in a bunch of Halloween candy and I ate way too much of it. I have no self-control.

10. Where can we find you on a Friday night?

It depends on the week. I could be out getting drinks with coworkers or friends in or around NYC, or I could be at home reading a good book.

You know what to do now: head over to Master & Dynamic's Instagram account and make that blue button white.


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