They are the men, women, boys and girls who get paid attention to at the fashion shows, parties and designer dinners. Brands earn massive kudos just by having them there and pay them vast amounts of money to wear their clothes. They are the fashion influencers and increasingly responsible for shaping the choices made on the catwalks and in the stores that eventually trickle down to the items we purchase.
Their power is most typically measured by the number of Instagram followers they have, but behind such numbers, some influencers have other reasons that make them worthy of watching. Here are three to keep an eye out for in 2018.
From humble beginnings as a part-time fashion blogger in her native Milan while studying law, Chiara Ferragni has gone from strength to strength and was recently named the number one fashion influencer by Forbes. She also had the distinction of being the subject of the first ever case study on the world of fashion influencers to feature in the Harvard Business Review.
While many younger influencers are snapping at her heels, Ferrangni and her blog, The Blonde Salad, continue to reign supreme. She recently launched her own line of accessories and apparel and employs a full-time staff of 20 to help her blog remain competitive.
Jelena Noura Hadid, better known as Gigi Hadid, had been signed up for less than a year when she made her debut entry into ranks of the Top 50 Models in the world chart at the tender age of 18. Her younger sister, Bella, followed in her footsteps and was voted Model of the Year by Model.com in 2016. As if that wasn’t enough, a third member of the Hadid clan is now fast becoming a presence on catwalks around the world.
Younger brother Anwar made his professional modeling debut in October 2015 and made the cover of Teen Vogue less than a year later. Also known to reality television viewers due to this appearance on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, his personal sense of style is going to be highly influential for many years to come.
If you want to rise through the influencer ranks yourself, it is essential to create quality products with high production standards across all social media platforms. While some free tools are more than adequate for amateur productions, a more sophisticated YouTube video intro maker will boost your chances of getting the sort of viewing figures you need to achieve to start getting noticed.
@lilmiquela is the Instagram handle of a 19-year-old Brazilian/Spanish model, musician and fashion influencer named Miquela Sousa. Her social media accounts depict her wearing a new outfit every day, attending industry events with celebrities and fellow influencers or supporting a range of causes from Black Lives Matter to transgender rights.
What sets Miquela apart is the fact that she is not real but rather computer generated. Adding to the mystery is that no one knows who is truly behind the artificial persona. No one much seems to care though – certainly not her 535,000 Instagram followers or the fans who pushed her debut single to the number eight slot on Spotify Viral. Real or not, she remains one to watch.