What comes first – the influencer, or the brand? What was once an opportunity for content creators to leverage the brand equity of their favorite fashion, beauty & lifestyle brands to influence their community, has now reversed: the influencer is the brand, and if done right, has the entrepreneurial spirit to launch their very own business. After all, no one knows ‘community’ better than an influencer and her audience on social media, especially Instagram – the magazine into her world.
So, let’s dive into a collection of powerhouse influencers taking the business world by storm – one shoe, blush & tote at a time.
@somethingnavy | Arielle Charnas
It was always Arielle Charnas’ dream to have her own brand – as a style enthusiast and elegant, timeless fashion conessior – she did just that. Starting out as an Instagram handle in 2009 to share outfit inspo with a community of fellow style enthusiasts, has led Arielle to fabricating a clothing line collaboration with partner @nordstrom and eventually in 2020, the influencer’s first self-made drop: Something Navy shop, created & curated intentionally for the Something Navy girl.
Now, the next time you’re inspired by Arielle’s latest #lewk, you can shop her very own line – the closest thing to her closet 😉
@hudabeauty | Huda Kattan
It’s not every day that a simple blog can transpire into a multi-million dollar beauty business – unless that day is one spent with Huda Kattan, founder & CEO of HudaBeauty. Huda holds the reins in the inclusive beauty product space, tapping her trusting 49.5M followers on IG (ya, you read that right) for insight, inspiration and as the foundation for why she created this brand in the first place. In @fastcompany, Huda said: “Anybody I meet, I’ll just give them product. You spread beauty. We’re always focused on that.” When the driving force behind a brand is more than money, it’s destined for success. That million-dollar thing? Icing on the cake.
@glossier | Emily Weiss
When you really think about it, the creation of the millennial cult-beauty brand Glossier is right on cue for influencer extraordinaire, Emily Weiss. What began her career journey as an intern at Teen Vogue, led her to start the booming beauty blog Into the Gloss – which features the famous #TopShelf , giving us everyday-girls access into the vanities and medicine cabinets of editors, artists & celebrities alike. It was only fitting that Emily take all of her juicy insight to the drawing board (and the board room) to raise capital for her own beauty line, designed for us in mind: everyday skincare, makeup & more. If you’re scrolling and see the best #IWokeUpLikeThis selfie,
know that maybe it’s not Maybelline… maybe, it’s Glossier.
@shopweworewhat | Danielle Bernstein
WeWoreWhat brand founder & influencer Danielle Bernstein was amongst the first party of girls on Instagram showcasing their style and engaging with communities. Similarly to how the entrepreneur & NYT-best selling author took a *huge* risk by pitching her father on her idea of dropping out of school to focus full time on We Wore What (the blog), Danielle took another leap in the direction of her dreams when she launched her own fashion brand. Goes to show, risks are worth taking.
@songofstyle | Aimee Song
When Aimee Song, the mega-influencer behind Song of Style – a blog, Youtube series, lifestyle brand and clothing line reflects on her journey, she’s not shy to disclose that everything we can see & feel today, stemmed from a mere passion project. Since Aimee’s days working two jobs as a freshman in college while dabbling in the blog-o-sphere of mid-2000s internet culture, the brand – and community of 6M+ on IG – has come to expand just as naturally as life: home interiors, healthy recipes, and of course… #OOTD galore.
The evolution of influencers is ever-changing: from working for their favorite brands, to becoming the founders of ours – it’s no simple feat to take your impact on a community to the next level in an authentic, fun & inclusive way. These ladies nailed it – and we can’t wait to scroll and see who’s next.