Interview with Fashion Influencer, Kate Barlett | #UnderTheInfluence
#UnderTheInfluence with Fashion Influencer, Kate Barlett

#UnderTheInfluence with Fashion Influencer, Kate Barlett

Let’s talk influence – specifically, that of the fashion world. What began as a trend-worthy phenomenon to share #OOTD pics and thrifty shopping hacks in the early insta days, has expanded into a world that highlights both the wardrobe and its wearer. We had the pleasure of diving into the reality of a top fashion creator on social, from the behind-the-scenes of working with esteemed brands (like Yves Saint Laurent… ever heard of it?) and how to get a ‘ big break’ in the digital industry [hint, it wasn’t Instagram this time around].

Read on for the darling details of how Kate Bartlett became a fashion influencer #influences:

What started your fashion influence career? What platforms you started on, how you got into the space, etc.

So I actually started a fashion blog in high school; I was 15 or 16, and it was very basic. I basically had no followers. I set up an Instagram, and I would post my outfits every day there, and that’s how I realized I wanted to get into fashion more and go to school for fashion in the first place. I’m a senior at FIT now, and I love it.

I was home during quarantine, and everyone was hopping on TikTok – so I started making little fashion videos at home, and started to gain a bit of a following. When I got back to NYC, I started creating these “day in the life” TikToks, which really started to grow my audience, and then my Instagram grew from there. 

What does a day in the life of a fashion influencer look like? We love the details – any apps you use, how you schedule your content, we want it all ☺

I scheduled my classes so that I’m only on campus at FIT 2 days out of the week – funny enough, I scheduled them at night for when it was dark so I can film during the day while it’s still bright out! That’s not something I thought about before taking on content creation full time.

I usually take my meetings, and film content inside my apartment on Monday, Thursday, Friday when I’m not on campus  – and the thing that’s good thing for me, is that a lot of my content (especially on TikTok) is just my life, so I don’t really need to be home with a tripod filming something all day – I can go about my life, make sure that I’m recording, and then string it all together at the end. 

Do you edit everything yourself?

Yes – I edited everything natively on TikTok for the longest time, and just recently started working with just a simple editing app on my phone. I edit everything on my phone! My favorite app is Splice – I have no editing experience, and it’s super easy to use, so would highly recommend for new creators.

What’s your favorite part about being an influencer in the fashion space?

Oh wow, so many amazing parts of it! I think getting to work with brands that I’ve always loved and always purchased from, is a really incredible feeling – you know, you get to do so many cool jobs from the fashion industry, all-in-one: you get to be the model, photographer, creative director, make-up artist, and the stylist – every single part of the industry is combined and it’s just you. You get to do it exactly the way you want to do it, and that’s why it’s such a unique career path.

A challenging aspect of being a fashion influencer today?

I think that people are pretty ruthless these days – especially on TikTok. People can hide behind the no-profile picture, “user#2847” handle and no one knows who they are, so they feel like they can say whatever they want. I also have a hard time turning off – I feel like I’m working all the time! But like they say, when it’s something you love, it’s worth it. 

Has being a fashion influencer expanded your network, or helped you connect with new people as someone who recently moved to NYC and entered the social scene?

The NYC creator scene is very different from the scene in LA – everyone that I’ve met is so incredible, and they all have a very specific thing that they’re doing, so it doesn’t feel like anyone is in competition with one another. I’ve made so many amazing friends through TikTok and Instagram here!

Are there any favorite brands that you’ve worked with in the past, or are excited to work with in the future?

I feel so blessed that I get to work with brands that I’ve purchased from for years – I recently did a campaign with YSL, which was so cool, definitely one of my biggest dreams.

Are there any favorite brands that you’ve worked with in the past, or are excited to work with in the future?

I feel so blessed that I get to work with brands that I’ve purchased from for years – I recently did a campaign with YSL, which was so cool, definitely one of my biggest dreams.

How does the business side of being an influencer work?

It’s been really interesting – as far as brands go, so many brands have latched onto TikTok for influencer marketing, whereas in the beginning of 2021, not many brands were leading with that. It’s clear in their presence, their ads, and even their budget – and it’s been a unique experience to grow with that. I’ve learned a lot, I know my worth, and I have a manager now to help with negotiations, which has been great. 

It was such an unknown space for so long, and it still kind of is. Brands are trying to figure it out, and so are we – we’re all growing together. 

So you’re represented by one of the most elite talent agencies in the game, Digital Brand Architects – how did you go about getting a manager, and at what point in your career did you recognize the value in having one?

I talked to a lot of managers throughout the time that I was figuring things out on my own with brands, and realized I really needed to get one before going into my senior year when things would get crazier between school and managing my own business. I really think it’s so important if you’re going to sign, to sign with someone who you know is going to be there for you for the long haul. I’ve talked to some potential managers who would have conversations about the next year, and then other managers would be talking about the next 5, 10 years of working together. It feels so good to know someone is invested in you long-term.

Last but not least! What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out in the influencer space/fashion sphere on social?

My best advice is that it is so important to just start, and put something out there – it’s not going to perfect (at all!) and I feel like so many people are waiting for the perfect situation, the perfect outfit or whatever it is – and especially on the platforms now, you really never know what’s going to catch on or what’s going to go viral – so you might as well practice, keep putting out content, and don’t get discouraged if the results aren’t what you were expecting the first time around. 

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