What Even is an Influencer?

If you were lucky enough to be born in the pre-digital era when a “computer room” in your house was still a thing AND had a creative spark to make a webpage, blog or digital journal then you just might be one of the OG influencers like Rumi Neely or Lauryn Evarts Bosstick. Vogue was (and probably still is) where you got your trend forecasts and the glossy pages raved of exclusivity. Now we have social media, I’m looking at you Instagram and Tik Tok. Influencers are the new trend forecast and almost anyone can become one with a little blood, sweat, and wifi.

In 2005 there were about 1.5 billion individuals using the internet which has increased to 53.6 billion in 2019. That’s a lot of potential eyes viewing your GRWM video. While the influencer industry can still be considered fairly new, high-end brands from Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Sephora to local boutiques are taking notice. 

How it Works: An influencer produces content in the form of pictures or videos that are posted to social media that a big group of people (their “followers”) like. These brands take notice of their influence and collaborate and gift these individuals with items from their collections that can be posted and seen. The more views/impressions = the more sales. Not only do they need to gift to the right individual, but their content must also align with the brand. The influencers must have a good engagement rate and in theory, they also know what their audience likes and dislikes based on their engagement rates and comments. It is not always enough to post a picture of themselves. It must be aesthetically pleasing, and trendy, and if its really good it enhances their image and their own brand as an influencer. 

Why it Works: As much as many of us would like to be original, we are heavily influenced by the people around us, even if they don’t have a million followers. We like our best friend’s hairstyle or our cousin’s band tee from that concert you weren’t able to go to, or we hate that midi skirt our mom loves just because she is our mom. Regardless, your thoughts are being guided by another person. Influencing is just that.

As much as this sounds like a huge marketing ploy, which is kinda is, influencers really just want to be your big sister who has the coolest jeans that she lets you borrow. But instead of going into her closet while she’s not home, you buy your own pair at the store. These recommendations turn into sales and this is why brands partner with these content creators because it truly does work. 

Now there are even panels that discuss being an influencer and what this new industry looks like (tips hat towards Create and Cultivate and The Daily Front Row). There are even influencer trips to destinations around the world so that content creation can be easy for the influencers. The brand gets major exposure for the trip and long after as the pictures are continuously posted.

Moral of the story, hop on the bandwagon, it’s kind of fun up here. 

And if you ever want a good laugh, check out Influencers in the Wild on Instagram.. you won’t be disappointed.

Sources: 

https://www.smartinsights.com/marketplace-analysis/customer-analysis/digital-marketing-statistics-sources/ 

https://theartemismagazine.com/ 

*Disclaimer: opinions are my own, photos of Rumi Neely, Lauryn Bosstick and Influencers in the Wild are not my own

Friday Faves

This Friday Faves is going to be fashion-focused.. Fashion Focused Friday Faves? Yes. So I rounded up a few of my recent favorite shows to watch and FREE courses to take. Yes, I said free. I recently completed one of the courses and am nearly done with another. I thought I would share a few of these resources as this is a big part of how I have been keeping busy and up to date during the quarantine.

Shows :

What the Fashion a mini-series on Snapchat by E!

Next In Fashion on Netflix

100 Years of Fashion on Hulu by Glamour

Free Courses :

Fashion as Design from MoMA

Fashion Industry Essentials from Teen Vogue and Parsons

Understanding Fashion from Business to Culture from IFM

Image from course description, not my own

 

 

Get Gigi Hadid’s Style

Another celeb “Get the Look”, this time we are giving our high fives and bowing down to stylist, Mimi Cuttrell, Gigi’s main stylist. I really enjoy her street style and her everyday looks. As a top model, you have to really look presentable when you are working or even going out for coffee. Gigi seemingly nails it every time.

Who’s style would you like to see me try to duplicate next? 

 

 

Trend Alert : The Tennis Skirt

The sporty look has been getting major traction recently. It has shown up all over Instagram and the coolest piece for completing this trend has been the tennis skirt. I remember a few years ago wearing a tennis skirt was like flipping a coin, you either loved it or hated it. While that may still be the case, more girls are loving this cool look. The white fabric tends to be easier to style and can be paired with an oversized top or a crop making it more versatile. Even WhoWhatWear wrote an article on this popular trend.

As for me, I honestly LOVE this trend but I do not want to buy a tennis skirt and then the trend fizzle out and I’m left with a sporty garment when I clearly do not play sports. So if you don’t have one and are like me, try a pleated mini skirt, a white mini skirt, or a printed mini skirt instead.

Best Places to Shop Summer Looks

So just today I saw an ad for Missguided pop up on FB and I always go through the ads just to see what’s new and I just thought I had to share some of the newest looks that I am seeing for summer! Usually, spring is for more pastels and summer brings brighter colors but I think its a free for all this year since we are all kind of going off-script. I rounded up a few cute places to buy your essentials to wear on your next Instagram Live or cocktail night via zoom of course.

What looks are you going for this summer?

Missguided :

Forever 21 :

BNKR :

BNKR has a store in DTLA where you can shop the Australian brands that they look after. Definitely musts for looks year round!

I got this hot pink skirt, neck tie, pink dress and pouch all from BNKR

Princess Polly :

 

Choose your Evil : The Fur Industry

Either harmful to animals or the environment.. choose your evil.

So we all know that real fur coats are bad right? I’m definitely against buying a real fur coat that being said, I do have a real fur coat that was handed down and is more of an investment piece that I did not and would not have bought. I would not wear it mostly because of what it represents. Wearing and encouraging the sale of real fur promotes the acceptance that 85% of the fur industries come from animals that were held captive. In China, animals can be skinned alive for their fur and mislabeled and sold around the world. Your rabbit coat? Probably not even rabbit, babe.

I’m not for harming an animal unless you need to. Hunting is never my go-to but I wouldn’t be against it if the whole animal was needed and used. In a perfect world, animals would be used only out of the pure need for food and clothing and there would be no waste.

Let’s talk about the latter option, faux fur. Faux Fur is a huge pawn of the fast fashion industry. The microfibers contain plastic that sheds and can accumulate in landfills and oceans. The fibers are also not biodegradable, while real fur does tend to be as it is from a living thing.

So do you really need a new fur coat? Can you borrow one instead or pass it on for generations to come so that we slow down the mass production.

YOUR RIGHTS END WHERE ANOTHER’S BEGIN

Resources:

What’s The Problem With Faux Fur?

9 Shocking Fur Facts

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/faux-fur-environmental-impact

POC in the Fashion Industry

I wanted to continue to spotlight POC that have contributed to society in a positive way. I decided to write about a topic that I know best, fashion. I am highlighting POC in the fashion industry from writers to designers and more. I keep up with the work of all of the individuals below and they are all saved in their respective Instagram categories for me to see what they are working on next. I am glad I am getting to share a bit of that with you and I am not even scratching the surface with this shortlist of amazing people!

 

Designers

Kerby Jean Raymond : A haitian-american designer with a dope menswear label that I am sure you have heard of.. Pyer Moss

Virgil Abloh : oh you know, just the artistic director of Louis Vuitton and CEO of Off-White

Telfar Clemens : known for his cool gender-neutral designs

Writers/Editors

Dani Kwateng : Culture and Entertainment editor at Teen Vogue

Marjon Carlos : Has appeared in Vogue, Net-a-Porter, and Essence just to name a few

Nikke Ogunnaike : Former style director of Elle.com and Deputy Fashion Editor at GQ

Toni Blaze : Editor-in-Chief of Wonderland Magazine

Lindsay People’s Wagner : Editor and Chief of Teen Vogue

Stylists

Kenee and Deshaunte : One of my favorite duo’s when it comes to style! So sweet and they create amazing looks seen in Avante and Mood to name a few. They are also currently conducting their own online show

Vincent Smith : Celebrity stylist who has worked with big names such as Normani, Kash Doll and Victoria Monet

Ade Samuel : Celebrity stylist who has worked with Cynthia Erivo, Yara Shahidi, and Justine Sky

Scott Louie : Celebrity stylist who has worked with Keke Palmer, Jojo and Kehlani

 

Get Hailey Bieber’s Style

First off, I have to give credit to the QUEEN Maeve Reilly, who is Hailey’s stylist, and puts together her killer looks. If I had to pick a style icon of the moment off the top of my head it would probably be between Hailey and Celine Dion. (I know I’m going to add more to the list and regret only saying those two names later but oh well.)

I have absolutely loved Hailey’s look and I have followed Maeve for a while since I love her personal style as well as her client’s looks. I have added a few of my favorite looks of Hailey’s below and even recreated one that I think everyone should wear.

Who is your style icon of the moment?

This look was actually a possible Coachella look before it was canceled. I instantly fell in love with those Mugler jeans.

Designer Look Alike – Jacquemus

I was on Instagram and I was scrolling through Jacquemus’ story and I saw a skirt and top that instantly reminded me of one of the dresses in my closet. I thought it looked like the dress unbuttoned and flipped over like a skirt.

The dress is originally from Forever 21 and the Jacquemus top looked like a strappy bralette over a tank. So I thought I would shoot something similar for a get the look.

It was also paired with a pair of pointy-toe pink lace-up flats that I had and are similar to the ones in the original photo. All of the items that I used are actually a few seasons old and I had in my closet for a while. This is one of the main reasons that I tend to hoard older pieces of clothing because trends always come back in style.

The full video can be seen on my Tik Tik: @briana.nicole03 but I screenshotted a few of the images

The Influencer Series pt. 2

I interviewed three new LA-based influencers on different topics and I’m rounding them up for you below!. To see more of the IG Livestreams, they usually come on Monday/Thursday at 12:30 PM PST and they are saved on my IGTV.

Check out the previous blog post HERE

Liz from @mrsemontano

1. Consistency : create a consistent schedule of days/times you will be posting

2. Build a Community : Acknowledge your audience and be genuine

3. Stay on Brand : Stick to your strengths and only take on collaborations that fit your brand

Liz’s segment was on tactics for becoming a successful influencer

 

Beatrice from @beatricebalaj

“People don’t want to click on your portfolio, it’s easier to post on Instagram”

“Black blazers go with everything, biker shorts or dock martins or sneakers”

Beatrice’s segment was on style, she also touches on previous styling projects assisting with Katy Perry and Anna Lynne McCord

Kristina from @laughloveandhippie

“Invest in tools to do your makeup like makeup brushes and makeup sponges and they don’t have to be expensive. Investing will elevate your look”

Kristina’s segment was on makeup technique