In a saturated world of social media entrepreneurs and fashion influencers, Chiara Ferragni is number one.
The Milan-native started her fashion blog, 'The Blonde Salad' in 2009 at just 23 years old and has since turned TBS into a full fledged media brand -- along with spearheading her eponymous clothing line, The Chiara Ferragni Collection. 18 million Instagram followers and ten years later, Ferragni has topped the Forbes list more times than we can count as the world's most powerful fashion influencer.
The 33-year-old fashion entrepreneur made headlines last year after her wedding generated a media impact value of $36 million and saw 67 million interactions on social media, proving to have more social influence than Meghan Markle's royal wedding, according to data from Launchmetrics.
Most recently, she teamed up with Amazon Studios to create a documentary about her life titled "Unposted," directed by Elisa Amoruso. The film goes behind the scenes of how Ferragni revolutionized the digital industry and pioneered thousands of females to quite literally follow her footsteps. (Watch it here)
In The Know's Laura Galvan caught up with Ferragni at the Bowery Hotel in Manhattan to talk about the documentary and why she says you have to respect her, even if you don't like her.
You started your blog in 2009 before the influencer industry even existed. Tell me a little bit about what motivated you to create TBS.
There was no such thing as the term 'influencer' at the time. You were either a blogger or a YouTuber. Since I was 16, I always tried to find ways to express myself through my photos. I was always taking a lot of selfies. I would always try to shoot my looks. I've always had this feeling that if I was wearing something and never took photos of that, that it would kind of be wasted. So, I always wanted to have an account of all the looks that I was wearing and even at the time, they were very simple looks but I was proud of them and always wanted to post them.
And then Flickr came, so that kind of became my first blog. Every day I would take photos and post them on Flickr. It would be about everything -- what I was doing with my friends, what I was wearing, where I was traveling to. It really was my visual diary of my life at the time. Then, I started to discover some personal style blogs. I remember one of the first ones was Fashion Toast by Rumi [Neely] who is now a friend of mine. She was living in San Diego and had that California vibe that I love so much. She would take cool photos in supermarkets sitting on the floor looking at magazines. It was a very fashion approach to everyday life and I loved it. I was like, "Oh maybe I should also start my own blog so I have platform where people can come to instead of posting on a bunch of different sites." I made the decision in the summer of 2009 and then in October I started The Blonde Salad.
Was building a company bigger than your blog always the plan?
I never had longterm plans. In the beginning, it was all about making the right decisions to stay relevant. I remember after I got my first job proposal, it was very scary because so many people wanted me to do television. Especially in Italy the first thing that makes you super famous is doing TV, but it was something that I really didn't want to do and I was never interested, so I said a lot of no's.
I was a student at 22-years-old and it was the first time someone was offering me big money and the idea of being super famous right away. It was very appealing but I was very scared. I said no because I wanted to be more international and do something more with fashion. I didn't want to become this trashy character in the fashion world...I had to think longterm. I [thought] I missed the chance of a lifetime but then it turned out to be the best decision. I focused on working with more fashion brands and started to plan a business around it. I built a team around with me with my ex-business partner and hired some of my best friends. It was amazing at the beginning to have people I can trust.
I think most people at 22 would have taken the check which is an example of your authenticity. Remaining authentic has been a huge part of your success story. The documentary showed raw and vulnerable sides to you, in what people would think is a perfect world. Why was it important to showcase those sides of you as well?
I want to showcase that more and more every day. I'm trying to do that more on social media as well. When anything bad happens or anything that makes me feel low, I always try to share it. I feel like on social media, you always get to see the best part of everybody's life and have this idea that everybody else is living a better life than you are. It can be very disturbing for people who watch a lot of other people's life. Just the idea that everyone's having a perfect life. So, I think it is important for someone with such a huge following like me to show the vulnerable side and show that nobody has a perfect life.
I am super happy and couldn't be more proud of my life right now, but at the same time I have moments where I feel sad or I fight with someone or didn't get a job I thought I would get. Those things happen to everybody, so it's important to understand that and we all go through phases in life. I wanted to portray that in the documentary and be as raw as possible and be 100 percent me.
Source : aol.com/entertainment