As the word itself is self-explanatory, the word ‘Fashion Influencer’ is someone who has the authority and the subject knowledge of the domain and even more importantly has the charisma and the prowess to ‘influence’ others. Influence is the keyword here. Well, when we hear of every budding fashionista in the neighbourhood with decent enough looks, aspiring to be a ‘Fashion Influencer’, it kind of baffles me as to what does this profession actually entail? Is anybody with a photogenic face and decent styling abilities an authority on fashion? Well, read on to know what actually distinguishes these girls who are currently enjoying the mega-celebrity status of being much-followed ‘Fashion Influencers’ on Instagram. Girls and women alike follow them and their styles like crazy and every endorsement that they do (#notsponsored or whatever) goes on to make atleast headlines on Instagram if not many sales.
A scroll through the Instagram handles of the Minawalas, Shroffs and Ferragnis of the world make one wonder who actually are these girls and how have they managed to build upon these fashion model cum celebrity lies for themselves. At the first glance, their visually mesmerizing work profile does amaze one and one can’t help but mindlessly scroll through their entire feed. It makes one envy their lifestyle and what they get to do for a living. God damn, wouldn’t every walking girl on earth want to do makeup each day, wear designer clothes, pose in front of the camera and even get paid enormously for this? (Well yes, these influencers do make some really handsome money, but that is a story for another day). Well, it isn’t all as fun and fancy as meets the eye.
What you see on their page is actually an outcome of years of hard work; even more than that it is the hopeless optimism, unrelenting positivity and perseverance to keep moving forward no matter what.
“The decision to be a fashion influencer is very easy to take, but to sustain the dream and keep working hard to achieve it is far more difficult than one can fathom.”
Like any other business model, you do not know whether you would succeed or fail at this. But the further challenge is that even to reap minimal results, it takes a very long time of hard work and patience to continue moving without any rewards.
One needs genuine excellence at their work, a commitment to detail and a very high work ethic to make an even more humble beginning in this industry. No matter even if they say that you do need to come from a certain financially secured background to make it in this industry, do not believe them.’ This industry has no sure-shot guarantee of giving you any ROI or even any dividends for your hard work. Also, you will have to work for quite some time before you make your first paycheck. And that too, only if your work is extraordinaire and notches above anything mediocre or seen earlier. To maintain that pedigree of quality, one does need resources and manpower. And to invest in that, one needs to have some financial investments to be made. Also, think of being a ‘Fashion Influencer’, only and only if you can sustain yourself without making any earnings, rather invest from your own pocket into realizing this dream.
“In my last 5 years of being in the fashion and luxury industry, I have seen thrice the number of girls quit their dream of being a Fashion Influencer after a few months of struggle, than those who manage to survive and continue doing this.”
So, if you feel that every other girl these days is a Fashion Influencer in her own right, believe for good that almost thrice of that number has already tried and burnt their hands at it. Now every story doesn’t get to be the success story of the ‘That Boho Girl’, ‘Santoshi Shetty’ or ‘Shereen Love Bug’. Though these girls with their hard work and grit have grained the seed of ambition and aspiration in every other girl who wants to live a life like theirs. Also, the mammoth unbelievable followership that they have is not only because girls aspire to be like them, but also because every other girl wants to live a life like these Fashion Divas are living. What they see is that they collaborate with big designers, wear their outfits and has a whole crew that shoots them and works for them. What they don’t see is the vision of these girls to build such a repertoire of work and how they stuck to that vision and gave their blood ad sweat for it. Also, it cannot be denied that these influencers did get an edge over the others as they started off early on the platform when it was still in the nascent stage. Hence, they got an easy foot in the door and also their own sweet time to make mistakes and learn. They have therefore become a close-knit community now and have shared and learned from each other’s experiences.
Still for girls who dream big for themselves and want to curate the life of a ‘Fashion Influencer’ there is a lot to look forward to.
“Have a clear strategy and plan of action in mind. Be ready to work like a fanatic and give it your all.”
It is not all glam and fashion, but a lot of organizational, structuring and collaborative approach that goes into bringing all of it together. Put your blinders on and just focus on your goal. Commitment, dedication and unwavering work ethics would go a long way in getting you a good name in the industry. It is a small network and everything spreads fast. Remember, you are making an aware decision to put yourself out on a public platform. A lot of uncalled-for criticism, negative feedback and trolling would come your way. Do not be affected by it. Do not aim to make money instantly. Only focus on the uniqueness and quality of your work. Do not serve people what they have already seen. Only those who have a distinct idea in mind would stand through the entire crowd of repetitive handles and would get noticed.
“What meets the eye, is more often not the reality. Behind all the stunning images and visuals on the Instagram page is a lot of hard work, brainstorming and patience. Only aspire to be ‘Fashion Influencer’ if you thoroughly believe that you have it in you to stand out and make it big”
Else, sit in the comforts of your home, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy all the outfit change reels and the makeup videos that all these very talented influencers are churning out for their audiences daily.