What we wear is increasingly based on what we see on social media, as fashion influencers take over from traditional glossies in helping us shop
Do you often stand in front of doors painted from the school of Farrow & Ball (Sulking Room Pink or Elephant’s Breath)? Does your Boyy buckle bag hang just below your Citizens of Humanity boyfriend jeans? Crucially, are you unafraid to wear pom-poms or chiffon on the school run? Yikes. Sounds as though you’re a mummy fashion influencer, or blogger, or Instagram expert with 100K (and counting) followers. Or a mix of them all and more, with a canny ability to turn your life into a catwalk.
The parent fashion influencers are one sector of a global superpower. Where once a question at the school gate about a box-fresh purchase might have led the asker to the nearest branch of Next, now a new item of clothing can beam across the globe to a potential audience of millions. The value of the global influencer market on Instagram is estimated to be worth nearly US$2.5 billion in 2019. 78% of European marketing agencies are using it, by giving clothing, and throwing influencer parties.
Which means that your school gate question might now be answered by, “it was gifted to me by LoveShackFancy.”
“The value of the global influencer market on Instagram is estimated to be worth nearly US$2.5 billion in 2019″
If you possess a phone there is no barrier to enter the influencer market. And if you’re a time-poor parent it’s a career you can do at midnight in your PJs. You’ll obviously need to be able to set up gorgeous images, and be able to string a sentence together (though the latter isn’t even that crucial). Being successful is another thing altogether. You’ll need the hide of a rhino to build up followers because no brand will take you seriously until you’ve a minimum of 10,000. At 30,000 you can start charging around £750 for posts which might only take you a few minutes. The most sought-after Instagrammers earn up to £60,000 a post. We’re not even talking the Rosie Huntington-Whiteleys of this world, but a mother near you and me, possibly changing clothes in the back of the car while waiting for U11B cricket match to end.
What are you waiting for – strike a pose, there’s nothing to it?
We catch up with @buffysees mother of two and up and coming fashion influencer.
Where did your love of fashion first begin?
Very early on. By the time I was two I insisted on picking my own outfits, and would, “not be told”. I’ve heard my Mum recount this tale so many times, and thought she was exaggerating. Then I had Marlie. At 18 months she would say, “No Mama, yukky” when I held up something that was not covered in Unicorns or Peppa flipping Pig!
How do you stop yourself chasing numbers on Instagram?
I am, of course, chasing numbers. It’s like an addiction; at every milestone you want more. But isn’t that the same in any field, when you want to achieve? The important thing is to remember why you started your account and focus on that. I’m pretty thick skinned, and also know that everything that’s REALLY important isn’t on a screen.
What’s been your most exciting social media moment?
When I only had a very small following (it’s still pretty small!) I was invited to a Wallis event. I turned up not knowing one soul in a room full of Instagramming women! More sequins than a drag contest, louder than a football stadium. It was daunting. Within seconds friendly faces introduced themselves. Before I knew it four hours and five cocktails had passed and I was at an afterparty with @Mercer7 and @themumlife_styled – where we danced on tables until the wee hours! My kinda people: women who work hard, support each other and like to dance!
Is there anything you wish you hadn’t posted?
Not yet! I’m not a big one for regret, she says (until she posts the accidental naked shot while trying something on).
What would you ultimately like to happen as an influencer?
Instagram has been a fantastic platform for me. I started my account to get myself back out there after predominately looking after my kids for the last five years. It’s opened doors and helped me realise that I work with fashion and interiors. One day I’d love to design my own dresses and do more writing. I turn 40 in May and would love to get my blog sorted for then.