The Rise In Popularity Of Influencer Fashion And Beauty Lines

When you already have a massive audience, an eye for design, and a proven marketing strategy, starting your own fashion or beauty line is the inevitable next step for a growing number of influencers.

These not-just-pretty-faces behind perfectly curated and expertly edited social media profiles are savvy influencers, and they’re becoming business figures in their own right.

 

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They’ve moved beyond simply influencing what people buy and wear and are now creating it.

If the expression “work with what you’ve got” is considered, an engaged target audience of thousands – or millions – of followers who already know and love you is a pretty decent start when it comes to future customers and investors.

So, is their business sense gained from building personal brands and growing in the ever competitive influencer space?

Brands have long ago started to realize that influencer marketing can be more effective than traditional marketing when it comes to driving sales. They’ve taken it a step further with brand collaborations with social media stars, hoping consumers will be as interested in an influencer’s product as they are with their social media pages.

 

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For example, Lancôme is known for its influencer collaborations. The cosmetics company released a collection of lipsticks created with popular American influencer Camila Coelho.

Taking it beyond the collaborations, a growing number of influencers are bypassing design school – and often business school for that matter – and are creating their own (often namesake) beauty and fashion collections.

 

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Perhaps one of the most famous examples is the story of Huda Kattan, who has been dubbed “the Bill Gates of beauty influencers.” Kattan began as a makeup artist and beauty blogger in 2010 before starting her own (now hugely successful) makeup line, Huda Beauty, in 2013.

The line – which was valued at $1 billion by Forbes last year – includes eye shadow palettes, perfumes, foundations, lipsticks ,and contouring kits, among other things, and is centred on inclusivity.

Italian Instagram sensation Chiara Ferragni, creator of the super successful blog The Blonde Salad, is the powerhouse entrepreneur behind her own footwear and clothing line, Chiara Ferragni Collection.

Ferragni launched her footwear line back in 2013 and the success led to her collection being sold in hundreds of stores worldwide and also to the opening of her own flagship store in Paris.

 

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Chriselle Lim – owner of website The Chriselle Factor and an Instagram account with 1.1 million followers – launched her own fashion line, Chriselle Lim Collection, that’s available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Shopbop.

Creator of fashion blog WeWoreWhatDanielle Bernstein launched SSO BY DANIELLE, a popular clothing line that specializes in flattering overalls and jumpsuits. 

 

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For some influencers, being a designer was actually an initial goal.

Shea Marie told Forbes that she always wanted to be a designer before an influencer, though it happened the other way around. After becoming known in the social media world, she created a swimwear line called Same, whose bathing suits have graced some of Hollywood’s most famous bodies.

 

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For the most part, influencer brands have been successful — followers turn into customers thanks to a trust in the influencer.

Once you’ve followed an influencer for long enough – becoming familiar with everything from their morning routine to their families – you almost feel like you know them in real life. At a time when spending hard-earned dollars on experiences as opposed to material things has gained major traction, people like to buy things when there’s a personal story behind it.

When it comes to influencer-created products, the consumer can also appreciate a firsthand look into everything from the creative process and the behind-the-scenes work, to daily meetings and design sessions – all documented, naturally, by the beloved influencer.

 

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The growing number of influencer-backed brands has made the fashion industry more accessible.

Of course, some may say that this undermines the talents of those who went to school for fashion design and are currently struggling to get their designs onto runways and into stores.

And that may be true. But – love them or hate them – influencers are disruptors of everything from traditional journalism and advertising to entertainment, replacing these jobs like they are quite literally going out of style.

At a time when numbers and impressions take priority, we can only expect more influencers to manage more than their personal brands.

Featured Image: Instagram/@camilacoelho

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