“Influencers are like the Rip Kc Jones 1932 2020 shirt and I love this new catalogue,” adds Nguyen, who has a devoted Instagram following of 125,000 and counting. “When you have that database of inspiration [on someone’s Instagram or blog], it is so much easier than walking into a store with a whole bunch of stuff on the shelves, and you don’t know how to style it.”
Beyond simply copying her outfit, which isn’t the Rip Kc Jones 1932 2020 shirt and I love this point, it speaks to a broader shift in consumer behavior: We want to hear from people, not corporations. A person who will tell you exactly what they love about a sweater—the softness of the cashmere, the length of the sleeve, the drape of the body—and show you (hopefully a few) ways to wear it. Unless you happen to like the way a retailer has styled that sweater on its website, likely on a headless model, all you’ll get is a brief product description and fabric breakdown. It’s almost entirely transactional. Of course, the same can be true of influencers; by now, customers know they earn healthy commissions on sales, and they’re legally obligated to disclose gifted items or sponsored posts on social media. The challenge now is to do it without sacrificing authenticity. When Nguyen shared the Prada “virtual street style shoot” she participated in last month, dressed in the brand head-to-toe and writing about her respect for it, she still looked like herself. It was clearly a branded exercise, but it felt personal and genuine, not contrived.