THE longest queues at the Venice film festival have not been to see Hollywood stars. Instead the most hysterical fans were those who thronged the Lido dreaming of a selfie with Chiara Ferragni, the fashion influencer who has become rich selling clothes and her starry you-can-have-it-all lifestyle on Instagram. Hundreds were turned away from screenings of a new Amazon Prime documentary, Chiara Ferragni — Unposted, about her remarkable rise. “You will never understand our love for her,” said Angela Fozzi, 24, who had made the long trip from Milan to see her and waited outside the cinema till 1am in the hope of a chance encounter. “She is the greatest role model for women in the world,” the supermarket cashier said, her hands shaking with emotion. “She did it all herself. All she had was her smartphone and determination. She is an inspiration for women and we are so proud she is Italian.”
Such is Ferragni’s appeal that her wildly lavish three-day nuptials in Sicily, where she tied the knot with Italian rapper Fedez, reportedly made more of a splash online than the British royal wedding of Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle. In the film, major fashion players including LVMH’s Delphine Arnault and Moschino’s Jeremy Scott queue up to trumpet how the super influencer has democratised fashion and to dismiss “the haters” who at one time or another also included plenty of style royalty.
With more than 17 million followers on Instagram and her own $40-million fashion line, Ferragni can no longer be dismissed as a flash in the pan. The influencer’s trailblazing story has become a Harvard Business School example of how social media fame can be monetised, with brands paying for her to endorse their products.
Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2019