With more than 100,00 Facebook fans, 300,000 Twitter followers and an audience of more than 7.2 million on Instagram, Chiara Ferragni has leveraged her Blonde ambition into e-stardom as a fashion blogger and designer.
Christian Dior, Chanel, Superga and Louis Vuitton are among a covetable roster of Ferragni’s collaborators. Her entrepreneurial savvy and millennial appeal is such that Harvard Business Review formed a case study around Brand Ferragni last year.
And the Italian native’s tremendous impact on the fashion community continues to rise. It is fitting, then, that she will be honored on Nov. 29 in New York City as the Style Influencer of the Year at the 30th annual Footwear News Achievement Awards, which recognize the industry’s most outstanding brands, designs and personalities. Ferragni will join names like Tabitha Simmons, Nicole Richie and Alexa Chung, who were awarded the honor in 2012, 2014 and 2015, respectively.
“I am pleased and humbled to accept this award and to join past recipients who I have long admired and respected,” Ferragni told FN. “A very special thanks to Footwear News for honoring me with this Style Influencer Award.”
Other honorees at the ceremony, affectionately dubbed the Oscars of Shoes, include Rihanna and Puma’s Creeper for Shoe of the Year, Designer of the Year Paul Andrew, Lifetime Achievement Award winner Aldo Bensadoun, Icon Award winner Iris Apfel and Hall of Fame inductee Linda Fargo, fashion maven at Bergdorf Goodman.
Ferragni launched The Blonde Salad in 2009 — and her coverage of fashion, beauty and travel categories quickly won her fans in consumers and industry observers. One year later, while studying law at Milan’s Bocconi University, her unique storytelling — pitching products to her readership with an editorial and lifestyle spin — became a lucrative venture through paid referral links. The practice came ahead of what has later become a standard for social media influencers with clout: paid endorsements.
In the blink of an eye — much like the logo of her eponymous shoe range — the Chiara Ferragini Collection debuted in 2013 online and at pop-ups such as Le Bon Marché in Paris, Selfridges in London and Level Shoe District in Dubai.
Forbes awarded Ferragini a spot on its 2015 30 Under 30 list of rising entrepreneurs. That same year, she became the first influencer to land a Vogue cover when she graced Vogue España.
At the top of 2016, Pantene named Ferragini as its global ambassador, and Amazon Fashion followed by tapping her to front its international campaign.
The FNAAs are sponsored by FFANY, Zappos Luxury, FDRA and Two Ten.