When it comes to influencers, there is Chiara Ferragni and then there is everyone else. Sure, the Olivia Palermos of the world attend more events and are perhaps better known stateside for their multiple brand affiliations of various caliber, but when it comes to business acumen, thoughtful strategy and monetizing a hyper-engaged international social media following, Ferragni is currently fashion’s top maven. There is a reason Harvard Business School had her back this month to lecture.
One of the savviest ways she has translated “likes” to sales is through her eponymous, Italian-made shoe line, which is expanding into other categories such as jackets and hoodies. During Milan Fashion Week on Sunday, she introduced both her latest collection (more on that in bit) and also a pop-up shop on Piazza Risorgimento 8. The candy-themed concept complete with an accompanying sweet shop, her first entree into retail, will be open until March 30. “I’m loving what my team did with this location,” she said. Clearly, her followers did too, as the space was packed with smartphone-wielding disciples.
Indeed the sizable team behind both her Chiara Ferragni Collection fashion brand and The Blonde Salad blog (with integrated e-commerce) are what allow Ferragni to “never stop” (her catchphrase) and take so many flattering, well-lit photos (many of them sponsored) along the way. Her level of involvement skews primarily to the aesthetics, branding and social media (she manages the account herself), but when asked about bestsellers, she consults one of her staffers, or TBS (The Blonde Salad) Crew, as she calls them. “I have a good sense of what my customers want will respond to and what will be popular. I get a lot of feedback,” she noted on her own style of Instagram crowd-sourcing. “These Mongolian lamb snow boots everyone loved and so now they are back again. But I want to keep showing them new pieces too and figure out what’s next.”
On to the fall ’17 collection. “I wanted to try something different and experiment a bit more,” said Ferragni, citing the street style in cities such as Seoul and Tokyo as inspiration as well as “girl gangs.”
Ergo: a faux fur-lined mule version of her loafers, emoticon beaded sandals and silk pumps embellished with star crystals at the side, which she herself wore and showed a more sophisticated side. There were also trend-driven versions of the season’s essential velvet and patent-stretch booties, plus ’90s-style platform sneakers. Overall, these are not the most elegant Italian shoes, but they are fun, reflect her happy, light-hearted disposition and are certainly eye-catching.
As she was swept away to interact with her swarming fans, it was clear that amongst her own girl gang of followers, she’s Queen C. And they want what she’s got, shoes and all.
To view the full collection, click through the gallery.