In just a few years, B. Simone has amassed a 5 million-plus social media following, with celebrities like Rihanna and Jamie Foxx among those who have engaged with her content.
But in a cluttered landscape where likes and follows don’t always translate into dollars and cents, the young comedian, musician and beauty-brand founder has cracked the code.
And now, a foray into the shoe industry could be next.
The multihyphenate social media star is set to debut a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Foot Locker Inc.-owned banner Footaction: She is the first woman to create and sell an exclusive line with the retailer. The collection, launching on Nov. 17 on Footaction.com and at select stores, will feature several apparel pieces, including leggings, joggers, crop tops and hoodies — all priced between $30 to $65.
And, when FN caught up with her for a conversation on Instagram Live Friday, she hinted the two-year partnership could eventually see her dabble in shoes.
“I would love to do [shoes] and more cut-and-sew [apparel] pieces that I could design myself. … This is a long-term partnership, so each time we drop something, it’s going to be better and better,” she said. “I love that Footaction has let me be so hands-on with the designing and the messaging and what I wanted to talk about and represent.”
Much of the collection is adorned with her signature catch phrase “Baby girl,” which she made popular in her comedic rants on Instagram, saying the two words in a tone that has become her calling card of sorts (emphasis on the “girl”). The female-centric phrase, B. Simone said, aligns with a key objective of her personal brand, but is also consistent with Footaction’s focus of late.
“The whole campaign behind this is ‘baby girl love yourself.’ We’re pushing that narrative,” B. Simone said. “It ties with stuff I’ve been going through in my real life: I went through stuff in the media; I went through stuff privately and publicly. And the only thing that really got me through that was loving myself and [saying], ‘[Forget] what everybody else thinks about you. What do you think about you?’ If you don’t like something about yourself, change it. If you can’t change it, embrace it. That’s what this campaign is promoting.”
Indeed, Patrick Walsh, VP and GM at Footaction, said the retail chain is eager to bring this “for women, by women” collaboration to its consumers, as it views the women’s market as an integral part of its long-term growth strategy.
“She’s a total boss — a Black entrepreneur — and she inspires youth to believe they, too, can be successful,” Walsh added. “Footaction is committed to using our platform to inspire youth and empower Black entrepreneurs, so it was a perfect fit. We will continue to celebrate and champion cultural pride through product, advocacy, community engagement and partnerships with young entrepreneurs.”
As she continues to leverage her influence — that now extends well beyond the realm of social media — B. Simone said she’s leaning on the same mantras that were key to making her successful in the first place: being herself and listening to her audience.
“It’s realizing what your followers follow you for,” she explained. “I really wanted to do music. But I would drop music and it would get 40,000 views. I would drop comedy and it would get a million views. It was like: This is what the people want to see right now. I love music, but I could always do that later.”
She added, “Follow what your consumer wants from you.”