Five years ago, she had a standing-room ticket at Roberto Cavalli. Now, she has a seat at Chanel. Derek Blasberg looks at how the Milan native not only built a fashion blog, but an empire.
It wasn’t so long ago that “blogger” was a dirty word, a derogatory term used to describe overdressed young people who swarmed outside fashion shows hoping and praying someone would take their picture. Chiara Ferragni, star of the Blonde Salad, a blog she founded in 2009, was always aware of the connotation, but she says she was never bothered by it. “Some loved me, some hated me—but they all followed me.”
Behold the 28-year-old’s current statistics: 5.4 million followers on Instagram, more than 14 million page views per month on her Web site, a staff of 20, and, according to her manager, more than $10 million made in 2015 from Web-site advertising, brand partnerships, and an eponymous shoe line. It’s no wonder she was the first-ever blogger to be the focus of a Harvard Business School case study. When the project was presented in Boston last January, Ferragni made sure she was in the audience.
Ferragni grew up in Milan, and her mother worked in the showroom of the Italian fashion label Blumarine. Like many fashion-conscious millennials, she documented her outfits on Flickr. In 2010, when she was 23, she received a standing-room ticket for a Roberto Cavalli show. Two years later, she had a seat at Chanel. “That was the dream—the golden ticket!” Today, she runs an online empire between homes in Beverly Hills and Milan. The majority of her staff are women under the age of 30. “It’s surreal [to me] that I can give so many people jobs based on my passion,” says Ferragni. She’s also just been named a global ambassador for Pantene.
And, in case anyone wonders where her site’s name originated, she explains, “I was at lunch with some friends one day and we looked down at our table—blond pasta, blond pizza—and then someone joked, ‘Blonde salad,’ and it stuck.”
[By Derek Blasberg] [From Vanity Fair] [Read More]