The influencer space is booming, and a new generation of tastemakers are leading the charge in creating content that inspires and converts. With a nod to Instagram's "follow" button, we're excited to unveil our newest series, Follow The Leader. These interviews will deep dive into the stories of leading influencers who will speak more about the evolution of their journey and what they've learned about working on campaigns in their specific industry. For the first installment, we're honing in on the fashion industry and speaking to a key leader in the space - enter Alyssa Coscarelli (perhaps better known as @alyssainthecity). If you're style-obsessed, Alyssa is more than likely a top follow on your feed. When she's not working with brands like Lou & Grey, Marc Jacobs, and Net-a-Porter, she's penning shopping pieces as Refinery29's Senior Fashion Market Editor. Read on for more insights into Alyssa's experiences as a fashion influencer along with her best practices for emerging influencers on a similar path.
My growth as an "influencer" has happened pretty organically alongside my career over the past couple of years. I think I started to recognize the opportunities once they started coming in — I remember being so excited to get an email from a brand wanting to work with me (and still do!). It's tough to remember, but I think one of the first brands I worked with was Milly!
In the fashion industry, there's something that clicks about seeing something on someone else and wanting to wear it, too. There's that element of "If they can wear it, so can I." I think that has a lot to do with why influencer marketing works, as well as the aspirational side where people will feel they get closer to who they aspire to be by buying or wearing similar things that those who they aspire to do. Also, a lot of influencers know their audience (or at least, hopefully, they do!) and therefore can market to their audience what they know they want. Influencer marketing in fashion is a combination of inspiring and informing. As far as what needs to be fixed, brands need to know that an influencer's time, work, platform, and likeness do not come for free. I also hope brands continue to make an effort to work with diverse groups of influencers across race, ethnicity, size, sexuality, and beyond (authentically, not just to say they did and check off a box).