Wanna be an Instagram star? These days, it seems that all you need is an Hermes Kelly and a couple pairs of Jimmy Choos.
One of Instagram’s fastest-growing subcultures is made up of bored housewives, rich international kids and wannabes who gain upwards of 20,000 followers by posting photos of their Hermes Birkins, Louboutin red soles, and Chanel J12 diamond-encrusted watches. They’re not famous. They’re not fashion people. They’re just regular folks…with large spending accounts. I like to call them the “Real Housewives of Instagram.”
First, let’s just set some benchmark Instagram stats for comparison. As of publication time, Lucky editor-in-chief and beloved social media superstar Eva Chen has over 83K followers, Insta-newbie Gwyneth Paltrow just hit 30K, Lucky contributing digital editor and social media groundbreaker John Jannuzzi counts almost 11K, and this freelance fashion writer can’t even break 200. (I know.) Speaking for myself only, maybe I’m just not posting the right material.
Then, let’s look at self-described “mother-fashionista” or “momista,” Gheely, who skyrocketed from zero to nearly 15,000 followers in a little over a year.
“I went back to the first picture I posted,” she reminisces. “A pair of Christian Louboutin Pigalle—my most favorite style from the designer.”
More than anything, the Instagram popularity of this certain set is driven by labels. The fancier the clothes and accessories you snap, the more followers you have.
“One hundred percent—Hermes is the most popular,” says IG Girl #1 (she wants to keep her handle private, even though, yes, her account is public) who has a near 3,700 and growing following.
“Christian Louboutin, Chanel, Cartier then follow. I get loads of likes when I showcase Hermes and Christian Louboutins.”
International young man of means, Kane—also known as Kanelk_k—attracted more than 30,000 followers in just a year. He doesn’t think it’s just the flashy labels and statement pieces that guarantee Insta-celebrity, though. (And this guy seriously loves him some studded Loubie smoking slippers and designer man-clutches.) “The ‘secret’ is to have one’s individual style and taste,” he explains. “Staying authentic to who you are, as you are your own brand! I never follow trends or what is ‘hot’ in Hollywood. I would wear a mink coat in summer if it makes me happy!”
“The great Coco Chanel said that ‘In order to be irreplaceable, one has to be different,’” he continues [technically the quote is “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” Semantics.] “That is why Coco Chanel is Chanel, and that is why Kane is Kane. I always say why blend in, when you can stick out?”