PARIS — In the beauty and fashion industry, Instagram and brands have begun to blend into one. And it's happening all over the world. As Sabine Delanglade explains in Les Echos, the French business daily, the social media success stories tend to follow a certain script. You need at least 50,000 followers for sponsors to start being interested in your profile, which can lead to partnerships with existing brands. Top one million, and you might start to think about launching a makeup or clothing line of your own.
But every Instagram "story" is different. Posting in English is usually required to rise to Instagram megastar status, but many haven't started out that way. Here are five international "Instabrands" who've made it big.
@MichelleLewin — VENEZUELA
Michelle Lewin was born in Venezuela but moved in 2012 to Miami, FL. At the age of 17, she focused on a fitness career. The now-fitness model started posting videos of her doing her workout, giving advice on sport and healthy eating in 2014. She has always posted in both Spanish and English on social media since she has moved in the U.S. You now can watch Lewin's workout videos in Spanish and English. She started doing partnerships with fitness brands and even wrote a book in June 2018: The Hot Body Diet: The Plan To Radically Transform Your Body In 28 Days. The Spanish version was also available (La Dieta Del Cuerpazo), a month later. She ended up creating her own clothing line WHEN (gym and streetwear) and developed meal and workout plans apps (they all have their own Instagram pages).
Michelle Lewin wearing her fitness collection one0one — Photo Michelle Lewin/ via Instragram
@HudaBeauty — DUBAI
Huda Kattan has 37.8 million followers on her professional account. Based in Dubai but born in Oklahoma City in the U.S from Iraqi parents, Kattan first started in 2010 with a Wordpress blog named Huda Beauty which today is the most viewed beauty blog on the Internet, with hundreds of makeup tutorials and tips. In 2013, she launched her beauty line also name Huda Beauty, which is sold in Sephora stores worldwide. Forbes reports that it's grown into a billion-dollard brand. Many consider Kattan the most powerful influencer in the makeup industry, even if the first product she sold were false eyelashes!
Huda Kattan at Huda Beauty's new office — Photo: Huda Beauty/ via Instagram
@ChiaraFerragni — ITALY
With 16.8 million followers, the Italian blogger/stylist made branding history with a beautifully sponsored wedding last September. For her nuptials, Ferragni inked partnerships with not with one but seven brands for her special day: Prada, Dior, Versace, Trudi, Alitalia, M&M's and Alberta Ferreti. They even had a sponsored plane transport their guests to the wedding destination. She posted: the plane was #SuppliedByAlitalia. All the sponsorships were tagged with the hashtag "#suppliedby". The hashtag #TheFerragnez was used 26,255 times during and after the wedding. Ferragni has become a huge celebrity in the fashion world, mostly with top Italian brand. By now, most of her posts are in English but she still sometimes sprinkles in some Italian, especially in her Instagram "stories." She recently "crossed the Alps" to launch a makeup collaboration with the French brand Lancôme to be available in 20 countries worldwide.
Chiara Ferragni & Fedez and their "Pomellato" rings — Photo : Chiarra Ferragni / via Instagram
@MuradOsmann — RUSSIA
Murad Osmann is known for his photos series #Followmeto. Everything started in the streets of Barcelona in 2011 when this Russian photographer went on a trip with his wife Nataly and took a simple shot of her walking with his arm outstretched holding her hand. It went viral. That moment turned his passion project into a legitimate travel business. Now, everywhere they go, he snaps a #Followmeto photo for their 4.1 million followers. More than 3 million posts have the hashtag created by Murad Osmann. The couple has their own 20-minute TV show on Channel One Russia, a kind of behind-the-scenes of how they make their online photo and video posts. The TV show is in Russian but English subtitles are available. By now, almost all of their Instagram posts are in English, as Murad and Nataly Osmann also have deals with Macy's and Napa Valley's Beringer Vineyards. Za Lyubov!
#Followmeto Moscow, Russia — Photo: Murad Osmann/ via Instagram
@Nabilla — FRANCE
Like her Kardashian kounterparts, Nabilla Benattia is famous for being famous (or infamous) after her stint on a French reality TV show. Originally from Geneva, Switzerland, she came to France to take part in Les Anges in 2012. The following year, fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier choose her for the presentation of his autumn-winter collection. Benattia was a star at making headlines, most notably in 2015 for stabbing her boyfriend in a dispute. She served six months in prison, her boyfriend survived and they got married. Social media needs people like this!
With 4,4 million followers on Instagram, is one of the biggest influencers in the French language, reaching Francophone audiences around the world. Her edgy teenaged image has since been replaced by a high-brow woman. Yes, the focus is on branding, and she has recently launched a beauty brand Nabcosmetic and swimwear line. Et voila!
Benattia wearing her makeup line — Photo: Nabilla/ via Instagram
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