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How Mega-Influencer Emily Ratajkowski Turns Obsessive Fans Into A Booming Business(Forbes)

March 2, 2020

 

 

When Emily Ratajkowski announces a new collection from her fashion brand Inamorata to her 25.4 million Instagram followers, it sells out in 24 hours. 

 

28-year-old Emily Ratajkowski first went viral in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” music video in 2013. Since, she’s done partnership deals with DKNY, Kerastase, L’Oreal and many others. She has an Instagram following equivalent to the combined populations of New York, London, Los Angeles and Singapore. Her clothing company Inamorata, which she started in 2017 with her childhood best friend from San Diego by selling a polka-dot bikini DTC now includes 85 swim, apparel, accessory and lingerie products. It’s self-funded, marketed almost exclusively through Ratajkowski’s Instagram, privately owned and has been profitable since launch. 

 

And recently Ratajkowski earned a place on the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 list for her influencer-entrepreneurship. This month, Forbes joined the model-influencer-designer-founder to learn about the life and business of Emrata.

 

Alexandra Sternlicht: You've been modeling, acting and influencing for a very long time. What made you decide to found a company?

Emily Ratajkowski: The thing that people don't realize about being a model, an actor, and celebrity influencer, is that you see a ton of contracts. I became really good at doing deals. A lot of those deals were licensing deals, which means that I was lending my name and my creative direction to a brand and then getting a small percentage of the profits in addition to a flat fee. I'd get this nice check for this small percentage, and I started being like, "Okay, this is crazy, because that means they're making that much more than me and I really helped with the sale of this."

Now it's a pretty common understanding: building out your Instagram is building a brand. People weren't thinking that way three years ago. And I was like, "I already had built a brand with Emrata, but now I want to change this into something where I'm not waiting to do collabs; I have my own products that I'm selling.”

 

AS: You have an enormous social following and a really active fan base. How does that affect your business and the types of products that you sell, and how you speak to your customers?

ER: It’s everything, to be honest. We really are able to tailor our launches, categories and the general messaging of the brand to our followers and our customers.

What's great about having followers, and people signing up for our email is that we get a lot of data on those customers and their shopping tendencies. I have been running Emrata for quite a long time now and have a pretty good understanding of what my followers respond to. It's about building that out. But what's really fun about it is there's no calendar—we're not relying on anybody else, except our own information and our customer.

 

AS: You’ve grown up on social media and have had this really amazing social media presence that you’ve turned into a business. Talk about your journey.

ER: When I hadn't built a following and wasn't famous in any way, I was a working model. I would be on set—this was 2011—post an Instagram and everyone would be like, "What is this weird thing this kid is doing?" But I really liked it, partly because as a working model, I had so little control over my own image. I didn't get to style; I didn't get to creative draft; I didn't get to choose. Instagram was my way of doing my own creative direction. It was really fun and it was natural, and filled something that was missing from my work. And yeah, it just grew—and grew—very organically.

There was a point where people started to be like, "Okay, wow, this is actually an incredible way to communicate directly with people, and fans, and followers." 

 

AS: Can you tell me about your first Instagram-based contract?

ER: The first time that I remember, I was on a press tour for Gone Girl, which was early 2014. The studio was like, "Oh, make sure she posts and tags." People we're starting to think that way.

 

AS: For contracts these days, what do you look for in a company that you're going to work with?

ER: I really only want to work with brands that see me as a brand as well. My big thing with all my agents or my lawyer negotiating deals: the conversation needs to be not like, "Oh, we've hired this girl so we can take over her thing that she's built and use her channel the way that we want." It needs to speak to my branding and my followers.  A lot of brands still don’t understand that. So, the more that Inamorata grows, people are like, "Oh, yeah, it's an actual business.” But in my mind, I've always been running a business.

 

AS: Yeah, and one thing that's unique to you is that everything you do turns into a news headline: ‘Emily's wearing socks with jeans—’

ER: I know. 

 

 

 

The full article read on the Forbes

 

 

 

 

著名影响者 Emily Ratajkowski 如何将狂热粉丝变成赚钱生意

(Forbes)

 

 

当 Emily Ratajkowski 向她的 2540 万 Instagram粉丝发布她的时装品牌 Inamorata 新系列时,该系列在

24 小时内就销售一空。

 

28 岁的 Emily Ratajkowski 于 2013 年首次走红是在 Robin Thicke 的“Blurred Lines”mv 中。她的

Instagram粉丝数量相当于纽约、伦敦、洛杉矶和新加坡的总人口。她的服装公司 Inamorata 于 2017 年

与她童年时代的圣地亚哥最好的朋友开始合作,最开始成立是圆点比基尼DTC打头,现已包括 85 种泳衣、

服装、配饰和内衣产品。它是自筹资金,几乎完全通过 Ratajkowski 的 Instagram进行营销,是私有企业,

自推出以来就一直盈利。

 

最近,Ratajkowski 凭借她的影响力企业家精神而荣登 2020 年福布斯 30 岁以下杰出青年榜单。本月,

Forbes 邀请到这位模特-影响力者-设计师-创始人,了解 Emrata 的生活和工作。

 

 

原文 Forbes

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