You don’t become the world’s most influential blogger overnight and Chiara Ferragni has come a long way since she first began uploading her daily looks to Flickr in 2007. In fact, nothing could prepare the Italian beauty for the global success that would follow suit. Fast-forward to 2016 and The Blonde Salad (her blog-turned-lifestyle website) has amassed a colossal fan base, leading to campaigns with brands like Guess and Superga, a spot on Forbes 2015 ‘30 Under 30’ list (the only blogger to make it) and her own accessory collection. And she’s only 28. Thanks to her head-turning style, she’s every designer’s dream clotheshorse and a firm fixture on the hottest FROWs. Somehow, between city-hopping, making millions and taking up her new role as Amazon’s European Fashion Ambassador (talk about a perfect pairing, huh?), the law student-come-style maven found time to chat outfit regrets, building her empire and what itreally takes to become an Insta-star. Did we mention she’s only 28?! You may want to take notes…
Congrats on becoming Amazon’s European Fashion Ambassador, Chiara!
‘It’s exciting, isn’t it? I’m the face of Amazon’s new campaign and I’ve edited a capsule of my favourite pieces available on site – there was so much to choose from, it was hard to whittle down!’
The Blonde Salad
site has gone mega. What made you start the blog?
‘I always loved taking photos of my outfits, mainly to see the reaction I’d get from sharing them with people online. After stumbling across an American blog it dawned on me – I should start my own! I never imagined what was going to come of it. Sometimes, I still can’t quite believe it.’
There’s been a ‘blogger backlash’ recently, with some girls crippling under the pressure. Does this worry you?
‘This career isn’t for everybody – some people make it look so easy, but it’s harder than it seems, and people get overwhelmed. It’s important to understand yourself and your limits. Nothing’s worth losing your sanity over. Social media is a tool, that’s all it is – if you don’t realise that, it can eat you alive.’
You put your law degree on hold to follow your fashion dreams – was that a scary decision?
‘It was definitely difficult, but I knew I had to seize the opportunities The Blonde Salad was giving me. I was studying and working on my website at the same time, so I had to prioritise. I like to think I’ll go back to my studies sometime.’
We’ve heard you never wear the same outfit twice… Is that true?
‘Yes, kind of! I never wear the exact same outfit – of course, I’ll wear the pieces again but I make a conscious effort to style differently – there’s always something I change.’
Which piece of clothing do you love the most?
‘There’s nothing I love more than my black leather jacket – I’ve had it for years and don’t go anywhere without it. Saying that, having my own Hermes bag never gets old, I bought it last summer and owning it is a dream come true!’
Is there anything you regret wearing?
‘I try not to dwell on any past outfits – life’s too short.’
Is there anything you refuse to wear?
‘Tight dresses, for sure! I just don’t feel myself in them. Colour-wise, I steer clear of bright green at all costs – I’ve learnt the hard way that it’s not a good look for me.’
What’s been the biggest ‘pinch me’ moment of your career?
‘Without a doubt, when I was named as one of Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ last year. I’ve never been so proud.’
You’re an Instagram-pro! What are your tricks for taking the perfect outfit shot?
‘It all depends on the light, if it’s too harsh it’ll look unflattering. Simplicity is key – especially when it comes to backgrounds. Anything too busy will detract from what you’re actually trying to show people.’
What’s your go-to filter?
‘I actually use an app called Afterlight which is perfect for touching up your shots and for giving them a dreamy, pastel effect. The ‘Magnolia’ filter is my fave.’
You’ve also got your own shoe line – why footwear?
‘I love bags but there are so many iconic bags out there, I knew it would be hard to make my mark. I wanted to create a range of shoes that people could afford – I love my £2,000 heels just as much as my £20 flea market sandals and, regardless of price tag, they can each change the vibe of an outfit. That’s what I wanted to create – game-changing footwear.’
In a sea of blogs, how do you make yours stand out?
‘In the early days, I posted as much as I possibly could. My opinions were 100% honest and people responded to that. I never accepted jobs that didn’t feel ‘me’ and that’s what I’ve maintained throughout my career. No fakery. ’
What advice would you give to fledgling fashion bloggers?
‘Honestly, you don’t need a blog right now, it’s all about social media. Taking time to produce amazing photos is key. Write as much as you possibly can in the captions, and use that as a way of communicating with your followers – you can write as much as you want in an Instagram post, so use that to your advantage. A blog isn’t essential any more.’
Ferragni’s Vital Stats
£8.5M: Chiara’s Estimated Net Worth
6M: The Blonde Salad’s Monthly Page Views
5.5M: Instagram Followers
268K: Twitter Fans
21: The Age She Was When She Started Her Blog
16: People In Her Team