The influencer phenomenon hit the fashion industry like a tsunami, radically changing the way products are conceived, spread and sold. If initially these personalities were seen as King Midas pivotal in the success of a campaign or of a collection, now the apparently perfect surface of the influencers is starting to show its cracks, calling for a reflection on their roles.
Not a long time ago we reported on the two influencers that at the moment of launching their own business had very different turnouts. On one side Aimee Song, better known as @SongOfStyle, with more than 5,3 million followers on Instagram, who gave life to her eponymous collection, made in collaboration with Revolve. Behind the project lies a serious and layered business plan, which paid off: the capsule went sold out in the first 24 hours, and every drop is a success.
On the other side, Arianna Reene, on Instagram as @Arii, who despite her 2.6 million followers did not manage to sell the 36 t-shirts necessary to keep her brand alive. A failure due undoubtedly to the lack of a real marketing plan, but also to the incapacity of turning her followers (the real ones at least) into customers, because of a not catchy enough feed, not used in a smart way.
The latest influencer case regards Belle Delphine, an influencer with 4,2 million followers on IG, cosplayer reportedly ready to start her career in the porn film industry. A few days ago the South African influencer put on the market a series of jars containing her real bath water. Each jar is priced $30 dollars, but Belle points out that the water is not to be drinken, but to be used for sentimental purposes. The unusual product went sold out in just a few hours, to the point that Belle had to announce that more jars will be produced in the next weeks.
Delphine’s case is definitely different from the other two mentioned above, also because here there’s a fetish and sexually connotated component that was missing in the other cases. One question pops in our mind: was she a genius for coming up with this product, apparently so sought after, or her audience naively and foolishly fell for the always half-naked influencer? What is certain is that influencers don’t have communicative and commercial power they used to have at the beginning, but they can still be effective and successful with products designed specifically for their audience, almost fetish items – as in this case.
It’s often said that the influencer bubble is about to burst, that one day these professional figures will not exist anymore or will evolve into something else. In this case, Belle Delphine has proved what it means to influence, creating in her followers a need – they didn’t know they had – and a way to satisfy it.