Victoria Barbara is a model-turned-influencer who has garnered experience as a fashion blogger since last year (2019) when she attended PFW, MFW, and NYFW consecutively for multiple luxury brands.
From then until now, Victoria’s social media presence has gained over 1 million followers organically and has earned over 3,943,687 weekly impressions on Instagram at @officialvictoriabarbara.
I spoke with Victoria at length about what it takes to break into the fashion industry, where I learned about her process managing her online platform as a way to bring women together as a community and empower each other through numerous aspects of fashion, travel, beauty, and wellness.
Victoria shares her tips below which will serve as insightful advice for those looking to break into the fashion industry.
FIRST, AUTHENTICITY OVER MONEY
Victoria stresses to collaborate with like-minded brands and individuals who resonate with you and your target audience.
“Your followers rely on authenticity and when you take opportunities that don’t align with your brand message just for money — it shows.”
When putting forth information, Victoria adds that she, “Look[s] up the most credible resources before giving out information.”
In summation, authenticity has to do with staying on-brand. It might cost you a little bit of money in the short-term to stay true to your brand and your message, but it will help you build a loyal following in the long run.
BE OPEN AND RESILIENT TO CHANGE
Although Instagram might be the popular medium today, that may not be the case tomorrow. You have to invest time into all of the different platforms to break into the fashion industry today, platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat. These platforms will help you widen your reach.
Try to make sure you’re balanced — you want to be making connections online and in person. Scope out local fashion events, first, then start to branch out to other vents put on in different cities (and, eventually, other countries) by your favorite brands and influencers.
“Being open to change helps me get closer, because I have to answer my fans, and I get to know them individually, once I start speaking to my fans we establish a long-term friendship.”
ENGAGEMENT IS KEY — FOR YOU AND YOUR AUDIENCE!
With “likes” already starting to become a thing of the past, engagement is starting to reveal itself to be king. By responding to comments and messages from her audience, Victoria has built some incredible brand loyalty… and you can, too!
Harkening back to authenticity, Victoria spoke of getting a little more personal on your social platforms, saying that, ”You can’t judge anyone or know them from their channel, getting personal changes the whole dynamics of the relationship.”
When I asked her about pitfalls to avoid as an early influencer, Victoria said, “One of the trends to gain quick social media attention involves exposing ourselves visually. Instead of thinking in terms of short term gain, it’s more important to think about what kind of brand message you are trying to send out and who you are attracting.
A strong first move for breaking into the fashion industry is collaborating with Victoria Barbara on Instagram at @officialvictoriabarbara.
Victoria’s street style in cities across the globe has been featured in fashion magazines and outlets such as Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, The Times UK, Vogue Russia, The Telegraph, Stylist.co.uk, and E! Online.