Why is Emma Chamberlain a fashion icon?

By Alejandra Hernandez

Named by The New York Times as the girl who ‘changed the world of online video’, with over 11 million YouTube subscribers, 14.5 million people following her on Instagram and listed on Forbes ’30 Under 30’: Emma Chamberlain is the 20-year-old social media celebrity who started on YouTube and ended up on this year’s Met Gala.

But how?

As written by MTV’s Maggie Zhou: ‘In her four years on YouTube, she has gained the trust of a post-millennial generation that craves authenticity and aesthetics.’ In other words, she created a perfect way of bonding with millions of viewers by showing her everyday life without knowing their followers personally. Watching her videos made everyone think they knew everything, which created an authentic ‘oversharing’ trend that became a way of getting engagement by hundreds of influencers a couple of years later.

Her true accessible and relatable persona made her a multimillionaire social entrepreneur who’s now the owner of several businesses. One of them is Chamberlain Coffee. A coffee line created by her, with no wasteful packaging made from fresh coffee beans roasted the day they’re shipped. She also sells her own merchandise, which of course sells out immediately. 

Fashion Industry *hearts* Chamberlain

Emma, listed on the ’30 Under 30’ list by Forbes, was noticed by brands since her follower count started growing. Levi’s took the opportunity to collaborate with her on a sustainability campaign and fast fashion brands like Macy’s also knocked on her door.

Luxury brands didn’t think about it twice either. It took her a few million followers but she even made none other than Louis Vuitton believe in her. Emma’s now the face of their Fall-Winter 2021 shoe campaign and an ambassador. She also made a statement by appearing on this year’s Met Gala wearing the brand, and on their show’s front row.

But how does a social media celebrity, focused on a Gen-Z audience, works perfectly for a high luxury brand? The answer’s easy: A psychological viewer relationship mastered by Emma herself, that magically makes everyone want to be like her and buy everything she owns. Yes, even expensive pieces, because having an aesthetic is basically a must for Gen-Z but not everyone knows how to pull it off. -Voilà.

Emma’s a perfect example of social media’s power. The millions of followers and aesthetic make her a must on Gen-Z’s influence lists. She’s been making her way to the top, now influencing millennials and the fashion industry itself. What do you think of her digital success?

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