Instagram might be the best thing that’s ever happened to fashion. The image-focused social media platform lends itself perfectly to showcasing outfits and spotting new fashion trends. It’s easy to follow the travels, daily outfits (#OOTD), and fashion week updates of your favorite style icons. As such, fashionistas have taken to Instagram to build a following and eventually becoming brands of their own.
Jaime Xie has done just that in a short time. Originally from northern California, Jaime now spends her time in Los Angeles, New York and Paris. At 146,000 followers, she partners with luxury brands such as Gucci, Fendi, and Prada, and being an influencer has become her career.
Mochi had the opportunity to chat with Jaime on the phone about high fashion, all things Instagram, and tiny bags, one of the latest trends.
YS: What were you like when you were younger? Where did you grow up?
JX: I grew up in a small city near Stanford University called Atherton with my two younger brothers. I’ve always had a strong personality ever since I was young and always felt comfortable voicing my honest opinions.
YS: Was there a certain moment when you realized you were destined for a career as a luxury fashion influencer?
JX: I’ve loved fashion for as long as I can remember! I used to always play dress up after school in the closet. I was also a competitive horseback rider from lower school all the way through high school. Even though I was very passionate about the sport, I knew I did not want to make a career out of it.
After I finished high school, I went to Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM). I realized that FIDM was not the right fit for me after the first year so I left and decided to pursue my career as a luxury fashion influencer full-time and haven’t stopped since.
YS: Who do you go to for advice? Why?
JX: My mother. She knows me inside out, can read my mind, and has been through all the ups and downs. My mother is very hands on and always makes her time available to me and my brothers. She is very close to all of us and I feel very lucky to have her.
YS: Do you think Asian women are reflected in the fashion/influencer industry?
JX: There could always be more! It’s very cool that we live in a time that regardless of where you’re from or look like, you can pursue your passions. A small change is still a change. There are definitely some Asian women in the fashion industry that I look up to like Eva Chen, Tiffany Hsu and Nicole Warne.
YS: Is Asian representation important to you? Why?
JX: Representation for all is important to me! I think everyone should be represented for who they are.
YS: How have you evolved as an influencer since you began?
JX: Before I decided to do this full time, my family and friends were taking photos for me and I didn’t pay much attention to what I was posting. Now I work with photographers to create higher quality photos. But nowadays the camera quality on phones is so good, you can’t really tell the difference.
YS: You travel a lot, is there a place you identify with the most? Why?
JX: I’ve been to so many beautiful places, but my heart will always belong in Paris. There’s so much in terms of art, culture, food, fashion and architecture. I find Europe as a whole to be such a charming, fascinating and beautiful [continent], but Paris is the city I identify with the most.
YS: What are your goals as an influencer? Do you see yourself starting your own brand?
JX: Yes absolutely I would love to start a brand in the future. I haven’t thought much about it but I know I would want it to be a luxury high-end brand and it would definitely be pieces I would want to wear myself too.
Currently, I love working with the luxury fashion brands and creating content and collaborating with them. And my focus now is to expand on that and work on bigger projects and develop stronger relationships with all my favorite luxury fashion houses.
I also love to travel and see the world so one of the other perks for me is traveling! I want to travel as much as I can, as far as I can and as long as I can.
YS: What fashion trends should we be on the look out for this fall?
JX: Mini bags! I’m talking about super tiny, micro bags that are not even the size of the palm of your hand. I’m obsessed with tiny bags and I will definitely be carrying them all fashion month.
I think feathers will also be big this season. I absolutely love feathers so I’m all for it and have lots of fun feather pieces I can’t wait to wear!
YS: What were some of the big career steps that you took in order to get where you are today?
JX: The biggest career step would be choosing to leave college to pursue my love of fashion. It just wasn’t possible to go to school and accomplish my career goals the way I envisioned it due to all the traveling.
YS: What do you think your Instagram page offers that other blogs don’t?
JX: Higher quality content and consistency. There are a lot of mid-range or fast fashion influencers, but not as many influencers that focus only on luxury fashion. I’m essentially taking looks off the runway and showing you how to wear them in real life and style them in different ways. Styling is also one of my favorite things that many people always praise me for the looks I put together. I like for others to see my Instagram as a daily dose of outfit/fashion inspiration.
Follow Jaime on Instagram.