She has 25.4 million followers on Instagram. She runs a fashion brand called Inamorata and when she announces a new collection, it goes on sale within 24 hours.
At 28, she became famous for her involvement in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” video from 2013. Since then, she has partnered with DKNY, Kerastase, L’Oreal and other brands. The fashion line, Inamorata, was launched in 2017 with her best friend since childhood. All marketing is driven by her Instagram account, which earns her profit from sales and ads.
Recently, Ratajkowski earned a spot in the Forbes 2020 ranking. Forbes 30 Under 30 for her influential entrepreneurial personality. February Forbes joins the designer to find out more about her life and business.
Alexandra Sternlicht: You’ve been a model, actress and influencer for a long time. What made you start a company?
Emiliy Ratajkowski: What people don’t understand about being a model, actress or celebrity is that you see hundreds of offers and contracts. I just became very good at making deals. Build an Instagram profile, build your own business brand. People didn’t think so until three years ago. I already had an Emrata brand, but now I have my own products that I sell.
AS: How does your fan base influence the products you sell and what is your communication with your customers?
ER: Everything is about trust and honesty. We can successfully and accurately convey our message, mission and purpose to our clients and followers. We have a lot of data about our customers and their customer behavior. I have been running Emrata for a long time and I have a very good understanding of what my clients are best at. It’s all about that. We rely only on our information and our customers.
AS: Can you tell me about your first contract received through Instagram?
ER: The first time I think of it is when I visited Gone Girl. That was in early 2014. From the studio, they said to me, “Oh, look at posting and tagging.” And people started thinking and thinking that way.
AS: What do you look for in a company before you start working with it?
ER: I only work with companies that look at me as a brand. I do not allow negotiators on the other side to think that they can swallow me or use my channel for their purposes. The collaborative project has to go through my brand to my followers. Many brands do not understand this. So, the more Inamorata grows, people will say, “This is a real business, it’s developing.”
AS: And tell me how it is that everything you do is perceived to be so unique that it is reflected in the media as an article?
ER: I know, right?
AS: How do you apply it to your set of business solutions?
ER: I get shot even when I walk my dog. It’s annoying, but it also adds a lot of meaning. We capitalize on that. From a PR point of view, people are always trying to fight back. Inamorata capitalizes on natural daily life. We do not try to inspire others to imitate me.
AS: What do you think about the “influencer” economy? Many people try to do what you do. What would you tell them?
ER: Two things:
First, value yourself and high, otherwise no one else would appreciate you. If you find out why these people pay and how much they should pay you, stick with it. After all, that’s how you build a business.
And second. Really listen to your voice, be honest and believe it. All this will only enhance your brand.
AS: What would you do if you weren’t in the business?
ER: Oh, I don’t know. I think my path would lead me to this again. Maybe I would be a therapist or an artist or something. There are no boundaries, especially when building your own world.
AS: If you could solve a worldwide problem in 5 minutes, who would it be?
AS: In that regard, you recently expressed your support for Bernie Sanders as president. You are not afraid to take a political position. What can you say about that?
ER: Oh my God, that’s so hard. I admire many people. Especially anyone who has worked in different backgrounds and opposes stereotypes – in business, in politics and even my business. This is difficult to achieve.
AS: And how does it feel to be on the Forbes Under 30 list?
ER: The feeling is incredible. This is a great achievement for me. I was not born into a family of business-oriented entrepreneurs. I learned everything by myself and achieved it with hard work. My father is an artist, my mother is a writer.
AS: What are your expectations for 2020?
ER: Just for Inamorata?
AS: Basically, for everything. Your hopes and expectations.
ER : Goals vary. Behind all this, I just want to tell my story. Sharing my perspective is my business. I am also working on a book that I am very excited about. A collection of essays that will probably be published next year. However, I hope this will happen again this year. I hope to continue to grow and develop Inamorata.
The world has changed so much. Hiring a model or actress is no longer the same as before. It all revolves around building your own projects.
Trader Martin Nikolov