Meet the 9-Year-Old Telling You What to Wear
The Wall Street Journal
Ray A. Smith
One of fashion’s “It” girls is actually a girl. Not a young woman. Not a teen. A girl.
Giana, known to her 22,800 Instagram followers as Dear Giana, is a photogenic 9-year-old artist and fashion enthusiast with an elfin frame and a marketing heft that brands want to harness.
Through her street-style flair and fashion drawings displayed on an Instagram account her mom runs, Giana has corralled fans, including art galleries, Vogue.com, streetwear fashion blog Highsnobiety and Nike . The sneaker and apparel giant collaborated with Dear Giana on three T-shirts to be released Oct. 11, the International Day of the Girl.
“It’s very cool, for sure,” said Giana during a recent interview, where she had on Nike Air Force 1 sneakers and Nike socks.
Giana is among the stylish pre-teens made famous by social media and anointed mini-influencers or mini-creatives. Their ascent comes as marketers are striving to reach Generation Z, the roughly 67 million individuals born roughly between 1997 and a few years ago. They have about $44 billion in purchasing power, according to Mintel. Thanks to social media, members of Gen Z can see a staggering array of merchandise, and pinpoint precisely the clothes and shoes they want to wear, even if their parents are still paying for them. Gen Z also is the most racially diverse generation in American history: Almost half are a race other than non-Hispanic white.
“They already hold much influence, particularly due to their unprecedented digital access and resources, which is prompting them to try things while they are young that weren’t possible for past generations of kids,” said Meredith Hirt, senior insights writer at Cassandra, a research firm specializing in young consumers. “Children don’t have to wait until they grow up to be influential, …which is causing brands across all industries to take notice.”