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Are diversity and inclusivity a thing in the Parisian fashion influencer scene?

7th October, 2019

I’ve been living in Paris for two years now. I think two years is a decent time to do some serious observations on a specific subject, and that is exactly what I’ve been doing with the Parisian fashion industry. Particularly, the fashion influencer scene.

Coming from Latin America, where we are quite influenced by the trends and topics regarding ways of consumption and beauty aesthetics coming from the United States —at least at some level—, I was surprised that two of the key words that has taken the American and Latin American continents by storm is barely mentioned in Paris. Diversity and inclusivity.

As I said before, I took two years before writing something about it because I also think the French have their very own way of thinking and perceiving things. Moreover, I have seen quite a few models of African, Asian and mixed-race heritage on the runways of Paris Fashion Week. But once again, all of them super skinny, with hips of 88cm and very specific body types.

But as far as style influencers go, this ranking of Vogue Paris, published on September 1st 2019, left me with a feeling that quickly turned sour.

“Who are the new must-follow Parisians?”

Check the ranking here.

This profiling of the new 12 must-follow Parisian influencers shocked me, and not in a good way. After two years in Paris, I’ve been following some French girls myself, and came to encounter a wonderful and diverse range of beauty, opinions, interests and styles. All of them, made in France. So, I was a bit surprised that the girls of this praised ranking are basically all on the same format: caucasian, skinny, lolita-like, below 25 (or at least they look like it) and wearing the long-time established Parisian uniform. They are all beautiful, this I won’t deny. Chic and stylish, yes. But, honestly, is this the only format of French influencer worth following?

I truly believe the French fashion scene has some rising stars worth following, with a different and unique style. At the same time, I understand the standards of Vogue Paris may be quite precise in order to promote specific brands, styles and stories. Nonetheless, they are painfully narrow for 2019. The conversation on diversity and inclusivity has never been so relevant, and after Rihanna’s Fenty show in New York City last September, with a bomb casting of models and dancers of all colours and sizes, magazines should read the memo on the fact that one-size doesn’t fit all. Specially today.

Even Victoria Secret got the message.

Fenty show, exclusively streamed on Amazon

So if the unreachable figure of the runway model is starting to change —or at least widen a bit—, why does the influencer figure still remains so rigid in the standards of the most iconic and well-known French fashion magazine?

What is actually funny is that the influencer figure —previously referred as blogger—, started in 2015 with the idea of presenting a ‘normal’ girl that managed to amass an online audience due to her unique and original sense of fashion and lifestyle. Like your cool and stylish friend, to whom you often send pics to validate your outfit for a big date. Someone that you could easily cross on the streets, and that you could relate to.

I think that’s the point.

So that’s why I want to share with you my own list of French influencers. The it-girls with amazing sense of style and original profiles that reinvent what is expected from the classic French cliché in 2019.

Et voilà.

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