How child stylistas are cashing in on their InstaFame

Being a fashionable kid with a large social media following has its perks

07 September 2017 - 12:45 By Emily Cronin
Child stylista Ivan Zinko has over 5,700 Instagram followers.
Child stylista Ivan Zinko has over 5,700 Instagram followers.
Image: @thegoldenfly/Instagram

Ivan has a wardrobe that would make any aficionado weep.

His collection includes pieces from Balenciaga, Off-White, Supreme, Undercover and Vêtements, the Parisian fashion collective whose oversized hoodies have become credibility dog whistles for streetwear fans.

''It's my dream to work with them one day," he says. ''I really want a Dior 'We should all be feminists' T-shirt. The white one. And their vintage blue ski mask."

Jewellery and fashion designer Natasha Zinko looks at her son. ''We'll see," she says. ''It depends if he's a good boy in school."

Because Ivan isn't an editor, a designer or even an intern - he's a tow-headed 10-year-old. And he shares his enthusiasm, encyclopaedic knowledge and many designer outfits with about 5,705 followers on Instagram, where the profile for his account, @thegoldenfly, reads: ''Yep, I'm a kid."

Anyone who dismisses Instagram as a repository for food pics and #blessedsunsets has missed the point: it's where people go to get noticed.

More than 600million users share 95million photos and videos a day. Many of them are parents and they're among the service's most devoted users - 68% of those who use Instagram check it at least daily. Its feed is 2017's answer to the photo album and Grandma's brag book.

Parents use the platform to share photos of their children blowing bubbles, meditating or posing with designer accessories - activities in which their followers' kids might also engage, albeit in a less photogenic or art-directed way.

Being a fashion kid has its perks, such as new clothes, trips and repeat bookings to walk in children's fashion shows.

If Ivan ever wanted to turn his hobby into a career, he'd be well placed to do so - his follower count puts him in the sweet spot for brand partnerships.

Instagrammers can earn payment for individual posts or ongoing projects, affiliate payments for pieces followers find through their blog or simply access to travel and events.

''He has this freedom that, when I was young and growing up in the Soviet Union, I didn't have," says Zinko. ''I'm happy he wears what he really wants to wear, because I wasn't able to do that. For me, that's a kind of freedom and bravery, or confidence, it can only be a good thing." - The Daily Telegraph