Influencing and having a large platform has become more of a norm than ever; people documenting their day-to-day personal lives, their interests, with an insight of their job as an influencer. It sounds like an ideal dream job, living your best life and pursuing your hobbies.
Female sneakerheads are finally getting the recognition they deserve after decades of women in the industry being overlooked. I was lucky enough to speak with fashionista and sneakerhead, Yemi Thompson, where she talks to us about her life as an influencer and her thoughts on the sneaker industry.
Yemi is a digital content creator from Essex who focuses on posting her love for sneakers, fashion, beauty and lifestyle on Instagram to her 7.3k followers. Working with brands like JD, Lounge, Beauty Works and Puma, Yemi has been making her mark in the industry as a micro influencer.
How would you describe yourself and style of influencing?
“I would say I am a creative person, a bubbly person, quite energetic and a lover of fashion and lover of sneakers. I feel like my style of influencing is just me being me, I wouldn’t say there is much strategy I kind of just play with my outfits, document them, post what I’m buying but my aim I guess isn’t too much to influence, I just like showing my style and if people are inspired by them then that’s amazing!”
What led you to start your influencing journey?
“I pretty much wanted to get into fashion, I studied fashion marketing and I really wanted to get a job in fashion, and I knew that if I wanted a job in the industry, I need to have a platform, I need to have a page. So, the actual main reason as to why I started wasn’t to become an influencer but to literally have a digital portfolio on my Instagram. Eventually brands started liking my content, I was tagging brands, ended up working with these brands and that’s pretty much how it started”
What is your favourite thing about having a platform that inspires others?
“I think the best thing is when you actually meet people and they recognise you and you’re just like wow, I never knew anyone knew I existed. Also just being able to inspire and be a figure in terms of being a black influencer and a micro influencer; having the ability to inspire people in that way so that they feel like they can do it too is what I really enjoy”
What would you change about the industry?
“I would change how secretive it is, I feel like people aren’t very open about sharing their journey and talking to people like you. People aren’t very open to what they charge so I would love it to be an open space where I guess everyone gets paid equally and in a fair way as well. Would be nice for influencers to be open about how they got into it because before I started, it was pretty much a secret society whereas now I just don’t think it’s that deep. I’d also love to help other people starting their journey”
What are your thoughts on how females are represented in the sneaker industry?
“I think there are a lot more female sneakerheads at the moment, which is amazing, I feel like it’s definitely grown over the past year or so. I would say as of recently there has been quite a lot of representation, brands trying to get more involved in that aspect. I think its great right now and I think there’s lots of opportunities that I have been lucky enough to be involved with too which is awesome. I do think there could be more diversity, not all sneakers are unisex. It would also be nice to see more faces in the industry that you can relate to, a lot more diverse faces as well”
If you could create a sneaker, which brand would it be with and why?
“I would actually create a sneaker with Puma one day, maybe, god willing. Mainly because I genuinely love what Puma stand for, I love where they are in the community, I love how much they stand for females, they’re so thoughtful as a brand; I’ve experienced their thoughtfulness. So, if I was ever to create a sneaker it would be with Puma, and then Nike”
Lastly, what sneaker is your holy grail?
“My absolute favourite sneaker has to be my Sacai’s, I think they’re called sesame but they’re literally my favourite because they were so hard to get because so many people wanted them, so it was such a privilege to have them”
Written by Anya Wyeth