Italian Instagram star (whatever that means) Chiara Ferragni looks to be the first “professional influencer” set to try out a smash and grab job on the public markets by going public through an initial public offering.

In what would be a first for the influencer business model, Ferragni is considering going public in Milan, where she lives. She has 21 million Instagram followers and has signed partnerships with companies like Dior and Lancome. 

Her goal is to “monetize the clothing-to-lifestyle persona she has built over a decade”, according to Reuters

Social media influencers have played a big role in the marketing plans of fashion companies globally. Influencers who build a reputation and “a certain look” can yield big chunks of fashion companies advertising budgets, who can sometimes set aside between 10% and 20% of their entire budget for influencer marketing. 

Brands spent $6.5 billion on influencer marketing in 2019, up almost 4x from 2016. 

Based on the 20 million euros Ferragni’s blog brought in during 2019, at a 4x sales multiple, it is estimated a public valuation for her group could be around 80 million euros when all is said and done. A small IPO on any scale, but the first of its kind nonetheless. 

Recall, last year we wrote about how influencers in China were helping sell billions of dollars worth of products and services on an annual basis. Famous names in the U.S. like Rihanna and Kylie Jenner have also generated hundreds of millions of dollars in promoting beauty brands and fashion labels.  

And as it relates to Ferragni; hell, it’ll probably still be a better buy than most SPACs out there – and, be honest – you’d buy shares if you could…

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