PHOTOGRAPHY Alex Burnet & Olga Varova
STYLING Fabio Pace
HAIR Piera Berdicchia at WM
MAKEUP Riccardo Morandin at WM
STYLING ASSISTANTS Charlotte Di Qual & Carolina Cervara
TALENTS Veronica Ferraro & Davide Simonetta
To be honest, more than once I found myself looking at influencers and that whole world with a certain air of superiority, looking down on it, and I believe many of you might have felt the same. An influencer will for sure never have the charm of a poet in Tangier or a revolutionary hacker fighting capitalism from a basement in Kreuzberg, with a Russian icon of Christ on the damp wall next to a poster of The Cranberries. Perhaps for some, it could be the opposite, but you get the idea. However, the point is: Instagram has democratically turned everyone into fools in a certain way because whatever a person shares, they do it with the aim of being appreciated by others. It doesn’t matter if it’s a front row photo at a high end fashion show, a Renaissance artwork, or the cover of Bret Easton Ellis’ latest book; the rationale remains the same, whether we admit it or not. In this sense, we are all the same, regardless of the number of followers. That said, it’s worth noting that social networks are perhaps the most identifying element of our time, and influencers are their children, pioneers of a world where romanticism is dying, but of which, like addicts, we cannot do without. They can be counted among the figures that have most transcended the duality between man and machine, revolutionizing the relational perspective with the alter ego and making their cyber-self the main interface with the real world. For this reason, it is perhaps right to acknowledge that they are, more or less knowingly, the emblem of a noteworthy transition in the process of sublimation of humankind from our physical bodies, capable of once again questioning the boundaries of human existence.




Nicolò Michielin: What is your definition of an influencer?

Veronica Ferraro: Any individual who, thanks to their user base and talent in a specific field, is able to influence public opinion.

N.M.: Your Instagram profile is full of photos of you, which perhaps keeps you relevant to the collective imagination regarding the professional figure you represent. Does this particular, let’s call it “old school,” version of an influencer have a name? What kind of influencer are you? Where do you place yourself among the various categories that have emerged over the years?

V.F.: The fact that there are only photos of me is not a source of pride for me; in fact, it’s something I would like to change. I recognize that I am very influenced by post performance and am inhibited for this reason. Although I love photos of details or landscapes, I know that they would have poor engagement on my profile, so I avoid posting them. I would also like to be less influenced by the quality of the image, a relic from a few years ago that no longer interests anyone. Now, only spontaneity wins. I am working on this. In general, I am an influencer primarily linked to the world of fashion. And I am a big overthinker, making choices which are sometimes too measured. For me, this interview itself is a leap into the void, it means exposing myself (in every sense) and dropping my defenses.

N.M.: Do you think an influencer with a significant following has any kind of social responsibility? Specifically, do you think they should try to guide people’s behavior toward a hypothetical concept of “good” (or at least toward their own relative vision of it)?

V.F.: Each of us on the web can democratically create and disseminate content, but when you start to have a certain following, an unavoidable part of this mechanism comes into play: responsibility. This means calibrating every word, thinking in advance about how it could be interpreted and what consequences there might be. It means giving generally more weight to words than anyone else could. This sometimes involves suppressing spontaneity or silencing certain thoughts that could be misunderstood. But if it helps to protect someone, so be it.

N.M.: Do you think this should only be done passively, i.e., not promoting behaviors and models not in line with a hypothetical social good, or also actively, thus tangibly encouraging people to take positive action towards such an end?

V.F.: In both ways. Passively, by avoiding showing the public universally wrong behaviors or those that can harm weaker or more sensitive segments of people on certain issues; and actively, by showing behaviors that can positively influence the public, such as charity. Followers often write, “charity should be done in silence.” I don’t agree. If someone feels like showing it publicly and this can translate into greater support for cause X, I see no reason not to do it.

N.M.: The current hot topic in the world today is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this regard, there seems to be a clear division between what emerges from the public squares around the world, strongly in defense of Palestine and for a ceasefire, and the universe of “traditional” media, such as television and newspapers, which seem to be mostly on Israel’s side. Regarding the world of show business, there seems to be a general tendency not to openly take sides. What is your opinion on this? Do you think that few express their thoughts clearly to avoid possible media retaliation?

V.F.: I think it’s wrong to always demand that public figures take a position, especially on such delicate issues. On this issue, for example, I don’t have the expertise to speak about it, and I prefer to let experts, those who are informed and those who are directly involved, talk about it. It’s such a complicated issue to dissect, and my opinion wouldn’t be credible and wouldn’t add useful elements to the debate.

N.M.: In a recent interview, you stated that you share values such as inclusivity, equality, and the preservation of the planet. As an influencer with a large following, what do you do to pursue these goals concretely?

V.F.: These are certainly valuable values that need to be preserved. I believe that each of us chooses our battles, also depending on what happens in our personal lives. There are certain issues that I feel closer to because I have experienced them firsthand, such as oncological diseases or dog adoptions. For these, I have exposed myself many times, and I will continue to make donations and raise awareness among my audience as much as possible.

N.M.: What do you think about the phenomenon of virtue signaling? In particular, do you think that if people participating in demonstrations or engaging in climate activism did not have the opportunity to post about it on social media, they would still be involved in these activities in the same way?

V.F.: I think it is intellectually honest for everyone to speak out on issues they truly care about; anything beyond that may be considered hypocrisy. Although, in the end, actions matter. If well-intentioned actions are taken, regardless of the motivation behind them, it’s still a positive outcome.

N.M.: What are your thoughts on the politically correct culture we are experiencing today? Do you think it is heading in the right direction, or do you think it is exaggerated?

V.F.: I believe it has raised the bar of collective sensitivity on many issues. If I think about the comments I received on my blog years ago, with no one coming to my defense because “anything goes,” now I breathe a sigh of relief. On the other hand, we now feel like we’re walking on eggshells, having to calibrate our words to the millimeter, creating communication that is sometimes less spontaneous.

N.M.: Do you think that the choices of fashion brands pursuing political correctness are dictated by a genuine intention to contribute to social improvement on certain issues, or do you think they are marketing strategies to ride the current trend?

V.F.: As I said before, the important thing is the result. And I would say that in this case, the result is that many brands have achieved a level of inclusivity they did not have before, so it’s welcome.

N.M.: Have you ever felt embarrassed or discriminated against for your job?

V.F.: People have many prejudices about my job, especially my parents’ generation. Often, my mom found herself having to defend my profession in discussions with friends because they did not consider it a real job. I have always considered these opinions outdated and not very current and, therefore, I did not think it was worth addressing them.

N.M.: If you had already had fame and wealth, would you have still pursued this career?

V.F.: I am fortunate because my job is also my greatest passion, so, yes, I couldn’t have done without it. I would have had the luxury, though, of being able to make more strategic choices at certain times.


N.M.: Some, especially in the cultural world, consider the social media public as the ignorant masses. Do you have esteem for your followers?

V.F.: The majority of my followers are sharp, intelligent and intuitive. They know me better than many other people, and sometimes they understand many things before I do, either from my storytelling or the fact that they have been following me for years. I owe everything to them.

N.M.: Can you describe your average follower in terms of age, geolocation, education level, profession, and anything else? Who are they? What demographic do you interact with?

V.F.: They are 70% women, aged 25 to 35. Rome and Milan are the main cities of origin. I don’t have a way to see further specifics; surely most of them are fashion and lifestyle enthusiasts.

N.M.: How much time do you spend on Instagram looking at your phone’s statistics?

V.F.: About 1 ½ hours on Instagram. I get lost more on TikTok; it’s a vortex with no way out.

N.M.: Have you ever bought followers? Or have you ever cheated in any way in this regard?

V.F.: Working with social media, buying followers would mean defrauding brands. It should be illegal.

N.M.: What insult do you receive most often on Instagram?

V.F.: In the past, that I used too many filters. And they were right; I used many filters and a lot of makeup. Now I’m more natural, although I would be lying if I said I don’t care; the insecurity remains and is (almost) a daily battle of mine.

N.M.: And regarding compliments, what is the most frequent and the one that pleases you the most?

V.F.: When people see me in person, they often say that I am nicer than I seem on Instagram. The ultimate goal would be for this side of me to also come through on social media. My friends always encourage me to bring it out. And I never follow their advice.

N.M.: When did you feel professionally fulfilled?

V.F.: At twenty, I had interviewed for a job as a saleswoman for a clothing brand, and they rejected me because I wasn’t in line with the brand’s image; they said I was “too curvy.” A few years after starting my blog, they contacted me for a sponsored post. They would have paid me to wear their clothes. There I smiled. It wasn’t a professionally significant moment, but it was a small victory. If it had happened now, I would talk about it; inclusivity wasn’t such a widely shared concept back then.

N.M.: Do people often make explicit advances to you on Instagram?

V.F.: Yes, but none of them were particularly worthwhile.

N.M.: Have you ever been offered money or favors for sex? (Also outside of Instagram)

V.F.: No, fortunately, it has never happened to me. Only offers for foot pictures on Instagram; maybe they didn’t see my feet well, they are not my strong point. [laughs]

N.M.: An influencer you can’t stand?

V.F.: I don’t get along with people who make too “calculated” moves. Like any job, this one includes strategic choices, but, in the end, spontaneity and being good to people always win.

N.M.: Do people recognize you on the street?

V.F.: Yes, it happens.

N.M.: Do they ever stop you to take a photo?

V.F.: Yes, it happens.

N.M.: The influencer you are closest to?

V.F.: Chiara [Ferragni], although I don’t know if she can be defined as an influencer; she is a celebrity. We’ve known each other long before Instagram.

N.M.: Vanity Fair wrote in a recent article that you and Chiara Ferragni are no longer friends following a quarrel. Is it true? What happened?

V.F.: They combined various information, drew the wrong conclusions; we haven’t fought recently. It happened once in the past, about ten years ago. But we are both people who like clear communication and always say things to each other in the moment if they make us upset.

N.M.: Do many famous people write to you on Instagram to try their luck?

V.F.: It happened several times while I was single, yes.

N.M.: Do you consider yourself famous?


N.M.: What job did you dream of having as a child?

V.F.: An actress, and I would still like to have the opportunity to dive into that world, but I know it requires a lot of study.

N.M.: What is your definition of success in today’s society?

V.F.: Waking up every morning with the desire to live our days to the fullest because we love what we do.

N.M.: Can you tell us when, in your opinion, a person is cool and when they are not?

V.F.: It is an innate quality that cannot be acquired. It is a vibration that a person emits with their attitude, gestures and posture. Something they effortlessly possess.

N.M.: For how much money would you shoot a porn movie?

V.F.: If it was something I was interested in doing, even for a little. But it’s not a world I’m interested in exploring.

N.M.: On Instagram, there is Orwellian control of the user for profiling purposes. What do you think?

V.F.: I think if it weren’t there, I would save a lot of money because I have to admit that the targeting of ads is very successful.

N.M.: Have you ever tried any drugs?

V.F.: I am a hypochondriac, I have always been afraid to experiment, and I don’t like the idea of losing control of my mind. I have always been very responsible about this.

N.M.: How many times have you had sex?

V.F.: “Love is the answer, but while you’re waiting for the answer, sex can raise some pretty good questions.” – Woody Allen

N.M.: Any advice for someone who wants to do your job?

V.F.: Let yourself go without being afraid to show who you really are, don’t overthink because overthinking kills creativity.







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