February 11, 2022
Running With It: Xenia Adonts
We’re doing a different take on this series today – focussing on a person rather than a brand (although, Xenia is certainly a brand in her own right). Xenia Adonts is a fashion darling turned influencer turned business owner. With 1.9 million followers on IG, 1.4 million on TikTok and a hugely successful clothing label Attire, she’s got the world at her feet. What has contributed to her success online and why does she have such a cult following?

Xenia manages to be relatable even when she’s in head-to-toe Gucci, shooting in her Parisian apartment

Whilst you’d think that an influencer who almost exclusively wears high end brands and lives a life of total luxury would be purely aspirational and even untouchable, Xenia still manages to leave her audience feeling like they’re mates.

Many of the most successful or fastest growing influencers (particularly on TikTok) have this one trait in common: they let their freak flag fly. The number one rule of garnering high engagement is to let your true colours show – followers want your *true* personality – the funny, relatable, less polished version. Xenia absolutely nails it. One of her most recent (of many) viral TikToks was an unboxing where she accidentally smashed a Prada Christmas gift. Many influencers would edit it out altogether but Xenia kept it – showing the clumsy, messy edit is a strategic decision and she knows exactly what she’s doing.

A common vibe on many of the biggest fashion influencer accounts is a feeling that they take themselves too seriously. Is that a better way of saying egotistical? Xenia laughs at herself and the importance of it can’t be overstated. She needs to connect with her audience on a personal level, and for many of us, that’s not going to happen over a wardrobe worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. But, most of us can relate to being obsessed with their dog, or being indecisive about choosing an outfit, or laughing at ourselves for doing something a bit gimpy. These are a few of the relatable traits that Xenia leverages regularly and it works. Her engagement is through the roof.

She’s transparent about everything – business and influencing included

Xenia is a thought leader. If you weren’t convinced by her social presence, you might be by the fact that she was included in the Forbes 30 under 30 list for 2021. One of the areas this is most apparent is her genuine transparency across the board. Yes, she shares a lot about her personal life but she also goes above and beyond what most people share about their business.

Head to her label Attire’s website and you’ll see that each piece of clothing is broken down into minute detail. Customers can understand the supply chain and its environmental impact on a level that’s rarely seen elsewhere.

Across everything she does, Xenia gives her audience the sense that she’s got nothing to hide – she’s an open book. Put simply, we trust her. And then we want to be friends with her (or feel like we already are). Importantly, this approach doesn’t seem forced or like a marketing strategy. It feels like the real her (likely because it is, otherwise she’s the best saleswoman on the planet).

Her values are strong and resonate with her audience

We’ve written a lot about the importance of brand values and, particularly when it comes to Gen Z and their propensity to make purchasing decisions based on value alignment first, and cost second. Xenia talks a lot about her personal and business values, in a non-obnoxious way. She follows up those value statements (like a care for being environmentally friendly) with further educational pieces (such as an explainer as to what to look out for when purchasing clothes) – it’s about putting her money where her mouth is.

Whilst Xenia is a fashion influencer, she values more than nice clothes. She’s empathetic and talks a lot on that, is a big reader and savvy businesswoman. It’s immediately obvious to anyone that follows her: she’s an incredibly hard worker. Aspirational for more than just her wardrobe.

Xenia is an early adopter

As with any social media platform, the early bird gets the following worm. Xenia was into blogging during 2015 and her community grew quickly from there. She was active on TikTok as soon as it got some momentum with her 1.4 million followers accumulating at an unbelievable rate. She doesn’t wait for a trend to explode, she hops onboard early and is part of that explosion.

Frankly, we can’t ignore Xenia’s pretty privilege. She’s stunning and makes clothes look good – her aesthetic is something that designer brands want to be aligned with. We’re big fans of hers and understand the hard work that has and is going into Xenia’s success. It would be remiss of us not to make this point though – she undoubtedly would’ve had a harder climb to the top if she looked less Victoria’s Secret Angel. We can’t wait to start seeing more influencers enjoy an explosive rise to the top who aren’t size 8 and conventionally beautiful – we’re just not there yet.