Long gone are the days in which the fashion industry was controlled by magazine editors and their weekly ‘hot or not’ column. Arrive at a catwalk in 2020 and while you’ll still have the mix of journalists and stylists that have always been there, but there’s a new kid on the block—the influencer—and their opinion is worth so much when it comes to what is on-trend and what has reached its end.
These influencers don’t usually tend to have a blog, and they aren’t editors either. What they do have, however, is a social media following—usually Instagram because it’s the most visual, centring around imagery.
The worth of an influencer is usually calculated on how many followers they have and who these followers are. We aren’t talking a few thousand and a couple of a hundred likes on each picture — this is big numbers that make noise.
These people are usually, but not always, paid by fashion brands to wear their clothes and accessories and post the pictures to their profile. In 2019, once Keeping Up With The Kardashians star Kylie Jenner was reportedly earning £915k per post.
With this in mind, we thought we’d delve into the world of shoes and focus our attention on the social media market in the UK. Our aim is to find Britain’s biggest shoe-flencer. In order to find them, we trawled through Instagram, scouting Britain’s most followed and cross-referencing them with Google Search trends around these celebrities’ names, accompanied by terms such as boots, shoes, and trainers.
Here’s what we found…
The most followed British person on Instagram is an ex-Manchester United Footballer, and his wife is one-fifth of the one of the most popular girl bands of all time—for this reason, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Posh and Becks are the most searched shoe-flencers in the UK.
The term ‘David Beckham boots’ has an average monthly search volume of 590, ‘David Beckham trainers’ has 210, while ‘David Beckham shoes’ has 110—Victoria’s contribution, meanwhile, should not be overlooked, with 210 average monthly searches for both ‘Victoria Beckham boots’ and ‘Victoria Beckham trainers’.
Considered football’s first global brand, David Beckham has always been somewhat of a fashion icon among men, regularly breaking the conventional norm with his choices. In his younger days, it was a rarity to see Becks in anything other than a stylish pair of creps, but nowadays he’s become quite fond of traditional Chelsea boots—as much as we’re confident he’d hate to be associated with the Blues in any way.
Victoria, on the other hand, runs her own clothing brand, and ever since her time in the Spice Girls pre-millennium she has been recognised as an inspiration within the world of fashion. Interestingly, there has been a growth in interest in ‘Victoria Beckham trainers’. As of late, we’ve seen Posh pairing a variety of trainers with dress trousers, and we for one have no complaints—she more than pulls off the look!
David Beckham’s followers: 63.9 million
Victoria Beckham’s followers: 28.5 million
Ever since arriving on the X-Factor back in 2010 as a baby-faced 16-year-old, Harry Styles became an instant heartthrob.
One Direction’s past needs no introduction and after incredible success with the band, Harry went solo, which has proved once again successful. Surprisingly, Styles isn’t the 1D member with the most Instagram followers, pipped by fellow singer and former 1D-member Zayn to the top spot. But it is in fact Harry who garners the most attention when it comes to footwear.
Google searches for the term ‘Harry Styles shoes’ have an average monthly return of 320 while ‘Harry Styles boots’ reels in a respective 140.
Harry Styles’ followers: 30.4 million
Britain’s most-followed woman on Instagram is former Harry Potter star and women’s rights activist, Emma Watson. From a young age, Emma has been heavily involved in the fashion industry, featuring in Teen Vogue back in 2005 as a 15-year old and being awarded the British Elle by Vivienne Westwood in 2011.
The term ‘Emma Watson boots’ has an average monthly search of 210.
Whether she’s on the catwalk, a night out, or nipping to the shops, there exists a plethora of snaps of Emma wearing black boots, either over the knees or ankle boots—whatever the occasion, she makes the boot work!
Emma Watson’s followers: 57.6 million
Singer Sam Smith is the UK’s tenth most followed Instagrammer and is often considered a major inspiration in the fashion industry, regularly turning heads on the red carpet.
Sam’s choice in regard to shoes often attracts considerable attention, such as wearing 2.5-inch heeled boots as part of their perfectly androgynous look at the GQ Magazine Awards.
The term ‘Sam Smith trainers’ is the second most searched term, with an average of 320 average monthly searches, more than that of ‘Rita Ora boots’ or ‘Alexa Chung shoes’. however, Google returns searches connected to Adidas ‘Stan Smith’ trainers—clearly something that searchers are struggling with. For this reason, we couldn’t necessarily say that Sam exists as one of the top shoe-flencers, but Google has him up there!
So, there you have it–an insight into some of the most influential celebrities within the footwear industry in the UK!