BUSINESS

Rise of a fashion 'influencer' via social media

How this 25-year-old man became a fashion influencer

How'd a guy with a bachelor's degree in biology and without a Facebook profile become one of social media's most valued fashion experts?

"My girlfriend said let's start a blog together," says Blake Scott, 26.

Now Scott makes a living as an "influencer" through a blog and Instagram account.

When he started blogging about cafes and restaurants in Los Angeles, the Whittier native realized it was pictures showing his "dandy an dapper" outfits that were drawing the most attention.

"Now, I'm just a regular dude and giving my straight opinion on men's fashion," Scott said. "It's turned into a business."

He wakes up at 5 each morning to packages filled with free products and clothing that companies have sent him to use and hopefully talk about online. He sometimes strikes deal with companies on his own, but often uses influencer marketing firm Instabrand as an intermediary. The early rise helps him sync with the East Coast, where most fashion brands have their headquarters.

Scott's big break came when he responded to a call-out for promoters from a small clothing manufacturer on Instagram. Pumped, he tracked the company's package to his doorstep, then showed all his family the sweatshirt, dress shirt and jeans he'd been sent.

"My mom was a schoolteacher, so I came from a basic life," he said. "To receive all these packages now is incredible."

His mother let him de-commit from a master's program in physical therapy and stick to his passion for fashion.

On a recent trip to see family in Milwaukee, Scott came to his latest major realization. From a local pizza shop to a college campus, he was being recognized by fans at every turn.

"A relaxing getaway turned into five or six meet-and-greets a day," he said. "There hasn't been a guy in the U.S. to make this a lasting career, but I'm going to set myself up the best to achieve that."

paresh.dave@latimes.com

Twitter: @peard33

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