Jessica Wang on Influencing During Fashion Week

    Jing Daily chats to Jessica Wang, the Morgan Stanley associate turned blogger, now one of the most powerful Chinese figures in the global fashion scene.
    Jing Daily chats to Jessica Wang, the Morgan Stanley associate turned blogger, now one of the most powerful Chinese figures in the global fashion scene. Illustration: Yvan Deng
      Published   in Profile

    Jessica Wang, one of the most influential Chinese bloggers in the fashion industry, is the next creative to be welcomed into the Jing Daily community of individuals shaping China’s booming luxury fashion industry. These profiles highlight industry leaders who contribute to the national and global fashion communities, from creatives and influencers to business executives and entrepreneurs.

    Commanding 1.7 million followers on Instagram and 5.2 million on TikTok, Jessica Wang is without doubt one of the most powerful Chinese figures in the global fashion scene. Since 2014, when she started her blog NotJessFashion, she has moved from investment banking to fashion blogger and is now a bona fide influencer who has worked with many of the luxury industry’s finest brands — Bulgari, Tod’s, Fendi, and more.

    Wang came to the US when she was 16-years-old and despite her initial struggles with the language and other issues, she eventually secured a job offer from investment bank Morgan Stanley, while studying at Bentley College in Boston. However, even then her fashion sense always shone through. She recalled how her style was probably a little “too colorful and fashion-forward” for Wall Street. Hardly surprising, she is now a regular front row guest at the “four big.”

    Although Wang wasn’t one of the earliest to start a fashion blog, she is part of the “second wave,” where her consistency and unique content have secured her reputation. Currently, she lives in New York with her husband Daniel, her business partner and photographer, and her two daughters, Hazel and Capri, who often make appearances in her campaigns and videos.

    During Milan Fashion Week, Jing Daily met up with Wang at Principe di Savoia, a five-star luxury hotel, to talk about luxury brands shifting attitudes towards domestic influencers and creatives, and the rise of local talents on the global stage during the pandemic.

    How did you begin your journey in the fashion industry?#

    In 2014, I started a side hustle which eventually grew into my blog, NotJessFashion. I wanted to create a platform that not only incorporated fashion and lifestyle tips, but also highlighted my personal aesthetic and family. I spent months working overtime to create this vision and it and my audience grew. Brands started reaching out to collaborate, my followers increased, and people started asking me for advice. It was that evolution that made me realize my passion was now my career.

    You have an impressive 1.7 million followers on Instagram. How did you grow it, and how do you communicate to such a wide fanbase ?#

    Nothing happens overnight — consistency is key and I think it's important to listen to your audience because without them there’s no show. Each piece of content I release, whether it be a stylized image or a video showing iPhone photo hacks, is planned and shot both with my audience and brand in mind.

    Additionally, I think the most important thing is to be genuine and true to your followers — without losing yourself. I highlight my fashion sense and fast-paced lifestyle because it’s engaging, but being able to share my sense of humor and family makes room for my content to be relatable. This balance has allowed me to communicate with my audience that behind all the makeup and outfit changes is a mother and wife who, at the end of the day, is pouring a glass of wine and eating ramen.

    What’s your experience as a Chinese influencer based in the US?#

    My culture and heritage are two of the most important things to me. I remember moving to the US at a young age and feeling like a bit of an outsider. All of a sudden, my environment changed so drastically and it took me sometime before I became used to my new home. However, through all of those experiences I always stayed close to my roots. I would even say it brought me closer to them.

    On that point, why are young Chinese talents coming to the fore now? Is the current environment facilitating or hindering this?#

    One of the things I’ve noticed is that people are ready for change. There’s unfortunately always going to be factors that hinder growth, but with an increase in emerging talent and progressive thinking, I believe our current environment is more accepting and rather encouraging of change.

    Given your knowledge and experience in the fashion industry, how can Chinese creatives continue to grow in the West?#

    It’s a challenge for many people to feel affirmed in themselves, especially when you come from another country and have to adapt to the environment around you. One way I believe Chinese creatives can affirm themselves in the Western world is by embracing the increase of Chinese representation within the industry. For some time, the industry did not give us the proper recognition and that shadow makes it easy to be discouraged, but I think the more we see leading Chinese figures, the more other Chinese creatives will feel reassured in themselves.

    The pandemic has changed a lot. How has it impacted the way you work with brands?#

    As the world shut down, we all started to spend more time at home on social media, so it’s changed immensely. That time gave me a chance to create quality content, explore other platforms, and start my TikTok account. The more content I posted, the more brands started to reach out and I started to foster new relationships which further allowed me to collaborate with major brands.

    And, having said that, how have brand attitudes to you changed since the outbreak?#

    So many people turned to social media as their main form of entertainment during the pandemic and I definitely recognized an increase in activity. Because of that increase, I would say brands‘ attitudes have changed in the sense they’re eager to create new relationships and put out content that is beneficial for their business, as well as the influencers. But, I’ve always tried to work and associate myself with brands who share similar values to mine. It reassures me to know that when I’m working with a brand we both have each other's interest in mind.

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