From Instagram to fashion empire | Social

BRISBANE model Sapphiroula Pelecas has used her platform as a social media influencer to fund the launch of her own that will be showcased at Fashion Week.

The 23-year-old fashionista, who studied marketing and at Griffith University, quit her corporate job at just 21 when her Instagram account began growing in popularity and brands started paying her to collaborate with them.

“It (being an influencer) is really like owning your own business or working in and I’ve been riding that ­() since and saving really hard to start my own label. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss,” she said.

Pelecas, who walked in Paris Fashion Week as a model earlier this year, officially launched a collection of pieces from The Blonde ­Republic label online this week, but was invited to be part of the at New York Fashion Week in September off the back of a look-book she created last month.

“When I decided to go for it, I really went hard on it – I’ve always wanted to have a brand at Fashion Week,” she said.

“The organisers of the Australian showcase got back to me within a few days (after I submitted), saying they loved it and it felt so surreal.

“I was excited and overwhelmed because I’m not a , but I’m shy about my (creative) work and I really didn’t know if anyone would like it.”

Pelecas, who has 178,000 followers on her personal ­account, grew her online ­presence from social media to include a blog and website, which she relaunched as the online magazine arm of The Blonde Republic earlier this year.

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