Every day, thanks to Instagram, around half a million people learn a little bit more about Charlotte Groeneveld. Her new square-toed sandals, pre-ordered ages ago from Bottega Veneta, finally arrived. The tips of her nails were freshly dusted with glitter. She got a lymphatic-drainage massage. Groeneveld, known to the digital masses as @thefashionguitar, is an influencer by trade with a following that roughly equals the population of Sacramento. It is nearly 21 times the size of Oegstgeest, her hometown in the Netherlands.
Groeneveld, 35, who earned a master’s degree in corporate communications and slogged through a few finance jobs in Singapore, Beijing, and London before turning to blogging full-time at 27, has become a central figure in the fashion industry. She commands the attention and respect once afforded exclusively to magazine editors. Life is good, and perks are bountiful: gratis clothes and accessories, all-expenses-paid invitations to far-flung fashion events, and thousands of fans who are constantly liking, and occasionally loving, her endless stream of self-created content.