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A new generation of influencers and how they’re crafting content

WORDS BY GIULIA BRUGLIERA

Independent voices sparking real conversations.

The term ‘influencer’ is bandied around a lot these days. It’s been moulded and marketed repeatedly by brands to effectively become a term that evades any sort of clear definition. Yet, with the uncertainty surrounding what defines an influencer, one core group has firmly established themselves as ‘influencers’ in the truest sense of the word.

This is a new generation of influencer – one that offers more than content for content’s sake. They are highly creative, entrepreneurial and with a bit of grit to their aesthetic. They have a highly engaged following, depth of content and an authentic and meaningful voice.

They also have a lot to say. But unlike the social media influencers of old, many of these new players don’t yet have a mass of followers. Their networks aren’t as extensive, their reach not as high.

This is where brands can have a strong part to play. Take Factorie. The Australian retailer is on the pulse of emerging local talent, and is continually finding ways to work with this new generation of creatives. For these young people, Factorie provides a platform for them to hone their skills, craft their content and have their voices heard – beyond their own networks.

Brands like Factorie are not looking for ‘followers’ on which to push their product. Instead, they’re looking for independent voices to spark real conversation with their audience.

Just like the five voices below.

Kai Suteja

A quick look at Kai Suteja’s Instagram paints a slightly confusing picture. It’s far from the perfectly-curated pages we’ve come to expect from the Insta-famous. Sure, there are pictures of Kai looking intimidatingly cool (his personal style is something to behold). But these are littered with short, snappy videos that shatter what would otherwise be his well-curated façade.

“It was almost a social experiment; I remember telling my sister ‘we should make a documentary about me becoming social media famous’. There was a gap in the market for an ‘anti-instagrammer’. Someone who didn’t care, a joke,” says Kai.

These clips show Kai for who he is: a screenwriter, actor and twenty-something-year-old boy who doesn’t take life (or himself) too seriously. His videos feature shaky frames and clunky cuts. Yet it’s this authenticity and relatability to Kai’s videos that make his Instagram @urmumsyadad so endearing, earning Kai over 152,000 followers. And still, he refuses to accept the term ‘influencer’.

“What exactly do you influence? Do you have a cult; does everyone wear white and drink kool aid? It’s an arrogant term for arrogant people. The term should be “influenza” because it makes me sick.”

To the contrary, Kai’s aim is to have a little fun. His latest work has seen him collaborate with Factorie, crafting four videos with themes Binge Watching, Hangover, First Date and XMAS lunch, in preparation for their Summer Survival Kits.

“It’s often difficult to work with a client because you want to do one thing but the client wants another, you have to adhere to the brief even if it’s not completely you. There’s generally a lot of back and forth in script approval but this was minimal with Factorie. The only concern was promoting excessive drinking in the Hangover video (fair call),” he says.

“It didn’t feel too heavily commoditised or sponsored, entertainment was definitely a priority.”

Yasmin Suteja

If the name Suteja rings a bell, it may also be because of Yasmin. Like her brother, Yasmin is entrenched in Sydney’s creative communities, oozing some elusive level of IDGAF cool. But she refuses to let that alone carry her career.

A few years back, Yasmin started Culture Machine, a creative services and talent agency with a knack for discovering young talent. She’s a true slashie, responsible for casting, photography, styling, art direction, social media, branding and more. As Kai notes: “she’s professional unlike me.”

Last year saw Yasmin and Culture Machine partnered with Factorie to tell a very aesthetically pleasing love story via a two-part series. It places a little more emphasis on aesthetics than Kai’s work, but stays true to Yasmin’s work and sense of style.

Georgie Stone

Barely an influencer in the modern sense, Georgie Stone’s influence takes a more traditional route. The 17-year-old is a brave and vocal activist for transgender youth, choosing more traditional media as her pathway to effect change.

Georgie first made headlines at 10 years old, when she became the youngest person in Australia to be granted permission by the court to take hormone blockers. She has since made multiple appearances across Australian media, providing a loud and proud voice for transgender children. Because of Georgie, Australia has seen significant progress in health and medical services, access to safe schools and legal reform.

Factorie was quick to recognise Georgie’s voice as an important one. The retailer recently partnered with Georgie for International Youth Day, for a campaign that encouraged young people to say what they really think. Georgie was, of course, the perfect candidate. The collaboration provided a platform for her voice to be heard more widely among young people across Australia.

Jimmy Pizza

Real name Jimmy Freeman, Jimmy Pizza is a model-slash-artist-slash-graphic designer that slots nicely within this new generation of creative influencers. His modelling work has taken him internationally, blessing us with an Instagram that is slightly pastel, slightly retro and with a lot of Jimmy flair. The images are a strong reflection of his graphic design work, which is heavily featured on his Instagram and available to purchase via direct message (because of course).  

Yet with just over 5,000 followers, his work is known to only a clued-in few. Factorie tapped into this young talent recently, working with Jimmy Pizza across a series of graphic tees to foster and broaden his creative reach.

Sebastien Fougere

Sebastien Fougere and then-partner Ainsley Hutchence were launched into the global consciousness upon the release of their unbelievably rock ’n’ roll Vegas wedding photos. The creative couple then proceeded to launch Sticks & Stones Agency, a home for editorials and interviews with an aesthetic that’s hard to define – the word ‘undone’ springs to mind.

Under this umbrella, Sebastien launched solo project, GOTHWIFe Clothing, taking a rebellious approach to streetwear. Refusing to take note of trends, Sebastien would instead hand paint individual apparel pieces to his own liking. The project saw him collaborate with Factorie a few years back, across a range of custom-painted jackets. While both the label and Sebastien appear to be laying low for the moment, Sticks and Stones is in full swing.


To learn more about the next generation Australian creatives and their collaborations with Factorie click here.

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