As many of you know, back in February I had the opportunity to participate on the Instagram panel at Men’s Style Con. My favorite thing about the event was the opportunity to meet, network, and build with everyone in attendance. One of those people was in fact a fellow panelist of mine, Arian Ney.
Arian Ney is a German-based influencer who has one of the best Instagram aesthetics (@Arian_Ney) we have ever come across. Known for being inspirational, minimal, and classically fashionable, Arian has carved out quite his own niche within the industry. Because of his unique feed, personality, and the fact that he is based in a market not typically known for fashion, I thought it would be great to sit down and speak with him in regards to how he has grown in the blogging industry over the past few years. Therefore, Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you our latest HFL Blogger Series: Arian Ney.
HFL: Who is Arian Ney?
Arian: I am 21 years old and study international management as a senior. I always had a passion for fashion and started expressing it through my Instagram channel. In time I also established a passion for helping and motivating others, which I try doing through my stories and quotes.
I am an aspiring entrepreneur and just recently created my social media agency, Pavone, which enables companies to outsource their social media activities to my content team and I. Providing value to others is something I truly believe in and something I want to keep on doing in the future.
HFL: How did you become a fashion influencer?
Arian: I never planned on becoming a “fashion influencer.” It started out of a passion for providing good content to others. I posted pictures, without knowing what I did – but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the process, which enabled me to upload consistently without thinking about becoming an influencer.
HFL: I have noticed several influencers transitioning from focusing on their own content and starting to become social strategists, creative directors for brands, and starting agencies similar to yours. Do you see this trend continuing?
ARIAN: In my personal opinion, it makes sense. As an influencer you collect experiences, which are valuable to companies. As an influencer in the mid-tier (up to 1M followers), your income potential is capped in some sort of way as you can only do a certain amount of collaborations in a month. Having your own agency/company has a higher upside potential, which makes it interesting for influencers to transition.
The Influencer market is more and more saturated. Companies, in contrast, will always need to represent their brand on social media outlets, which makes the market so full of potential for influencers to enter.
HFL: Who are three of your style icons?
ARIAN: Johannes Huebl (@johanneshuebl) – He is a photographer/model from Germany who went to the US. His style is always simple and on point. He expresses manners and class through the way he dresses.
Eric Rutherford (@mr.rutherford) – This gentleman posts iconic styles and inspirations. Some of his shots truly impress me and make me rethink how simplicity can be taken to the next level.
Kanye West – Even though Mr. West most often does not provide a classy style, but rather defines new categories and creates trends (which I am not a fan of), he still inspires me in a certain way. Mr. West creates a very strong link between style and business. He incentivizes me to think outside of the box.
HFL: Being from Germany, what makes the fashion scene there unique and how has the growth of social influencers impacted the fashion community?
Arian: The most dominant aspect about the German fashion scene are the Berlin fashion weeks in my personal opinion. The influence of Berlin in the fashion world continues to get more and more prominent. In terms of classy and timeless styles, Germany has lots to learn and cannot compete with Italy or the UK, in my point of view.
HFL: We love the aesthetics of your Instagram – how did you come up with it?
ARIAN: Thank you very much. It was a long process. At first I started with landscape pictures and at some point I started with my flat-lays. Later on, I added a quote occasionally. Over time, I figured it would be unique to make every third post a quote. A couple of months ago I then added my full-body shots. Overall it took me over 1.5 years to establish this style. Finding your own style is a process, but trial and error will eventually lead you there!
HFL: What tip would you give someone who is struggling to craft their own style/aesthetic via Instagram?
ARIAN: Trial and error is certainly the most important way. Besides that, I recommend drawing inspiration from others. This can include following other pages on Instagram, celebrities, magazines or blogs.
Another way to generate your own style is by mixing content. By taking existing content and adding a personal touch to it, an individual can source from a lot of already existing content. They can use this content to reinvent and remix it.
HFL: Of all the quotes you have shared on your profile, what is one that you would pick to live by?
ARIAN: I truly believe in the quotes I post and therefore it’s very hard for me to choose one specific quote. But there is one, which is kind of the “umbrella” of all other quotes:
Great things never came from comfort zones.
HFL: You are unique in that you have built your business by not focusing on a blog. Tell us more about your social media business and how you have gotten to this point?
ARIAN: In my personal opinion, one should do a business motivated by a passion and not for the incentive of what is “most popular” or “makes the most money,” which in my case would have been a blog. I enjoy expressing my art through visuals. My pictures speak their own language and I prefer not writing long blogs about it. My channel’s main focus is not to advertise companies but to inspire people, motivate them, and also to express my personality. I figured that not using a blog is the most authentic way to pursue these goals.
In terms of business, I can therefore say that the money follows, if the passion is given.
HFL: We met recently at Style Con. What is one thing you took away from that experience that will help your business?
ARIAN: Overall, it proved to me once again that your network is your strongest currency. Meeting inspiring individuals with different skillsets is very valuable. Creating strong, long-term collaborations enriches the overall performance of the network.
HFL: What is your personal style aesthetic?
ARIAN: My personal style is defined by timeless pieces, which are combined in different ways. I rather invest in single, high-quality pieces rather than several low-quality pieces, as I try computing the cost-per-sale. Example: I bought my favorite pair of shoes (leather Gucci loafers) at 16 years of age and they are still in perfect shape. One of my favorite ways to express my personal style is by layering. Layering enables me to combine classy and minimalistic pieces and make them look interesting and playful together.
HFL: Finish this sentence. Style is…
ARIAN: When fashion meets personality.
You can follow Arian on IG @ArianNey and be on the lookout for more of his creative content.
Written By: Evan Marshall @Its_what_ev