Recently, The Teen Magazine was able to interview rising influencers Colie Nuanez, Riley Rodriguez, and Azaria McKinnon. Social media plays a dominant aspect nowadays; with the internet, Colie, Riley, and Azaria have been able to amount thousands of followers to share their aspect of lifestyle.
Colie is a National American Miss Teen and Miss Jacksonville, Florida. She recently just turned eighteen, and has accrued 1.6 million followers on the Gen Z app TikTok with her platform @colie.1, where she shares 15 to 60 second videos. She also is close on her way to 40k on Instagram with her platform @colie.nuanez.
Colie was born in Bakersfield, California, but currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida. However, as she has a residence in California, she finds herself traveling back and forth often.
While a million seems for many to take time to grow, Colie's account saw fast growth. "I'm actually quite new to social media," says Colie, "I started about October, so it's fairly recent." TikTok, the video-based app, was where Colie saw a boom; with millions of teens jumping onto the trending app, Colie's videos took off.
When asked of her content, Colie finds it simple; her theme composes of lifestyle and ideas she enjoys. "I don't really follow trends," Colie tells TTM, "I do what I find interest in mostly, such as showing what I do, where I am at, and other interests as well." Some videos of Colie showcase POV acting, dancing, and lip-syncing.
However, not only is Colie a TikTok star, but a pageant winner as well. "My very first pageant, I won National America Talent," Colie says. She goes on to explain how fun the pageants are- although quite competitive at times. The pageants are composed of talent-display and public speaking, along with other numerous subjects. As Colie has danced competitively all her life, it flows easy for her. "Speeches and interviews are also part of the process, which I enjoy so much, as I love to talk," Colie says. "I also didn't have a coach or any guidance, but I went hardcore; it was a great experience!"
When asked for tips as a NAM, Colie advises to not be nervous. "It seems scary and nervewrecking," Colie says, "but just go into it! Be confident and do your best!"
Colie has more projects in store related to her new media ventures. "I would love to get into acting for Disney," she says. "I'm taking acting classes three times a week. I actually have projects I'm planning on, which can't be revealed yet as of now, but I definitely hope to pursue acting in the future."
Riley is a 17-year-old fashion influencer who is based in Lexington, Massachusetts. Her audience know her for her vibrant, unique styling sense, which has gathered her almost 30k on her Instagram platform @rileyrodriguezz.
"On social media, I like to post my own outfits," says Riley. "Fashion is something so versatile and creative. For me, a new day is a new outfit! I hope to inspire my followers with my style."
When asked which brands she heads to for her closet, Riley responds, "I actually stay away from big name brands if I can. Most of my clothes are thrifted, from places such as the local thrift store or Depop. I also love to support small businesses." (Riley also has her own Depop store, which can be found @rileyrodriguezzzzzzzz)
Riley also offers fashion advice. "There is no rule to fashion," she tells TTM, "You can always give a piece of clothing a spark of your own. Even now, for example, my red top is suppposed to be on its own, but I paired it with a layer underneath." Riley stresses the importance of altering pieces to fit your ideas and comfort.
Another advice Riley hopes to give is to be yourself. "It's so cliche, but so important," says Riley, "and don't let people's judgments get to you!"
Riley's not stopping just social media; she's also working on creating her own brand. "I have copyrighted my own artwork, and I am starting on the printing press to get the shirts printed!"
In the future, she also envisions herself as a model. "Modeling is a big dream of mine," Riley says, "I love being on the camera and doing photoshoots!" She has already even has experience from working for Brandy Melville, which has been vlogged and uploaded on her YouTube, rileyrodriguez.
"Many ask me how I got to the point where I am in social media," Riley says, "but the thing is, I never did anything special. I was just myself and did what I love! If anyone's out there interested in the area of fashion blogging, I encourage it. Go for it! You'll get negative comments, but don't ever let it stop you!"
Azaria is a 16-year-old influencer based in Florida mainly known for her swimwear influencing content. On her Instagram platform @azariamckinnon, she has garnered almost 25k followers, and on TikTok, her @azaria.mckinnon account has gathered almomst 200k followers.
"I moved to Florida from Massachusetts, which was where I used to live," says Azaria, "and I used to be so scared of what others would think of me. With my move to Florida, I was decided to try social media seriously and was able to put myself out on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok." Azaria notes that her content went viral around December, and was able to be noticed by many.
As an influencer, Azaria loves to post content revolving around lifestyle. Her Instagram curates posts mainly at the beach, with uploads from collaborations with bikini brands. On her YouTube, AzariaMcKinnon, she posts vlogs, detailing her workout routines, what she eats in a day, and fashion brand hauls. "My YouTube is pretty new, so I'm currently in the works," she says.
Azaria models quite often for everyday-wear and swimwear brands. "It's such an amazing experience to partner with brands to bring content to my followers," she says, "it's very cool." The process usually goes in which a brand will scout Azaria through platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. Azaria will then get to pick out clothes from the brand for her to send in photos of her modeling the items on her social media.
Azaria has been a recipent of negative comments on social media, which has allowed her to realize to not let others bring you down on things you enjoy. "To give any words for my audience, I would love to encourage them to not care what others think. Do what makes you happy, truly, because your life's purpose isn't to please others. Be confident, and love yourself." Azaria advises.
As for her future goals, Azaria plans to start her own bikini line. She already has social media set up for her brand, @shopazariamckinnon, which already has gathered 19k followers. "I'm in the works to create my own swimwear brand," she says, "and I'm excited for it!"
With social media, Colie, Riley, and Azaria have been able to create their own style, content, and brand. We can't wait to see the big things in store for them!
all photos by Kate-Yeonjae Jeong, 2020 (photos on @kaetyjeong)