Tera Feng on Her Life as a Fashion KOL in China

By Dominic Ngai, March 12, 2019

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In the two years since we first met her in late 2016, Tera Feng’s career as a fashion KOL has taken off and the Shanghai-based influencer now commands a following of 100,000 on Weibo, and counts brands like SHANG XIA, Ms Min, Marni and ZUCZUG as her frequent collaborators. Just before she flew off to Milan and Paris for another round of Fashion Week festivities, we caught up with her again to see what her life is like nowadays. 

On becoming a KOL...
“I started in the fall of 2016, so it’s been a little over two years. I’d been a stylist and fashion buyer, so dressing up and building a good look for myself have always been a passion of mine. One day, I realized a picture of me at a fashion week event landed on the homepage of WWD’s website. One thing led to another, and here I am.”

201902/tera3.jpgCourtesy of Tera Feng.

On a typical work day...
The pace is always very fast. Most people only see the final products – the well-produced shots with us posing glamorously for the camera – but a lot of work goes into the preparation process. While every day is different, it generally involves a few things: meetings with clients and partners, choosing outfits and styling the looks for my posts, photo shoots and attending press events for brands.

On the most important skills for KOLs...
Time management is crucial for my line of work, but you have to be flexible, too. I like to schedule things at least one day ahead of time, but I always leave some room for any last minute changes or emergencies (and there always will be).

“I don’t think you need to stand out ‘intentionally’ because everyone is unique.”

On her team...
I don’t really have a fixed team working with me. It’s important for me to keep things fresh, so I enjoy working with different people. For instance, I work with different photographers all the time. Bouncing ideas off of different people often yield some surprising results.

On how to stand out among other KOLs...
I don’t think you need to stand out ‘intentionally’ because everyone is unique. Brands usually select which KOLs to work with based on whether their styles and personalities are a match, so I do think knowing what your likes and dislikes are, what looks good on you and what doesn’t, as well as developing your own sense of style are important. 

201902/tera2.jpgCourtesy of Tera Feng.

On a recent memorable job...
I worked with [Chinese ecommerce platform] SECOO to report on Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks. I flew to both cities attending shows, shooting, visiting showrooms, as well as interviewing designers and brand executives. Each day, I’d report back to the SECOO team in China and sometimes discuss the content until very late at night. The whole process was very efficient and the people I worked with were really professional. It was great working on that project together.

On her advice for those who want to become a fashion KOL...
Think about where your interest lies and what your strengths are. Find a medium in which you can best express yourself. Whether it’s writing, photography, modeling or styling, once you’ve locked down your ‘weapon of choice,’ start posting on social media outlets. The earlier you start, the better. Lastly, be persistent, as success usually doesn’t come overnight.

Follow @Tera-Feng on Weibo, or @Tera_Feng on Instagram. All photos courtesy of Tera Feng.

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