Best Fashion Influencers in Chicago

Fashion influencers in Chicago spotlight street style with grace and have captured the attention of fans around the world.

 min. read
June 2, 2022

Fashion is what you buy; style is what you create. That’s according to BRENDA, one of our choices for the top 5 fashion influencers in Chicago.

Clothing is a must for most of us. For those who relish in the beauty of their outward appearance, style inspiration is also a must. Thankfully, social media have created a bustling digital space for style innovation and revival.

Below, we’ve listed a diverse group of fashion influencers in Chicago who you should follow right now. These ladies spotlight Chicago street style with grace and have captured the attention of fans around the world.

Who cares about fashion?

The global apparel industry was estimated to be worth around $1.5 trillion dollars in 2021, and that number is only expected to increase. With so much money floating around, influencer marketing is sweeping the world of fashion.

For example, recent statistics show that Nike was the most valuable apparel company in the world in 2021, valued at around $83 billion, and the shoe company is known to work with influencers on a regular basis.

Want to work with influencers in your industry? Read more on how influencer marketing is sweeping the world here.

Why follow fashion influencers in Chicago?

Chicago has long been fertile ground for fashion trends and icons. Today’s trends are not only influenced by the Fashion Week shows in New York and Milan. Influencers are at the frontlines of some of the hottest fashion trends.

Influencers with millions of followers will always be enticing. That said, never underestimate accounts with just a few thousand loyal subscribers. These influencers tend to be more trusted by their followers and can be better at driving people to action.

The power of micro and nano influencers is underrated yet potent. Check out the stats here.

Although there are a variety of fashion influencers across different platforms, those on our list of fashion influencers in Chicago are most popular on Instagram. For this list, we have focused on influencers:

  • Whose accounts have more than 55% of followers interested in clothes, shoes, handbags, and accessories
  • Who are from or live in Chicago, Illinois
  • Whose accounts have grown by more than 25% in the last 2 months
  • Who have been active within the last 30 days

1. Dani and Caitlin

Caitlin Campbell and Dani Sommerfeld (@onceuponadollhouse) are two best friends, co-bloggers, and fashion influencers in Chicago. Their brand Once Upon A Dollhouse is a lifestyle editorial focused on friendship, fashion, and fun adventures. With more than 154K followers as of May 2022, these ladies have created a whimsical digital lookbook with their Instagram.

Their Instagram account has seen consistent growth in the last few months, and their reach extends beyond the worlds of fashion and beauty. About 46% of their audience is based in the United States, with the majority scattered across North and South America. Most of their followers are English-speaking, but just over 30% speak Spanish.

More than 75% of their audience is female, with 31.8% between the ages of 18 and 24, and the next-largest age range is from 25 to 34. Compared to similar accounts, these ladies have a higher-than-average engagement rate of 3.36%.

2. The Bayoud Twins

Assia and Soumaya Bayoud (@bayoud_twins) are Moroccan-American twins, models, and fashion influencers in Chicago whose account blends style and culture seamlessly. By providing a snapshot of their travel and daily lives, while showcasing their well-coordinated outfits, the sisters have attracted more than 54k followers on Instagram, plus more than 5k on YouTube.

Although the majority of their followers speak English (about 47%) and their Instagram content is primarily in English, more than 31% speak Arabic, which is the language they use primarily on YouTube. Their engagement rate is significantly higher than comparable accounts, at 4.84%.

While the sisters are based in Chicago, the majority of their followers are based in Morocco, about 53%, while just over 25% are based in the U.S. Just over 77% of their followers are female, and the vast majority are between the ages of 18 and 34 (over 60%) with just over half of those over the age of 25.

3. BRENDA of “Chic City Girl”

BRENDA (@thechiccitygirl), who just goes by her first name, is a content creator who has been blogging since 2016. She is also a fashion influencer in Chicago whose Instagram account has over 45K followers. Her helpful styling tips, colorfully eccentric outfits, and confident personality make her page sparkle a bit brighter than most.

Compared to similar accounts, BRENDA’s engagement rate is relatively high at 3.75%. Her account has seen steady growth from month to month, with a steep incline beginning earlier this year. As the oldest influencer on this list, and one of the only Black Instagram influencers in the top trending accounts, she has a unique seat at the table.

More than 95% of her audience is female, and more than 36% of those followers are between the ages of 25 and 34. The top 50% of her audience is older than 35. The majority of her followers are based in the U.S., with some in the UK and Canada. The overwhelming majority of her audience speaks English.

4. Only1 Kaylei

We couldn’t list the top fashion influencers in Chicago without at least mentioning this mother and daughter duo. Only 1 by Kaylei (@only1kaylei) is an Instagram account focused on toddler-age model Kaylei. Under the guidance of Kaylei’s mom, one of many active mom Influencers on Instagram, Kaylei’s account focuses on kids’ fashion.  

Using fun reels and poised photos, Kaylei and her mom have earned more than 17k followers and countless brand partnerships. They also have an above-average engagement rate of 4.84%, and their account has been steadily gaining popularity in the last few months.

Their audience is truly global, with followers in almost every continent. The majority of their audience, however, is based in the UK (about 31%) and the US (just under 30%), and more than 86% speak English. About 60% of their followers are female and 39.9% are male. The majority are between the ages of 25 and 34, the next-highest age demographic being 18- to 24-year-olds.

5. Alley Clark

Alley Clark (@alleyclarkk), is a Chicago-based influencer and promoter of casual fashion. A refreshing departure from the highly glamorous yet impractical couture of runways, Alley’s page highlights the beauty of neutral tones and comfortable cuts.

More than 15K followers tune in to her page for “everyday” style tips and inspiration. Her engagement rate is well above average, just over 8%, and is the highest of anyone on our list of fashion influencers in Chicago. The majority of her followers are female, more than 93%.

Her account has seen a steady increase in followers from month to month, with more than 45% between the ages of 18 and 24, and more than 36% between the ages of 25 and 34. More than 32% of her audience is based in the U.S. She also has followers in Europe, Canada, and Brazil.

Spinning threads into gold

Never underestimate a likable person with a great sense of style. The power of influencer marketing cannot be understated, and fashion influencers are tapping into the gold mine. Influencer marketing is already a multi-billion dollar industry. Combine that value with the high value of the fashion industry, and you can expect these fashion influencers in Chicago to have a bright and lucrative future.

Influencer marketing and the success of campaigns all depend on choosing the right influencers. Whether you’re looking for a full-scope campaign or just getting connected to influencers, platforms like Tensor Social can do it all for you. They match you with the right influencer, provide performance metrics, and manage the entire process so that you can put in minimal effort to see your investment work!

Blog and graphic by Kayla Beard