By Bailey Beckett
The age of the Influencer continues to upend social media, and one of its most promising stars is Sarah Stannard, known to thousands at @stylesarah. Her Instagram following continues to grow by leaps and bounds, cultivating an audience of fashion-conscious women.
A Brooklyn resident for the last three years, Stannard started her Insta-denity innocently enough: taking photos of herself in front of New York landmarks and hotspots. The images are flawless, with just enough tease and style to attract an audience. Though it’s only a part-time hobby (her real job is with a beauty-focused App in New York where she does social media), Stannard not only caught the attention of style-conscious women, but restaurant and hotel owners eager for a mention, but also soccer fans. That’s right, @stylesarah might as well be @soccersarah given her alliance to the UK team the Tottenham Hotspurs and its midfielder Harry Winks. “I played soccer my entire life and never had a team to identify with,” Sarah says. “My friends were trying to convince me to follow such teams as Lien Arsenal and Chelsea, but I decided on Tottenham.”
New York Lifestyles caught up with the savvy, sultry and stylish influencer over lunch in the buzzy lounge in the Baccarat Hotel.
Describe @stylesarah and your personal style?
Well, if @stylesarah were a verb, I think it would be equivalent to a youthful, infectious enthusiasm. I rely heavily on a neutral color palette. I used to wear bright colors all the time and found that the lifespan of every item in my wardrobe was too short to keep up with. I was giving in to short-lived trends and I didn’t like that. My entire wardrobe is all black, white, grey, tan and denim. A pop of color is a rare moment and is usually some sort of statement piece. I’m really into animal prints like leopard and snakeskin this season. Since there’s a lack of color in my wardrobe, I play it up with varying textures and layers. I love a contradicting mix of a super formal look and sneakers. And of course, I really like to add my personal touch in there - with the logo of the soccer team I support or lapel pins I’ve collected from around the world. Lastly, I’m definitely a hat girl. Fedoras, berets, beanies... I want them all!
How do you decide where to photograph?
I think my backdrops are really similar to my style—neutral and heavy on texture. It’s more the time of day that’s essential—early mornings during the weekends in the city are nice and quiet, it’s easier to get a good shot then.
How have you built such a big audience?
Experience and consistency! I don’t think my audience is very big compared to other fashion influencers, but I have an audience that I’m very intimately connected with. Whether they’re fellow soccer supporters or people that have been following my blog since 2009 in Ohio, we’ve all gone on this journey together.
How do you engage with your followers?
By being my most authentic self! I think when I stopped posing and smiling and started creating the content that made me happy is when I really started connecting with others. The soccer community has been essential to this - and people outside of the soccer community get a kick out of my fandom (see what I did there?). Not only do I engage on my own posts, but I answer every message and interact on their pages as well.
How are influencers changing media?
The way I see it, influencers and social media are just another form of marketing—and it’s here for a reason. People want a more authentic voice—whether they’re still authentic or not—to tell them where to go and what to do. Aspirational marketing can get you so far, but realistic marketing—where the consumer really feels like they can achieve that life—is what’s working for the current market.
Who do you follow?
My favorite people to follow typically create content that’s far different from mine, but they make me really feel something, and that’s why I like them. An influencer I love to follow is @jacimariesmith—she’s youthful and aspirational—but not in an intimidating way. Her photos are amazing. Another is @dorytrendy and is very much my vibe. I draw a lot of inspiration from her looks. As far as brands, @theloversanddriftersclub is my favorite. It’s everything I want to be, but I’m too much of a good girl. Also, my friend @streetstyleteller has a great vibe and I’m always excited to see what she’s posting. And of course, @spursofficial because I can’t live without my soccer team!