FEEDING OFF INSTAGRAM
For all its vintage filters and foolproof functionality, there’s no denying that Instagram presents a pretty slick business model. Since the app landed on phones in 2010, we’ve been able to create neat, curated portals into our picture-perfect lives with a steady stream of photographs edited to look brighter, sharper and altogether better. As a result, a new crop of social media celebrities has popped up, including tech-savvy women who are rising to the forefront of food culture.
Izy Hossack, director and founder of the blog and Instagram account Topped With Cinnamon, started her food empire by sharing her cooking triumphs and mishaps. “I love trying out recipes and testing things,” she says. “Instagram seemed like the perfect place to share those experiments.” The 19 year old’s account now has 143,000 followers and counting. Still a student in London, Hossack is regularly approached by global brands that want her to work her stylized magic with their food products. “It’s like I have a day job and then this!” she says. Despite her age, this cook’s commercial success mean that she now runs her Instagram account like a small independent business. “I always make sure I post regularly,” she says, “though it’s so much fun though that I rarely forget. I see my account as a rolling feed of ideas, and it’s an incredibly satisfying creative outlet.”
It took about three days for Vickie Liu, founder of the Vickiee_Yo Instagram, to become a success. After casually posting pictures of her pastel hued, cartoon-shaped confections, the Australia-based baking addict racked up a following of 10,000 nearly overnight. With an Instagram bio describing her as an “amateur baker and professional eater,” Liu has earned herself a book deal and become the go-to for imaginative cake ideas. Her creations range from cartoon donuts with ears to pretzels made from cookies and quirky expressions spelled out in cake.
Instagram is the perfect platform for young creatives to define a new aesthetic in lifestyle and food. Beth Kirby, creator of the Instagram account Local Milk, was one of the first to develop a narrative in her Instagram feed. Kirby hosts intimate dinners, sharing beautifully rustic, bird’s-eye view photographs with her followers. Kirby pioneered the Instagram trend for shooting wooden farm tables and fresh ingredients from above, and has helped develop Kinfolk Magazine’s strong visual identity. That’s the lure with Instagram feeds: as much as we might love posting our own culinary work, getting a sneak peek into someone else’s kitchen can be far more inspiring.
—Grace Elena Banks