In the first of our Meet The Influencer interviews we catch up with affordable fashion aficionado and model David James Seed to hear what has to say about the business of influence.

For more from David, follow him on Instagram and check out his blog.

What made you decide to start your website and instagram page?

I started my Instagram and general social channels regards affordable fashion just over a year ago. People kept asking where that jacket was from or where those shoes were from, so I thought I’d just style a few of my outfits together… for me more than anything. I certainly didnt expect the reaction and growth that I have had in such a short time frame!

Your niche is affordable fashion - what made you decide to focus on that area of the industry?

As a model, I often wear expensive clothes on photoshoots. I remember once wearing a Burberry jacket on a shoot in Singapore for which cost over $8000 (£4500). Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice jacket. But I just didn’t get it. The price tag was ridiculous and I’m just not that kinda guy.
I’ve always been interested in dressing well and one of my hobbies (and now actual job) was putting an outfit together for as little as possible. I have this killer overcoat from when I was starting out with my blog/IG. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been asked / literally stopped in the street and asked “where is your coat from?” and with pride and a smile I say “George, ASDA, £10 on sale.” – mic drop.
I get an actual buzz from going into George (ASDA), F&F (Tesco), Tu (Sainsburys) and finding little gems of clothing that would often get passed off as “Dad clothes” but, if worn in the right way/fit and with the right outfit, it can look great! e.g. A red and black checked shirt in XL, black skinny jeans, brown/Timberland/working boots and a black overcoat – I’d have you looking like David Beckham for under £100.
I originally was going to only use items from supermarket brands and call it “Supermarket Sartorial” but I soon realised I was resricting myself to other great brands and it limited the content I could make for people. Instead I stuck with affordable fashion and showcase how it doesn’t have to cost a lot to dress well!

What do you look for when arranging a partnership with a brand?

I’m always about the relationship. I have a business mind and I’m not here for the short term. “Hey guys, I LOVE HiSmile teeth whitening!” Long-term thinking is what I am about and so if a brand can buy into me and my ideology, I will buy into them. Of course that doesn’t come straight away, there has to be some give and take, however, it can’t just be ‘take’. I’m not a monkey. I’m a guy that works hard to do what I do and I will be here in 5-10 years when others simply wont.
The relationship has to be mutually beneficial and it has to be respectful. Quite often it is not and I’m simply not interested. Okay, I might lose out on a few hundred pounds… but in the long run, I’d rather work with brands that get my mission and want to jump on board with me!

You’ve worked with lots of fantastic brands, whats been your favourite collaboration so far? And what would be your dream collaboration be?

I think my favourite brand to work with was New Look. It was a longer-term project and they are absouletely spot on for my niche of affordable fashion.
The best part about any long term partnership is that brand awareness I can create. I cannot tell you the amount of people who messaged me saying “I never shopped at New Look before, but I walked passed the other day and thought of you…and now I do!” – thats a great feeling because, not only does the brand match my mission but I genuinely helped someone and that gives me serious kicks!
I don’t have any “dream” collaborations. My fashion dream was always to model Calvin Klein underwear, and I ticked that off! 😀 But having 4-5 companies who work with me on a long-term basis is the goal. That way everyone wins. Me, with constant content and a reliable income, the client with constant content being put out and increased brand awareness and my following with great affordable fashion outfits for them to try themselves, saving them the moneyyys!

What is the hardest and the best parts of being an influencer?

For one, I hate being called an influencer. I’m just a guy that enjoys putting outfits together and showing people glimpses into my life. But the hardest part of it all, like anything, is the time and commitment. Social media, like modelling, is all perception. People see the nice pretty photos and the catwalks… but no one sees me planning outfits in my bedroom for hours or getting pulled from pillar to post just seconds before you go out onto the runway for your second outfit… So I think people think it’s easy, it aint.
The best part, and reason I do this, is to give. Not “give back” because I don’t care about recieving anything. I just want to provide value. Show people that they can look great for less. When people DM me with their own affordable successes or ask for workout plans and I see them transform… that’s just brilliant!

What advice would you give to somebody looking to become a fashion influencer?

Be sound. There’s too many d*ck heads out there that want to be “insta famous”. They won’t win and I don’t believe they will be relevant in 5+ years time. Anyone can look pretty on Instagram. Thats no biggy. Have a niche, PROVIDE VALUE to your following and just BE YOU.
People buy into my social channals because I sing in the car, I show them how I work out, I’m daft with my friends, I play them some music on my story, I’m me… I just happen to be born in a time when I can stick my phone in the corner and share me with 20k+ people… pretty mental really.
Just be sound.
DJS x

About Viral Seeding

Viral Seeding is a specialist content seeding and influencer marketing agency.

We offer a personal service, taking the time to understand your campaign requirements to execute a strategy that ensures that we deliver views, engagement, endorsement and sharing via social media.

Viral Seeding has worked on social good campaigns such as Testicular Cancer NZ, Greenpeace and The Syria Campaign in the past. If you think your organisation could benefit from working with us in the future please get in touch.