Glamour’s Women to Watch series spotlights women who are redefining what it means to be an influencer. Yes, they have. “personal brands” and rapidly growing social followings—but in some way, each of these women is pushing the boundaries of what an influencer should look like, act like, or stand for. Their presence broadens the scope of influence, which allows them to have actual influence. These women are creating style, changing conversations and dictating trends. And they’re just getting started.
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Grece Ghanem has style. Genuine, intelligent, born with it style. It’s the type of style you can’t fake and the type women 30 years younger often try to achieve but somehow tends to have a particular authenticity on Ghanem, who will be 57 in December. It’s odd to call her an “influencer” since the term has become a joke, one reserved for 20 year olds who post photos of their outfits, beach waves, breakfasts, and new-parenting tips, and home decor, in order to gain followers that can help them monetize their photos into a brand. But she is an influencer. 685,000 followers on Instagram—where Ghanem posts her outfits—that’s what she is.
Ghanem posts her daily looks and works with brands. She occasionally gives glimpses into her fitness and beauty regimens, but it feels so different. I don’t roll my eyes when I see the blazer she’s wearing is in partnership with, say, Mango—meaning she’s getting paid to promote it to her followers. Instead, I applaud Mango for choosing a woman who is comfortable with their style. Yes, this is a woman who was 45 when Instagram launched in 2010.
Becoming a social media influencer wasn’t something Ghanem set out to do, though she does have a deep appreciation for fashion that started young. “I always took good care styling myself and discovering my personal style,”She says it to me. “I’d invest in building my wardrobe with quality pieces, and I also loved reading and collecting fashion magazines.”
Yet Ghanem spent time working in a hospital in Lebanon, where she’d received a master’s degree in microbiology before moving to Montreal 16 years ago and becoming a personal trainer. There aren’t many professions that require a lot in investment or frequent outfit documentation. But one look at her Instagram page, and you’d think fashion was a space she’d been working in her entire life.
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