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Meet Model & Influencer Emma Kanngiesser

Emma Kanngiesser scaled
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Meet Model & Influencer Emma Kanngiesser

Emma Kanngiesser, a multilingual model and influencer, hails from Erfurt, Germany, and currently resides in Hamburg. Though primarily focused on academic pursuits in finance at the University of Hamburg, Emma has ventured into modeling and collaborating with brands like Smilodox on Instagram. Her diverse interests extend to volunteering, art, and entrepreneurship, exemplified by her ventures into modeling and her aspiration to launch an eco-conscious swimwear brand.

Hi Emma! As a fashion model, you have modeled in cities around the world including Cape Town, Hamburg and London. What inspired you to pursue modeling, what age did you start and how has your journey evolved since those early experiences?

Hi! First, thank you for highlighting my journey; it’s been an incredibly rewarding path. I was drawn to modeling at the young age of 14, initially captivated by the artistry and storytelling aspect of fashion. I saw it as a platform where creativity, fashion, and personal expression converged, and I was eager to be a part of that narrative. Starting young allowed me to experience diverse cultures and work ethics early on, which has been invaluable. My experiences in cities like Cape Town, Hamburg, and London have not only broadened my horizon but also deepened my appreciation for the multifaceted nature of fashion and its ability to transcend cultural barriers. Over the years, my journey has evolved significantly. From those early days of learning the ropes and navigating the complexities of the industry, I’ve grown not just as a model but as a person. One of the most profound shifts has been gaining more control over my media presence, especially as I’ve embraced my role as an influencer. This dual role has empowered me to be more selective with the projects I take on, ensuring they align with my values and the messages I want to convey to my audience. It’s also given me a platform to advocate for issues close to my heart, such as sustainability in fashion, mental health awareness, and inclusivity. Being an influencer has added a new dimension to my career, allowing me to connect with my followers on a more personal level and use my platform for positive impact. I’m committed to leveraging my influence responsibly, promoting not only beauty and style but also intelligence, kindness, and social responsibility. It’s important to me to be a role model who embodies the idea that one can be both beautiful and smart, and that using one’s platform to make a difference is the most beautiful thing of all. As I look to the future, I’m excited about continuing to evolve and grow, both in front of the camera and beyond. I’m passionate about exploring opportunities that allow me to merge my love for fashion with my desire to contribute positively to the world. It’s been an incredible journey so far, and I’m just getting started.

Collaborating with the renowned German workout brand “Smilodox” on Instagram was one of your first paid influencer opportunities. Can you share more about that experience? 

    Collaborating with “Smilodox” on Instagram was indeed one of my first paid influencer opportunities, and it remains a highlight of my career for several reasons. First and foremost, the collaboration was a perfect marriage of my personal passions—fitness and self-improvement, with my professional interest in photography and visual storytelling. It is truly a brand I love and it resonated deeply with my own values, making the partnership not just a business deal but a genuine extension of my personal brand. What made the experience with Smilodox particularly rewarding was the creative freedom it offered. It allowed me to blend my love for working out and striving to be the best version of myself with my passion for capturing and sharing these moments through photography. This synergy not only made the content authentic and engaging for my audience but also deeply fulfilling for me on a personal level. Moreover, this collaboration was a significant learning curve in terms of navigating business deals within the influencer space. It taught me the importance of aligning with brands that not only offer a good fit with my personal brand but also respect my voice as an influencer. Learning to negotiate terms that honored my worth and contribution while fostering a mutually beneficial partnership was invaluable. It set a precedent for how I approached future collaborations, emphasizing the importance of transparency, respect, and shared values. Overall, the Smilodox collaboration was more than just a business opportunity; it was a stepping stone that helped me understand the intricacies of influencer-brand partnerships. It reinforced the importance of authenticity, passion, and strategic alignment in creating content that resonates with my audience and remains true to who I am. This experience has undoubtedly shaped how I approach my work as an influencer, emphasizing the power of combining personal passions with professional opportunities to create meaningful and impactful work.

    You have amassed over 200,000 Instagram followers to date. What advice can you give to an influencer looking to increase their Instagram following?

    Growing an Instagram following to over 200,000 has been a journey of learning, adapting, and most importantly, connecting with my audience. To anyone looking to increase their Instagram following, my foremost advice is to deeply understand what resonates with your audience and lean into it. Engagement is key. However, it’s crucial to balance audience preferences with authenticity. The digital space is saturated with content, and authenticity is what sets you apart. Your followers can tell when you’re passionate about your posts, which builds trust and loyalty. So, while it’s important to pay attention to trends and analytics to understand what content performs well, it’s equally important to ensure that this content reflects your true interests and values. Authenticity attracts like-minded people, and this genuine connection is what fosters a loyal and engaged following. Another piece of advice is to be consistent but not just in the frequency of your posts. Consistency in your message, values, and the quality of your content is vital. Your followers should know what to expect from you, and this consistency helps to reinforce your brand identity. Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment. Social media is ever-evolving, and what works today may not work tomorrow. Stay open to trying new types of content. This not only helps in keeping your content fresh but also in reaching new audiences. In summary, increasing your Instagram following is a mix of understanding your audience, staying true to yourself, maintaining consistency, and being open to experimentation. It’s about finding that sweet spot where what you love aligns with what your audience enjoys. And remember, building a following takes time, so be patient and persistent. The growth of your community on Instagram should be a reflection of genuine engagement and shared values.

    As a multilingual individual with a strong academic background, how do you incorporate your diverse skills and experiences into your modeling career?

      My multilingual capabilities and strong academic background have been invaluable assets in my modeling career, far beyond what one might initially assume. These skills have not only enriched my personal growth but have also significantly enhanced my professional endeavors, particularly in engaging with a diverse audience, understanding global trends, and negotiating partnerships and deals. Being fluent in multiple languages has allowed me to connect with a broader audience and collaborators from different parts of the world. This ability to communicate in various languages has opened doors to even more modeling opportunities and has made social media engagement more inclusive and personal. It enables me to interact with followers and fans in their native languages, which fosters a deeper connection and understanding. This personal touch is something I value greatly, as it reflects my commitment to inclusivity and global connectivity. My academic background has equipped me with critical thinking and analytical skills, which are crucial in understanding and leveraging trends within the fashion industry. These skills allow me to sift through vast amounts of information and identify what is truly valuable and relevant to my audience. It also helps in creating content that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also meaningful and engaging. Furthermore, my education has been instrumental in the business aspect of my career, particularly in negotiating partnerships and deals. It has provided me with the knowledge and confidence to navigate contracts, understand the nuances of the business, and advocate for terms that align with my values and professional goals. This combination of skills ensures that my collaborations are not only successful but also authentic and true to my brand. Incorporating my diverse skills and experiences into my modeling career has allowed me to build a unique brand that transcends traditional boundaries. It has enabled me to leverage my platform for more than just fashion, turning it into a space for cultural exchange, education, and meaningful dialogue. My journey underscores the importance of embracing all facets of one’s identity and experiences, as they collectively contribute to one’s unique value and perspective in any industry.

      Volunteering at a refugee camp during high school demonstrates your commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. How has your humanitarian work influenced your approach to modeling and building your personal brand?

      My experience volunteering at a refugee camp during high school was a pivotal moment in my life, deeply influencing my values and how I approach both my modeling career and the development of my personal brand. This humanitarian work instilled in me a profound sense of empathy, social responsibility, and a desire to use my platform for positive change. It’s these core values that I bring to every aspect of my modeling career, influencing the choices I make and the partnerships I pursue. The lessons learned from volunteering have taught me the importance of giving back and using one’s visibility to spotlight issues that matter. As a model and influencer, I’m acutely aware of the impact my platform can have in raising awareness and driving change. This awareness has led me to be more selective with the brands I collaborate with, choosing to partner with those that align with my commitment to social responsibility. Whether it’s advocating for sustainable fashion, mental health awareness, or inclusivity, I strive to ensure my work contributes to the greater good, reflecting the values I hold dear.

      Graduating among the top of your class in school and then pursuing a degree in business is impressive. How do you balance your academic pursuits with your modeling aspirations?

        Achieving academic success while nurturing my modeling career has been a journey of discipline, time management, and a deep-seated belief in the value of education. Studying business while actively pursuing modeling wasn’t just about juggling two demanding commitments; it was about harmonizing my passion for fashion with my academic ambitions. The key to balancing these aspects of my life has been leveraging lessons from each to enrich the other. The rigorous discipline and strategic thinking required in my business studies have directly translated into my approach to modeling. The world of fashion is not just about creativity and aesthetics; it’s deeply rooted in business fundamentals—branding, market analysis, and financial savvy. My academic background in business has equipped me with a unique perspective on the industry, allowing me to navigate my career with an entrepreneurial mindset. It’s empowered me to make informed decisions, from managing partnerships to understanding the intricacies of contracts and negotiations. Conversely, my experiences in modeling have enriched my academic pursuits. The dynamic, fast-paced nature of the fashion industry has taught me the importance of adaptability, resilience, and effective communication—skills that are invaluable in the business world. Engaging with diverse teams, traveling, and working in various cultural contexts have provided me with a global perspective, enhancing my understanding of international business practices and cross-cultural communication. Balancing these worlds has also taught me the importance of setting priorities and managing my time efficiently. I’ve learned to be proactive, planning my schedule meticulously to ensure that I can dedicate myself fully to both my studies and modeling commitments. It’s about making the most of every moment, whether I’m on set or in the library. In essence, my academic and modeling pursuits are not separate paths but rather complementary facets of my personal and professional growth. Each has informed and enriched the other, allowing me to build a unique brand that embodies both intellectual rigor and creative expression. This synergy between academia and modeling has not only shaped my career trajectory but has also taught me the value of pursuing diverse interests and the power of interdisciplinary learning.

        What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a model, particularly starting out in the industry, and how have you overcome them?

        Starting out in the modeling industry, I encountered several challenges that tested my resilience, adaptability, and commitment to my craft. One of the initial hurdles was the intense competition. The industry is saturated with talented individuals, each bringing their own unique beauty and style. Standing out in such a crowded space required not just hard work but also a clear understanding of what sets me apart. I focused on honing my unique qualities, embracing my individuality, and consistently improving my skills, which gradually helped me carve out my niche. Another significant challenge was dealing with rejection. In modeling, rejection is part of the process, but as a newcomer, it was hard not to take it personally. It took time to learn that rejection wasn’t a reflection of my worth but rather a matter of fit for specific roles or campaigns. Building resilience and maintaining a positive mindset became crucial. I learned to view each rejection as a learning opportunity, using it to refine my approach and better prepare for future opportunities. Navigating the complexities of the industry also posed its challenges, especially in terms of understanding contracts and the business side of modeling. My academic background in business proved invaluable here, equipping me with the knowledge and confidence to navigate these aspects more effectively. I became proactive in educating myself further, seeking advice from mentors, and gradually becoming more adept at managing the business side of my career. Maintaining a balance between my personal values and the demands of the industry was also a delicate task. It was important for me to stay true to myself and my beliefs, even when faced with pressure to conform to certain standards or trends. This meant making tough decisions, such as turning down opportunities that didn’t align with my values. Staying authentic has not only helped me build a brand that I’m proud of but has also attracted collaborations and opportunities that resonate with my ethos. Overcoming these challenges required a mix of perseverance, self-reflection, and a willingness to learn and adapt. I surrounded myself with a supportive network of family, friends, and industry professionals who offered guidance and encouragement. I also committed to continuous self-improvement, both personally and professionally, which has been key to navigating the ups and downs of the modeling industry.

        With over 200,000 Instagram followers, your influence extends beyond modeling. How do you leverage social media to connect with your audience and promote your brand?

          With over 200,000 followers on Instagram, I recognize the immense responsibility and opportunity I have to connect with a diverse audience and promote my brand. Social media is a powerful tool that allows me to share not just the highlights of my modeling career but also the values and passions that define me. My approach to leveraging social media focuses on engagement and creating value for my followers. Social media is ever-evolving, and staying relevant means being willing to learn and adapt. I keep abreast of the latest trends, algorithm changes, and best practices in content creation. This continuous learning helps me optimize my social media strategy to ensure maximum engagement and impact.

          Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations for your modeling career, and how do you plan to continue growing and evolving as a model currently based in Germany?

          As I look ahead in my modeling career, my primary goal is to broaden my horizons both geographically and creatively. Germany has been a fantastic base, offering a unique blend of traditional and avant-garde fashion scenes that have greatly influenced my style and approach. However, I’m eager to explore more international markets, embracing the diverse trends, cultures, and perspectives that modeling globally can offer. Expanding my presence to new markets will not only diversify my portfolio but also enrich my personal and professional growth. In terms of trends, I’m keen on experimenting with and embracing emerging trends in fashion and content creation. The industry is constantly evolving, and staying ahead means being adaptable and open to change. Another key aspiration is to deepen my partnerships within the industry. Collaborating with a wider range of photographers, stylists, and brands is crucial for creative growth and visibility. I aim to work on projects that challenge me and push me out of my comfort zone, as these are the opportunities that lead to the most significant growth. Engaging in diverse and challenging projects will also allow me to showcase my versatility as a model, opening doors to new opportunities and collaborations.

          You can follow Emma On Instagram Here

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