Something Navy's Arielle Charnas on Shopping, Blocking and Sharing It All on Social Media
"I don't know why I'm an easy target," she tells PEOPLE
With 1.2 million Instagram followers and $10 million in recent funding to expand her lifestyle brand, Something Navy, Arielle Charnas, 32, is one of the biggest fashion influencers in the business — and she’s just getting started. We caught up with her at Shopbop‘s 20th anniversary pop-up store in New York City — opened now through September 22 — to talk everything from fall trends to Instagram fights.
Let’s start with the fun stuff: What trends are you loving for fall?
Square-toe shoes. Not a lot of people are into them, but I like them. I’m looking forward to that robe-coat trend with faux-fur and shearling. And I’m looking forward to a lot of simple, chic silk blouses.
Where and when do you shop?
In bed, watching TV. The show is always in the background, and I am always on my phone. I load my cart and then when I get to the end, I make edits and I wind up getting rid of a lot of things that I really wanted. It forces you to really think about if you need something or not.
What do you do with all of the clothes you get?
My younger sister takes everything and then I have a team of girls, that whenever I clean out, they go through it. Whatever they don’t want we donate. And my nanny takes a lot of the clothes. She’s like the best dressed nanny, she wears like the cutest outfits every day.
According to your Instagram she also has great highlights.
That’s what I got her for her birthday. She loved it. I give her clothes and beauty products all the time.
In a world of Instagram advertisements, how are you keeping your brand authentic?
I’m a very real-time poster. I don’t spend more than five minutes editing a photo. I actually hate when I have partnerships where they want me to pose, review for a week and then post. Those never do well for me because my followers know that everything I do is very much real time. People appreciate the beautiful photos and they love the gorgeous backdrops, but at the same time they also want to see the drama and the struggles and things that you’re actually feeling.
Speaking of drama, you’ve been known to block negative commenters. Why is that?
I’ve responded in the past and it just doesn’t do anything for me. It doesn’t make me feel better and it just creates more drama and controversy that I don’t want to be a part of. I also don’t want to fuel the fire, ever. So if someone is going to come to my page and leave a negative comment I would rather just easily block them and not have that negativity on my page.
Why do you think people who don’t like you follow you?
When I post something and there is controversy, that post gets so much engagement because people just want to look at it, even if they aren’t participating. Like, why do we all watch reality TV? We want to see the fights and the drama. It’s so fun to be an outsider who isn’t in the fight. It’s like a train wreck, you can’t look away, but it’s terrible, for me. I don’t know why I’m an easy target.
You frequently feature your husband in your content. Do you love that he’s so engaged in what you do?
My husband’s the personality and always chatting and schmoozing. And I’m shy and quiet. Sometimes I am like, “Oh my god, let the bride and groom be the main event of the party.” And then people look at me like, “oh [she’s] boring.” But I am not going to do splits in the middle of the dance floor.
What’s next for you?
We’re hiring 20 more people by the end of October. I accepted the fact that for my business to be successful, I need to give up control of the things that I’m not necessarily good at and allow someone who has that skill set to take over and then that will allow me to focus on what I feel really passionate about. So, we are relaunching our brand in 2020, starting with apparel. It’s going to be a smaller collection, just to sort of hone in on what we know. Then we are going to branch into a bunch of different categories, which we are still organizing. It is everything you could imagine.