Dixie D’Amelio is Busy Building Her Empire
Dixie D’Amelio is busy.
And not “busy” in the typical 20-year-old way of cramming for exams in-between all-night frat parties. She is busy building an empire.
The brunette Internet sensation arrives to her cover shoot in Midtown Manhattan, dressed casually. She’s donning pieces from her own clothing line, Social Tourist, which she launched with her younger sister, Charli, in May 2021. She’s warm and open, hugging her hair stylist, Laura Polko, and the rest of her team. It’s her third time working with photographer-director Jasper Soloff and they happily catch up.
It’s a typical day for the young entrepreneur-artist. She has just taken a car into the city from her family home in Connecticut. Now she’s in the glam chair discussing creative direction for the shoot, reviewing moodboards, backdrops, and makeup palettes. In-between shots she is FaceTiming with friends and combing through racks of clothes. She’ll be in the city for three days as she promotes her new, excitedly anticipated Hulu television venture, The D’Amelio Show. Then, straight to Los Angeles for more work. Despite the frenetic energy and rapid pace at which everything is moving around her, she is cool and collected – completely in her element.
While Dixie may have cultivated her star status from social media, via the likes of TikTok and Instagram, it’s clear those are merely the springboards towards her goals, rather than the goal line. Within the past two years, in addition to her launching Social Tourist, she has been tapped for a partnership with Valentino, became an ambassador for Puma, and written and released her own music (with high-production music videos to boot). All this buzz has snagged her the position of first artist to land three #1’s on Billboard’s Top Thriller U.S. Chart – while also being named to Forbes 30 Under 30. All the while turning heads in cutting-edge fashion, making her a one-to-watch trendsetter and on-the-rise artist. And keep in mind, this is all while under the confines of a nasty global pandemic.
Dixie D’Amelio is very much on the proverbial ledge – completely out there, vulnerable, exposing her life, art, and emotions for the world. Seemingly though, that’s just where she wants to be.
“Vulnerability is important. That’s how people connect and find ways to appreciate someone. I could be as perfect as I want online, but you’re not going to go very far with perfection because it’s not realistic. And there’s a lot of beautiful people on the Internet, but they don’t show their bad days. That is what stops them from being amazing and from being a superstar – because they don’t show their bad days.”
And as if she isn’t out there enough on social, with over 90 million devoted followers, the release of The D’Amelio Show will give the world an even more intimate glimpse into her life.
Speaking of the already recorded episodes, she shares about what they have accomplished thus far. “I’m excited for people to see my family together. You can control what you post online on TikTok or Youtube, but there was no control when the cameras were on. It was real. We got so comfortable that we forgot the cameras were there. So we said what we were really feeling. We had our true anger and happiness and emotions.”
Surprisingly, for someone who has made a career out of being on camera, having the film crew around took some adjustment. D’Amelio says laughing, “It was definitely hard not to look into the camera. I’m pretty sure there’ll be a lot of parts where we were looking straight into the camera or talking to the people behind the camera. There’s a camera in your face – how are you not going look at what is directly in front of you? But once we got used to it, I totally forgot they were there.”
It’s a striking contrast to her and her family’s life just a little over two years ago. Before, Dixie was the quintessential teenager, playing field hockey and running track at her high school in Connecticut. She was working a retail job on the side, doing homework, and even trying to get a few modeling gigs for a whopping $30 rate.
As her megawatt career is just getting started, Dixie understands her relationship with social media, the Internet, and all the high-risk, high-reward consequences that come with it. The day before we speak on Zoom, Dixie spent the day at Six Flags where she was fully aware of fans filming her on their phones. She knew she had to put on a smile – even though she was already genuinely having a great time anyways – so no snapshot of her not smiling, even for a second, would get posted and misconstrued.
“From the comments I read, people say I think of myself way higher than I am. Which is the total opposite. I don’t think of myself better than anyone. I hold myself in a way where I protect myself. And I don’t want people to think that I’m rude or standoffish. I sometimes feel like I need to protect myself, because I don’t know always who I can trust around me. And I try. I’m usually very open and sometimes too open, but I do close off sometimes.”
But let’s be clear: Dixie is having the time of her life. And what we have seen of Dixie D’Amelio has just scratched the surface.
More music, more fashion, and more more are all in her crosshairs. “I have this opportunity, and I don’t want to mess it up. This is exactly what I wanted in high school. Knowing that, and remembering that this is what I want to do, keeps me going every day; to work hard and be the best I can and help everyone around me.” Ready, aim, fire.
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