Under the Influence of Sofia Richie Grainge The Ultimate Influencer

Richie Grainge, celebrity offspring–turned-influencer, has the magic in her. The preternaturally self-possessed 25-year-old has manifested in an unique photoshoot with L’OFFICIEL the one thing the world that seems almost impossible these days: a truly positive experience on social media.
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In 2023, going viral is something most people wanted to avoid. But when Richie Grainge launched a TikTok account just days before her fairytale wedding to music executive Elliot Grainge in April, her videos blew up overnight, gaining her thousands upon thousands of new followers obsessed with her “quiet luxury” approach to style. After Sofia went viral, her wedding and the ensuing TikToks catapulted her to social media fame, Sofia Richie Grainge is finding her place in the spotlight.

Photography by Dennis Leupold
Styled by Rebecca Ramsey

Sofia Richie Grainge on the November 2023 cover of L’OFFICIEL.

“I’ve never expected to get any positive feedback from social media; my happiness doesn’t depend on social media feedback, and I feel like I protected my mental health in that way throughout the years of being in the spotlight,” she says. “It was shocking for me to see such positive feedback, and it really put a smile on my face. It made me feel like, Wow, there are kind people out there.”

Dress FERRAGAMO Earrings and ring DAVID YURMAN

She was so successful at it, in fact, that some began to suspect she’d launched the TikTok as a savvy PR move. But the reality is much simpler than that. A close friend, Jake Shane, was so adamant that Richie Grainge would be good on the app that he offered to film and edit the content for her. The idea of doing something fun with her friends was a nice distraction from the stress of the wedding weekend. “I was like, no one’s gonna care, but I will entertain Jake,” she says. 

It turns out, a lot of people care: some 3.4 million on TikTok and another 10.9 million on Instagram follow Richie Grainge’s every move, whether it’s copying her slicked-back bun or tracking down every piece of clothing she wears. (These days, it’s Richie Grainge running the account, though she misses Jake’s help. “I still can’t fully figure out how to edit a video,” she jokes.)

Her comments section is littered with fans asking for outfit details, and she’s answered DMs from accounts tracking her closet to help them with the specifics of what she’s wearing. I read part of one comment out loud to her—“This girl could sell air and I would buy it”—and Richie Grainge laughs, equally delighted and humbled by the praise. 

Jacket, brief, and belt DIOR Shoes JIMMY CHOO Earrings DAVID YURMAN Tights WOLFORD

But the reality is, she possesses a selling power that would have almost any brand salivating over. It would be easy for Richie Grainge to make a healthy pile of cash in a short amount of time. She knows, though, that she has also cultivated a feeling for thousands of followers that she’s their big sister or their best friend, and she has a responsibility to them to keep her account honest, even when doing a sponsored post.

“I truly try to stay true to myself and my brand, and I honestly use TikTok like I’m talking to my friends. I’m just having fun,” Richie Grainge says. “I don’t want people to feel like I’m leading them to buy everything under the moon because I’m getting paid.”

“My happiness doesn’t depend on social media feedback, and I feel like I protected my mental health in that way throughout the years.”

Sofia Richie Grainge

It was a happy accident that Richie Grainge even sparked a style movement in the first place. She’s always loved playing around with style, growing up in a family full of fashion designers and style icons—especially her father, the legendary singer Lionel Richie. “My dad is truly the person who brought the clothing obsession into my life. He takes dressing very seriously, and he’s very thoughtful about everything he wears,” she says. 

Still, it wasn’t until a few years ago, she shares, when she felt like she was coming into her identity as a woman and she wanted a style to match it, that her personal style developed. Her sister, Nicole Richie, recommended that Richie Grainge call on her best friend and stylist Liat Baruch to help make that vision a reality. The two have been working together ever since, assembling a timeless and elegant wardrobe for Richie Grainge to pull from when getting dressed. Her style merges inspiration points as vastly different as Jackie Kennedy, the Olsen twins, and ‘90s Chanel, blending it all together to create modern classics. Think: a white Prada nightgown paired with velvet flats, a sharply-tailored minidress with a padded headband, or a rich bordeaux scarf top worn over a linen skirt.

Top HERMÈS Skirt and shoes MAGDA BUTRYM Bracelets DAVID YURMAN

Now, she’s capitalizing on the moment to achieve her lifelong dream of launching her own fashion line. Initially, the brand—currently called SRG—was teased with a Spring 2024 launch, but Richie Grainge is pushing it closer to fall, so she can make sure every single detail can live up to her very high expectations. “I am a Virgo. I’m an absolute perfectionist, so I’m not releasing anything until I feel it’s perfect,” she says. 

What’s most fascinating about Richie Grainge’s stratospheric social media explosion isn’t how quickly she grew a following or how she became the face of the “stealth wealth” style moment—it’s that Richie Grainge has successfully walked the tightrope of sharing just enough of her personal life (see her internet-breaking wedding) to make followers feel close to her while still keeping things private for herself. The custom Chanel gowns, the sold-out Prada dresses, the collection of Hermès bags: They’re nice to have, but they don’t define her beyond their appearance on her grid.

Coat, dress, and shoes ALAÏA Earrings and ring DAVID YURMAN

“When I wear jeans and a T-shirt, I’m like, ‘I’m not anyone’s style icon right now; I’m just going to the grocery store,’” she says jokingly. “I think when people think of me they just think of clothing, but I’m a big family person. I love my dogs, I love my friends, and I just want everyone to be happy. When I think of myself, that’s what I think of—but I’m flattered that everyone thinks of good clothes!”

She draws boundaries around the things in her life that are too precious to give away for likes. The experience of being viral online has been positive for her so far, but she knows that the general nature of the internet doesn’t always skew that way.

“There’s so much more to my life than getting ready, but for me, I just don’t need opinions about everything in my life,” she says. “I don’t really care what you think of how I do my makeup, but maybe I would care about what you think about something with my family, or my dogs, or my friends.”

“I don’t really care what you think of how I do my makeup, but maybe I would care about what you think about something with my family, or my dogs, or my friends.”

Sofia Richie Grainge

It’s a level of self-awareness and boundary-setting not often seen in people her age, but then, not many people her age grew up under the same microscope that she did. While being raised in a famous family has its privileges, the public attention also forced Richie Grainge to grow up quicker than her peers. 

“I’ve learned from a lot of my experiences; I’ve had to figure things out on my own,” she says. “I think I finally got to a place where I have a good general understanding of what I want and what I don’t want.”

After experiencing a bout of pretty bad anxiety as a teenager, Richie Grainge took up a regular meditation practice, which has helped ground her. Lest that seem too celebrity-offspring for you, though, know also that Richie Grainge loves a good reality TV binge. She watches every single Real Housewives franchise, naming Salt Lake and New York City her top two, and she just started The Golden Bachelor (“I want the best for Gerry,” she says). 

Top and skirt VALENTINO Bracelets DAVID YURMAN

And, believe it or not, the woman who has herself been pinned thousands of times is very active on Pinterest herself, putting together seasonal style inspiration boards and finding interior design ideas for her current home renovations. “I am addicted to Pinterest,” she confesses. “If someone asks me for an idea, I say, ‘I will get back to you with my Pinterest board.’” 

At the end of the day, though, Richie Grainge is most at peace when she’s at home with her family. They’re the people who know each other best, who can be one hundred percent honest and open with one another; she can trust that they will always have her best interest at heart. Getting married has only doubled that joy in her life.

“I didn’t even know I could be so close with a family that’s not my own. I feel the exact same way about them that I do about my own family, my parents, and my siblings,” Richie Grainge says. “I have the biggest, most loving, most comforting family ever.”

Dress LOEWE Shoes MAGDA BUTRYM Earrings and ring DAVID YURMAN

There’s no question that Richie Grainge has been at the center of a whirlwind in the last several months; a wedding is a life-changing event for anyone, and hers pushed her into the public spotlight, thanks to a few TikTok videos made for fun with her friends. Personal style might only be a small slice of her identity, but it’s still a piece that’s been claimed by millions of people. No one could blame her if the experience left her head spinning. I’m curious to know, I say to her, if there’s anything she wishes those people knew or understood better about her.

“If you would have asked me this question two years ago, I would have had a really large, long list for you,” she says after a moment of silence. “I feel like the side of me that I really wanted the world to feel and understand—the funny, bubbly girl—I’m happy that people are getting to know that side and they’re connecting with it. A lot of good change has happened over the year for me.”

HAIR Jenny Cho
MAKEUP Kara Yoshimoto 
MANICURE Yoko Sakakura 
DIGITAL TECH Kevin Leupold 
PHOTO ASSISTANTS Winston Kingstro and Allison Lopez 

Original article posted in L’OFFICIEL USA

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