What It's Really Like Living With A 5-Year-Old Influencer

When we were 5, we prided ourselves on a lot of things, like our doll collection and our ability to ride a bike sans training wheels. Our sense of style, however, wasn't much to brag about (and still causes us to simultaneously laugh and cringe when we see old photos). In Japan, though, there's one 5-year-old whose fanny packs, beanies, and monochrome socks-and-sandals combos are a far cry from the pastel polka dots, light-up sneakers, and over-the-top bows that fill our childhood scrapbooks. In fact, her style is so good that she landed her own published fashion book at the age of 3 (yeah, you read that right).
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Rin's minimal, ultra-polished aesthetic and knack for pulling off of-the-moment trends takes microfashion to new levels — and has helped her gain more than 36,000 followers on the WEAR app since her first post in May 2014. Through her work with the company, Rin was dubbed one of 23 child WEARISTAs — its version of an influencer — in August 2014, which led to the style book featuring more than 200 of her most on-point outfits. Talk about serious life goals.
Ahead, we chatted with the mastermind behind Rin's killer looks — her mother, Rica — about what it's really like living with one of the most fashionable kids around. Get ready for a big dose of style envy from one of our smallest fashion icons.
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Photo courtesy of WEAR / @riccarin.
At 5, Rin has more than 36,000 WEAR followers and her own personal style book. How did she become such an influencer?
"Rin was authorized as a WEARISTA in August 2014, and she has gotten a lot of exposure because of it. WEAR sometimes features Rin on its social, so she's gained a large following thanks to that."

All of Rin's outfits are so on-trend. Where do you shop for them? Are there specific brands you prefer?
"We shop for clothes both at retail stores and online. The brand doesn’t really matter, as long as the clothes are cute and look good on Rin."
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Photo courtesy of WEAR /@riccarin.
Would you say that her style mirrors your own aesthetic?
"I do think her style is definitely influenced by mine."

What's your process when you're putting together a look that you want to share with her followers?
"I usually think about time, place, and occasion first. The next step is color coordinating. When I have a specific item that I’d like to use, though, I usually build the outfit around that one piece."

Does Rin need to sign off on a photo before you share it on WEAR?
"Yes, she does. She's definitely become more curious about how her pictures look recently."
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Photo courtesy of WEAR / @riccarin.
Considering how fashion-forward Rin's outfits are, is there anything she refuses to wear?
"Nothing in particular, but she doesn’t really like printed clothing and frilly dresses, which might be because she's worn black dresses since she was little."

Sounds like you have a minimalist in the making, at least in her color choices. What's her all-time favorite color to wear?
"She immediately said black!"

Does she have one favorite piece to wear?
"She prefers wearing trousers to skirts because of their mobility."
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Photo courtesy of WEAR / @riccarin.
It's amazing that Rin is so young and already has a style book. What was that process like? Were you heavily involved?
"The book went on sale [in 2015] when she was 3 years old and has more than 200 of her looks in it, including ones that are not on WEAR. I tried various kinds of styles so that the book fits various readers’ preferences. I think Rin did really well considering her age at the time. When we first got the offer [from WEAR], I couldn’t believe it at all. It was like a dream that my daughter would have a book published. It felt like an amazing treasure. I hope that someday when she reads this book in the future, it will help her."

Speaking of the future, does Rin have a dream job? Do you hope she pursues a career in the fashion industry?
"I have no idea, to be honest. She says she wants to be a model, but she also says she wants to be a painter."
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Photo courtesy of WEAR / @riccarin.
How has this experience impacted your own goals? Any interest in going into fashion?
"Well, when I have an outfit design in mind for my daughter but can't find it in stores, I actually make it myself. I’m sometimes asked to make clothes for other kids as well. Being a children's clothing designer would be amazing, but for now, being a great mother of two is the most important job for me."

Other than having a style book to look back on, how do you think Rin's work with WEAR will positively impact her future?
"She has to meet various people and deal with various situations during photo shoots, and I believe she is learning a lot from that. Also, I think it’s good that she can cultivate a sense of color by being surrounded by lots of clothes."
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Photo courtesy of WEAR /@riccarin.
What's been the most exciting part of this journey for you and Rin?
"It's really exciting when brands reach out to us and invite us in for catalog shoots; she's worked with Frankygrow, Kaorinomori, nunuforme, and GeeWhiz. And she was featured in MilK Magazine France in 2016. I'm also happy that I’ve made lots of connections with other stylish kids and their mothers through Rin’s WEAR and Instagram profiles."

Do you get a lot of positive feedback from other parents on Rin's style?
"We get a lot of nice comments like, 'Your kid is so stylish!' It makes me very happy when other moms or people my age give us positive feedback."

Social media can be a scary place. Any drawbacks to Rin being in the spotlight?
"It rarely happens, but sometimes strangers who know Rin on social and have actually seen her by chance leave comments like, 'I saw Rin the other day!' I don’t really like this because it makes me worry about [her safety] and how many people recognize us."

Do you consider your daughter a style star?
"I’ve never seen her status as a style star. She is just a 5-year-old girl with a cute smile."
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