Molly-Mae Hague is the nation’s influencer. Worshipped for her effortless style edits and praised for her shrewd social media strategy, her success has eclipsed existing ideas about what it truly means to be an influencer in today’s digital age. So, it comes as no surprise that she would go on to break the internet after revealing her new role as PrettyLittleThing’s UK and EU creative director – arguably one of the smartest moves the brand has ever made.
Since leaving Love Island, Molly-Mae’s upwards trajectory has been commendable, aspirational and relentless. Despite many questioning her motives after coupling up with boxer Tommy Fury, she has blocked out online negativity by focusing on one thing only – her brand. In 2019, the emerging influencer arrived at the Spanish villa with 150K Instagram followers. Although she placed second in the finals, her audience growth saw the biggest spike and she ended the show with 2.3 million followers on Instagram. Post-Love Island, PrettyLittleThing blessed her with a £500K endorsement deal that would become the foundation of a long-term collaboration and in the same year, she launched her own beauty brand, Filter By Molly-Mae, which has continually sold out since. Now, in 2021, the star is at six million followers on Instagram and made headlines in August after securing her biggest career move yet.
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When it comes to Love Island, it’s a well-known fact that many contestants leave the show with deals, sponsorships and collaborations already lined-up. 2019’s winner Amber Rose Gill landed a £1 million deal with MissPap, Wes Nelson signed with Universal after a brief stint on reality TV shows Dancing on Ice and The X Factor and Josh Denzel evolved into one of the most popular sports pundits in the UK. However, no other Islander has come close to reaching the heights of Molly-Mae. Her influence can be felt on every social platform – “Money Mae” frequently trends on Twitter, her lavish giveaways send many into a frenzy and her relationship with Tommy has been crowned “couple goals”.
But should we be looking to Love Island for the next Molly-Mae? No. The past couple of seasons have proved the once widely-adored reality series has peaked. To me, it’s clear no other Islander will achieve such superstar status – its generation-defining, influencer-making days are over. Just two contestants from this season hit over one million followers on Instagram. Millions of entertainment loving people are flocking elsewhere for new talent. This year saw many switch over to Netflix’s Too Hot to Handle which was viewed by 54 million people and produced TV favourite Emily Faye Miller who is definitely up next.
Love Island served its purpose by discovering Molly-Mae but let’s be real, it’s time to look elsewhere for the future mega influencers. The villa was fun, but its star-making days are over.
By Jennifer Adetoro, culture editor of CORQ. Picture credit: Molly-Mae Hague via Instagram.