During Coachella's inaugural weekend, Philadelphia millennial-about-town Ian Michael Crumm chilled with Kylie Jenner at her Paper Magazine-sponsored soiree.
Other Coachella coups: He was selected by H&M to model in one of the Swedish brand's Twitter posts. Upscale online shopping app Spring liked Crumm's seductive-but-boy-next-door looks, so its social-media team outfitted the 23-year-old recent Drexel grad with an ICNY Sport reflective shirt for an Instagram post. (To date, there have been 600 "likes.") And he popped into Interview Magazine's swank party, hanging with Chiara Ferragni of fashion website Blonde Salad fame.
Then last weekend, he headed to Manhattan for the Tribeca Film Festival, where he showed up, of course, on the festival's social-media account.
All of it was him Just. Being. Ian.
"It's been so crazy," said Crumm, of Fairmount. "I'm really just getting a chance to sit down."
Descendants of original influencer Paris Hilton - once reportedly paid $10,000 for a single tweet - these young adults are fast with the Snapchat, and they sometimes contribute blogs or stories to major news outlets (Crumm wrote a story about Tribeca style for Gotham.com and for a while he was a contributor to Philly.com.)
It helps that friends work in social media for major brands (as was the case with H&M and Spring, although neither brand would discuss how they choose their influencers). And it really helps that these Internet stars boast pleasant cheer and the ability to look good in designer sunglasses. What results is a vast social-media following that fashion brands yearn to click with and get clicks from.
The problem: Even with a selfie from Kylie Jenner in your arsenal, it's tough to monetize that authenticity. So what Crumm doesn't get in cold hard cash he earns in other ways. For example, he might be given trips, the latest backpack, or, of course, designer sunglasses.
"This life is about trade," Crumm said.
That doesn't stop the doe-eyed menswear blogger, who hails from a family of builders in York, Pa., from trying. Crumm says "Ian Michael Crumm: Life Connoisseur" - where he posts pics and diary entries of him in great clothes, occasionally with famous people - gets more than 100,000 unique visitors a month.
Crumm's most recent post features a trip to the Miami Open for a Lacoste-sponsored party.
Crumm's latest (unpaid) venture is a partnership with blogger Mollie Snyder called "Wear We Went," a slick travel platform showing Crumm and Snyder maxing and relaxing in luxe hotels in cities from Thailand to Washington.
"We are hoping this is going to turn into something big," Crumm said.
One paid project: a partnership with Kimpton Hotels for which he produces a guide to Philadelphia boutiques.
Crumm started his empire in 2011, when he moved at 18 to attend Drexel, where he majored in communications and marketing.
He interned with Sharon Phillips Waxman, meeting the area's fashion insiders at Waxman's annual Phashion Phest event. Eventually, he became close with Philly paparazzo HughE Dillon, who just happened to photograph Crumm looking fantastic at glitzy events.
In summer 2013, the now-defunct Details.com began posting items from Crumm's "Life Connoisseur" blog. He wasn't paid, but that's when Crumm saw his first substantial uptick in his social-media numbers. The next year, Crumm interned at Prada. More New York connections, more followers.
Six months out of Drexel, Crumm says he's easing into adult life, albeit having a fun time as the beau of the ball.
He's confident his celebrity status will eventually pay off.