When Andy Warhol predicted that everyone would be famous for 15 minutes, he got the idea right, but his time frame was way off. For the past decade, we’ve seen a democratization of celebrity; fame has become more attainable, and yet more powerful, than ever. The internet operates under a village mindset, one in which formerly isolated niches can grow into hyper-specialized global phenomena. There are pop culture deities for singing, dancing, and acting, but also for mastication, gory makeup, and even the soothing sounds of Silly Putty. But who are these everyday people-turned-blue-chip-mega-influencers? And how does this happen? We tracked a few of them down to find out.
The Dubai-based Australian car influencer Alex Hirschi has created her own personal empire by driving, reviewing, and posing alongside luxury supercars. She has become a force as an anomalous woman in the otherwise testosterone-fueled world of “gear heads.”
“I was a radio presenter in Dubai for five years. I’ve always loved high-end luxury cars and supercars, and my goal one day was to own one. I covered a couple of events for Bentley, and they gave me a call one day and said, ‘Alex, how would you like to receive a Bentley for a few days to drive around?’ They gave me a Flying Spur. I didn’t even know car manufacturers could do that. From the beginning, I approached this very differently to what was online, mainly car experts using car lingo. Ninety-nine percent of people who drive cars are not car experts. I really try to make myself relatable, which is hard, because supercars in general are not relatable. Comedy is a universal language. In L.A. recently, we took a couple of really iconic cars from The Fast and the Furious, and instead of making them race really fast, we were just going at a snail’s pace, sort of making fun of the image of street racers. At the moment, I’ve got the biggest following of any other woman in the car world. I have also surpassed men in the field. Seeing this was really confusing to a lot of men. People in the community would say horrible things about me. ‘If a man can’t make it in this world, how is it possible that a woman could make it without using her body to get ahead?’ The answer is just a shit ton of hard work, excuse the swear words.”