For most social media personalities, followers are a currency. The number showcased in that column may as well be an ATM slip; for the higher it is, the more you’re worth. And they aren’t entirely wrong. Digi-dollars are all the rage with brands across the globe tapping into trendsetters and influencers to reach specific audiences, read: consumers. But not everyone sets out on the journey of follower aggregation with that intention. For some, it seems it’s organic. This is the case with super-well-known Italian Instagram sensation, Gianluca Vacchi and his fiancé Giorgia Gabriele; it was almost like a chicken before the egg kind of situation–the followers solicited them! “It all started because a friend told me that I needed to show my life,” explains Vacchi. The silver fox is aware of what makes him fascinating, but seems totally unaffected. “He said that my personality and soul were amazing and my life was amazing and I needed to show it. But I knew that I had more to lose than to gain because in Italy life is very conventional, almost bourgeois as it is in Europe in general, really.” He took a leap–as we later come to find out, challenges are totally Vacchi’s thing–and just as he suspected, people began to talk. “He’s becoming crazy,” they heralded. “He’s fighting with his family and so he’s dancing on Instagram,” they said. “What they don’t know though,” he let’s us in on his secret, “is that people who don’t laugh are the ones who aren’t serious people…dance is not a crime; it’s happiness and you have to share that with the world.”
And share he has. On his verified @gianlucavacchi Instagram handle, Vacchi has some 9.4 million followers tuning in to watch his daily posts–yes he’s very active. And what are they watching exactly? Well, how he spends his time to be precise. A luxury he values more than any other form of wealth, as he’s very vocal about his opinion that time is the only wealth [you] actually have. “We let them understand how to spend that time; that wealth,” he explains. “I always say that ‘I want to be in the Fortune ranking for the moments bank account.’ Life and time are the real wealths and the people who have spent their time thinking only of how to accumulate money haven’t realized that the they are simultaneously spending something that’s not theirs.” It’s obvious that a Vacchi lesson is to follow by the profound vagueness of the previous suggestion, and just as sure as he will continue to dance on Instagram, it landed on our laps like a literal life-check: “Life is the first loan that we receive;” he says, “and we have to give it back for sure, so enjoy it.” While he’s here he surely has plans to enjoy it! And take care of it might we add: “My health is the first thing I take care of. I wake up and I say, ‘This is the first day of the rest of my life’. Then I train my body in the morning and my brain in the afternoon.” So serious is he about his workout that he has his calisthenics practices tattooed on his arm–not that we think he’d ever have to reference the diagrams, for if it’s true that muscles have memory we are certain that his chiseled body knows its way around the weight room. This routine, the kind that benefits his lifespan and health quotient, is, as one might guess, a nonnegotiable. But that’s ok, he has the time: “My way of working is based on delegating; I have always delegated everything, so I have the time…I delegate what I don’t personally do to others.” I assume that the brunt of those extracurricular activities assumed by others involve keeping his multiple abodes impeccable. The latest acquisition to join that list of addresses is actually in Miami, where the couple keeps a Purdy-Ave penthouse in sunny South Beach since last January. “Last year I came to Miami on January 23 and by January 29 I had already bought the house–I fell in love with the city; it’s so cozy, so warm…full of Latin Americans, which I love…You know my grandmother was Argentinian; she was a piano teacher and she taught me…I wish I still played. I would give half of my wealth to play again. For Latin people, music is something very important; Latin music is life really, it’s in our veins–[their] blood moves because of music, they live on the rhythm of music. Life kind of is music in the way that it changes everyday,” Vacchi explains in that captivating way that he has; a way that makes you feel like you’re gaining perspective in a way that’s totally not imposing.
In a recent conversation, a friend told me about some research she’d read on the psychology behind social media-related depression. Apparently, comparison has quite literally become the thief of happiness in some instances where a follower feels less-than their digital doyen. It seems to the untrained eye, however, that Vacchi and Gabriele really wrangle a different kind of response from their posts. They don’t seem to attract envy but rather the total inverse; people watch them to smile. The saddening subject is one that must be addressed, and Vacchi did: “One thing that is very important in life is to have hopes and dreams and we make people dream. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and we’re not trying to show off; but by watching us, people understand that dreams are achievable.” He goes on to explain the importance of putting positivity into orbit in everything that he does and how dreaming and actively chasing those dreams in an instrumental part of what it means to be alive, even for Vacchi. In the most recent installment of dream chasing, he has taken on the wild world of DJing. And it’s not been easy; it’s been quite the challenge–one that he accepts with open arms: “I love a challenge and to be judged on a new undertaking because change and growth is what’s keeping me alive,” he says with a zest that makes him sound like he’s just been recharged. “And with DJing, I’ve been practicing 5-6 hours a day like if I were 18 to work towards getting better…Music is a kind of conversation; with music you talk to people, you involve people and show them your way of enjoying life…I wanted to have a vehicle through which to talk to all people but also to be able to see them, which is different from the way that we interact with followers on Instagram. I love to see them moving to my ideas when I’ve chosen my music.” It’s interesting to see a social celeb crave that human interaction and actually his balance is enviable. He gets to be that personal both behind a screen and in the flesh.
“Give me a new challenge and I’m gonna take it on, especially one that I get to share with people because I always say that people who don’t share love are not serious people. People in love want to share things with their couple, as an example, I love [Giorgia] so I share everything with her…I would love to be alone sometimes, but I fucking love her.”
Giorgia, who’s been by his side all along laughs. For those who wonder what she’s like in real life, everything about her shines: Her hair shines; her skin shines; her eyes shine; her teeth shine. And it seems like a natural glow that would attract any moth, if you will. It sure did a number on Vacchi: “I met her in 2010 at a gathering in my house and immediately thought, ‘she has to be mine!’ but she didn’t even say hello to me.” In Giorgia’s defense, she came to this party accompanied by the time’s current boyfriend and she even swears that she did say hi, although he remembers it differently. In the end, their good friend time brought them together and what they’ve built has been a reflection of the authenticity that exists between them. It really is very special and after knowing them, it’s clear that their posts are only windows into their lives. If you follow Giorgia, who also has a huge fan base at @jogiorgiajo with 2.4 million eyes on her, you know that she has other projects she’s working on personally similar to Vacchi’s DJing. In particular her fashion brand, Wandering, which she often dons in her public photos. The collection, which she describes as a reflection of her personal style, is part gypsy and part romantic–a seemingly appropriate fit for the madly in love Gabriele who also travels incessantly. Wandering is doing quite well according to the duo who credits tapping in to consumer desire as the key to their success: I’m trying to understand what women want to wear, what people feel they lack and to fulfill that–profit is not a target, but rather a result of things done well. And the secret is to be yourself.” The key components seem to run rampant in all that the duo does whether alone or as a unit, especially the part about staying true to oneself. They say they don’t use filters or wear proverbial “masks” in their postings and their other businesses are run with the same transparency. The profits seem to follow, but they maintain that their only goal is to spread happiness.
“We have always understood that the first jewel we have is our life and we only have one; so we want to live it and share it with others and just treat them well.” They say that the way people treat others is a reflection of who they are, and in this case, they’re doing real well.