This influencer with 2 million followers couldn't sell 36 shirts

30 May 2019, 17:48 | Updated: 30 May 2019, 18:00

Arii
Arii. Picture: Instagram: @arii

By Rachel Finn

The internet is freaking out that the influencer couldn't shift enough t-shirts and they have plenty of theories why...

We all know that what we see on Instagram isn’t ‘real’ and that followers don’t really ‘matter’, but when Arii, an 18-year-old influencer from Miami with over 2.6 million followers, announced she was no longer launching her own clothing line due to the fact she couldn’t sell - wait for it - thirty-six shirts, the internet was pretty confused at the maths of the situation.

In a since deleted post, Arii explains that in order to continue working with the company that’s making her clothing brand she had to sell a basic level of thirty-six items. After she was unable to do so, she was forced to cancel the launch.

“Breaks my heart to have to write this post,” she wrote on Instagram. “As y'all know I released my brand. I've poured my heart into this drop… But unfortunately the company that I'm working with goes based on your first drop sales.”

“No one has kept their word so now the company won't be able to send out the orders to people who actually bought s*** and it breaks my heart. The people I thought who would support me, really didn't nor did they share any of my posts (all I asked for), sounds b****y but like no shade to anyone, I've supported everyone's music or whatever they've asked for my support on and I couldn't even get it in return.”

Arii
Arii. Picture: Instagram: @arii
Arii
Arii. Picture: Instagram: @arii

Obviously, launching a successful brand is no easy task and you wouldn’t assume it’ll be mega successful straight away. But with 2.6 million followers, Arii wouldn’t need to have even sold her shirts to 1% of her followers. In fact, she’d only need to sell to *gets out calculator* a tiny 0.0014%.

So what’s going on here? Predictably Twitter had a few theories…

Some were quick to suggest the “influencer bubble is bursting”.

Others had questions about her marketing strategy.

It turns out there’s a big difference between having a ‘following’ and having ‘customers'.

And a difference between having a cute Instagram and having an actual brand.

Others just… didn’t like the shirts.

Or her Instagram in general.

Maybe her 2.6 million followers aren't even real?

The whole thread actually turned into a really useful class in branding and marketing...

And others turned it meta and are convinced her ‘failed’ brand is, actually, all part of her brand.

Whatever happened here, it’s clear that something odd is going on here. Arii has since been forced to turn off commenting on her posts in response to the backlash and, honestly, we feel a bit bad for her.

On Twitter though, she seems to be taking things as a learning experience, writing: “I’ve studied everyone’s responses & advice, i will take this summer to work harder & learn more. this isn’t the end, i won’t let this hate & laughter get to me! thank you to those who have sent kind messages”.

That's an energy we could definitely take with us in life.